2The Second Principle of Effective Hiring—Set Your Bar High

If you want to make managing easier, make hiring better.

We believe that the most serious organizational weakness in modern organizations is hiring poorly. Companies and managers routinely hire far below the quality we could find, largely because we don’t set standards, we don’t train, we don’t have measured processes, and we don’t improve.

Our organizations have systems to test the quality of raw materials coming in to our plants. We reject anything that is even a little out of tolerance. We have nondestructive testing methods for inbound materials, and for our own manufacturing processes. We have financial standards for investing capital that are incredibly rigorous—and monstrously difficult to prepare for at times. We have rigid standards for expense reporting.

And then, for the most important decisions organizations make—who will work here—we have no formal, communicated standards. Managers are usually not required to go to training. There usually isn’t any approved interview training. If there is either of these, it’s under the auspices of Human Resources. It’s likely much more about legalities than effective decision making. Of course we need to know what questions not to ask. But that will only help us not be sued. It won’t help us make excellent hiring decisions. [If you’re young and at a company that provides good interviewing training, don’t make the mistake of assuming that that’s true everywhere. It’s ...

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