The old saying that an organization’s most important asset is its people happens to be true. While at any given minute, technology, or a product line, or real estate, etc. may represent a critical asset to an organization, over time, the people that comprise the business are truly the most important component. Unfortunately, being the most important asset doesn’t make it the best asset. Sometimes, people can get in the way of success.
As a leader, your success is directly tied to the quality of the people that support you. No matter how skilled or dedicated or intelligent you are, the work of those around you will profoundly influence your achievements. Their motivation, their commitment, their professionalism, their loyalty, etc. represent a collective force, for good or bad, that far exceeds that of a single manager. As such, one of the most important things you can do is to hire well. The fact is that not all employees are created equal. Some are more productive, more honest, more competent than others.
When it comes to “non-trainable” traits such as integrity, dependability etc., the difference between making great hires and poor hires just might be your own future! So take the time to make the effort to do it right. Sell the opportunity, not the job description. And waiting a little for the right person will provide a much better pay off than hiring the wrong person quickly, even if that comes at a greater cost (compensation, vacation time, work schedule, commuting, etc.) than you’d prefer.
Over my many years of hiring senior managers one key thing I’ve learned is that, within reason, the terms of employment only matter if the person you hire doesn’t work out. In other words, senior managers/leaders are expected to deliver many multiples of their cost in value returned to the organization. Settling on a less competent or enthusiastic or capable person to save a few bucks in compensation or to avoid a delayed relocation, etc. on the front end is ill-advised because if the person doesn’t deliver many times their compensation in value, it was an ineffective hire to begin with!