In the January/February 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review Mr. Kevin Ryan, Gilt Groupe’s CEO, speaks about hiring process in the article “Building a Team of Players”. What I liked there is a list of rules of thumb in talent management: “…One is that the great people in any company are usually underpaid (…) Another is that A-level people generally hire other A-level people, B-level people hire C-level people (…) B players hire C players not because they feel threatened by more-talented people but because most people don’t want to work for mediocre boss”.
I agree to a point. The job market is far from being perfect and in many cases you are forced to work for someone who is mediocre, or in organisation or conditions you would not accept having a better choice. Job market, contrary to theory, is not free. You are being limited in your choices by your education, experience, location, marital status, gender, age, race or sexual preference. You are being pressurised to accept a job if you are unemployed, have kids, wife, mortgage or debt. Hiring processes have also a lot to improve, as most are based on outdated procedures or are downright covers for hiring people you know not people you need. Therefore yes, I would not work for a mediocre boss if I would have a choice. But I think I would, under pressure, choose paycheck over ambition. At least I could survive some months to be able to prove to some other picky CEO that I am in fact an A-rated player, waiting for my Top Team.