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If Your Utility Can Wait, Take a Hiring Pass Until January

I’ve been in the hiring mode at my “day job” for the last couple weeks because two of my three reporters have left, leaving me with just one.

I need to hire to hire someone soon – I can get by with two reporters, but having only one makes life difficult.

That said, if your utility needs employees now, you might want to consider holding off on any hires, except for absolute necessities, until 2019.

That’s because now is a terrible time to be hiring.

Many people are on vacation, doing extra work because others are on vacation or are dealing with end-of-the-year tasks. That can make it difficult to coordinate schedules to interview candidates, let alone review résumés. And performing background checks and contacting references can be difficult, too.

Given the importance of getting the right people for the job, you certainly don’t want to cut corners with your hiring process.

In addition, if you are having budgetary issues, letting a nonessential position remain open for a few weeks can save you a little money by not taking on the salary.

And the onboarding process can be problematic for some of the same reasons hiring at this time of year is difficult.

Key people responsible for training may be out of the office. If you’re trying to wrap up things, it makes little sense to get a new person up to speed on them. And if you have an office party and hand out bonuses or gifts, excluding a new person might be uncomfortable.

Also note, that the pool of candidates this time of year may be subpar; more people are likely to be looking for work at the start of a new year. Remember that the overall unemployment rate is generally rather low right now.

So, what should your human resources department be doing now? Easy: Prepare for your 2019 hirings.

Update or improve your job descriptions – the wording may well be outdated or inadequate.

Talk to department managers about their hiring needs, especially for early in the year.

Review how you’re going to attract job candidates. Aside from your own website, are you mentioning openings on social media? Are you using major job boards like Indeed.com? How about trade publication job boards? College career placement offices? Job fairs?

Look back on your 2018 hiring process. How well did it turn out? What were the common factors in both the successful and unsuccessful hiring? Adjust your targets, wants and goals as needed.

And good luck in 2019.

Andy Gotlieb's picture

Thank Andy for the Post!

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