Are you hiring for success or failure?

The difference between playing to succeed and playing not to fail is the mind shift that separates the successful from the failures.

Do you hire to succeed or not to fail?

You've probably seen it before when your favorite sports team comes back from a 20 or 30 point deficit to succeed the game. Or maybe the professional golfer who comes from several strokes behind to succeed on the last hole.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also fairly common. Here, the team that is 20 or 30 points ahead ends up losing the game. Now, many people attribute this to simply having a bad day or a good day, depending on which example you look at.

However, the real difference goes much deeper. In fact, it is deeply rooted in psychology. The difference between playing to succeed and playing not to fail is the mind shift that separates the successful from the failures.

Now, do you hire to succeed, or do you hire not to fail? Below we will explore this concept in more detail so you can decide if you want to gamble to succeed in your business.

Playing to win vs. Playing not to lose

Although playing to succeed and playing not to lose can have the same outcome, most of the time that is not the case. The difference between the two is the approach to challenges and demands. This approach can come into play in everything from business to life to sports.

Those who play to win have an upwardly mobile mindset. They see their goals as a way to succeed or move up, and they focus on the rewards they will receive when they achieve their goals.

Typically, these people feel comfortable taking risks, they like to work fast, dream big, and think creatively. Unfortunately, this mindset can have some drawbacks.

When these people take risks, work fast, and think positively, they are often more prone to making mistakes, are less likely to think things through, and are usually caught off guard when things go wrong. This may sound like a bad thing, but it's the price they're willing to pay, because for them, not taking risks is the worst thing they can do.

In contrast, those who play not to lose are focused on prevention. In other words, they see their goals as responsibilities, and they focus on staying safe and not making mistakes. Because of this, they often worry about what could go wrong if they don't work hard enough or take the necessary precautions.

As a result, they are more risk averse, but their work is often more thorough, accurate, and thoughtful. So for them, being successful means working slowly and meticulously while eliminating mistakes. This often means that these individuals have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, but they lack the creativity of many creative thinkers.

For those with a pre-emptive mindset, fear is their overwhelming emotion. In other words, the fear of failure is more powerful in their minds than success.

However, because they focus on avoiding the negative outcomes instead of focusing on achieving the positive outcomes, these thoughts are often destructive. The result is that they put the negative at the center of their thoughts. And here is the simple science that the thoughts that are most present in your mind are the most likely to occur.

So if you focus on not making a mistake, you will make the mistake that is most present in your mind. If you focus on moving forward, this will be your most prominent thought. Simply put, your actions will unconsciously follow your conscious thoughts. If you play not to fail, you will not succeed.

If you play not to fail, you will be afraid of making mistakes and play it safe. But if you play to succeed, you are willing to take risks to achieve your goals.

Hiring Not To Fail

Now it is time to equate the above with the hiring process. To begin, let's look at the traditional hiring process that takes place in most companies. Go ahead and see if this sounds familiar.

This hiring process often goes like this:

  1. The first step when your company is looking to fill a new position is to write a job description and post the job on online job boards. This in itself is time consuming, as there are literally thousands of job boards on the internet, so it takes time to find the right one for you. This step also often involves constantly refreshing or rewriting the job ad and reposting your ad.

  2. The next step is sorting through all the applications you receive. Statistically, more than half of the candidates who apply won't meet your minimum requirements, and many of them didn't even read the entire job posting. Now you probably want to interview 4 to 6 candidates and have more or less resumes to go through, depending on your requirements. In other words: If you have strict requirements, such as a degree and extensive work experience, you may have far fewer resumes to work through.

  3. Once you have the resumes sorted, start interviewing. Keep in mind that at this point, two months have already passed. The interviews themselves may take some time, as you will likely want your candidate to have conversations with HR, team members, and members of your leadership. So you'll need to schedule several interviews that work with everyone's schedules.

  4. Through all of these interviews, you may find a candidate who is a good fit. Remember, almost four months have now passed and you decide to move forward despite your concerns about the candidate because the position needs to be filled. You then send an offer letter and the candidate accepts.

  5. At this point, you've already spent over four months and more than $4,000 on your new hire, and he hasn't even started working yet. Now you need to train and onboard him, but the problem is that no one knows the job, so it's a challenge to do so. Your weak onboarding leads to a bumpy start, and by day five, your candidate is already unhappy and overwhelmed. Now is the time when you realize that your new employee may not be a good fit after all.

  6. Still, you keep them, but they stay in a position they’re not cut out for, dragging down the performance of the entire team. Ultimately, you've now spent up to 30% of your new hire's first-year earnings on a decision that turned out to be wrong.

This situation is all too familiar to most companies today, isn't it? If it's not the strict job requirements, it's an abundance of interviewing to make sure the candidate is perfect for the job. In other words, you were afraid of making a mistake and tried to eliminate risk, and you hired to not fail.

So you followed all the requirements, as strict as they may be, to make sure you found the right candidate. Yet you didn't, and all your time and effort went into a poor hiring decision.

Hiring to Success

It's easy to see that the hiring process described above is not optimal. So let's speed up the process a bit. This requires you to be more decisive in your hiring process. When you are more decisive, you not only improve the candidate experience, but you also improve your response rates, get higher acceptance rates, and get better talent faster.

In fact, a longer decision period results in 16% fewer candidates accepting an offer. Similarly, decisive hiring managers hire 10% more high-quality candidates and 11% fewer low-quality candidates compared to typical hiring managers.

Don't forget that you'll save money and the time of your hiring managers and HR if you significantly speed up the process.

Now, what happens when you speed up the process. Simply put, you add some variance back into the system, and you may end up with just the unique talent that can accelerate your team and your company's success. So it's about seizing opportunities and therefore hiring to succeed.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to hiring, the traditional hiring process with all its requirements and stages follows the mindset of not losing. It aims to eliminate all risk from the system. However, in the process, you may also eliminate some of the best talent.

Simply put, you should hire to succeed instead.

To learn more about how you can speed up your hiring process or how we can help you with a new way to hire, visit and check out Trial-Hire by Hussle or contact us for more details.


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