We are about to step into August and there’s only five and a bit weeks until Labour Day. Soon, we'll be scrambling to find last-minute vacations or staycations, to get the kids prepared for back-to-school, board meetings will pick up where they left off… it's going to be full-on before we know it.
So whether you are a Founder, CEO, or Head of People, here is our top 5 tasks to do every week between now and Labour Day to ensure a smooth kickoff to your recruiting and talent acquisition strategies in September:
(1) Take Inventory
Given the pace of the last two years, who hasn't welcomed summer and the time it gives us to recharge. Founders, on the other hand, often struggle to take their foot off the gas due to business pressures or time constraints, which can lead to reactive decision-making.
This is why the number one thing on our list to tackle this first week of August is to slow down and think. Whether you use a whiteboard or Miro, spend some time thinking about the progress you did (or didn't) make.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Are you satisfied with the progress you've made?
- What conclusions have you made about your talent acquisition efforts?
- Do you have the right internal resources to get recruiting done?
- Does your team need training or coaching in areas?
- What roadblocks need to be removed to streamline processes?
- Are there patterns in the offers that are accepted vs declined?
- Are there patterns in the reasons employees churn?
- One year from now, where do you hope to be organizationally?
- Are you set up to achieve that? What are the gaps?
Taking the time to reflect, think and look at the data will better position you and the ELT to be less reactive and proactive.
(2) Wellness Temperature Check
Who in your team has not taken time off yet? Why? Are you demonstrating a healthy work culture by ensuring those who work hard for you live the life they're working so hard to have?
To ease covid-related burnout, employers began doing creative things. For example, in August 2021, Coconut Software started Cabana Days and converted their organization into an official four-day work week.
If your attractive offers of employment includes "unlimited vacation days," what are you doing to ensure employees enjoy that benefit or at the very least take off the minimum employment standards vacation time?
According to a recent McKinsey report, uncaring leaders and unstable work performance expectations were the two leading causes of employee burnout and churn. So as you roll into week two, it’s time to take a team 'wellness temperature check' and encourage anyone who wants, or more critically needs, to take a break.
What milestones have been achieved YTD? Who made a difference to their team? What 'small acts of kindness’ have gone unrecognized because that's just who they are? Which of the new hires has already added value in a meaningful way? Whose idea converted to a material outcome?
Time to ask yourself these questions and take a moment to celebrate all the great things that have happened so far. Celebrating wins and achievements fosters a sense of community and culture which is often some of the reasons your new hires chose your offer of employment in the first place.
Take week three to figure out new ways to celebrate and create meaningful cultural impacts. O.C. Tanner provides insights on creating "recognition experiences" that move away from the programmatic nature they have become.
(4) Book the Meeting
On week four, it’s time to book the meeting you had every intention of having but didn't. Perhaps it was the career discussion with yet another employee asking for a promotion they are not yet ready for. Now is the time to invest in that person with honest feedback that requires action on their part.
Or perhaps it was the career coach/mentor you went to great lengths to find but then canceled on too many times because you're too busy to think about your career when you have a company/team to build.
Consider these meetings worth the investment. Book time with your role-specific Board stakeholder. Participate in an exit interview. Week five is all about investing in your team and yourself.
(5) Evaluate Options
There comes the point in every leader's career when they are required to engage partners:
- Investors to fund the next stage of growth
- Accounting firms that ensure compliance
- Immigration lawyers who understand work visa legislation
- Retained search firms that ensure a company's ELT has access to the necessary talent to build the business
Week five, aka the last of the “slower summer,” is about setting the foundation for a productive Q4. Figure out where you need expert advice and seek it out.
Our focus is helping tech companies access the product management, design, marketing, and sales talent they need to scale their organization.
Our experience has taught us that organizations who view our relationship as a partnership will achieve the best outcome by engaging us. Why? Because, just as there are experts in accounting practices or immigration laws, we are experts in understanding the nuances of hiring for tech startups.
We aren’t focused on a one-time transaction request. Instead, we spend the upfront time to truly understand the business and its growth goals so we can become an extension of the team - focused on securing the talent needed to propel a company and its initiatives forward.
Now is the time to slow down and take it week by week, so as September rolls around, you’re feeling refreshed, prepared, and ready to conquer the rest of 2022.