Love blindeth the eye of good judgment.
When people fall madly in love it is difficult for them to see, or even acknowledge, the oblivious flaws or shortcomings of their newfound companion. Only time, not words of caution from friends or family, will peel away the gauze of bliss from their otherwise critical eyes. When that is done, it frequently leads to divorce — 50 percent of the time, according to numerous studies.
Love also blindeth the eye of the prospective employer. Yes, employers fall in love with candidates, just like men and women fall in love with one another. Now here is the irony, studies show that candidates recruited from outside an organization are hired with the best of hope and intentions – some real, some imagined, and some conjured from hope – suffer the same fate as couples entering relationships: 50 percent leave, or are asked to leave, their new organization within two years. Most marriages that end in divorce usually last much longer than the employment marriage, eight years, according to studies.
Here is some more irony: we know that the divorce rate is too high. Churches today are investing more time trying to prepare couples for the realities of this legal partnership. And corporations and their search firms and internal recruiters are equally mindful of this problem and the huge toll this type of executive turnover exacts on the organization and its finances. A failed hire is enormously expensive. Companies are investing more resources to fix this problem, from trying to improve the recruiting processes to adding muscular onboarding programs designed to help the new executive effectively integrate with their colleagues.
So far, neither church nor corporations have been able to alter the turnover numbers that much. What dooms relationships — personal and corporate — are not those things that are known, but the knotty issues about which we are reluctant to reveal or discuss. Couples are distracted by physical attraction and personality. Companies too often focus on the superficial — the reputation of their college or university degrees, professional certifications, the quality (read: reputation) of previous employers, and how effectively they tell their story. Too often, key issues are never raised.
Our firm’s stick rate — the term of the tenure of a new executive recruited from outside the organization is more than six years. Our success is derived from developing a detailed understanding of the client’s needs as well as their operating culture. That front-end part of our search due diligence is supported by a robust candidate screening and vetting process. Our customized structured interviews focus on Emotional Intelligence (EI) questions which rely on our DISC profiles of candidates and the people with whom they will be working. We gain valuable insight that helps us craft questions to get to the heart of the key issues: competency, culture and values. And we are always listening – probing to uncover thorny problems by asking the appropriate questions that may make candidates uncomfortable.
Our approach is not a transaction but a process whose sole goal is focused on the long-term success of our client. Too much of the executive recruiting today is transactional.
Clients should ask for more.
© 2020 John Gregory Self