The “Perfect” Hire is a Myth
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
It’s Not Who You Hire, It’s How You Lead
When you think about all the books, consultants, services, seminars, and programs designed to help you make the “perfect” hire, you probably want to scream. When you begin to add up the dollars spent every year by corporations on this expert or that test; all in some futile effort to find just the “right fit,” you surely must want to blind yourself with a sharp stick.
For me, the really unnerving aspect about “finding the right people” are all the overemployed human resources folks we have in the world who not only buy into the psychobabble surrounding the perfect hire, but then infect your CEO with the need to get all the round pegs into all the round holes.
The overwhelming desire to write this chapter comes from the literally hundreds of times business owners and managers have asked me to describe the perfect ____________. As if hiring a specific type will overcome their poor leadership.
Let me give you a real-life example:
A car dealership group was going to start a call center to handle their incoming sales leads and phone calls, and they asked me to help them find the “right people” to staff it. This begged the questions, of course, “Why can’t your salespeople manage this? It’s sales, isn’t it? Why do you need to create an entirely new department to perform the work that your salespeople should be doing?”
The answer – especially in the car business – is that the vast majority managers can’t lead. In fact, they can barely manage.
Great leaders can work with almost anyone the hiring manager throws their way. They’re not obsessed with finding the “perfect” candidate with the best experience. In fact, great leaders hire character and train experience.
The shit sandwich for managers is to start leading. This means helping your team succeed while reinforcing the rules and processes everyone agreed to when they were hired. Those who blossom within your guidelines will become true assets and be looked upon as the perfect hires. Those who cannot are not bad people, they just can’t work here. They’re not a fit.
The shit sandwich for employees is to start leading, as well. This means helping everyone succeed while happily living within the confines of the rules and processes you agreed to when you were hired. You’ll be considered an asset very quickly, and the bosses will all want to hire “more people like you.”