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

Hiring Mistake #1 – Inadequate Job Descriptions – Audio Program

We thought you might like the audio version of our Hiring Mistakes Series. This particular audio program is titled “Hiring Mistake #1 – Inadequate Job Descriptions“. The audio file is approximately 6 minutes in length and can also be downloaded through our iTunes listing of “IMPACT Hiring Solutions”.

This mistake is made more often than any other error in attempting to hire great employees. It is the primary cause of hiring failure that occurs over 50% of the time at executive and managerial levels. We've also created a video version of this hiring mistake which you can find by clicking here.

If you prefer to read about this common hiring mistake in a blog post, please click here.

If you've not yet taken our Hiring Assessment, click here to download this simple tool to discover if your organization is capable of hiring top talent and great employees.

Barry Deutsch




Hiring Mistake #1 – Inadequate Job Descriptions – Video Version



Below is our video version of the Number One Hiring Mistake that leads to hiring failure. This 6 minute video highlights why NOT defining success before interviewing leads to frequently hiring the wrong candidate.


Hiring Hot Tips Video Series–Hiring Mistake #1–Inadequate Job Descriptions

We’ve also written an in-depth blog article on Hiring Mistake #1 – you can read it by clicking here. You might be interested in our series on the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes. Be sure to read our blog article giving an overview of these mistakes by clicking here, or you can view our in-depth 12 minute video stepping through each of the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes most commonly made by executives and managers by clicking here.

What if you could use a Success-based job definition to ENSURE your next hire will achieve your desired results? Click here to take the first step down the path of defining success through our complimentary offer to review your Success Factor Snapshot for a critical role.

Have you ever made this hiring mistake?

Share with me an example of when you last hired a candidate – who said all the right things in the interview – but could not live up to your expectations.

Barry Deutsch

Hiring Mistake #6: Performance Bias


Hiring Mistake #6 is Performance Bias, which is the tendency to become enamored with how the candidate “performs” or “presents” during the interview.

Have you ever hired a candidate who said all the right things in the interview, only to realize after they start that the reality of their skills, knowledge, and capability does not live up to what you heard in the interview. I'm not even talking about outright lies, embellishment, and exaggeration. Sometimes, when you look back at those interviews where we “fell in love” with the candidates, you realize with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight that the candidate didn't lie, embellish, and exaggerate their capability – you just didn't probe, ask specific questions, and validate whether they could do the job.


You fall in love with the candidate because they interviewed so well. You extrapolate the dominance, assertiveness, rapport, personal warmth, intensity, energy, and enthusiasm demonstrated in the interview onto your fantasy of a perfect candidate. Who wouldn't want to hire this person?

You must first ask yourself – what mode are most candidate in when they interview for a job? If you answered “sales mode” you can start to see why the interview process is flawed. You’re not seeing real style or behavior – you’re witnessing interview performance or an actor on the stage.

Do you believe that the style someone exhibits in the interview is the same style they will show on the job? Raise your hand if you think there is a direct correlation between interviewing well and on-the-job performance. I ask this question in every workshop I conduct and NO ONE raises their hand. So, if we don't believe there is a direct correlation, why do we get so hung up on focusing on the interview “presentation” or “performance”?


Brad and I have been working together in our executive search practice for over 25 years. We've done over 1,000 executive searches and interviewed well over 250,000 candidates. We cannot find ONE single shred of evidence linking how someone interviews with their on-the-job performance – as interviewing is conducted in most companies. This holds true even for roles in which “performing” or “presenting” is critical, such as sales, business development, or marketing roles. Is that a scary statistic? What does it say for how most interviews are conducted at your company?

To the best actor goes the job. Let's STOP hiring outstanding actors and start hiring great employees. Let's STOP making Hiring Mistake Number 6 – Having a Performance Bias – giving too much credit to the way in which the candidate presents or performs in the interview. Let's STOP making the mistake of assuming the “presentation” or “interview performance” the candidate makes is indicative of their on the job success. I frequently ask the CEOs and Key Executives in my workshops, seminars, and webinars – what are you hiring:

A candidate who presents/performs well in the interview


An employee who can deliver the results you need with a set of behaviors and style that is consistent with your culture and values?


In order to make a fair, rational, and objective decision, the emotions of the hiring manager must remain in check. Ask questions and uncover details that deal with the candidate’s ability to do the job, not the personality and communication styles he or she prefers.

Many hiring managers pride themselves on being able to tell as soon as someone enters the room if they are qualified for the position or not. Fundamental hiring mistakes can happen when the hiring manager sees, prefers, and hires in his or her own image. This is terribly unfair to the candidate, and unwise from a business perspective.

