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‘No Hire – He’s Overqualified’!

There are times in business when ‘no’ ultimately means ‘yes’. More times than one might imagine, in fact. Particularly when it comes to hiring people who don’t tick all the boxes on the job spec.

The job spec itself requires a case study all on its own. But, to summarise, these documents are frequently outdated, are often formulated without taking account of the vision and direction of where the organisation or business unit is heading NOW and, therefore, cannot always be relied on as an accurate benchmark for selecting talented leaders.

Which is what happened when we introduced a top notch Marketing Director to a multinational FMCG company, who had been looking to fill this role for months.

‘We’re just not finding great people’, we had been told.

So we did our thing, found a great person, and introduced him to the hiring team.

‘No’, they said. ‘He’s overqualified and earning too much’, we were told.

Fortunately, the Jack Hammer consultant was not particularly good at doing as she was told. And so she pushed harder to have the hiring team meet with the Marketing Director. She knew he was top quality, and she was convinced that once they met with him, they’d know it too.

And, she was right.

The interview took place. Then another, and another. (And a whole lot more – the interview process took seven months to conclude, and took place in several countries all over the world).

The Marketing Director was eventually appointed.

One year later, he was promoted to Managing Director: SA.

No need to elaborate on the moral of this particular story.

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