Don't make hires too quickly

July 31, 2010

Mickey Maurer’s [July 12 column offering] advice on exercising care in hiring is well-taken. Busy people often decide to hire too quickly and to correct the resulting error too slowly.

It may take me three weeks to pick the wrong person, three months to know I’ve done that and three years to act on the fact that I screwed up. The cost in anxiety and lost time is typically many multiples of the salary.

People fool us when we hire them because they want to be hired and they present an agreeable picture. We want to check an item off our list. Perhaps the biggest threat of picking an incompatible employee is that the rest of the organization knows you did it and knows you are not acting to fix your mistake with appropriate dispatch. It is your own reputation that suffers most.

This reminds me of how easy it is to elect a politician on idle promises and how tough it is to displace that incumbent.

Pete Kissinger
West Lafayette

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