Hire Slow and Fire Fast

“Hire slow and fire fast” is generally a good mantra when managing crew. But sometimes you simply don’t have that choice. Where loss of crew is due to injury or incompatibility, for example, you’re forced to recruit mid-season, you may have no choice but to hire fast to fill that gaping hole as soon as possible.

The following tips will keep you focused and help you find your new crew member quickly.

1. Clearly define the job requirements and the time frame. The new crew member will need to hit the ground running—they’ll need to understand the position they’re stepping into. Setting out these requirements should be done in two steps. Firstly the general description to give to the crew agents/ Jobs Board. Secondly the nitty gritty detail which should be saved for the interview.

2. Use existing relationships to find crew: Your contacts are a treasure trove of potential crew. Keep a record of former crew members, of promising applicants you didn’t hired (or who didn’t take the job), and of people you meet in the industry. When you need to fill a position fast, scrolling back through contacts whose credentials you’re already familiar with is a lot quicker and easier than hiring from scratch. And you never know—the one that got away may well be looking for a new opportunity at the very same moment.

3. Broaden your mindset: Don’t just look at applicants from a skills perspective, look at them in terms of their “strengths” as well. What I’m getting at is this: you are mid-season with a crew that’s already worked together for several months. It should now be possible for a less experienced member to be brought on-board and up to speed in a very short time—as long as that person has the right attitude.

4. Chose good recruiting tools that take the emphasis away from you doing the admin work, like making sure you have all the crew member’s documentation.

5. Build a standard recruiting process. When you’re hiring ad hoc, rather than building repeatable processes through quantitative insights and technology, you end up conducting your searches manually—a process that, as with any job functions, can feel a bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall.