Friday, November 23, 2012

“Don’t Hire Best” must read book for passionate recruiters!!!

In the era of war for talent when every organization is struggling to acquire finest talent and if someone says “Don’t Hire Best” (DNHB) obviously you get fascinated. The title compelled me to read this book. This book is authored by Abhijit Bhaduri- Chief Learning Officer for the Wipro group..

The beauty of this book is simple language and Indian cases. The focal point of DNHB is on hiring leaders. Qualification, experience, competence and personality- How should a manager weigh these while recruiting leaders? Does it pay to take on a ‘star performer’? Or what, indeed, is the secret of hiring good leaders? As they are responsible to attract and retain talent, achieve business results and define culture. Abhijit has also stated the changing role of leaders and mentioned evidently while hiring leader an employer need to focus on business, leadership, interpersonal skills and assess intrapersonal skills which are harder to develop. The demand of leadership role has greater bearing on personality elements. Personality component that make a person successful in one role may actually turn out to be the reason why the person fails in different one.

Writer has brought up clear new dimension of hiring leaders i e don’t hire best at the top. Those who hire “THE BEST” focus only on resume where as right recruit is determined by personality fit than qualification and experience.

Personality elements have enablers (bright side) as well as derailers (dark side). At senior level differentiators of two equally competent leaders is personality. Education and experience work well at entry level roles. At leadership levels, the personality affects.

How does the best hire’s resume looks like? It holds Best Institute, Best degree, Best Marks, Experience with best brands, NAME, FAME and REPUTATION.

But best resume may not be the right hire. Is he fitting in the role you are looking for??? Is he the right person to handle present business enviournment and current business challenges? 

To achieve this author has emphasized on the term called “Success profile”. “Success Profile” is identifying what skills and personality elements will help the new hire to succeed in the role. Isn’t it sounds like developing job description (JD)? Yes …but for leaders we need to go beyond JD. Here we also need to consider stakeholder analysis. Means how this leader will be able to satisfy board, customer, peer group, team and boss. And we need to revisit this “Success Profile” as dynamic business context is a big factor that determines the success or failure.

Author has also pointed out the mistakes interviewers make while hiring leaders. Skilled interviewers know that the trick lies in not just asking questions that challenge the candidate, but figuring out whether his/r answer revel a fit between company expectations and the personality of the interviewee. Interview is not about asking questions but decoding the response.. 

To asses Abhijit has suggested Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) tool which measures normal personality on seven scales. We cannot master HPI but through examples and cases the scale becomes clear.

Last but not the least organization culture fit is most important factor need to consider while hiring leaders. The leader influences the culture sharply based on his individual values.

Conclusion is while hiring leader Don’t hire best which is visible from resume. Traditional resume- and interview- based hiring often does not account for the most important factor: personality. Abhijit underlines the difference between hiring the ‘right’ fit vis-à-vis hiring the ‘best’.

I personally loved this book. It is must read book for passionate recruiters!!!

Happy recruiting!!!!


  1. Thanks Aparna for your review. Posted the link on Twitter.

  2. hey aparna u may love to hear this one.......

    Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | Video on
    TED Talks Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?"