Bad hires are an expensive mistake. Great candidates not hired are an even greater opportunity cost.

Hiring is hard. I know of only one constant with hiring: No matter how experienced or how good you think your hiring process is, you will pass up candidates that would have been strong contributors.

This is my son Hudson. Last season he tried out for his high school football (soccer) team. He's a stellar striker but he's always been short for his age and often coaches make poor assumptions. Hudson didn't make the cut.

Coincidentally the coach who cut him from tryouts is also a ref. Hudson plays in a club league too and a few weeks after tryouts this coach refs Hudson's match. "Wow," the coach says to me after the game, "I made the wrong decision."

New season, new coach on staff, Hudson tries out again and makes the team. He finishes the season as the team's leading scorer and they brought home the championship trophy just a few weeks ago.

Yes a bad hire is an expensive mistake. But a great candidate not hired can be an incredibly expensive opportunity cost. I've done my fair share of this in business.

A few tips to increase your success:

🌍 A diverse pipeline and inclusive hiring process are critical. DEI lies at the crux of not passing up great candidates.

💪 Your hiring process must be thorough and objective—peer interviews, unbiased score cards, prebrief & debrief, etc—but it also must grant an override to the hiring manager. A good litmus: Is the hiring manager empowered to say yes when the interview panel is a no?

💥 Be comfortable with some degree of risk. Remember, you're hiring people with the equivalent of tryout scrimmages. Past experience and demonstrable success aren't the end-all predictor of future performance in a new role and company.

 🌱 Hiring is hard. You'll still get it wrong. The best hiring processes are living ones that evolve in an effort to get it wrong less often.