Book Review: Don't Hire The Best by Abhijit Bhaduri
The book questions the idea of hiring star performers or what we call "The Best" based on academic qualifications and experience
All organizations accept that getting the right people for a role is critical to the business. Even the most impeccable and foresighted strategy would fail if we do not have the right people to implement it. Yet, hiring is a subjective process and most of the hiring decisions are made on the basis of past success, education, experience and it invariably is biased towards hiring the people who hold a certain degree or have worked with certain organizations. In his book, Abhijit Bhaduri, Chief Learning Officer, Wipro Group, questions the idea of hiring star performers or what we call ‘The Best’ based on academic qualifications and experience, and also the subjectivity of the process. Instead, he states that ‘hiring the right fit’ is a positive differentiator and real predictor of success.
In the first few chapters, he details the traits, which can be developed and the ones that need to be assessed. He highlights the competencies and personality factors, which make a positive difference, and the ones which could be ‘derailers’. Abhijit makes a rather staid management subject look interesting with illustrations and case studies. He draws an interesting analogy of wearing inappropriate attire to a function or wearing an ill-fitting shirt, to emphasize the importance of role-person-culture fit.
The following chapters focus on the ‘hows’ of recruitment. The author advocates the use of tools such as DDI to create a success profile for each role, and Hogan personality assessments to identify the personality traits, which make people, succeed in a certain role and the ones that lead to failure. The tools, if used wisely can help organizations save immense amount of time and money by hiring the right fit.
To complete the jigsaw, the author discusses the importance of aligning values of the incumbent with the organizational values and culture and also gives examples of the pitfalls if the same is not done. He outlines various organizational cultures and the driving factors in those organizations. Very interestingly, he gives an example of Motives, Values and Preference Inventory (MVPI) to measure the culture of an organization on a ten point scale and using the same scale to measure the culture and values of the incumbent to check for alignment.
He summarizes the hiring approach defined through the book into five action steps. Although the book primarily focuses on hiring leaders, the processes discussed can be easily applied to all other levels in any organization and is a comprehensive guide to the complete recruitment process. Don’t Hire The Best is not only a great read for all hiring managers, but also for aspiring leaders and people who want to take up a new job.