This is actually a very strong statement?
As Executive Search Consultants we meet a very broad range of different clients and build relationships with hiring managers all the way through to CEO's of $multi-billion organisations. The difference between high performing businesses and mediocre ones is all about the calibre and quality of the employees that they recruit. Furthermore, companies that are consistently pushing boundaries and raising the bar on their performance have created a specific culture and know exactly what makes a great employee. They could cut one in half and they would bleed a consistent flow of sought behaviours. This means that they hire for the company and NOT a manager.
On the other hand, we recently met the MD of a UK subsidiary of a global business who wanted to recruit a new Sales Director. He had been with the company for 17 years, promoted into the Managing Director role and in turn had moved one of his sales managers to up to back fill his role. The Sales Director failed, sales were on a rapid decline and the vacancy existed because he was fired. When I asked if the Managing Director wanted the new Sales Director to be capable of challenging him for his role in the next few years, you could see the MD's toes curling and his face turning ashen. He clearly wanted to recruit some for himself who would not provide any pain or challenge. he wanted someone, like the previous Sales Director, who would make him look good and provide no threat. Perhaps this approach was good for him in securing his job but it was certainly not for the company and very unlikely to help create a high performance environment. This MD also missed the opportunity to recruit an exceptional Sales Director who could make his job easier through outstanding sales revenue growth even though his future job prospects could be limited.
I firmly believe that Hiring for the company and not the manager is critical.
Hiring by committee is a critical decision that you must make in the early days of the company, or must instate if it’s not present. No single individual, no matter how bright or powerful, should be the ultimate decision-maker, even if there is a final reviewer. A company is a community in which synergy is the key to success, not a kingdom nor a feudal system. Repeat entrepreneurs often come to the realization that interviews by several people and subsequent hiring by committee are necessary, but, as a rule, this requirement is rarely emphasized as much as it should be. Laszlo Bock’s book about Google rightfully insists on this topic.