Be ANGRY over the average productivity of your employees

Get angry over the average productivity of your employees


Be ANGRY that your employees are NOT performing at a higher level than expected. Be ANGRY that your executives and managers are NOT hiring outstanding talent at every level. Be ANGRY over hiring mistakes.

In a blog article published on the blog, Tim Yanglin quoted a McKinsey Study looking at the productivity difference between average and mediocre employees. This study was done with major corporations. My perception – although I’ve not quantifiably tested it – is that in small businesses and entrepreneurial companies, top talent is more productive than average talent – sometimes by a factor of 4X-10X. Here’s the study the author of the blog article quoted:



Global consulting firm McKinsey, for example, reports that top performing executives deliver more than twice the productivity of average performers.

The report continues to identify that it takes a mix of top performing executives and leaders to pursue and implement a variety of growth strategies, which will lead to consistently superior results. On the other hand, McKinsey found no measurable correlation between revenue growth and teams with solid but unexceptional leadership; mediocre or B-level players will deliver average performance.


If the gap is so large, why do you allow your executives and managers to continue to hire underperforming, average, and mediocre employees? Let’s take this one step further – why do you allow these individuals to remain on your team?

Get angry over this issue. Make hiring top performers a key initiative instead of falling victim to desperation hiring, making multiple mistakes in the hiring process, and taken anyone who basically shows up at your doorstep.

Everyone complains about their team, hiring, performance, and productivity. Next to talking about your ailments, this probably ranks up there for executives as their next biggest “whine”. Let’s stop whining and start doing something about it.

In 25 years of executive search, over 1000 search assignments, 250,000 candidates interviewed, and over 35,000 executives and managers who have seen our workshop program titled, “You’re NOT the Person I Hired”, most companies give the concept of hiring great employees lip service. Their actions don’t match up with their words.

Here’s a quick test to determine if your actions match up with your words:

  1. Do you set performance expectations for all employees?
  2. Are the performance expectations in place before searching for a new employee?
  3. Do you have a structured program of rewards and consequences for meeting or missing expectations?
  4. How many people on your team right now are NOT living up to your performance expectations? Do you written performance improvement plans for each one?
  5. Are all your executives and managers well-trained on how to use best practices in hiring to find, interview, and select top performers for their teams?

If you answered NO to more than 2 of these questions, perhaps it’s time for a “check-up” of your hiring practices. You can download our FREE hiring process self-assessment checklist to determine if your organization is capable of hiring top talent.

Click here to download our one page hiring self-assessment to conduct a check-up on your hiring process.

You should be angry over these issues – both at yourself and your executive team – for allowing it to happen. Stop just letting hiring “happen”. Drive better company results by being the visible and LOUD champion of hiring and retaining top performers.

Here’s the key: the quality of employees in your organization determines your “glass ceiling”. If you have average and mediocre people, then your results will be mediocre and average. If your not getting exceptional performance within your industry or market – beating your competitors every day and generating above average metrics in revenue, profit, and operational excellence, then perhaps it’s time to take a look at the quality of your team.

Barry Deutsch

PS – Don’t forget to get your FREE digital copy of our best-selling book on hiring, You’re NOT the Person I Hired

You Can Shorten Your Hiring Process

Q. We are a mid-size company that doesn’t hire that often. It seems that when we want to hire it takes a long time just to find qualified candidates. Is there a way to shorten the time it takes to hire someone?

A. Hiring fast rarely includes hiring the very best. The best way to shorten the time it takes to hire someone is to have a pool of qualified people available when you need them. The problem is that most companies start the hiring process when they need someone, which often happens after one of their best people just gave notice. Companies then expect that at that exact moment in time a highly qualified candidate will also be searching, the stars will magically align and they should be able to hire this person. Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you were looking, highly qualified candidates were also looking? It just doesn’t work that way. Most hiring processes are reactive. To change your situation your hiring process must become proactive.

