Do It Right The First Time
Never hire the wrong person just to fill the position. There’s been a vacancy for months. It creates overtime and issues. Employees and customers are expressing concerns.
It can get worse. You rush to fill it. You lower standards. You overlook the red flags. You tell yourself it will work out when it won’t. You make a bad hire to fill the spot.
Now you have a bigger problem. You hired someone who doesn’t share the mission and culture. They don’t fit the team. They may or may not have the knowledge and skills you need. Now, you will spend time, money, and effort to train someone who will never work out as a long-term employee. Employees and customers now have a different complaint. The wrong hire may end up doing some real damage.
Predictably, you will let them go. Costs exceeded benefits. What’s the victory here?
Examine why you had the vacancy for so long and what you can do about it going forward.
Secondly, never promote for any reason other than the ability to lead, integrity, and past performance. Don’t rush a promotion. Do not overpromote. Do not promote just to fill the vacancy.
Do not automatically internally promote the wrong person because the external executive search failed – learn why and conduct a better search or address why talented leaders are avoiding your organization. Address why you lacked top tier internal candidates for the promotion.
A promotion to leadership is all about the ability to lead not do their old job (e.g., product or service delivery to customers). Leadership competency not subject matter expertise or tenure in their last position counts. Relational competency is more important than technical knowledge. The new front-line supervisor now leads those doing the work.
Undoing a bad promotion is never fun. It’s impossible to hide and the costs are too high so you will have to do it. If you don’t address it, the job that might be lost could be yours.
Maybe moving them back to their old role might work. Then again, if they are failing yet convinced they are succeeding, that might not be an option.
Plan ahead. Engage in workforce and succession planning. Identify upcoming vacancies, retirements, and new positions and create internal and external talent pipelines and pools to fill them. Employ best practice recruitment and retention strategies. Capitalize on your best recruitment partnerships and talent pools.
Hire and promote who you need for the mission, goals, and objectives. They must fit the culture and share your values. If you are always developing talent and growing leaders, you will have a pool of high performing employees and leaders who can fill the positions. Model employers attract and retain talented and motivated individuals of integrity.
If the single best day for a new hire or promotion is the day you hire or promote them, that’s a clue you made the wrong call. Hire and promote the right person the first time.
From the Teacher: Leadership Lessons with Dr. Saviak is a weekly column with the esteemed Joseph C. Saviak, Ph.D., J.D., M.A., M.S., Management Consulting & Leadership Training
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