If you had the best technology, the best recruiting talent, best assessment science, great hiring managers who were visionaries, charismatic, and engaged, if you led the market in total compensation and had amazing perks, then hiring the greatest talent in the world is simple.
The formula is simple.
The hard part of hiring is doing it at scale when you don’t have all those advantages.
General Motors is playing catch up with Tesla. Is Tesla better than GM? Hard question to answer because Tesla is making a fraction of the cars per year that GM is making. It’s actually way easier to make an expensive low volume automobile than to make a million competitively priced automobiles per year. Tesla sells to a tiny fraction of the world, the elite of the elite. GM sells to the masses and provides automobiles that way more people can afford.
Building a hiring process for the masses is difficult.
You now bring in competition, and at that level, candidates have more choices, brands are harder to differentiate, etc. You now have to do “other” stuff to get candidates to accept your offer. Being the best, paying the most, having the best tools and products, and the best leaders make it super easy to hire the best.
So, what’s the use of even trying to hire great talent if we aren’t the best?
That’s the right question!
First, it’s easy to hire the greatest talent, but we f*ck it up constantly because we actually suck at knowing who the greatest talent is! We are actually exceptional at picking good talent that we really like. But we suck at actually knowing who’s the best and then hiring them.
This means, if you become exceptional at knowing who is the best, you can actually pick off some really great talent, because those with all the power, all the resources, get cocky. They don’t do all the work they could. Often they assume someone is the best, without really doing the work. There’s this weird corporate psychological thing that happens. Basically, the thought process is, “if I’m here, I must be great, so if I find someone who’s like me or better than me, they also must be great”.
The problem is, just because you work for an outlier brand has no correlation to the fact you’re great. You may be great, or you may have just won the job lottery.
So, what did we learn?
Hiring great talent is super easy. But, it’s also not.