Mayer fallout: Should CEOs micromanage hiring?
CEOs must lead by building a well-managed recruiting function that is closely monitored and measured
The answer depends on what state and stage the business is in
Most of the CEOs don’t have a hands-on approach to hiring. Instead, they prefer to either leave it to the HR or hire executives only after a certain level. When Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer said that she would be personally reviewing every single hire in the company, a lot of HR professionals were complaining that such micromanagement will actually hinder the internet giant’s road to recovery.
Now, the larger question that comes to the mind is whether CEOs should really review every new hire for their company and instead focus their energies on more pressing issues. Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page reportedly also personally review the resume and hire every new employee. Maybe Mayer’s Google experience rubbed off on her.
But does such a proposition make sense? If one is a CEO of a small start-up, then it makes sense for him to review every new hire. This is because the CEO will be working with these folks personally, so it’s important to make sure that they fit with his/her vision for the company. Having said so, there is a big difference between a company with 15 employees and a company with thousands of employees.
For an organisation with thousands of employees and a competent HR department, there is no reason for the CEO to be directly involved in the hiring process. Unless the hiring is for a strategic position, tinkering with a system would only raise eyebrows and keep more pressing issues that need urgent attention at bay. In essence, what many HR professionals argue is that if the system isn’t broken, then don’t fix it.
Another school of thought believes that many CEOs spend very little time on recruiting, tacitly relegating it to a tactical fire drill instead of a core component of the company’s strategic plan. This is a mistake because it encourages staffing over recruiting. It is argued that CEOs must lead by building a well-managed recruiting function that is closely monitored and measured. Those in support put forth the view that CEOs who set the bar on intake of talent, retention of talent are setting their organisations up for success. Some others believe that it is best to have one person interview all potential employees and set a high bar of consistency for the organisation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the CEO.
To interview or not to depends largely on the state the business is in and the strategic importance of the potential hire.