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march 2015 year
march 2015 year
Managing Partner Alexander Saus
exclusively for Forbes

10 Reasons Not to Hire Superstars

Managing Partner Alexander Saus
exclusively for Forbes

I am often given credit for possessing talent of finding and hiring stars. However BritMark owes its success to completely opposite point of view. I strongly support the idea that hiring superstars is not always the right decision. Here are 10 reasons in favor of this point of view.

  1. Superstars find it hard to fit in the new team. Such people usually are much less motivated to work hard for impressive result. What is more, top-liners shine brighter only if supported by other team members. From my experience it takes newly hired superstars three years to reach their normal level of effectiveness. It’s no secret that not every employer is willing to patiently wait that long. Instead they prefer to start looking for someone else. 
  2. According to the well-known law of diminishing returns index of effectiveness declines at an exponential rate with the increasing number of tasks.  It’s not a farsighted investment solution to hire someone who has already achieved brilliant professional results. They will most likely show relatively small progress compared to the entry-level employees who quite easily grow their effectiveness twice and continue to strengthen their positions gradually.  It’s worth taking into consideration that the value of such employee will grow a bit slower.
  3. Superstars learn very slowly. To be honest they are quite reluctant to assume new information which impedes their performance altogether. That is actually a subconscious phenomenon. Every top-liner has a feeling of pompous self in professional sense. It’s very hard to contribute to someone who is already overfilled. Such people are already happy with what they have achieved. Superstar sees oneself as an ideal.
  4. Superstars are confident that all other employees owe something to them. They will go to great lengths to demonstrate their superiority over fellows. However the team most likely already has its own common code of conduct as well as their inner leaders and heroes, their understanding of mutual support. It’s normal for the existing team to expect some sacrifice and acknowledgement of everyone’s contribution into team’s results.  However team work is bound to fail under such circumstances.
  5. Superstar is likely to appear less empathetic towards new Clients at the new job. Notwithstanding the fact that the relations with former Clients might have been great. However former workplace also had its status quo and recognized successes. New Clients, on the contrary, test superstars just like any other employees. What is more, they tend to raise their expectations once they hear about superstar’s prior successes.  
  6. In 9 out of 10 cases superstar will accept your offer tempted by salary raise or one-time bonus. At the same time such additional expenses might make the value of such employee overpriced.
  7. Employees who have become superstars in your company will be geared towards mission and values of your company. They will represent the product of your unique corporate culture. In the end it doesn’t make sense to start another head hunting fight hoping to win superstar’s loyalty. If, however, you lose such employee, don’t rush to burn all the bridges. There is a high chance that once superstar is rejected by another team, he or she will be motivated to come back to you and work with eagerness to show the gratitude. 
  8. Top-liners ruin the stereotypes of original nonverbal hierarchy. They ram onto the career path and draw attention of top-managers. This results into less qualified employees ending up with feeling of diminishing self-importance. They still have to prove how big a contribution they make into the company’s welfare.   I mean that if you invite superstars from outside to fill into the positions which could have been occupied by the current employees, this may ruin the grounds of your candidates’ pool.
  9. If a superstar has not gone through all stages of professional growth independently to obtain priceless experience it becomes quite tricky to make him or her work hard.
    This idea can be discussed from another side of the medal as well. If a superstar has not gone through all stages of professional growth independently to obtain priceless experience it becomes a hard task to make him or her work hard. This is especially evident in the period of time when a top-liner should be piled up with load of work but instead he rests on his laurels.  It’s worth mentioning that it’s best not to encourage an employee with the first signs of star fever by giving him a rich bonus. Instead make sure to keep him busier than ever. This will bring a superstar down to earth. In the end you will be able to build a strong team of true professionals. Your employees should learn to be thankful to Clients and blame themselves for their own failures. 
  10. Last but not the least is the tenth reason not to hire superstar. That is effect of environment and man factor. Teams of different companies even those operating in similar spheres, differ from one another. I mean the people who made significant influence on the particular person by being there for him with understanding and support. In this case employee tends to treasure his place in a team. At the same time one shouldn’t neglect a possibility that another employer will be able to offer the same favorable terms and atmosphere.

But I hear you cry “who should be hired then’? The answer is simple. It’s simple although hard to achieve. You should hire so called “right” people. They may be not the most brilliant but fit the particular position the best. The best case scenario is to have everyone do the job they are great at. However that is a topic of another article.