“Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.” ~Colin Powell
“Get the best people and train them well.” ~Scott McNealy
Recently I was conducting interviews for a new position we were creating within the department. As I went through the interviews, one of the candidates showed a huge upside well beyond what the position entailed. So much so, that we would honestly look to adjust the scope of the position, and would probably need to in order to keep the candidates interest over the months and years in this position. I also had a number of candidates that were perfect fits for the position, would be satisfied with it, would excel, and wouldn’t need any extra coaching.
But one thing I thought of in the interview was that I was being offered the services of a Ferrari, for work that only required a Honda at basically no additional cost. The only additional cost I would bear would be the time and effort needed to keep that person interested, the maintenance if you will on my new Ferrari.
This has happened more and more as we have come out of the recession. There are a number of candidates for positions that are over-qualified. There are some who dismiss these candidates right away, and I can’t necessarily fault them, even though I am one who is apt to hire them right away. There are a couple of things I always keep in mind before I bring them on board though:
- Why do they want the position – It’s important to know whether the work will be at all interesting to them, or whether they will be bored, and therefore, unproductive. It also gives you an idea if they will be leaving as soon as something better comes along.
- How much time/effort am I willing to put in to encourage them – Superstars are just as needy as your poor performers, and often much more so. I need to have the time in my schedule to give them more support, or be willing to expend the department’s resources on them. As with the example above with the cars, there may not be any extra financial cost, but the maintenance costs could kill you.
I’m willing to generally take on people who are overqualified because I have a belief that they will elevate their peers, and thus the department. However, I am not naïve in thinking they may leave soon, or that I will need to give them more TLC than the average employee. For that reason, I say take the Ferrari!