Why Do Perfect Leaders Make Imperfect Hiring Decisions?

3 min read

There are multiple reasons why perfect leaders make imperfect hiring decisions. I will identify the top three hiring decision mistakes and some professionally proven strategies to improve the process. These strategies implemented correctly are guaranteed to improve your performance.

I am not suggesting that I am perfect in recruiting and that you are not. However, I have led an executive search firm for over 20 years. And I have a performance track record that exceeds the industry norm. We provide executive search services from small companies to large Fortune 100 clients, locally and globally through our global network of partners. We follow best practices and have developed a pattern of success. Here are 3 top reasons why perfect people make imperfect hiring decisions.

Personal Biases Are One Reason Why Perfect Leaders Make Poor Hiring Decisions

When it comes to recruitment, many decision-makers unconsciously hire people like themselves. Even though their intentions are admirable, the results are often less than desired. Personal biases can creep into the process without us even noticing them. It is a common mistake. Also, some managers believe they have a monopoly on how others should act and be at work. However, the reality is that our organization needs a variety of multi-skilled players. Think about the skill sets of a professional baseball team.

There are nine different position players on the defensive side of the playing field. Each of these positions in baseball requires a unique set of talents and strengths specific to their role. No two are alike, though some could have similar skill sets. The goal is not to have every player with the same characteristics. The goal is to identify the specific skills needed for each role and then identify the players who possess the required skills.

An Inaccurate Job Description is Another Reason Why Perfect Leaders Make Imperfect Hiring Decisions

Baseball provides an excellent analogy for this point. If you are not super clear on what position the new hire will play on your team, the odds are you will make a poor hiring decision.

Furthermore, too much focus on the job description versus the basic skills required to succeed in the role will result in a hiring failure. Skills-based hiring is critical to success. Check out my article, How To Win The War For Talent By Skills-Based Hiring.

Ignoring the Growth Potential Of a Candidate Is the Third Reason Why Do Perfect Leaders Make Imperfect Hiring Decisions

Consider the candidate's growth potential coupled with the short and long-term vision of the position. Too often, hiring managers focus only on what they need today. However, if one only thinks about short-term objectives in hiring, she could miss the opportunity for long-term success. For example, candidates may ask what the growth potential for this position is? And, what is the hiring companies' vision for the future? Are the company and industry trending up or down?

If the hired candidate can do the role today and has the potential to step up later, he'll probably make a good hire. What if he does not have the growth potential, but he can do the job today? What will you do with him in a few years? Will you have to conduct a new search? What's the cost of having a seat vacant a work?

Here Is an Excellent Example Of Hiring With the Growth Potential a Priority

Case study: Our client is a well-known global logistics company. The client hired us to identify and place a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) candidate. One special request made this executive search a proper skills-based hiring mandate, with a short-term and long-term component.

The client needed our candidates to be a CFO immediately and have the growth potential to take on the CEO role within three years. We succeeded in finding the right fit candidate. The successful candidate excelled and moved into the CEO suite in less than three years.

I want to suggest that you adopt these three improvement actions to your hiring plans. By doing so, I believe that you will improve the imperfect hiring process by having tremendous hiring success.

Three Strategy Tips To Improve Your Hiring

  • Don't be tempted to hire someone just like you. We already have you. Hire someone with different talents and skills. Build a team of diverse, multi-talented team members.
  • Implement skills-based hiring in your decision-making process. You will be glad that you did.
  • Hire for short term and long term. Build your team for multiple years of success.

There are more tips than these that I could share about why do perfect leaders make imperfect hiring decisions. But I believe these are three directions are enormous and impactful in hiring.

In conclusion, if you read about building muscles, your muscles will not grow. Only after you apply the exercises suggested will your muscles grow. Improving your hiring skills will take more than reading this blog post. However, if you implement the ideas you have read today, you will become a successful hiring decision-maker.

Posted on March 25, 2022
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