Plucking ‘stars’ doesn’t always work

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in Hiring,Human Resources

If you’re hoping to hire top talent, you’ve probably thought about recruiting one of a competitor’s brightest and the best: someone with proven skills and achievements. Maybe you should think again.

A recent study of more than 1,000 newly hired CEOs, software developers and other professionals finds that many top performers fizzle out quickly. Details:
  • After a star moves, his or her performance almost always sags and drags down the new group’s performance.
  • Most stars don’t stay with their new jobs very long, despite the high salaries they receive. If you get a year or two of service from them, you’re lucky.
Why don’t these highfliers yield better value?

“When the star leaves the old company for the new,” say the researchers, “he also leaves behind many of the resources that contributed to his achievements. He is unable to repeat his performance in another company; at least not until he learns to work the new system, which could take years.”

Instead, the researchers conclude, you should cultivate people from within the ranks, and then take pains to retain the talent you’ve developed.

— Adapted from “The Risky Business of Hiring Stars,” Boris Groysberg, Ashish Nanda, Nitin Nohria, Harvard Business Review.

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