How I Hire: Lessons from a Multi-Million Dollar Mistake

Amazing article on first impressions, arrogance and the price you pay.

Introduction

This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty. In my glory days as a recruiter, I annually placed dozens of top CPAs from the major accounting firms into industry positions. In a typical month I would get 4-5 unsolicited referrals of great 3-8 year CPAs. In fact, I told a story on these pages a few weeks ago about one woman who exemplified true leadership. However, there were some less glorious stories, too. This is one on them. Let’s call the candidate in this tale William, and the VP Finance of the hiring organization, Mr. Smith.

Chapter 1 – The Candidate

William was a highly-referred senior manager. As a minimum this means the person was assigned to handle major clients where complex accounting issues were part of the daily routine. William was recognized as a rising star, but one who did not want to wait in line to become a partner. This was when the Big 8 began their merger activity into today’s Big 4, so this was understandable.

More here

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