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3 Most Dangerous People In Staffing

Beware of any Cinderella Managers, Unicorn Hires and Aging Rockstars.

While winning and retaining customers is regarded as top priority for most companies, many describe recruitment as their most difficult challenge. The ability to attract and retain talent into key roles, determines the success or failure of most of key initiatives.

However expensive talent acquisition seems, it is less costly than the consequences of poor hiring. Leaving key roles empty or not being able to retain talent causes a continuous cycle of organisation misery and cultural crisis. Maybe your firm is the lucky one, the smart firm that has a powerful talent acquisition strategy? But too many others experience poor hiring results thanks to their Cinderella Managers, Ageing Rock Stars or because they still chase Unicorns. 


Cinderella line managers fear making a decision or falling foul of organisation politics. They keep roles unfilled way past midnight often at the expense of other employees who are left to carry the workload. No amount of candidates will address the ever increasing range of needs and concerns, the shoe just never fits. 

Everyone wants to avoid making expensive mistakes, but the damage to your employer brand from such indecisiveness is real. Hiring becomes more challenging as frustrated candidates share their experiences. Address this by ensuring staffing processes have clear timescales, defined metrics, commitment and allocated responsibility to ensure hiring managers stay on point.


Organisations that chase Unicorns, seek the perfect candidate. However, the perfect candidate does not exist. They apply more and more resources to seek out what cannot be found. The search for a Unicorn often arises from poor hiring needs analysis, unrealistic strategy or under investment in a role. The cost of the position being empty is rarely considered. 

The reason Unicorns do not exist is that top talent will not move to a role that they can already deliver. High performers want a new position to stretch them, so offer something new to learn, a new challenge and something that builds their skill portfolio. Work out your must-haves versus your nice-to-haves. Prioritise the essentials, create a development plan for other issues, hire for potential not just experience.

Ageing Rock Stars

While Baby Boomers started retiring some years ago, some still hold senior positions and have final say on recruitment. Their expertise makes them valuable to firms, however, too few of them possess the intergenerational flexibility to work with and understand the motives of later generations. 

They misread the desire of younger employees to work smarter as not wanting to work hard. They see desire for connected relationships with line managers as not having respect for authority. These newer employees are put off at interview if they sense an Ageing Rock Star and will not stay long if they end up reporting to one.

Ask your younger employees to give feedback on the experience of working with your organisation. If such a manager exists, share the feedback. Coach this key manager away from these perspectives.

Research by The Boston Consulting Group placed recruitment as having the highest impact on revenue and margins. Many firms fail to recognise the revenue loss from underinvestment in recruiting functions. If people really do matter to your firm, place a highly capable executive across all mid to senior hiring processes, to ask the right questions, move processes along and to demand faster decision making.