Last week, I visited the newly opened Boston Public Market. By all accounts you would say this project is a success. The booths were filled with local produce and products, and the aisles were jammed with consumers attempting to make purchases. I say attempting because the aisles were filled with people and it was impossible to find a place in line to buy anything.
The people behind the Boston Public Market had clearly not prepared for this new attraction being as successful as it is. Had they done so, there would not have been masses of people exiting the venue with nothing in hand.
I see this happen in organizations all the time. Companies don’t plan for success, and instead experience failure. Take the recruitment function. I’ve written many articles that reference the difficulties companies are having attracting talent. However, there are certainly times when a company will post a job opening and be overwhelmed with the number of candidates who are now in the pipeline. They haven’t prepared, and so candidates are left hanging for weeks and sometimes months because those responsible for staffing are simply overwhelmed.
The next thing that happens is that candidates badmouth these organizations by letting others know, through their social networks, how poorly they’ve been treated. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what happens the next time these companies post an opening. Here’s how to plan for success:
1. Be prepared. Assume more people than not will respond to your postings, and be prepared to move people quickly through your hiring process. If you can’t do this, then consider holding off on posting your opening, or hire a contractor recruiter who can help you swiftly move candidates through your hiring process.
2. Simplify. Are you forcing candidates to zig-zag through your organization when a straight path to the hiring manager is available? If so, you risk the chance that some candidates will get lost in your maze. Simplify your hiring process so that people remain interested.
3. Make a great first impression. As much as I thought the Boston Public Market was a great idea, I’m not sure I will return. The idea of being in a mosh pit isn’t all that appealing to me. Do candidates who apply for employment with your firm have a similar feeling? Or are they impressed enough to pursue opportunities with your company?
It may be slightly more work to prepare for success, but the effort is surely worth the results. Otherwise you may as well close up shop, as that will eventually happen to those who are planning for failure.