If you go to the doctor’s office complaining of a
chronic ailment they will typically walk you through an
inventory of questions to uncover potential causes of
the reoccurring symptoms. Once all common
causes are considered, they continue to rule out each
possibility in order to isolate the core
So what exactly is a “cursed”
The job with the revolving spot on your open positions
list, the ad most frequently placed, the “how long do
you give them?” wagers at the water cooler. If this
sounds familiar, it’s probably time to stop ignoring the
signs and wasting time with “cross your fingers”
hiring. Now is the time to establish a strategy to fix the
and for all.
Let’s review the key areas to examine:
Description and Hiring Process
Performance expectations / Goal
- How accurate does the job description reflect the
day-to-day work experience?
- Does it include specific skills AND
measurable behaviors? In other words, what does
this person need to do with
those skills in order to be successful? For example,
an important skill might be Interpersonal Skills. The
measurable behavior that will demonstrate this skill
might be “to demonstrate good interpersonal
skills by having a positive, team-oriented attitude”.
This helps you hold them accountable and helps
them avoid inconsistent interpretation of performance
- Are you conducting Motivation Matching to be sure
you aren’t asking for a major league player in a little
league role? (email us for the full article on MM)
- How clear is the scope and focus of this role?
- Have you identified the top 3-5 goals for this
position and assisted them in prioritizing through
regular check-in meetings?
- Are you consistent in reinforcing these priorities or
do you give mixed messages by allowing crisis
management to dictate daily/weekly goals?
- Have you taken an inventory of their current skill
base at the time of hire in order to plot out a
comprehensive training calendar?
- Was their experience as a new employee so
positive that it reinforced their decision to join your
company? Or did it drive them to keep interviewing
- Is it clear where to go to get the answers they need
to perform their job effectively?
- Are they dependent on others to get certain goals
or tasks accomplished? How pleasant or painful is
- Are you enlisting the help of various subject matter
experts to assist you in training your new hire and
expand their network of resources?
- How often do you set aside quality time for the
person in this role?
- Do they really feel known by you? Not just
employee but as a person?
- Do they expect it must be bad news if they’re
called into your office?
Volume of work
- Can they rely on you for clear, consistent, and
candid feedback on their performance? Not at review
time, but in the moment when it really matters?
- Is the amount of work reasonable for the time
- Do they go through spurts of chaos and periods of
Atmosphere / Co-workers
- Is the compensation realistic for the caliber of
person you desire?
- Have you laid out a clear path for career
development and salary growth?
- Is there anyone poisoning the water cooler?
Check for common denominators amongst the team.
Those who have interacted with the people in this role
and curiously outlived them all.
- Do people genuinely enjoy their jobs? How does
This is a thoughtful process that takes time.
Too often we get so busy trying to fill the spot we don't
stop and take the time to diagnose the real causes in
order to break the pattern. As you go deeper and
position through the eyes of those who have left it, you
just might discover there was never a curse at all.
Just questions unasked, truths untold, and ideas
- Are you conducting thorough exit interviews to look
for feedback patterns?