While interviewing Mark Kurtz for a programming position, Debra Tobin, the head of HR had a smile on her face. The moment that she saw Mark’s resume, she knew that Mark was the high potential talent that Johnson & Company had been searching for to solidify the team. Mark was a recent Stanford graduate with a long list of impressive projects, including working with Oracle on a special integration project with the Malaysian government. Two days after the interview, Mark received an offer letter, and he started work the following week. One month later Mark handed in his resignation.
During his one month at Johnson & Company, Mark reported to Liam Watts, who was the CTO. Liam was very different from Mark, he grew up in Brooklyn, barely made it through college, and worked his way up into the management position over the last 16 years. Liam was risk averse, and his strategies were conservative.
As you might have guessed already, Mark’s short lived career at Johnson & Company was due to a clash of personalities and philosophies. That said, the biggest loser was Johnson & Company who is now in search of a replacement. The wrong hire cost the company a total of 53 hours ($60/hr - the interviewers' time) in interview time to fill the position, 12 hours ($45/hr - the line managers' time) in orientation time, $2,500 in relocation cost, and $12,000 in compensation expenses. This brings the total to approximately $18,220.
A repeat of this expensive experience can be avoided by analyzing the recent mishap. The key component to understand during hiring is that Johnson & Company is reliant on Liam’s ability to deliver effectively. Mark was overly ambitious in the eyes of Liam, and did not respect Liam’s authority and tenure and hence decided to move.
Before making the next hire, Debra and her HR department should take team dynamics into account. Liam, the leader of the pack, needs to be provided talent whose personality will complement Liam’s personality, or else productivity will become a victim of egos and emotions.
Further investigation into Liam’s personality indicates that he is a perfectionist, overprotective toward his work, and skeptical to any radical approach. Liam’s tenure gives credence to his long term vision for his division, however his personality also runs the risk of overlooking an alternative strategy.
The personality type that would work best with Liam is someone who has:
1. Commitment towards work
2. Outstanding research skills
3. Excellent monitoring capabilities
4. Social perceptiveness
Let us investigate how these traits would play into team dynamics and enhance productivity:
1. Having commitment towards work will put the new hire in line with Liam perfectionist work ethic.
2. Having outstanding research skills will position the new hire to stay abreast to changing trends and educate Liam.
3. Having a monitoring personality will allow the new hire to pick up on any problem areas in the current vision point them out to Liam
4. Having social perceptive behavior will allow the new hire to approach a situation effectively, thereby adding value to Liam’s decision making ability.