Essendon – a perfect example of why you don’t settle for second best.

Australia: One of our most beloved AFL teams has been seriously impacted after the Essendon Bombers Football Club was issued suspensions for 34 of their past and present players, twelve of which are currently on the Bombers’ list, for taking banned supplements at the direction of their fitness coaches and sports scientists.

Whilst the blame game continues as to who is truly at fault and why, what stands out to me in this case is that the administers in this instance were not the preferred candidates for appointment by the Club. The Today Show reported that former coach James Hird stated:

“Had we secured the preferred applicant then the experience of the Essendon Football Club and 34 young men would have been very different. Instead the sliding door we walked through introduced Essendon to the worlds of Dean Robinson and, at Robinson’s suggestion, Stephen Dank”

The Today Show further reported that the preferred candidate to run the program was from the English Premier League, but was unavailable at that juncture. Based on this information alone, the selected individuals should never have been appointed to the Club.

Without knowing the intricate details of Essendon’s recruitment and selection process for this role, the fact remains that the repercussions of the decision to appoint someone other than their preferred candidate have been disastrous. We are only just beginning to understand the extent of the impact of this decision now.

So what does this mean for your business?   

The time it takes to secure the right candidate is well worth the wait. The costs associated with appointing the wrong candidate amount quickly – including time, energy, wages, training and loss of productivity. However, the costs associated with taking longer to appoint the right candidate will be far less than making the wrong decision due to the limitation of time.

The benefits of waiting for the right candidate far outweigh the stress and complication of appointing second best. Not only do you need to go through a termination process affecting someone’s livelihood (who you knew all along wouldn’t make it), but more time, money and productivity is unnecessarily lost trying to find the right person. Not only are you back to square one, but you’re far worse off than where you were when you originally started to recruit for this position.

Interview Image

Whilst we may never find the candidate with all the attributes we’re looking for, if the areas you cannot compromise on are not present in any of your candidates, you must go back to market. If you are considering a candidate who has the right attitude and most skills, but is lacking in one or more areas, invite them for a second interview and ask cleverly engineered, creative, and powerful questions, the answers to which will tell you how they will manage this deficit. Anybody can learn anything, and the self-awareness of an individual who knows they have development areas and how they will overcome them can lead to incredible outcomes.

The final blow

Your business deserves the best, so deliver the best. Never settle for second best as the results can be catastrophic. This is a risk you do not want to take, and the case with the Bombers is a perfect example of why. The saddest part? It has all been in vain – the Bombers haven’t won a premiership since 2000.

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