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Hiring “Second Best” never creates successful organizations

Two stories that recently appeared in Canadian newspapers have important and potentially negative implications for anyone looking to hire new employees. How those responsible for staff selection respond to these reports will determine whether they are bad news for their organizations.

A survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) of 11,000 of its members found that smaller businesses are suffering from a shortage of more than 250,000 workers. According to a report in the Edmonton Journal on April 25, 2002, 80 per cent of these jobs had been unfilled for four months or longer. These jobs represent a vacancy rate of 4.5 per cent.
A few days later, on May 11, the Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian economy had created over 200,000 new jobs during the first four months of 2002.

These are good news stories for job seekers, but frightening for those who are hiring. A difficult task has just become harder. As the pool of potential employees shrinks, employers worry that no one will apply. Positions may remain vacant.

Faced with this prospect, employers may begin to look at candidates they would not have considered previously. Employers must be cautious about lowering their hiring standards.
People who would not have met their high standards in the past still lack the knowledge, skills and attitudes that make the organization successful. They will still be unproductive, provide poor customer service, and require more supervision.
Certainly, there is short-term pain associated with positions that remain vacant. The pressure is there to fill the position now, rather than taking time to recruit the right person. Before giving in to this temptation, employers must recognize that the marginal performer hired in haste may be with them for a long time. We are talking about long-term pain to avoid short-term pain.

During his Interview Right to Hire Right seminar, Nelson Scott encourages participants to invest time when hiring to avoid wasting time later supervising marginal performers.


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© Nelson Scott.  All rights reserved.

A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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