“That Person” …… “I know that person” …… We all know people. We have opinions about the people we have worked with. Some people we hold in higher esteem than others.
What happens when putting a team together or looking to fill a key role in an organisation and “that person” comes to mind or is reintroduced to us?
Over the years I have observed and heard of occasions when “that person” is brought on board without the rigour that a stranger would go through and then “that person” fails to live up to expectations. A root cause being “that person” is liked or respected for their capabilities in a different time and environment and now “that person” may not be the same as we remembered them.
People change. Drive, motivation, personal objectives, behaviours, competencies and values can all change with time and environment. Our memories are not perfect; we all see things from a different perspective.
Recruitment is about managing risk and getting an optimal outcome. That is, a capable person motivated to succeed, who fits the organisational culture and/or the role they have to play in delivering organisational/business objectives.
While hiring managers’ judgement of “that person” may be valid, the risk is that by not following process they could get it wrong. It is incumbent on hiring managers to ensure that “that person” is currently capable, motivated and fits.
In negotiation and interviewing (similar things really) a common tactic is to get the other party to relax and lower their guard. Having known “that person” in another time and place can cause hiring managers to relax and drop their guard.
In many cases “that person” may turn out to be the optimal result. On the other hand they may not. If not, our good relationship with “that person” deteriorates and self esteem is diminished. As a result, our judgement is questioned and there are negative impacts on morale, team performance, costs and efficiencies, retention of employees and profits. Bad hires are expensive and embarrassing. All the more so, if we knew “that person” beforehand.
By all means consider “that person” for the role and put them through the same rigour that you would for any other candidate.
Another term for “that person” is Mate.
Also beware when someone is recommended as being “a really good person”.
Blog Posted by Garry King, Director – August 2017