How Hiring Managers reluctance to fire affects their objectivity.

All business leaders ask the same question each time they encounter a challenge. Smart- right? As a consultative recruitment process outsourcing company, People Science has observed that many of our clients and our own internal staff almost always attribute challenges to the company: its philosophies, its training, or its business processes. If the company can’t be the problem, then they assume it must be a management issue. Based upon the feedback of many clients and prospective clients we have interviewed and partnered with in the past 14 years, it has become evident that business is moving more and more towards the belief that the “root” of most business challenges is anything but the employee.

This would be great news, unless, of course, the challenge can be attributed to the employee. It’s much easier to change something you are doing yourself than to change an employee, or worse, replace them.

As we have observed and as noted by Dan Pallotta in Harvard Business Review, “We look at everything through the lens of management practice. We assume that all problems are business problems and that they all have business solutions, when in fact many of them may be human problems.”

In our observations of working with over 60 Hiring Managers during the past three years, the most significant factor contributing to “this can’t be the employee” propensity is that most managers see replacing someone as the most difficult option. In their opinions recruiting is more complicated and uncomfortable than changing processes, increasing training or even personally changing their own management styles.

In our view, they are often right.

From the Hiring Managers Perspective finding a new staff member can lead to many issues including:

• The stress of working with the underperformer knowing they are planning to terminate them
• Being scrutinized for failing their employee
• Disturbing the rest of a productive team
• Threat of losing headcount budget
• Dealing with a cumbersome technology system
• Coping with a lengthy approval process
• Establishing what it is they do want and articulating it to HR
• Making time to screen and interview candidates
• Interviewing and choosing the best candidate

On the other hand, when steps are taken to mitigate some or all of these complications, we have witnessed the same Hiring Managers placing an equal emphasis on the need to replace the employee.

Additionally, Hiring Managers who are encouraged and supported by their recruiting department to replace one underperformer are twice as likely to continue to replace additional underperformers on a routine basis. On the flip side, Hiring Managers who tried the recruiting process and found it cumbersome and did not have a solid relationship with their recruiting group, were much more reluctant to evenly weigh employee performance with the other possible contributors to the business challenge.

People Science as a recruitment process outsourcing organization also tracks our success and overall progress by measuring the value the new hires that we provide bring to the company. Our partnerships that promote a clear relationship between hiring managers and their recruiting team albeit our company or a clear link to the client companies internal recruitment team, experience the best outcomes of new employee production.

Clear evidence that a well run and business focused talent acquisition group is a critical factor in a well run organization.

You are what you measure.