In hiring, what most leaders do is they have a set of criteria, they evaluate a bunch of candidates through interviews and resumes and other information available, and then they make decisions based on their gut. You could actually turn that process into a much more scientific approach, where you lose none of your experience but you add a lot of data.
The way I would do that is, I would start out by having a bunch of candidates reviewed, take 100 candidates, and get all your managers who do hiring to rank them in order from 1 to 100. Make them candidates who already work for you, but disguise who they are. Then figure out who your best decision makers are when it comes to hiring.
What you’ll find is that some people are much more consistently right than others. There are many people who will take unreasonably risky bets. There are others who will play it safe too much. Once you do that, you can then do two things. One, you can take those people who have an empirical track record of good hiring, and you can give them more responsibility for hiring.
Two, you can use them to train the trainers. You can figure out what are they doing differently that allows them to be a better talent spotter than their peers. Then make sure that that knowledge and expertise gets spread across the organization. That doesn’t replace your intuition, it harnesses it. It takes the people who have effective intuitions and, instead of doing that just based on gut, helps make it explicit.
Source: “Six secrets to true originality”
Original Publication: The McKinsey Quarterly
Subjects: Hiring, Human Resources