Let’s talk about recruiting and attracting the top candidate for your organization. Organizations seem to make one big mistake over and over again: don’t settle for “B” candidates when hiring for an open or new position. Look for the “A+” candidates every time, no matter what the situation is.
Before we get into this discussion, it’s good to clarify what we mean by “A+” and “B” candidates. Here is a “A+” candidate:
– Strongly experienced in the area
– Has plenty of energy
– Shows more skills and abilities than we require for the position
– Presents innovative and fresh ideas for the organization that fit within our culture
– Connects well with the team and engages with everyone
Here is a “B” candidate:
– Has enough experience to meet the requirements
– Appears ready to start
– Has a decent amount of skills
– Can and will do what is expected
– Doesn’t seem to cause any problems
Do you see any differences between the two? In some cases, it’s not much of a difference. In others, it’s a wide margin of difference between the top candidate and the above-average one.
So why not settle for the “B” candidate, especially when it requires more searching and work to find the “A+” candidate?
Getting less than the best is expensive.
According to the Society of Human Resource Management, the cost of hiring a new employee is $4,129. The same study determined that it takes an average of 42 days to fill a position.
When you consider the basic costs of hiring and training a new employee, plus the additional costs and hassles of covering for that vacant position, it’s already expensive. Add to the situation the idea of putting someone slightly above average in that position, what you are most likely doing is “kicking the can down the road.” In simple terms, you’re going to have to hire someone else to help with the duties and responsibilities you ultimately want to fulfill because you won’t get as much from the person you hired.
If you hire a top candidate who is highly experienced and qualified, you’re going to get more for your money. Plus, you’re also going to get someone who is able to take your business to a higher level. With the right hire, you can find someone who can either make things more efficient, or increase revenues. Hiring the right way will ultimately pay for the increased wages for that highly-qualified candidate, and then some.
If you’re going to be facing a process of 42 days to fill a position, it just makes a whole lot of sense to be committed to finding the top candidate.
It tells your team that they’re not an “A+” team.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have to carry another team member, simply because they aren’t as good as you and your fellow members? How discouraging is that? You don’t want to put your team members in a situation where they feel like they’re not going to get any better as a group. More than likely, they’re already feeling some stress because they are having to take on the additional load of an open position. The last thing that you want to communicate to your team is that the situation isn’t getting a whole lot better. Hire the best candidate and the team gets the message that you’re fully committed to them. It tells the team that you’re committed to idea that the team needs to be the best in the industry.
You may have some jealousy by some members who, compared to the new person, are not as good or talented. That’s a good problem to have. Increasing efficiency and effectiveness by making “upgrades” in the team will increase expectations and performance. If the team members are as good as they should be, they’ll push the pace to be faster and better in relation to the new team member.
It keeps your organization from getting better and stronger.
Hiring someone that doesn’t come in with the best skills and knowledge is simply maintaining current levels. Without new energy, increased experience, and greater skills, your organization will not grow stronger and better. You don’t want to simply maintain what you’re doing – you want to be about getting better every day. Certainly there are times where team members are maintaining current performance levels, which is understandable. However, you don’t want for them to stay at those levels – which a new team member can bring healthy increases.
If you aren’t committed to perpetual improvement, your organization will eventually die. Your organization, therefore, depends on “new blood” which allows your organization to learn new things and to achieve new levels of performance.
A practical story . . .
One interesting story that relates to this subject is one from Major League Baseball. In the 1990s, the Arizona Diamondbacks, led by Jerry Colangelo, wanted to make a big splash as an expansion team. Colangelo and his fellow investors put a lot of money into the organization, and they were committed to being a winner. They knew that they had to commit to a big goal for the fans to fully embrace the team. So their stated goal was to win a World Series.
A lot of people thought it was a joke, but it became no joke to the league. The Diamondbacks realized they needed great pitching to win, so they signed two players who were considered as being the best pitchers in the league at the time. Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling performed well and helped lead the Diamondbacks to be contenders in the league. In 2001, the Diamondbacks realized their goal as they beat the New York Yankees for the World Series title. Everyone in the organization was happy . . . or at least that’s what the fans thought.
Just not a fairytale ending . . .
Apparently there were some in the ownership group that thought that Colangelo spent too much money on getting the best talent. The Diamondbacks were in debt with Colangelo’s spending spree to find and sign the best players. But there were more fans in the seats and the team was exciting. Most importantly, revenues were growing.
With the upcoming allowances for television revenues for the Diamondbacks – they were a new team and couldn’t share in the revenues for the first 10 years they existed as a team – they were heading to profitability. However, the grumbling continued with the owners and they eventually fired Jerry Colangelo as general manager and part owner.
Within two years, the Diamondbacks implemented a “cost-effective” strategy and proceeded to lose games and lose in attendance figures. Since 2001, they haven’t been back to the World Series since that remarkable season. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they’re going to be headed there any time soon as they try to win with “average” teams.
Don’t settle for average, or even above-average team members. Settle for only the top candidate. Winning teams require the best players.
What do you do in your organization to set up for success? How do you find the top candidate to add to your team?