The most costly recruiting error in recent history was revealed this month. In mid February, Facebook announced its nearly $19 billion purchase of the instant-messaging firm WhatsApp. But …
Dr. John Sullivan, whom I have tremendous respect for in the Recruiting space, attempts to blame Facebook for rejecting the founders of WhatsApp whom they recently bought out for $19 billion.
I don't see the link! Who knows why these two were rejected? Perhaps, they didn't communicate effectively, didn't demonstrate their future value in the interview, or maybe the fit was wrong. Who knows - if they had gone to Facebook instead of launching their own business - maybe they would have failed miserably in the Facebook environment.
Making this inference is wrong. Without any details as to why the rejection occurred, we are only left to speculate.
Dr. Sullivan raises a good point about what I'll call reverse hiring mistakes. We all accept that we've made mistakes hiring folks in the interview who claimed certain capabilities and then did a face plant soon after starting.
How many candidates do we pass on that we made a mistake in hiring because we let our emotions get in the way, we didn't have a good definition of what we wanted, or the hiring managers conducting the interview were poorly trained and had no clue what they were doing?
Yes, it's very ironic and funny that Facebook ultimately bought out the guys whom they originally rejected. You could probably find thousands of these stories - right alongside all the folks you hired with high expectations that failed horrifically.
Rather than laughing at these hiring errors, wouldn't time be better spent improving the hiring process for the future so that you don't hire partially competent employees, and you don't miss the mark on those with high potential to transform your business.?
Master of Hiring Accuracy
Doctor of Hiring Failure and Pain
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