Recruiting Star Candidates – Is it Always the Best?

Most high performing CEOs believe in recruiting only the best and high-performance candidates as part of the talent acquisition policy. These potential candidates are believed to be stars because of their outstanding academic and illustrious job performance track records. In reality, are star candidates (SCs) always the best and serve to achieve the strategic goals of the organization?

Let’s explore when this policy might not work:

  1. Retention rate is low:

    SCs are often achievement-centric and ambitious. Generally, they have high expectations’ and if these expectations, which include: job satisfaction and rewards are not met, they will have no qualms to quit soon enough. Being able to keep up with their satisfactions can be a challenge, and not being able to retain the SCs can also create an unstable work environment.

  2. Morale of these SCs is low:

    In a talent crowded environment, high profile jobs and promotions are limited, hence, insufficient to meet the needs of the SCs. Though they can be disenchanted but, yet not resign because of the attractive pay and benefits. The challenge therefore, is to create space and increase the speed for the SCs to grow.

  3. Execution load is not discharged:

    SCs are supposedly stronger conceptualizers and could spend an inordinate amount of time questioning the “what for?” and “why”. They tend to view operational and programmed activities as unfulfilling mundane work. Spending lots of time debating and doing tasks they are passionate about can lead to operational work not well discharged. This is akin to having many generals but few soldiers to fight the battles! In this instance, the challenge is to ensure customer needs are faithfully delivered.

  4. Alignment and teamwork are not present:

    SCs tend to be strong individuals. Having many SCs to work cohesively together requires effort. Hence, building alignment and collective allegiance to fulfil corporate mission and strategic goals might be a challenge.

The preceding highlights the 4 basic considerations to make the recruitment of SCs a possibly workable HR policy.

Through our experience consulting organizations in talent acquisitions, we advice that, it might be best to search for a Balanced Candidate. This applies also to acquiring a balanced slate of candidates, rather than recruiting many SCs like collecting gems! A balanced candidate is defined as one who satisfies the ABC criteria, and a balanced slate of candidates is a team that is collectively strong in thinking, doing, and relating. The ABC of Talent Acquisition for recruiting a balanced individual candidate is simply identified as:

  • Attributes (A): Personal values, job and financial expectations, family backgrounds, special talents, past achievements, and risk of resignation
  • Brain (B): Intellect, leadership, communication, creativity, and result-oriented
  • Competency (C): Technical competencies and job experience

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