The biggest problem managers have in hiring people is that they believe they are a good judge of people. Peter Drucker said, “To be a judge of people is not a power given to mere mortals”.
The best we can do is to have a thorough diagnostic process. Candidates must be rigorously researched and tested. People should always be hired based on what they can do.
George C. Marshall had 5 steps for hiring people:
1. Marshall carefully thought through the “assignment”. What objective was this person being asked to achieve? Job descriptions last a long time but assignments change frequently.
2. Marshall always considered 3-5 qualified candidates. Then asked the question, “Does this assignment fit this person?”
3. Marshall studied the performance records of the 3-5 candidates and paid particular attention to the results they achieved, and how they were achieved. It is often the “how” that reveals their strengths.
4. Marshall always discussed their performance with former bosses and colleagues.
5. When the decision was made, Marshall made sure the new hire understood the “assignment”. The best way to that is by asking them to explain their strategy as to how they are going to be successful at the job. Then he closely monitored them for 90 days to see if their strategy was working.