You did your strategic planning last fall. You’ve paid out (or not) the bonuses to key people. Now your plan for the year is in full implementation. Have you addressed gaps on your senior team? The odds are there’s one or more people you kept on who are under-performing. Most senior leaders have one or two. They weren’t bad enough to let go, but they hold you back from hitting all your goals. Maybe they got a smaller bonus or no bonus. Maybe there is a chill in your relationship with each other.
Guess what? The under performers – they get it too. Many (if not most) people who are under performing know it, and realize when their boss starts thinking less of them. Many start looking for something new, before you may get around to letting them go.
Q1 is a very dynamic time in the job market. People who delayed activating a job search during the holidays crank up their efforts. People who got a new job in Q4 submit their notice and join their new employer, maybe leaving you with a vacancy.
The good news is that Spring (Q2) can be a great time to hire. Some of the best people, those who don’t ordinarily look for work, are more receptive to a change, especially if they perceive their own capabilities as being underutilized. They pondered their situation over the holidays, and decided to open up their horizons.
It is also an optimum time for executive hiring from the standpoint of compensation. Everyone has received their bonuses by the end of March. Their current year bonus is barely earned, so you might not have to “buy out” their earned but unpaid bonus like you would later in the year. These sign-on bonus buy-outs can be costly.
Spring hires who have families and have to relocate can look forward to moving their kids sooner – at the end of the school term. Later in the year, this factor can be a deterrent to even considering a move for many families.
Spring new hires can get up to speed by Summer, and have an impact on your plan before the end of the year. You can still hit your numbers!
If you have a gap to fill, or an under performing key report, think about whether this is a good time to get a jump on it, and have your hire on board in Q2.