‘The perfect candidate?’ Sure. And you must be ‘the perfect employer’

Almost always in a search, the client wants the perfect person, someone who can do it all, take control and need little if any on-boarding. That’s possible–if it’s the top job. As it should be; chiefs surround themselves with those they can trust, loyalty and past relationships count, hence the predictable ‘re-org’ once a new chief takes over.

But if you are not the top dog, and come in as a new hire, how are you supposed to make an impact and be noticed? How has the company shaped your new job, how will you be measured for success? How will you fit, meet expectations and grow?

This is the hiring blind spot most organisations have, as much as they swear up and down they know what they want in a new and senior hire. Believe me, I go through this regularly with clients, and anyone in an HR/talent capacity that begs to differ is probably in the toilet dry-heaving.

As I mentioned above, companies want their new senior hires to come in and ‘do the job.’ Perfect for low or entry-level employees, but the higher up we go, the more we are measured on behaviourand that is even more complicated in Asia, where the cross-cultural behaviour and communication causes sparks on a daily basis.

How do companies ensure all the time and effort spent translates to success? Induct them, train and on-board them, give ’em a briefing book of past and present, a guide on what and whom to know-and a verbal hug or two.. Management must commit a certain amount of time to get new people comfortable in a new environment or risk them walking within weeks because they had no support.

‘Right, Neal. How many companies really do that? And who the hell has time?’ you ask. Not many, obviously, and those who leave those jobs within the first year is much much higher than it should be, aprox 40% within the first 18 months Why? Incompetence? Slothfulness? Ignorance? The usual rejoinders (from both sides) are along the lines of ‘couldn’t do the job’, ‘couldn’t fit in’ or ‘too many changes’..

Who’s to blame? Both the new hire and the company.

Both are responsible for figuring out how to fit, but it’s a marriage, and both sides must commit. And most behavioural skills are transferable.

People can do a great job from company to company, but have to take the time to understand their surroundings, and the company has to take the time to explain it. If they’re willing to help get a new hire up to speed and allow them to grow into a role, they have a long-term hire. If they want that new hire to come in with all the skills perfectly honed, it’s a short-term consultancy hire. Both can work, but call it for what it is, and decide if it’s a marriage or a fling.

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