The Chain Reaction Set off By Bad Hires
by Drew Fortin
The objective of any recruiting and hiring strategy is to get the right butts in the right seats. I know…obvious…but efficiently and successfully executing on that strategy to fill open positions is anything but obvious or easy. So why does it feel like hiring and onboarding strategies are an after-thought in so many companies? It’s as if those components have no bearing on the success of a business plan or strategy.
In his recent HBR Ideacast about transitioning from a legacy to a new business model, David Krantz, CEO of YP (the company formerly known as Yellow Pages), explained the importance of people in the success of the initiative. “The people part of the equation is absolutely critical. It’s the most important part of the equation, because at the end of the day the company is made up of people and it’s the people who then create the products. It’s the people who talk to your customers. It’s the people in your company that really are your brand.”
Amen to that, Mr. Krantz! Yes, strategy is important, but the success or failure of that strategy usually lives in its execution. And since people do the executing, bad – or even just mediocre – employees can set off a series of small chain reactions that can collectively derail a strategy in no time. Let me clarify. “Bad” employees are not (usually) inherently bad people, but more poor fits for their roles or companies. But “bad” pretty much sums up their impact.
Crap in, crap out. If you don’t apply the same focus and rigor to your hiring process as you do to your business strategy, then what more can you expect?
So how do you ensure that you don’t hire bad people? Consider these questions:
- How much time do you actually spend reviewing candidates’ resumes before their interviews, and using the information you glean to structure your questions and discussions?
- Should HR really be 100% on the hook for the success of hires?
- How do you ensure that a candidate’s behaviors, drives and needs are a fit not only for the role, but also complementary to the greater team, your management style, and the workplace culture?
Last week, the doctors of The Predictive Index, Greg Barnett, Ph.D. in I/O Psychology, and Matt Poepsel, Ph.D. in Coaching Psychology, shared some great tips on how to change the way you look at and approach the hiring process (identifying, attracting, selecting and onboarding talent) in a webinar called “Your Great is Average.” No spoiler alerts, but the reality is that, although the working world and technology continue to evolve, the way we go about hiring people really hasn’t changed much at all. And we wonder why strategic initiatives either fail or don’t turn out as we’d hoped.
Doing something the right way is usually not the easy way. If you want to hire great people, you need to dig in, spend the time, develop a hiring plan and strategy for each position you want to fill, and constantly strive to improve the process. Only then can you ensure that the chain reactions set off by your hiring decisions actually help you move toward greatness.