From the Ask Tom mailbag –
You talk in your workshop about necessity. You say the manager-once-removed and the hiring manager should discuss the necessity of the role before hiring someone. I find that the answer is too easy to say yes. What should we consider when we think about necessity for the role.
If your company is going to purchase an expensive piece of machinery, would you buy it if it wasn’t necessary? The answer is no. If your company is going to hire a person, would you make the hire if the role wasn’t necessary?
I use a multi-step process to determine necessity.
Eliminate. Is there any way to eliminate the role? Is the work performed in this role necessary? What would happen if the work in this role was never performed again?
Simplify. Is there a way to simplify the work process for this role, that would change the level of work in the role?
Consolidate. Can the work performed by this role be modified, shortened, simplified, so that it becomes part-time and can it be consolidated with another role?
Outsource. Is the work performed by this role something that can be more effectively outsourced, to fix our cost structure associated with this work? Is the work performed by this role subject to seasonal or economic fluctuations which are easier to control if the role is contracted to an outside resource?
Automate. Can the work performed by this role be automated through a software system or automatic device? Is the cost for the automation less expensive and more reliable than a person in this role?
Hire. Does this role require judgment, in decision making and problem solving that is better performed by a person than any other resource? Is this work necessary?
Sounds like a very interesting discussion between the manager-once-removed and the hiring manager. -Tom