skip to Main Content
Hiring Vs Recruiting?

Hiring Vs Recruiting?

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 153).

Do you hire or recruit? 

This is an important question because the riskiest activity any firm undertakes is employing people. I say this with feeling after more than 20 years of employing people.

The consequences of failing to employ the right person, particularly in a professional services firm, are immense. A bad hire can lead to:

  • Low productivity.
  • Staff and clients becoming angry and leaving.
  • Poor work leading to PI insurance claims.

Recent research on LinkedIn reports where traditional interviews fail:

  • 63% fail to assess candidates soft skills.
  • 57% fail to understand candidates weaknesses.
  • 42% of interviews suffer from interviewer bias.

In my experience, all industries have universal issues:

  • Shortage of motivated, good people.
  • Uneven skills, qualifications and quality.
  • Lack of discipline leading to uneven customer/client  experience.

Why do some firms thrive and some fail? The answer is the difference between hiring and recruiting which is ultimately about leadership. 

All hiring decisions, good or bad are 100% the responsibility of the management and this is where the issues reside. In my experience good leaders “recruit” and poor leaders “hire”. 

Hiring Vs Recruiting 

Hiring is more of a “Hunger Games” thing. Hiring seems to have an assumption of multiple people clambering for the job and you might offer a lucky person a break and employ them. Leaders and managers who hire like this are imperial and entitled, they are takers and in my experience ultimately fail then blame others for their poor hiring decisions. 

Recruiting requires identifying then persuading the right person to join with you as a peer and team member to serve a higher cause or solve a problem. A leader can recruit someone who is more skilled and experienced i.e. better than them. A leader can motivate people to serve the firms purpose and produce their best work. 

How to Recruit

  • Identify 3 viable candidates i.e. 3 good options.
  • Recruiting means identifying successful, skilled people with options i.e. “A players”, then being able to persuade them to join your team.
  • Look for evidence of great work and being extraordinary.
  • Do not use your influence to get people you like or family members hired, this a form of corruption and lowers the value of the job offer and firm.
  • Hire on based core values.
  • Give soft skills a 50% importance weighting. Great technical skills and low soft skills leads to disaster IMHO.
  • Conduct evidence based interviews i.e. what have they done, not what do they think they can do. 
  • Resist the urge to recruit in your own image, seek multiple input into the final decision. 

IMHO, good interviewers, managers and leaders never use the word “my” e.g. “my team”, “my project”, “my project manager”. Instead, they use plurals in their natural day to day language e.g. “our team”, “our project manager”, “our firm”. They talk about being in service of the project and client. Good leaders check their egos and this is evident in the day to day language they use. Listening to “unfiltered language” from leaders tells you everything you need to know about their world view. 

Who Attracts the Best Recruits?

  • Firms with non-linear results.
  • Firms that innovate.
  • Firms that recruit well, A players only want to work with other A players. A players avoid mediocrity. 
  • Firms where people have fun while doing great work. 

Firms that recruit win, IMHO.

A group of people i.e a firm, does not necessarily make a great team. Well recruited teams have members with complimentary skills and generate synergy via a coordinated effort which allows each member to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Good leaders recruit and run teams that produce exceptional results. Good leaders are humble enough to realize early if they have made a poor recruitment decision and make the necessary corrections. 

Weak decision making i.e. failing to recognize when the wrong person has been employed can put the whole firm at risk if a major client is let down and upset. From a risk management perspective, always IMHO, be slow to recruit and quick to fire when you recognize the person is not the right fit. 

Do you hire or recruit? 

Twitter: @BLDWhisperer

Related Posts:

#125 – Paying For Talent ( )

#108 – Qualifications Vs Experience Plus 8 Things Students Should Know ( )

#107 – CxM Talent Stack – The 1% ( )

Edifice Complex Podcast


Podcast on YouTube:

Podcast on Facebook:





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top