Hiring the Best Candidate? Or ONE of the best candidates?
Hiring is tough, which we all know--especially if you happen to be in a competitive labor market for talent, where wages and demands are high, demand far outstrips supply, and candidates regularly juggle multiple offers before taking the best one (sometimes after they've accepted yours!).
Here's the issue--as CMO's we're tasked with doing a million things at once to keep all the balls in the air and achieve a better brand, sales, customer satisfaction, and everything in between. To do that you need not only great systems and processes, but great talent as well. So that means you should only hire the "A" players, right?
After all, as the saying goes, "A players hire other A players, while B players hire C players." And no one wants a C player.
But what if you can't find that A player? Or what if the A player doesn't choose you but chooses someone else? Do you keep looking? Or go with the best option?
I won't tell you "it depends." That's a copout. What I will say is that it takes all types of roles and personalities to build a great team. I've talked in the past about investing in a great 2nd in command, a "COO" to help you start building your organization--they need to be an A player. But you'll never have an entire team of A's--you just won't. And even if you do, chances are you'll be miserable and it won't work. Too many ego's, needs, alpha-dogs in the room to get things done.
So if the A player isn't presenting themselves, see if you can afford to fill the role now with a strong but not over-the-top player and shift your focus to filling in a rockstar role elsewhere on the team. Because here's the thing--time is of the essence, and clock is ticking. And if you can find a coachable, hungry, humble, and smart person who is a great cultural fit, then they're an asset to you. Pile up assets. You can figure out how to upscale the role later on and get that A player if needed. But for now, take the B and move on. You have too much to do and the time you'll waste is not worth it.
Walk fast, as they say.