After about 30 days the glow emanating from this can’t miss hire began to fade. For someone with such promise and outstanding credentials, their work product was never really up to par. The one credential he wasn’t expecting was an MBA in excuses; accountability was a word that was eliminated from the new hire’s vocabulary. There was always a reason for not meeting expectations. The can’t miss hire, now employee, began displaying signs of entitlement and attitude and the atmosphere in the office became tense.

About 30 days from our early morning meeting, the client terminated his can’t miss hire. Obviously shocked by the decision the employee asked why? After discussing a litany of mistakes, excuses and missteps, the client simply stated, “You’re not the person I hired.”

Have you ever made a hire, with a can’t miss candidate, that didn’t work out?

Unfortunately this happens more than you think. If you’ve been a hiring manager for any length of time you’ve undoubtedly hired someone that didn’t work out. If you’re new to hiring, chances are you may make the same mistake. Why does this happen more often than we would like?

There are a multitude of reasons but as a former hiring authority and executive search firm owner, here are some than I’ve experienced most often.

  1. BIAS. As humans we are inherently biased. My working theory is there are two types of bias; Personal Bias (I don’t like… fill in the blank OR that’s not really a red flag, maybe a light pink, but we can work through it)) and Corporate Bias (Degree only, regardless of relevant experience, OR, we don’t rehire former employees, etc. ). While I respect choice, it can be a major deterrent to hiring your your next superstar!
  2. LIMITED DATA. It’s been said that a resume is a wonderful form of creative writing. It’s also a cottage industry. If that’s all you’re using to evaluate your next hire, chances are you may be disappointed!
  3. FOCUS ON “GETTING” VS “DOING”. Most job descriptions focus on getting the job vs doing the job. Anyone can say, “your hired,” but hired to do what, by when? If you haven’t clearly defined the Key Accountabilities for the role, STOP the process and define what you want the new hire to accomplish and by when.
  4. THE INTERVIEW. “I’ll know it when I see it;” In 1988 Professor John Hunter of Michigan State determined that the typical employment interview is only 57% effective in predicting subsequent success in a job, which means that the typical interview is only slightly better than flipping a coin. OK, you call it!

If you Google “How to ace a job interview, you’ll get hundreds, if not thousands of well meaning suggestions and tactics for the candidate, but it can be detrimental to the hiring authority!

If the job could talk it would tell you exactly what it needed. It would tell you the behaviors, the motivation and the competencies required for success in the role. Then, as the hiring authority you would simply match the right candidate to the role; much better than flipping a coin! We all know that jobs can’t talk or can they?

The patented Job Benchmarking Process (powered by TTISI) enables your organization to assess the job, using subject matter experts (SME’s), and then use data to identify talent uniquely matched to the job to create job fit and vastly improve retention. What about someone already in the role? Measure them against the Job Benchmark and you may find you have the “the wrong person in the right seat OR a great employee in the wrong seat.” You can then make a more informed decision on your next move.

Would YOU have a ready response to the following?

  • What are the Key Accountabilities for the role?
  • What are the behaviors, motivation, competencies and skills needed for superior performance on the job?
  • What goals have YOU committed to achieving over the next year?
  • How are YOU held accountable?

Job benchmarking takes the guesswork out of hiring and workplace dynamics in general, making it easy to remove common biases often associated with the hiring process. Instead, factual data based on job requirements provide a solid foundation for coaching and hiring success!

Job benchmarking identifies the Key Accountabilities needed for superior performance and the competencies, behaviors and intrinsic motivators for performing the job.

Job benchmarking provides: a complete job-related development plan, a system for job-related performance reviews, and a complete system from hiring to retirement.

Hiring and building quality teams is a critical skill needed for success in any leadership role. Isn’t it time to stop guessing and let the job talk?

Jim O’Hara is the President of Kellen James – Performance Advisors, an Advisory, Diagnostics and Talent Consultancy that helps organizations hire more accurately, lead more effectively and grow more efficiently. To learn more about the Job Benchmarking Process, connect with Jim on LinkedIn or