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  • Writer's pictureBurk Moreland

Cultivate a Just In Time Hiring Plan

Problem: Companies anticipating growth struggle with the proper timing to hire new people.

When is the right time to hire that office manager, bookkeeper, assistant, sales rep, project manager, CEO, coach (sorry, couldn’t resist) to help take the company to the next level?

Too soon, and you may be spending money you don’t have yet.

Too late, and you miss out on opportunities.

Most times, my clients answer this hiring question with a non answer.

  • I will just wait.

  • I will think about it later.

  • The right moment will appear.

  • When I get busier.

Here is the real problem with that line of thinking: None of it involves any type of action (other than procrastination).


By pushing the problem vaguely into the future, you push the opportunity there as well. When the possibility of hiring someone to assist with growth presents itself again, do you think you will be more or less busy then you were the first time?

Chances are, by then you will have even less time to make a good decision. Haste will create kneejerk reactions and reduce the chances of success. One of two things will happen:

  1. You’ll hire the wrong person and end up having to make a costly adjustment.

  2. You hire the right person, but won’t have a well-defined role for that person to step into. All you’ll be able to do is hand him or her a hard hat and a hose and start pointing to fires.


The goal of a Just In Time (JIT) inventory strategy is to keep just the right amount of product on hand at all times. Stockpiling inventory is expensive. So is running out of inventory. It takes real work, dedication and a bit of research to figure out what the optimal level is and to maintain it.

The JIT method can be applied to hiring as well.

What if a year in advance, you could plan for the new position?

What if you could invest just a little bit of time per week over a long period to create the ideal position to compliment you and your team?

What if instead of hiring the first person that could fog a mirror out of desperation, a true recruiting and interview process produced a great fit for the position and your culture?

What if on the new person’s first few days, you had a clear job description and training plan in place?

Sounds pretty good, right? So why don’t most people do it?


The hard truth is that most people would rather live with the pain they know than deal with pain of change. But, if you are in business (or merely alive) change is inevitable.

One of the most toxic phrases to any business is, “I’ll get around to it.” Start tracking how many times you say this or something similar, and then think about when or if you actually did “get around to it.” How much did delaying (or not doing it) cost you?

I am not saying everything has to happen RIGHT NOW, but everything that needs to happen needs to be thoughtfully put on a timeline, that is part of an overall plan.

I advise my clients to start from the goal and work backward, ultimately identifying and prioritizing all the steps to get there. Then do one step at a time. Put up milestones to be sure you are on track and measure your success. Then celebrate when you get there.

And, for every plan, it helps to have someone to hold you accountable.

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