There are many sayings that recruiters and hiring managers use to justify hiring talent from the outside. One is “You can’t train IQ.” Another comes from professional sports: “You can’t coach height, speed, or strength.” And one of my favorites is “An ounce of selection is worth a pound of development.” These declarations make replacing poor performers seem easy and give the impression that external hires are the panacea to solving all performance problems.

In reality, it is not that simple. Even at the CEO level, when presumed success in a role would be relatively high, a Harvard Business Review article notes, “The Center for Creative Leadership estimates that two out of every five (or 40 percent) of CEOs fail ...

Get The Talent Manifesto: How Disrupting People Strategies Maximizes Business Results now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.