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8 Steps to Developing People – 2 of 8

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.”
– Lawrence Bossidy

This week in segment 2 of the eight steps to developing people, I would like to address the responsibility we have to “Identify” the right people for the positions we seek to fill. Although we may not guarantee the effectiveness or efficiency of those we interview, we can have systems in place to ensure that our onboarding process yields quality candidates that thrive in our organizational cultures at a higher rate.

In August 2020, Katy Trost writes, “Hiring is “the single biggest problem in business today” according to The Economist. On average, success amounts to around 50%. A considerably low chance of onboarding a person that sticks with you through the highs and lows for multiple years. Hiring A-players takes hard work and effort. However, the right talent will influence and shape your culture and impact your long-term success.

Simply put, do everything in your power to increase this number and save yourself massive headaches. It’s well worth it. When companies are asked why they do not monitor the effectiveness of hiring, the most common response is that measuring employee performance is too difficult. (1)

Hiring Mistakes Are Costly

“In no other area of management would we put up with such miserable performance (as we do in people decisions) … Indeed, we need not and should not...”
– Peter F. Drucker

According to the Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hire is up to 30% of the employees’ first-year earnings. Every year numerous people are hired by companies of all types, and many of those new employees turn out to be the wrong person for the position. It cost organizations money to hire, and that cost increases when they hire the wrong person.

Bob Corlett in his insightful article, writes, “The structure of the typical interview process often discourages frank conversation and rarely leaves time for enough intelligent questions. Hurried interviews are usually superficial, heavy on style, and light on substance. But once hired, work environments quickly demand precisely the substance that went overlooked during the interview. Misunderstandings and failures abound in hiring because when things go unsaid, there’s no shared context to properly fill in the gaps. The gaps are filled instead by dubious assumptions.” (2)

Know Who You’re Hiring

“Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.”
– Howard Schulz, Chairman & CEO of Starbucks

To help us with our onboarding process, I’ve included excerpts from Geoff Smart and Randy Street’s book “WHO.”

“The 5 F’s of Identifying the Right Team Member” is an excellent place to begin.

Fit - Ties together the company’s vision, needs, and culture with the candidate’s goals, strengths, and values. “Here is where we are going as a company. Here is how you fit in.”

Family – Takes into account the broader trauma of changing jobs. “What can we do to make this change as easy as possible for your family?”

Freedom – Is the autonomy the candidate will have to make his or her own decisions. “I will give you ample freedom to make decisions, and I will not micromanage you.”

Fortune – Reflects the stability of your company and the overall financial upside. “If you accomplish your objectives, you will likely make (compensation amount) over the next five years.

Fun – describes the work environment and personal relationships the candidate will make. “We like to have a lot of fun around here. I think you will find this is a culture you will really enjoy.” (3)

It’s interesting that when deciding to hire many leaders often focus on the empty chair to be occupied when their focus should be on the right person to be seated there!

“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”
– Simon Sinek

End Notes

(1) Hiring With A 90% Success Rate by Katy Trost

(2) “The root cause of most hiring mistakes…”

(3) “WHO: The A Method for Hiring” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, Ballantine Books.

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