A recently published article in the October 1999 issue of Management
Review entitled "Sorry, Wrong Executive" describes the
consequences of hiring the wrong external candidate for a high-level
executive position. The article, written by Jenny C. McCune, presents
evidence of recently increasing disconnects "between the
recruitment goals of companies and the senior executives they eventually
According to the article -
"Forty percent of people who are promoted or recruited into
high-level jobs fail within 18 months." (Manchester Inc.)
"The washout rate for senior executives hired from the outside
is higher due to a lack of familiarity with cultural mores and the way
things get done." (Ray
Harrison, Manchester Inc.)
"The average one-year estimated replacement cost was $750,000,
which included finding a replacement, training and developing the
person, and getting the new hire up to speed" excluding
costly severance packages. (Survey of 100 managers and executives
regarding replacement costs by Development Dimensions International.)
Mismatches frequently occur as a result of:
- "The clash between the new hireís old culture and the
culture of his new company." (Sharon Jordan Evans,
Jordan Evans Group)
- Politics! "What typically happens is that the person
doesnít have the social network to really get into power."
(John Slocum, management professor, Southern Methodist University in
- Large-company executives joining start-ups! "New
companies desperately need experienced executives to succeed, but
sometimes these large fish donít thrive in a small pond."
(Seth Harris, Christian & Timbers)
WHAT TO DO?
The article encourages companies to consider a number of
precautions to decrease the likelihood of a mismatch, such as:
- Doing "a better job of analyzing the competencies
required - the skills, knowledge, and behaviors necessary for a
person to successfully carry out a job - and then measure candidates
- Offering "competency testing to ensure that candidates
can handle the new job."
- Providing "mentoring or coaching arrangements to ensure the
success of the new hires and nip cultural incompatibilities in the
Finally "companies need to figure out what they really
need in a high-ranking executive and then spend time determining whether
a candidate has the right stuff."
WHO CAN HELP?
The Professionals at Vernon Roche Hodgson!
Effective selection depends on the ability to maximize the
"fit" between a candidateís competencies and the strategic
needs of the business.
Vernon Roche Hodgson (VRH), specialists in employee assessment,
executive selection, and professional coaching, identifies the abilities
that influence how an individual will behave and fit within a new
organization. Using a combination of tests, interviews, and screenings,
VRH provides additional insights on the match between an individualís
skills and experiences, and the requirements of the position.
Considering the long-term return-on-investment generated by hiring the
right individual versus the cost and headaches associated with a poor
hiring decision - isnít it worth having the most complete selection
VRH offers over 60 years of management and human resource consulting
experience so that individuals are better equipped to manage their
businesses and their careers.
"Let us put our 60 years of experience to work for you and your