Delusional Hiring Practices

Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Strategic Advisor | Consultant | ExecutiveCoach | Public Speaker | Talent Maximizer®

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I don’t know about you, but I’m growing tired of hearing leaders complain that they can’t fill jobs. When asked, they can come up with a dozen reasons why this is so. Are you guilty of this as well?

Imagine a VP of sales telling her CEO that she is unable to bring in deals. Do you think she’d be told, “That’s okay; everyone else is having a tough time selling.” No, of course not! Yet, CEOs keep giving their teams a pass when it comes to unfilled jobs. And to make matters worse, they are looking the other way when a particular executive has a higher turnover than most.

Too many organizations are delusional when it comes to their hiring practices. They have a system in place and continue to use it, regardless of the dismal results. This is nuts!

Here are some of the more common delusional hiring practices that I see.

If you build it, they will come. Let’s say you’ve created this great company. You pay people a fair wage, and you’ve got the standard cool perks that have become commonplace these days. Your feeling is that people would be crazy not to work for your firm. You post your jobs online, and what happens next? Nothing–Absolutely nothing. Okay, I’m exaggerating here. You get a few resumes from people who are responding to every post they see.

You tell a friend about your situation, and he assures you the same thing is happening to him. You both blame the low rate of unemployment in your area because let’s admit it; it’s easier to place blame than it is to find the cause.

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Offering additional crazy perks. Have you noticed that perks are getting even more insane as the labor market tightens? I’m here to tell you that all the free beer in the world won’t make employees delusional enough to stay and work for a crappy manager. Don’t believe me?

Have a third-party reach out to employees who have recently left your firm and ask them why they choose to leave. (Do this even if they’ve gone through exit interviews, as it’s my experience that people are less than truthful on their way out the door.) Listen carefully to the feedback you receive and be prepared to take action.

Relying on HR to fill jobs. By now, you’d think most companies would have figured out that if HR could fill these jobs, they would have done so already. They can’t.

You need to turn your entire team into a hiring machine. I know this works because I’ve done this with other organizations. Do this today.

We’re already spending a ton of money on recruiting and can’t afford to spend more. I’m not suggesting you pay more money. What I am recommending is that you blow up your current approach and invest your resources more wisely.

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We’re doing the best we can with the limited resources we have. Here’s the thing. There are lots of things you can do to improve your hiring practices that don’t require additional capital. The first step is to be open to change.

We need buy-in from everyone before hiring. Every step you add to the hiring process will slow things down. In today’s tight labor market, speed trumps perfection time and time again. Look at your hiring process with an eye towards dramatically reducing the time it takes to make a job offer. Begin by making a list of everyone currently involved in the hiring process. Draw a line through the middle of this list. The people under the line should be immediately relieved of their hiring responsibilities.

And for those of you who are serious about staffing your organizations, I invite you to consider my special offer.

Special Offer: I’m offering the first five executives who qualify, the opportunity to have me facilitate a conversation with your executive team on how to create a solar system of talent. We’ll do this in person or virtually. I’m offering this to you for free…no strings attached. Reach out to me at so we can explore if we’re the right fit for one another.

© 2019, Matuson Consulting.


Roberta Matuson, The Talent Maximizer® and President of Matuson Consulting, helps world-class organizations like General Motors, New Balance, and Microsoft achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

She’s the author of four books, including, Suddenly in Charge and The Magnetic Leader: How Irresistible Leaders Attract Employees, Customers and Profits. Her new book, Evergreen Talent will be released in the January of 2020. Sign up to receive her free newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®. Follow her on Twitter.

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