You should always look for the best candidate when hiring. This can take time. However, with the right mindset, you’ll understand why holding out for the best candidate ultimately benefits your team.
The idea of having the right mindset for hiring was really solidified for me thanks to the following two concepts.
The Law of Diminishing Expertise:
In the world of hiring, experts, or 10s, hire 9s, 9s hire 8s, and so on. Martin Jacknis refers to this as the “law of diminishing expertise” in an Inc. Magazine article.
With this idea in mind, it wouldn’t take long before we have a bunch of underperforming 7s running our organization. This happens particularly in organizations that do not have a high functioning culture.
So when hiring, you should focus on finding the right fit for your team. Someone with the same level or a higher level of expertise.
Build a Team of 10s:
The second concept directly deals with combating the issue of hiring people who are less capable.
I had the privilege of attending a conference where Jim Koch spoke about top performing teams. Jim created Samuel Adams beer in 1984 and has since been known as a founding father of the American craft brewery movement.
During the conference, he spoke in depth about the hiring process that he developed over 30 years. When a team wanted to hire a person, he would ask his last and deciding question: “Will this person raise the average of the team?”
If the hiring team responded with no, they would pass and move onto another candidate. He sometimes said that they would wait a year for the best candidate who would RAISE the average of the team. In his structure, putting in a person that lowered the average did not make sense–the cost of a mis-hire was too costly to compromise.
The Cost of a Mis-Hire:
Most mis-hire calculations estimate that turn-over of a $12 hourly employee will cost the about $4,000. The cost of an executive mis-hire can run twice their annual salary. Click here for the Predictive Index disengagement calculator.
Does your mindset when hiring focus mostly on who is available versus raising the team average?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.