The Right people are more important than The Right Strategy

Jack Welch the retired ex-CEO of General Electric (GE) said, “getting the right people in the right jobs is a lot more important than developing a strategy”. He may well be right, and I would suggest that finding the right talent and developing their full potential should actually be a key part of your overall business strategy. Recruiting new talent is likely to be a €1m investment decision. It is not to be taken lightly and requires a robust process. You should approach it like any other business investment decision and seek to minimise poor decision-making and eliminate as much risk as possible from the outcome. If you are investing a €1m+ over an average career tenure, you need to be sure you are making a good investment and will see a good return on your investment. So how can you increase the likelihood of success? By following a disciplined step by step focussed recruitment & selection process. Best practice will utilise most or all of the following stages, typically in this order;

The hiring process stages

Role Justification (title/level/salary/role summary/why now needed/consequences of not hiring). Normally completed by the hiring manager and passed up the Organisation for approval.

Job Description (fulltime/part-time/permanent/temporary/contract/detail role duties & responsibilities/reporting lines). Hiring manager normally develops this.

Person Specification (education/experience/competencies). Responsibility of the hiring manager to complete with the job description, both used to create job adverts.

Role advertising (recruitment agencies/social media/radio/newspapers/trade journals/employee referrals/company website/career open days)

Selection Process (screening/interviewing/testing/competency profiling/assessment centres/personality traits insights)

Interviewing (competency/motivational fit/behavioural based questioning techniques)

Candidate Vetting (reference checks/pre-employment medical/drug screening/qualification verification/permit validating)

Job Offer Process

New employee on-boarding Process

Induction Training

Probationary Period Management


Quite a detailed process and often time consuming, which doesn’t help in the current skill gap shortage economies we work in. However take shortcuts at your peril. As someone once said, “if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur”.