Why You Should Not Hire the Best Candidates

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Do you always seek to hire only the best candidates?

Almost everyone wants to hire the best candidates out there. But is this really what you should be doing?

When most interviewers talk about hiring the best, they are almost always referring to the best skills, best qualifications and best work experience.

Some go to the extent of poaching the best performers from their competitors, believing that the best performers from their competitors will be able to help boost their own organisations to greater heights, and at the same time do some damage to their competitors.

However extensive research by Professor Boris Groysberg of Harvard University has shown that the best performers only bring with them up to 30% of their capabilities when they move from one organisation to another, contrary to what most believe.

So what makes up the other 70% and more importantly, what happens to the 70% when the best performer moves from one organisation to another?

Professor Boris Groysberg’s research shows that the 70% is directly attributed to the original organisation’s structure, culture, systems, processes and people.

In other words, the best performer is the best performer because of the structure, systems, people and processes in that organisation, and not because they are really that good!

As a side-note, Professor Boris Groysberg’s research was done on the Financial Industry. So for those who of you who are in the financial industry and think that this does not apply to you, you might want to think again!

So what should you be hiring for, if you should not be looking to hire only the best?

What do you think?

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August 28, 2014

2 thoughts on “Why You Should Not Hire the Best Candidates”

  1. I quite agree. An high performer is effective and efficient usually because their employers provided the overall environment for them to attain that.

    So employers do play an important part too in nurturing their employees and enabling them to develop their full potential.

    1. Hi Gilbet,

      Yes, you are spot on. It is vital that employers need to play their part and develop their employees so they can perform at their peak. Their work and support environment is crucial if we expect our employees to excel at what they do and to do their best.


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