Are you hiring rabbits to swim & fish to run?Under the heading of Other Voices, we sometimes give this blog to other people who are not bloggers.
Jan Vincent heads her own organizational/performance development practice in New York. Before launching her own consultancy, she had a long career with a leading global professional services firm. Jan and I are also cousins. Although you can't pick your relatives, Jan says she would have chosen my friendship despite the "relative" connection. (Aww shucks.)
...Extensive research shows that, no matter how big or small the company, in any position you have some people who come to work every day and hit the ball out of the park... your top performers or stars.
And you also have people who come to work who are neither so good nor so bad as to call attention to themselves. These are the average performers, or passengers along for the ride.
And then you have some who come in who you almost wish would stay home. These are the bottom performers, who cause 66% of the problems managers must face. Imagine what your managers could accomplish if 66% of their time were suddenly freed up.
People who come in to hit the ball out of the park have many things in common... how they approach their job, their attitude about work, how they process information and handle and de-fuse problems. These commonalities can be effectively and objectively identified in order to accomplish several things that will help you make good personnel decisions:
* You can predictively duplicate your star players in your hiring and promotion process, so you are more likely to hire and promote star performers every time.
* You can evaluate average workers so you know immediately where to concentrate your efforts to coach and improve their performance, moving them up toward star level.
* You can receive objective feedback that tells you, without exception, who, regardless of how much training, financial investment and mentoring, will never move up to star level. Management guru Peter Drucker noted that most organizations spend more time, effort and resources trying to elevate incompetence to low mediocrity, rather than focusing on competence and elevating it to excellence.
What this allows you to do, as a caring and concerned employer, is to know objectively that you have not necessarily made a bad hire, but that you may have tried to fit the wrong person for that particular job. That same person in another job (or maybe in another company) may become a star because he has the traits that are compatible with other star performers in that position -- or, in other words, a good job fit. Harvard Business Review research shows that the most important factor in determining success in a job boils down to a good job fit.
This, then, gives you, the employer, emotional; permission to admit you've made a good decision in a person, but perhaps a misdirected decision in fitting the person to the particular job, saving you money, time and emotional investment... and leaving you and the employee feeling better about themselves.
So, the question remains... Are you hiring rabbits to swim and fish to run?
Jan Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org