How IT Hiring Managers Can Avoid the Holiday Rush

Kristen Lamoreaux says it’s better to stock your talent pool throughout the year than to make a hasty hire in the frenetic days of December

December can make normally stable people insane with holiday shopping, family get-togethers, vacations and end-of-year business commitments. Add a flurry of hiring activity--due to anxiety over use-it-or-lose-it headcount policies--and you're sure to want to step in front of a snowplow.

IT leaders say the problem is that the end-of-year rush leads to poor hiring decisions.

Rusty Patel, former CIO of VWR International, a $4 billion global laboratory supplier, shied away from the use-it-or-lose-it practice. "We certainly vacillated from time to time, as most companies do, regarding the affordability of the hire within a given time frame, such as a quarter. But once we decided we wanted to make the investment in new talent, we moved forward deliberately."

Patel says "deliberately," I say "quickly." If you want a competitive advantage in the talent wars, speed matters. Organizations that are game to hire need to get in the game. Talent is in demand and hiring managers who overanalyze are missing out. Even a company as large as VWR was able to select some director-level hires within a month and technical contributors in a matter of weeks.

The Cost of a Bad Hire

But Patel also warns against moving too quickly in reaction to a use-it-or-lose-it policy. "If my organization went through the process to justify the need for a hire and then didn't make sufficient progress with the search, we had a conversation about priorities. But that's quite different from filling a slot opportunistically, perhaps blindly, that may or may not disappear at some point in the future."

To continue reading this article register now

The CIO Fall digital issue is here! Learn how CIO100 award-winning organizations are reimagining products and services for a new era of customer and employee engagement.