Sometimes managers prefer to hire the 2nd option candidate rather than the best. Here are a few suggestions why you should aim for “strong” candidates, even though they might be tougher to handle.
Fit vs Potential
A candidate fitting the role at hand and embracing your company’s culture are key ingredients for a successful recruitment. However, if the quest for the perfect match becomes obsessive, you may miss out on an opportunity to open up to profiles that shine through potential, rather than immediate fit. Look at it this way: assuming you could afford him, would you reject Bill Gates if he applied at your Company, just because you do not have an opening for him? Or because he lacks the one particular skill you are looking for?
Control vs Autonomy
A 2nd option candidate may be easier to train, shape and control than “stronger” counterparts. By 2nd option we mean either imperfectly matching the role, and/or excessively submissive to the corporate culture. Such profiles are perfect if you are looking for pure execution skills. But the moment you are looking for creativity, innovation or entrepreneurship, you may find yourself stuck with a workforce which was not designed to step up to that level in the first place. Change, which we know is everywhere, is not driven by followers, but by leaders. And leaders will probably need autonomy to flourish, rather than tight control, as well as some slack from corporate rules, to experiment and push forward new ideas.
Comfort vs Challenge
Managing “strong” profiles is likely to be a challenge. By strong we mean either excessively talented, and/or possessing some personality features that challenge corporate cultures founded on order and discipline. For example, managing someone very ambitious in your team may confront you with the challenge of meeting their expectations. Or with the fear of losing your own job to that individual. Sometimes strong personalities will tread on somebody’s toes, but this is rarely the case because they want to make a splash. Maybe they just value competence and camaraderie more than hierarchy and status.
Bottom-line, you need to define what kind of people you want to recruit. Are you looking for a voice, or for an echo? At AdVeci Advisors, we are happy to help you find both. Though we will challenge you to recruit and manage “voices”, because we believe you deserve the best.