I see it all the time. You’ve scoured through 100’s of resumes and Linkedin profiles, you have countless interviews, you’ve asked the finalists to come back several times, you’ve check references and now you’re ready to make an offer . . . to the best of the candidates you’ve met. Does anything seem wrong to you about this approach? Is anything poking at you, that just doesn’t feel right? There should be. What isn’t quite right about this is, they are most likely ready to hire the king of the pigs. King of the pigs is when you hire the best of the candidates you have available, not necessarily the best candidate for the job. Hiring the king of the pigs is common. I see it all the time. It’s actually a pretty easy trap to get stuck in. You do the work to find good candidates. You find a number of compelling resumes, you go through countless phone interviews. You narrow it down and go through a robust face to face interview process. You have the shortlist meet the executives, your peers and even some of the members of the team. You check references and you’re ready to decide. You’ve spent 60 to 90 days trying to fill this position if you don’t fill it soon there will be problems. You don’t want to start all over, so what to do? Hire the best candidate you have — the king of the pigs. Two things happen when the king of the pigs is hired. No one noticed, everyone felt good about the candidate because he was the BEST candidate. No one actually took notice of the fact that they weren’t really that good. If that didn’t happen, then someone did notice, most likely the hiring manager AND they swept it under the rug, convincing themselves they have the right candidate all driven by the overwhelming fear of having to start the search all over again. Regardless of which of these was behind the hire, you now have a pig, king or queen aside, in the organization. Let the mess begin. When you hire the king of the pigs, rest assured, things are most likely not going to work out. You’ve hired the wrong person. You will miss quota, you will upset clients, you will piss off the team and you’ll have an H.R. nightmare. And even more disturbing, you’ll have to go through the entire hiring process all over again. Just what you wanted to avoid, but now you’ve lost 6 months to a year, instead of a 90 days.
If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
To avoid hiring the king of the pigs, don’t base your decision on who is the better candidate. It’s not a competition. Don’t hire the best of what you have. The question to ask is, can the person crush it in the role? Can they do what I need them to do? Will they succeed in delivering on all the goals and objectives I have. If the answer is yes, then you have a winner. If two, three, or even 4 candidates could crush it in the role and deliver, then that’s frickin’ awesome. Now you can compare. Why? Because you don’t have any pigs. They’re all “A” Players. If your not measuring the quality of the candidates with the job description and what the desired goals and objectives, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t get caught comparing candidates. It’s not a contest. The other candidates don’t matter at all, until you’ve determined they are all “A” players, then it’s game on.