The organization's report on this study continues, "Human capital is, in essence, the thread that runs through the other top-ranked challenges — customer relationships, innovation, operational excellence, and corporate brand and reputation — and forms the basis of strategic action." After all, the report concludes, "without a talented, engaged, and properly motivated workforce, achieving progress against these challenges is impossible."
And yet, as Joel Trammell, author of The CEO Tightrope, said in Forbes: "Most CEOs spend very little time on recruiting, tacitly relegating it to a tactical fire drill instead of a core component of the company's strategic plan." This is a mistake, says Trammell, "because it encourages staffing over recruiting. Finding a person with some basic qualifications to fill a position is staffing, which doesn't require a lot of expertise. But if the business needs the best intellectual capital to be successful, and what business doesn't, CEOs must lead by building a well-managed recruiting function that is closely monitored and measured."
Companies must adopt a comprehensive approach to executive hiring and training. Otherwise, to borrow Trammell's quote from Richard Fairbank, CEO of Capital One, they'll wind up like the majority of companies, where "people spend 2 percent of their time recruiting and 75 percent of their time managing their recruiting mistakes."
Clearly, it's critical that you hire the absolute best — starting at the top. It's well known among senior leaders that greatness begets greatness — or as the saying goes, "A's hire A's and B's hire C's." You must hire the "A's."