Highly qualified candidates don’t search based on your hiring schedule. They search based on their schedule, so hiring can’t be a one time event that happens when you decide you are ready to hire someone. This option will only provide you the best available candidates at that moment in time. Companies that excel at hiring top talent know that hiring is a process and having a queue of qualified candidates is critical. Your hiring managers should always be on the lookout for potential people, even if your company only hires once a year. Every manager should have at least two or three potential candidates for the key positions in their department. This means that your hiring managers will have to dedicate at least some time each month to hiring. They should engage potential hires, identify who might be a potential hire, attend professional groups where these potential hires exist, respond to unsolicited resumes that have potential instead of deleting them, use LinkedIn to connect with potential candidates and follow up with potential candidates when contacted. None of these takes a lot of time to do, maybe an hour a month. These small things can dramatically shorten the time it takes to hire someone and also increase the quality of those hires.

You can explore our audio library, download free examples of compelling marketing statements, download a summary of our research project that identifies the biggest hiring mistakes, and get our culture assessment tool by clicking the links. All of these are free.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please forward this to your contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn, or anyone you think would benefit from this article.

Brad Remillard

The Top Ten Mistakes Executives Make in Choosing Recruiters

Choosing the right recruiter to help you fill an open position

How do you pick the right recruiter?

How do avoid making a mistake in selecting such an important trusted advisor?

In a survey project conducted over 3 years with 425 CEOs and Senior Executives we identified the Top Ten Mistakes that are made in choosing executive recruiters. We took on this survey project after hearing over 25 years horror story after horror story from companies who had retained recruiters to help fill critical positions.

We began to wonder why so many CEOs and Senior Executives were frustrated by the process of choosing and working with executive recruiters.

In my following ten blog postings I’ll identify the Top Ten Mistakes of Choosing Recruiters. You’ll probably want to LOLROFL as my daughter is fond of texting – you’ll first want to Laugh Out Loud while Rolling on the Floor when you read the Top Ten Mistakes. Then laughter will give way to anger and frustration as you realize how your company has made multiple mistakes in choosing and working with recruiters over the years – the bad hires, the painful experiences, and searches not completed – all the result  of mistakes in choosing recruiters – and which could have been easily avoided.

Do you have a pet peeve about choosing or working with recruiters?

What’s your horror story that you could share with our blog readers?

If there was one mistake you’ve made in the past in choosing a recruiter, how would you avoid making that same mistake in the future?

Listen to our recent Radio Show Broadcast in our FREE Audio Library on this subject of the classic mistakes companies make in choosing recruiters.

Join us in our LinkedIn Discussion Group on Hiring Top Talent for a conversation about choosing and working with recruiters.

Barry Deutsch

What Are The Total Costs Of A Bad Hire?

Business guru Peter Drucker has said, “Of all the decisions an executive makes, none are as important as the decision about people because they ultimately determine the performance capacity of the organization.” Warren Bennis, professor of business at the University of Southern California and author of Managing the Dream, calls the search for top talent “the most significant problem facing all organizations.”

According to a study by the Corporate Leadership Council, hiring the wrong executive can cost an organization as much as three times their annual salary. The Gallup Organization has noted that the cost of poor hiring decisions may even be much higher than previously estimated. Some researchers have calculated the cost of a bad hire can be as high as twenty four times the position’s base salary.

Presidents, CEOs, Boards of Directors, and Hiring Managers should never underestimate the ramifications of a bad hire. The fallout can affect an entire organization, doing far more damage than leaving the position empty would have.

While reasonable experts may disagree about specific salary-to-cost ratios, the fact remains that the cost of new executive failure is much higher than merely search costs and salary. Those are just two of the direct costs.

Indirect costs typically add up to much more.

Some of the direct and indirect costs noted in various studies we reviewed include:

  • wasted salary, benefits, and severance
  • lost recruitment fees and training costs
  • lower personal productivity among dissatisfied employees
  • disruptions caused by dissatisfied employees
  • higher turnover rates among productive employees
  • damages to reputation and market share
  • lost management time
  • increased stress and anxiety from people problems

The person hurt most just might be the executive who was set up for failure. This person accepted a position based generally on a vague job description, and then found reality did not match up to their or the hiring manager's perceptions.

Having a structured, formal, and sophisticated hiring process, with well trained people in the process will ensure that these bad hires are significantly reduced and often eliminated.

Calculate the total cost of a bad hire using our “Cost Of Bad Hire” worksheet. CLICK HERE.