You could pass right over the perfect person with assumptions and judgments such as these. In fact, our research indicates that most hiring managers make mistakes on at least 2/3 of the candidates they meet in the hiring process – mistakes which are spread among all the TOP TEN HIRING MISTAKES. Performance Bias contributes to many of those mistakes.

Do not let your own agenda, biases, or preferences enter into this process; they have no place. It does not matter if you “click” with the person in the first interview. What does matter is his or her ability to do the job and what talents and abilities the individual can add to your organization. One of the most important elements of effective interviewing is to stay objective and rational, not letting your propensity to become seduced by an enthusiastic presentation ruin a hiring decision.

Here are some tips to help you remain as objective as possible:

  • Reject first impressions. They are often misleading and based on emotions, stereotyping, biases, style, or chemistry.
  • Avoid making decisions too soon. You require time to find out all of the details you need to know. The more you dig for information, the more data you have to support your decision. The more data you have about a candidate’s past performance, the more likely you are to make informed hiring decisions. You are also less likely to base your decisions on subjective elements.
  • Realize that some of the negative traits you might be witnessing could be directly related to nervousness. Most people loosen up and feel less nervous as the interview progresses. Do not automatically interpret such traits as slow responses, no eye contact, lack of warmth or confidence negatively. It could very well just be stage fright.
  • Ask a pre-determined set of questions that focus on achievement, accomplishments, and comparability of previous outcomes to your desired results. We call this a 5 Core Question Interview.
  • Be sure to follow your pre-determined questions. This will eliminate the tendency to judge the candidate on anything other than the work and his or her capability to execute it. We call this the Magnifying Glass Approach to conducting an effective interview – peeling the layers of the onion to get to the truth.
  • Listen more than you talk. You will collect more evidence of past performance if you tune in and listen to every word. The candidate should speak about 85 percent of the time you have together.
  • Be the devil’s advocate. If all you are hearing and perceiving are things that appear only positive, or vice versa, reserve judgment at all costs. There has to be a flip side—your job is to find it!

Download a FREE copy of our book to learn how to overcome each one of the Top Ten Mistakes In Hiring. Learn how to overcome Hiring Mistake #6 – Performance Bias by conducting a rational and objective interview. Click the button below to get a copy of our FREE Book – You're NOT the Person I Hired.

Download our FREE e-book - You're NOT the Person I Hired

Stop Making Hiring Mistakes Audio Program

Are You Hitting the Bullseye on Hiring Top Talent?

We've prepared an audio program, roughly 12 minutes in length, on our Top Ten Hiring Mistakes. We recognize that some CEOs, executives, or managers might prefer to listen to this program during their commute rather than watch a video or read a blog post.

If you're interested in watching the video presentation of hiring mistakes and errors, you can find it by clicking here.

If you're interested in reading about the research project we conducted and how to improve your hiring accuracy and decision-making, click this link for the blog post.

The Top Ten Hiring Mistakes and the steps to overcome each mistake was based on research we conducted with over 100 companies, over 200 executive hires, conversations with over 20,000 CEOs and senior executives extending over a 20 year period, and a review of the academic research on hiring and interviewing over the last 40 years.

The result of all this research and the identification of the most common hiring mistakes and errors led us to write our popular and best-selling book, “You're NOT the Person I Hired.”  You can download a copy of our book on the steps to overcome the typical hiring mistakes that most managers executives not only make once – but tend to compound their hiring errors by making multiple hiring mistakes with each candidate.

We discovered through our research – both original and secondary – that the failure rate of executive and managerial hiring was above 50% – in our study it came out to be 56% – which is a staggering number.

That's 56% of all hires do not live up to the original expectations of performance. One of the questions we're fond of asking in our workshops and seminars goes like this:


Of all the hires you've made in your career, what percentage lived up to or exceeded your expectations in their first year of employment with you?


The vast majority of CEOs, executives, and managers honestly admit that if they were batting .300, they would be doing a great job – rarely do we hear that someone is batting better than .500 – is there any process in your business where you will accept that level of random variability? How about the payroll checks you write? How about the invoices you send to customers?

Absolutely NOT!

If you will not accept it anywhere else in your business, why do you accept it when it comes to making hiring decisions?

We believe most executives accept random results because:

  1. They don't what mistakes are being made
  2. They don't the steps to overcome the most common hiring mistakes

Listen to this audio program and let us in the comments to this blog post if you've ever made these mistakes. Perhaps, you'll share your most recent hiring failure with our fellow readers that was a result of making one or more of these mistakes.

Barry Deutsch