We've recently experienced one of the highest unemployment rates in decades. Times are tough, but some companies are still hiring at various levels. To many, it would seem to be a target-rich environment for locating new talent. But there are pitfalls. I classify four different groups of available talent, and urge those in decision-making capacities to raise their awareness of each group.
It's an easy assumption to say that some who have found themselves out of work were simply not up to grade in the first place. And it's fairly safe to say that they will have the most difficulty re-entering the work force.
In the middle remain two groups, the first of which can be classified as moderate talent coming from their former organizations, but may have the ability to become top talent should both they and their next organization properly assess each other. This is much like a quarterback in the NFL being a disaster on one team, while setting new records in another. Overall chemistry within the team, the specific coaches they work for, and the style of offense play major roles in record-setting performance. This group of talent will require an openness and clear insight from hiring managers to accurately identify future potential.
The other middle group represents, quite frankly, the most costly decision a hiring manager could possibly make. These are the imposters, or the people that portray themselves as the top talent that were released due to errant criteria. They may also seem to be part of the first middle group, and this is where the risk is raised substantially. Imposters have their own agenda, and they will play the game, much like a con person or spook operative, until they've drained everything they can from their asset. The problem in these situations is that the hiring manager continues to believe the deception and repeatedly throw good money after bad in order to retain the imposter. In the process, damages occur to the customer base, the internal organization's effectiveness, and may even put leadership up against the ropes.
To hiring managers across the world, I would strongly suggest the following:
- Determine the success measurements required for the job and develop clear selection criteria around these
- Raise the standard for hiring anyone into your organization
- Create the most objective process you can, and implement an accountability process to ensure you hold true to your standards