Houston, We Have A Management Problem

Match Point Recruting

Written by: Tom Montgomery, CPG National Account Manager

Contrary to popular belief, not recruiting the right employees is not the most significant blunder an organization can make. The biggest mistake is not promoting or hiring the correct managers.

If you have a healthy organization and hire the wrong individual, the rest of the organization will either compel this person to rise to the standard of excellence of the group, or the individual will quickly become uncomfortable, unable to produce at the desirable level, and eventually exit the organization. Being an exception to the rule is only comfortable for some individuals if that exception is a poor or underperforming employee. In the worst-case scenario, hiring one poor individual can be overcome in the short and long term, thanks to the strong backbone of qualified individuals and the management team in place.

However, not promoting or hiring the correct managers can have long-lasting and devastating consequences for an organization. Let me explain.

  • Second in Command: Too often, I have seen organizations promote the second person in charge of a particular department when the present leader has left that department. The second person may have been ideal in their current role but needs more people skills and emotional intelligence to be a leader of a team. It is acceptable to inform people that they are not ready to lead, develop a plan to get them where they need to be if possible, and allow them to leave the organization if your decision affects them negatively. This shows that the individual lacked the self-awareness and maturity to recognize their flaws and to accept constructive criticism to strive for the necessary level to lead. It also demonstrates that you want to prioritize their best interests, setting them up for future success rather than present failure.
  • One Person Can Take Down the Ship: Additionally, you cannot let an individual’s present feelings or shortcomings ruin the entire dynamic of a winning team. To quote the movie “Remember the Titans,” “attitude reflects leadership, captain!” You might ask, “How do I ensure I hire the correct managers?” It starts by getting the right people in place to make the decisions and not settling for less than what you know you need, both in terms of skill set and personality. While not having a “head coach” in place can be a scary prospect, having the wrong “head coach” is much more frightening!
  • Hiring is Not a Place to Cut Corners: It begins with hiring the correct recruiting firm. I see too many organizations cutting corners and relying on their HR departments to attract qualified candidates, which is a mistake. Do you want to trust your HR department to attract qualified candidates into the pool, considering they only have to do this occasionally? Or do you want to trust recruiting firms that are trained to do this for a living, working for multiple organizations at various levels, and whose reputation and future income depend on the results?
  • Group Buy-in: Once you have the right pool of candidates, involve your HR department and ensure you vet these candidates to the best of your ability, getting them interviewed by the best managers and employees in your organization. No one knows your company better than these individuals, and they know firsthand what it takes to succeed and what personality will be the best fit for the team. Trust the consensus of a group, as it has been proven repeatedly that group decisions tend to be better than those made by individuals. If you have strong leadership, they will not be offended if their candidate gets out-voted and will happily follow the team’s recommendation. Also, if the team makes the decision, they are committed to the success of the individual coming in and will work together on this person’s behalf.

In conclusion, you build a team from the top down rather than the bottom up. You put key leaders in place with all the necessary skills to drive a winning team and organization. Once you have built the winning team from the top down, the leaders will build that winning team from the bottom up. They will value each employee, every role, and every contribution. They will ensure that each employee feels this value, is compensated fairly, and is given opportunities to gain personal and professional experience. Providing employees with everything lacking in almost every organization today, much of which doesn’t cost an organization a dime, such as appreciating and recognizing great work and attitude, will build a lasting team that doesn’t scan job boards weekly and wait to take their skills elsewhere.

Your Business,
Your Career,
Your Perfect Match