You’re probably familiar with the old adage of the iron triangle: given the choice of cheap, fast, or well done, you can only have two. It’s a multiple-choice test that rears its ugly head in the daily operations of organizations of any significant size. You’ve probably even posed such a choice to your clients, if not in those exact terms.
In theory, these three constraints have a universal application, but if you’re a recruiter involved in talent acquisition, or have ever passed through the eye of the hurricane that is the hiring process, you know that in practice the choice is often even more stark. Often, you must pick between filling vacancies quickly or taking six months to find the 100% ideal candidate: in other words, time-to-fill versus quality-of-hire.
A standardized approach to hiring reduces guesswork, improves efficiency, and eases pressure when hiring for speed or cost. That approach can take multiple forms, depending on your organizational needs and resources. This guide will arm you for a decision that is informed and situationally appropriate, as well as how to get the most value from your chosen hiring solution.
Sometimes time-to-fill is the most urgent concern — for example, rapid growth, seasonal swings, or short- to mid-term projects (read how Hitachi Medical Systems America, Inc. (HMSA) tackled their growing pains). In a speed-to-hire situation, every day that goes by with unfilled roles means that team is underperforming, as are other teams that have to pick up the slack — and it all trickles down to the bottom line.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the challenge of filling a role that requires a special skill set. These searches come at a premium, as they are often national or even international in scope, and can take months. Training, offer packages, and even relocation considerations contribute to making these kinds of hires a significant investment for the company.
While hiring with both speed and quality are the Holy Grail, it’s the third factor in the iron triangle—cost—that renders compromises necessary. Sometimes such compromises are acceptable and compatible with business goals. There are certain instances, however, when the imperative to meet both needs is truly nonnegotiable, such as large-scale projects requiring niche skills (read how Transocean fast-tracked more than 25 specialized roles). And certainly, there are those moments when you simply don’t want to compromise.
So, the question at hand: how can you break the iron triangle, or at least bend it to your will? To answer that, it helps to know your options. Perhaps, like an investment portfolio, a balanced mix is the best approach. Or perhaps one particular solution strikes the right note.
CLICK HERE to view the full 5-page white paper by Bradley-Morris, MTI’s official retired military staffing firm.