Good is the Enemy of Great

03/02/2017  

This is one of the mantras at we talk about here at LinuxRecruit (who doesn't love a motivating slogan) and it's one we use to continuously improve everything we do. Why settle for good when you can be great?

It's also one that I always try to encourage all our partners to consider. Why hire someone who is good when you can hire someone who is great? There is never a need to compromise, no matter what the circumstances. Desperation to deliver is no reason to make a hiring mistake.

This doesn't mean I'm suggesting that a great person needs to tick every single box (quite the opposite!), but rather that you need to take the time to understand what your interpretation of great is before you can hire against it. Not everyone needs a super duper Kubernetes Ninja to join their team if they're going to be paying a premium for skills that may not actually be utilised.

One man's rubbish is another man’s treasure, and this is why we passionately believe there is no such thing as a 'bad' or 'good' candidate, just suitable or unsuitable. 

You need to make sure you have good situational awareness so that you are able to define exactly what it is you require. What is the gap you're looking to plug? What skillset is lacking in your team right now? What technical expertise is essential, what tools do we need someone to be able to work with right now? How easy is it to train the right person in these areas? Take a step back and think about what is great for you - maybe your great is more achievable than you think. The great candidate may well be right underneath your nose.

Do you need someone doing the exact same job at a competitor? People are absolutely obsessed with this as a hiring strategy. It's like a football club paying £50million for a world class central midfielder, when in fact, if they gave a less experienced player the right training, tools and exposure, they could pay a fraction of the price and make more of an all round improvement to the team.

If you're asking someone to move sideways and come to you to do the same role as they were before, you also need to consider that someone who knows the job inside out before they even start is unlikely to stay doing it for long before they are tempted away. A great candidate might be someone who has the right mindset, and with a little guidance and training will not only improve your platform but make it great too.

Don't drop the hiring bar, but hire character over skill, ability over the latest buzzword and open your mind to what great actually looks like for your team. I've no doubt you'll open up a whole new pool of exceptional candidates.