Upgrading Your Team in the Recession

Now is a great time to find, acquire, and hire top talent to upgrade a few selected=

Back in July, I made the recommendation on this blog (and was interviewed by Forbes Magazine Online) to use the recession as a unique point in history to upgrade your team.

Have you selected one or two key roles and upgrade the positions yet?

If not, what’s holding you back? Don’t miss out on this wonderful special time in history to attract a level of talent to a couple of key roles that you might never again have the opportunity to acquire.

What’s holding you back from taking the first step?

Here are some of the “arguments” I hear against upgrading when I mention this idea in our workshops and to our CEO/President clients:

  • This person has been with me a long time and is loyal
  • The individual in that role might have a hard time finding a new job
  • I’m embarrassed that the hire didn’t work out – I’m hoping it turns around
  • I think the person will eventually get better
  • I don’t have time to spend on hiring someone
  • The person is okay – they do some things well – no rush to make a decision
  • Not sure I won’t make a mistake the second time around again
  • No idea where to start or find this person
  • I can live with this person – I’ll do part of their job
  • What if I screw up the hire – then I wouldn’t look good to my ____ (fill in the blank)

Does this sound dysfunctional? Sure it does.

The number ONE trait of success for managers and executives is the ability to hire and retain an outstanding team of people. Are you a great manager/executive or an average one?

  • Do you have an exceptional team in place right now?
  • Why are you tolerating average/mediocre performance?
  • Are you doing part of the work your team should be doing?

Do you have some people on your team that are good at doing 70-75-80% of their job, but stink at the other 30-25-20% of their job. Who gets to do this piece your subordinate cannot do? You guessed it – you do.

Before you can blink, 50% of your workload is doing the work your team should be doing. You’re doing 8% of Mark’s job, 5% of Susan’s job, 20% of Kelly’s job. Now you can’t do your job because so much time is being consumed by doing the work of your team.

Why are you continuing to accept this less than stellar performance.

Take action now and upgrade a few key roles that are below your expectations. Emerge from the recession with a team that truly is a strategic advantage.

Recognize that right now is a unique historical time period for hiring. There are some exceptionally talented individuals who might consider your opportunity. As the job market recovers – you may never again be able to acquire and/or afford this talent.

Discover the simple steps to find, assess and acquire great talent.

Barry Deutsch

Join our LinkedIn Hiring and Retention Discussion Group to follow the conversation around upgrading your team and finding great talent.

Barry Deutsch

About the Author

Barry Deutsch is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Barry is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.


  1. Paul Weismantel says:

    Very scarry proposition until you jump off the cliff. The first time I tried this during the internet bust the firm pulled the position altogether even after having just completed a layoff. But presented with the opportunity again in 2005 it worked out great for all concerned. Churned the entire group in 9 months! Sports parallel is a great one here. Even last years champs trade up for next season.

  2. #1 reason = hiring freeze (official or in practice). Several companies will test the waters, but even if they strike true gold they hesitate to act.

    BTW if you continuously hire people who disappoint you, it is time to analyze your own hiring practices and mistakes. That and make sure that you’re providing all of the tools that those hires need. It’s cheaper to train your current staff to do the tasks that you are having to do for them, than to try to replace them. With your track record, your new recruit probably will also disappoint you.

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