The Business Coach with Laura Murphy: Who do I recruit?

Question: “We’ve gone through a recruitment process and it’s down to two people. They equally fit all the criteria but one has admitted to needing to be motivated to be a high performer, the other to being reliable and consistent but average. How can I choose?” Andrew

Answer: “Both styles of working have their pros and cons so the simplest answer is to go back to why you were recruiting in the first place. What need were you addressing?

Whether it was to replace someone, or recruiting to a new position then you should have determined whether you were looking for more of the same, or someone who could bring a different type of energy. The high performer is great if you’re looking for someone who can generate income quickly for example. The downside of course is that you will have to continually keep motivating them otherwise you’re going to get some serious peaks and troughs. The other will do well if you’re seeking to provide some stability in a fractious team, consolidate your market position, or perhaps invest in long-term research. They equally have their downside and can be seen as annoying and frustrating for those who don’t match the style.

So what is it that’s preventing you from making a decision? You’ve recruited before so you know how it works. I suspect it’s because you haven’t got a clear picture of your own strategy for the team or for the company and consequently the type of person you need to fill the vacancy.

Go back to basics, analyse the direction you want to take the company, the outcomes you want from the team, the skills and personality traits required and then your choice will be clearer. Of course, by doing this you may find a third choice: not to appoint at all.”

Laura is an organisation development specialist and executive coach with mtc2 ltd.  To solve your problem email Twitter @WayfinderWoman Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.