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Science tells us that for any living thing to flourish, it must be planted within an environment that is conducive to its ability to function, survive and thrive.

It is the same within any workplace. The performance of an employee is not dependent on their inherent talent alone. The context of the organization is of equal importance. No matter how talented an employee is, they will fail to deliver results at full potential if they are not optimally matched for the job or even the organization itself.

The context of an organization, therefore, cannot be ignored when hiring.

For a business to be effective and successful, it must thoroughly assess the realities of its context and then take deliberate steps to align its activities — including recruitment — with its internal and external realities. …

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Ask any recruiter or executive and there is a very good chance they have at least one horror story about a poor hire. They would probably tell you the decision felt good at the point of recruitment, but it ended up being a disastrous mistake.

And such mistakes usually lead to significant financial losses for organizations. According to Harvard Business School, the cost of a poor hire can be as high as three to five times the employee’s annual salary.

So, how much could one bad hiring decision cost your organization?

I once asked a group of eighty business executives attending a Digital Technology Conference to vote for what they believed to be the worst hiring decision of all time. …

A few years ago, I was a keynote speaker at an HR conference where I spoke on of one of my favorite topics: critical success factors for hiring the right employees. The room was packed full of eager young professionals who were determined to learn the “secret” of hiring the right employees in their respective organizations.

During the Q & A session, one of them asked me, “What is the single most important thing you have learned about hiring and where did you learn it from?” …

Bolaji Olagunju

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