I must say I am thrilled to finally enter the 21st century – technologically speaking – with a Blog! I’m looking forward to this being an informative (especially for me), edgy, interactive forum where those who are inclined can safely offer up their views on how Human Capital can grow the bottom line.
Just to get things started – how many stories are out there about disastrous hiring decisions? What went wrong? What information didn’t get shared during the hiring process? What could have prevented the error?
Here’s mine – a classic! Client was hiring for a Healthcare provider position in a practice that is VERY progressive, known for always offering the newest, cutting edge treatments available. They were delighted to have the opportunity to bring on board a veteran in his field with an incredibly good reputation for outstanding work. Seemed like a match made in Heaven and all the appropriate contracts were negotiated and executed. Ethusiasm and great expectations prevailed!
So, what happend? 9 months later EVERYONE was miserable! Practice owners were frustrated at the apparent lack of ability to adapt, learn new procedures and actively participate in the growth of the practice. New provider had developed an apparent attitude of resistance, non-participation and resentment. How could this happen with both parties enjoying such outstanding reputations as leaders in their field?
What happened was an uninformed decision on the part of both parties – uninformed as relates to values, behaviors and motivators. This practice was a high-end, high-profile practice with premium fees, serving the high-wealth market. The culture and the job provided motivation and rewards related to financial gain and status, and success was based not only in clinical excellence, but also the ability to embrace change, and learn new things constantly. The assumption was that the inherent financial rewards and status would appeal to anyone.
On the other hand, the new practitioner’s values and motivators were steeped in giving back to the community, providing excellent care not only to those who could pay the high-end fees, but also those who were in need and without funds. He also valued a strong structure for delivering these services, and was not very comfortable with constant change, and extremely uncomfortable with even moderate risk. Clearly a disconnect, and one that had serious consequences for all stakeholders. The outcome? After a year of trying to make things work, both parties decided to bring it to conclusion, with a considerable amount of resentment, enmity and financial loss.
So, how could this have been avoided? One of the most overlooked hiring tactics is “benchmarking” jobs – a means of defining the job in terms of not only tasks, but also behaviors, motivators and competencies required for success – and then assessing candidates against that specific set of criteria. Had that been done in this case, it would have been clear at the outset that this job and this candidate were NOT a match made in Heaven – that there were some serious obstacles to the desired successful outcome. The cost of making this hiring mistake? Over $200,000 to the employer, not to mention the distraction and stress of dealing with the fallout.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this or a similar experience you may have had!