Hiring the "Least Worst" Limits Future Results

Executive staffing has perennially been a matter of discovering that there are too few stars available, despite the steadily increasing demand for effective leadership.

Making hiring compromises has long been viewed as a pragmatic response to the reality that there are more jobs begging for skilled leaders than there are ideal candidates to match them. Too often, this results in the “least worst” candidate being hired.

Why does this happen?

The decision to hire a person from a pool of finalists who are “not quite” what you originally expected is usually a result of:

·         Incomplete preparation and a lack of investigation regarding the intended search process. Examples of processes that require up-front clarification include: decisions regarding whether you will seek outside expertise in the search and selection process; who within your company should be involved; and how the available position will be promoted.

·         Making inadequate assumptions about necessary job criteria or credentials, rather than choosing standards that are based upon factors that correlate positively with success on the job.

·         Taking short cuts in both recruiting and assessments by: limiting the number of trained interviewers; skipping over psychological assessments; or failing to dig thoroughly into references from past employers. 

Impatience with the screening processes due to a search that is focused more on “fast”  than on “fit”.

·         Screening people chiefly on their credentials rather than on their values and the behaviors that match your company’s culture.

·         Mismanaging distractions that shift the hiring executive’s focus toward other priorities, thus shifting the search to a back burner.

·         Unwillingness to problem-solve your process when the “right” people don’t happen to surface early on.

It stands to reason that “least worst” hires do not meet all of your “fit” expectations; therefore, it is likely that they will also be unable to achieve all of your outcome expectations.

Despite the organization’s strong legitimate pressures, your long-term interests will be best served by taking the time to prepare well at the outset in order to choose the “right” candidate, rather than compromise in a rush to hire the ‘least worst” choice.

When choosing leadership, choose wisely. Your organization’s future depends on it.

 *Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net