Learning from others’ hiring mistakes

My Worst Hire & What I Learned From It, by Craig Bissett
Craig Bissett
Craig Bissett, Retail Management ’81, is the author of My Worst Hire & What I Learned From It. He is the Founder of the Hiring Simulation Assessment process and President of Hire Results Ltd. Bissett’s Hiring Simulation Assessment process is used by hundreds of hiring teams to test drive candidates before a key hire is made.

Business owners and managers have rarely been challenged more in a 12-month timespan as they have due to the worldwide COVID-19 crisis. In spite of these challenges, some vital business activities still need to take place but now with increased rigor and precision. Hiring is one of these all-important activities.

If you have the responsibility of hiring key personnel you will appreciate the hiring wisdom outlined by the 50 business leaders in this new book.

Here are a few abbreviated stories and the accompanying hiring nuggets from three of the 50 contributors:

1. The Internal Sales Promotion

Sam Reese’s business unit was expanding and needed to hire a Sales Manager. Sam knew he wanted to hire from within, the top sales producer in the division. Skipping any formal interview, Sam promoted his star sales person and within 6 months had a disaster on his hands due to the fact that the salesperson’s skills simply did not match the requirements needed to manage a team.

  • Hiring Nugget — The Requirements of a Sales Manager are completely different from a high producing salesperson. Don’t let your guard down, especially if the candidate is an internal salesperson. Force yourself to dig deep, make sure you view the internal candidate in the interview process as if you didn’t know their past.
  • 2. Letting your Star Go

    Matt Regan hired a salesperson who became one of his top sales producers but due to a disruptive personality was upsetting the culture of his team. The dilemma? — sales production versus healthy working culture. Top salesperson or not — the star sales producer had to be let go.

  • Hiring Nugget — Do not let fear of financial loss influence your decision-making once you realize you have made a costly hiring mistake. The longer a leader waits to terminate a bad hire (even if they are a star salesperson), the greater the negative impact will be to your company.
  • 3. The Cost of hiring the #2 candidate

    CEO Chris Barratt and his team had found the perfect new manager for his growing division. The offer was made to the #1 candidate but was turned down due to a counter offer from the candidate’s present employer. Due to time constraints the team made a hasty decision and decided to offer the #2 candidate the role. This decision ended up costing Chris’s company millions due to a bad hiring decision.

  • Hiring Nugget — Never compromise when hiring management. If your #1 candidate turns down your offer, resist the temptation to hire the #2 candidate. The cost of hiring #2, if wrong, will be multiplied throughout your team.
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    If you are responsible for hiring, don’t go it alone. Learn from the experience of other business professionals.


    Craig Bissett, Retail Management ’81, is the author of My Worst Hire & What I Learned From It. He is the Founder of the Hiring Simulation Assessment process and President of Hire Results Ltd. Bissett’s Hiring Simulation Assessment process is used by hundreds of hiring teams to test drive candidates before a key hire is made.

     

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