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Employers are Hiring Good Candidates, not Good Employees

Robert Cameron examines the question “Do you want to select top candidates or top employees?” The answer would seem obvious but a surprising number of manager’s perform very poorly in this critical task.

Peter Drucker, one of America’s leading management gurus has examined this and says, “Executives spend more time on managing people and people decisions than on anything else, and they should. No other decisions are so long-lasting in their consequences or so difficult to unmake and yet, by and large, executives make poor promotion and staffing decisions. By all accounts, their batting average is no better than .333. At most one-third of such decisions turn out right; one-third are minimally effective and one-third are outright failures. In no other area of management would we put up with such miserable performance.”

Hiring expert, Cameron, reports “I see the pattern of poor hiring far more than what would seem logical. In fact I am frequently flabbergasted by the poor hiring practices I have observed.” He found some interesting facts that can cause this behavior. Research suggests the answer may be a missed point of focus. We are trying to find and hire top candidates rather than top employees. They are not the same.

In conversations with recruiters and employers across Canada, Tom Brennan compiled this list of the characteristics of top candidates and top employees:

Top candidates characteristics
• Good Résumé
• Good Skills
• On time for interview
• Prepared for interview
• Good communicator
• Enthusiastic
• Great first impression
• Aggressive jobseeker
• Interested in you
• Interested in company
• Good follow up

Top employees characteristics
• Highly motivated to work
• Competent
• Do More than required
• Do not make excuses
• Anticipate problems
• Solve problems
• Take initiative
• Learn quickly
• Committed
• Focused
• Consistent
• Poised and confident
• Strong team player

Clearly the criteria of a top candidate are different from a top employee. While both lists are critical, an employer needs an objective tool to bridge the gap and provide information to select the best employee. That tool is a validated pre employment employee assessment, modeled off their top performers. This will help you hire the best employees who fit the job as compared to hiring the best candidates.

For more information on this critical business issue and the employee assessments to handle it, contact Robert A. Cameron & Associates, Weston FL. Mr. Cameron works with employers to help them increase the effectiveness of their employee selection, hiring and development, and improve their company’s productivity and profitability. They can be reached at 954-385-8701 or visit their website at