Are You Waiting For the Perfect Candidate to Fall Out of the Sky?

By Rhonda Werner, Recruiting Consultant – Partner

We are in a state of flux right now due to all the changes Covid-19 has brought in working remotely. But, consolidations are still occurring as well as fallout from consolidations that occurred 18 months ago. Change is certainly in the air. Will good candidates be caught up in some of these changes and be dismissed from their company for “no good reason?” Possibly, but there’s a lot to take into consideration when “the perfect” candidate seems to fall in your lap from one of these mergers or downsize actions.

There are a few questions that you as a manager would really need to ask of the candidate and yourself before jumping into a situation that may be set up for failure. We have walked through the aftermath with several clients who have made similar hires and are now having to replace those individuals. Consider the following before making an offer:

  1. Do they fit your culture and direction?

    Most organizations that we see in consolidation mode are very large, multi-billion-dollar organizations with thousands and thousands of employees. Most companies we see in serious growth mode right now are smaller, earlier in their life to even start-up organizations. Companies where people will have to wear many hats and cannot just call someone in xyz department to do something for them. That person does not exist. It is often a struggle to go from large corporate to small start-up or vice versa. It can be done, but you really need to evaluate how adaptable that individual is to make that change. Can they wear the number of hats needed to be successful in your company right now?

  1. Are they accustomed to perks you cannot offer right now?

    Again, in many situations candidates are moving from larger corporate structure to a smaller operation. Many perks that could have helped their success in a prior role (like a fat expense account or unlimited marketing funds) may not be available. Or, just the support they are accustomed to, whether that be field/technical staff, office support, and more. We often hear complaints that the new hire feels they are left on an island with no support. Some people thrive in those situations where it is all on them to make it work. Others do not. Determine how different the situation is they will be stepping into and ask if they can adapt.

  1. Are we really asking them to do the same thing they have had prior success with?

    This is probably where most companies fail with new hires who have had huge sales numbers in their prior role but just flop with a new organization.  Many times, it is because what you are expecting is very different than what they did before. In some cases, brand recognition sells itself, they just must be a competent and trustworthy individual to represent the brand. There was no starting out from scratch and building it themselves. They maintained or grew business slowly based on the brand and their reputation, not because they went out there and worked hard for it. There is also a huge difference in the type of products people have experience with.  Are we asking someone to sell a tried-and-true product that has years of success and data, or to go out there and build a following of a new product with no recognition? Two very different situations. Selling a product versus a service is also hard for some to switch between.

There are certainly people who can adjust to one type of organization to another very quickly, but many of the phone calls we get when folks are unhappy with their new role is for the above listed reasons. Displeasure with their manager is often another reason for the desire to make a change, but more times than not these above three questions were not fully evaluated by the candidate, or by the company hiring them and the adaptation is just too great a challenge.

Change is hard. Hiring the right fit for your company is hard. That’s why we have many tools available to our clients to help navigate these questions and more to determine potential long-term fit. Just because someone had huge success in a prior role, does not mean it will transfer to the new opportunity. We are here to help! Contact us to lean more about the tools available.