Executive Recruitment: Getting it Right the First Time
By Paul Feeney Managing Director, Sanford Rose Associates - Wayne | October 2008
When the hoped-for superstar proves to be not so super, or maybe just a poor fit, much of the benefit of filling the position has been lost. Last year saw a record number of new CEOs lose their jobs, as their Boards decided that one misstep was one too many. At lower, less visible levels the weeding-out process may take longer. But, sooner or later, mistakes must be corrected, or they will begin to eat away at organizational effectiveness.
The new impatience with inadequate performance is nowhere more clearly expressed than in the shareholder letter of the recently published GE Annual Report for the year 2000.
After making the statement, "... we promise that falling short is not a punishable offense," the letter nonetheless proceeds to identify four types of performers at GE: "Type I: shares our values; makes the numbers - sky's the limit! Type II: doesn't share the values; doesn't make the numbers - gone. Type III: shares the values, misses the numbers - typically, another chance, or two."
The harshest criticism is reserved for Type IV, who makes the numbers but doesn't share GE's values. Since these people can destroy "the culture we need to win," they must depart in such a way that "the entire Company [knows] why they were asked to leave."
Learning from Mistakes
One key to making better personnel decisions is to understand why some don't work. The company or institution that avoids the following list of hiring problems that occur with some frequency in the employment marketplace may be on the road to doing it right.