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Rodrigo’s topic for the month was “Failed again with hiring Operations Manager”; priority “A”.

“Haven’t we had this issue before?” asked veteran Inner Circle member Sarah. 

Turns out we had. 

A year earlier Rodrigo’s long-time Operations Manager retired.  At the time he didn’t ask for any particular advice other than what job posting platforms people were using.  A month later he reported that he was excited about his new hire, who was now on board.  The following month he reported that the honeymoon was over, but he was still positive.  Though the new hire’s halo was not as bright, Rodrigo wasn’t worried.  Over the next two months, things deteriorated rapidly.. After three months Rodrigo was convinced he’d made a hiring mistake … the group empathized. Who hasn’t made a hiring mistake? (See last month’s issue: too slow to fire 😣)

This process repeated itself again over the next six months with new hire #2.  In the next session, Rodrigo’s frustration was evident.  This time he asked for more than the best platforms for job posting – he was now looking for advice on best practices when it came to hiring. 

Rodrigo had been using the typical interview-only hiring process. Jim commented, “I read a report that using the typical hiring process results in only a 14% success rate!”  But before the group went down that path, wise Lisa asked: “So what specific expectations was hire #2 unable to meet?  What were your first three month’s expectations, and which ones did hire #2 not meet?” Lisa had obviously been down this road before!

Rodrigo was a little puzzled.  “I had a detailed two-page job description that I posted.  I went through the list of responsibilities with each candidate, and this person checked the majority of the boxes.” 

As a follow up, Lisa asked, “Which of the items on the list accounted for 80% of the needs of your organization, and which were generic operational manager responsibilities that were rare or not important in your company?  Of the 30+ items on the list, did your new hire know which you considered the top 5?  And did you have specific metrics for each of these 5?”  Rodrigo was beginning to realize why we called her “wise” Lisa. 

He acknowledged that his HR department required a job description in order to post the job and he thought that was enough.  The group was intently engaged as Lisa pointed out that job descriptions were great for listing all the tasks that a job might entail and assessing the breadth of experience that a candidate might have, but you need a much shorter list customized to your situation.  “The interview process needs to put focus on that shorter list and then use it to manage the new hire, Lisa continued, There needs to be specific metrics for the first three months as well as metrics for after that.”

The hiring process suddenly seemed A LOT more complicated to Rodrigo.  “I don’t have time to develop all these metrics,” he complained.  “I need to get the job filled quickly!”  Jim jumped back in: “Too fast to hire; too slow to fire!”

Rodrigo did not want to repeat his failure again. He most-assuredly wanted better than a 14% hiring success rate! He was 0 for 2 so far!

Wise Don, the group’s expert facilitator, (He’s certain the group calls him that 😉) offered: “Rodrigo, I have a template that will help you.  I’ll share the template with you and walk you through how to get it filled out.  Once we complete that, we can get into best practices for the interview / screening process.”

After listening to all of this, Troy jumped in: “One word of warning, Rodrigo.  I use Don’s template for all my direct reports – the department managers.  It really streamlined the management overhead.  However, it wasn’t long till they wanted to know MY OWN top responsibilities and metrics.  So just be aware of the path you’re headed down.” Wink.

Rodrigo’s action item was to get the template completed for the Operations Manager position before the next session

Tune in next month to listen in on the follow-on discussion about optimizing the screening / selection process.

Actual names, companies and specifics of the situation are intentionally not included to protect the confidentiality of our members.

If you would like a copy of Don’s Performance Clarity Template and his 8-Step process to getting it completed, click here.


If you’ve ever faced a situation like this, found yourself feeling a bit lonely at the top and/or wanting to get feedback/confirmation from trusted colleagues, yet had no inner circle of trusted confidantes who’ve “been there, done that” to turn to, this is your chance to give Inner Circle CEO Peer Groups a try.

Request to participate in an actual session at no cost with no obligation to join and a 90-day money back guarantee.


In the case study, one Inner Circle Group Member mentioned a report that the typical hiring process (interview only) is only 14% successful.

Using the following additional resources…

  • Reference / background checks
  • Assessments: personality, abilities, interests, job match
  • Behavioral interviews

How successful can the hiring process become:

  • 26 – 38%
  • 54 – 66%
  • 70 – 80%
  • 85+%