789 The Question Is.... Hiring from the outside.


Tom Garrett 2 years, 6 months ago

Please read this short report from the Seattle Times:

"[Mayor Murray signed a law] allowing law-enforcement officers from outside the department to be hired as ... deputy chiefs."

"The Seattle police union ... has filed an unfair-labor-practice complaint."

Obviously, we don't much care what Seattle is doing, but that report reminded me of two things I saw in the Mesa school district.

a. A good friend of mine who I honestly thought was one of the lousiest organizers, poorest workers, and worst choices for an admin job I had ever seen, and who could never have gotten an admin position in Mesa, interviewed and got an admin job in another district, where he bombed out and was soon gone.

b. I happened to go to work for someone who had been hired from outside the district, and who the interviewers thought was going to be the best of the best. The person turned out to be the bust of the bust instead.

Really made me think!

As you read the questions below, please keep in mind that I had no plans to do anything except teach when I got my degrees, and even had to wriggle out of admin job offers, even one where there was an interview process but I was told beforehand that the job was mine. And when I finally left the classroom it was for a job where I actually worked, not for one where I flew a desk.

In other words, I have no personal axe to grind.

The Question Is....

Is hiring from the outside a wise practice in regard to the following thoughts?

  1. How can someone from the outside know the area, the employees, the local concerns, the organization, the students, his or her fellow administrators, or his subordinates as well as a local employee?

  2. Why would anyone take a job with an employer who hires from the outside? Wouldn't it convince anyone with any real admin or leadership ability to hire on elsewhere, somewhere where he had a future?

  3. Is hiring from the outside fair to those who have dedicated their lives, their work, and their loyalty to the organization?

  4. Is hiring from the outside good for morale?

  5. Are employees who are passed over for an unproven stranger likely to give their best for an outsider who most likely arrives with alien ideas and approaches?

  6. Is a professionally tailored resumé and the ability to interview more important than years of proven ability and dedicated work?

  7. Would there not have to be a VERY good reason to NOT hire from within?

  8. Do those who favor hiring from the outside ever ask why an outsider, if he or she is so good, was not selected for a higher level position in his or her home organization?

  9. How much can you really learn about someone in a short, formally structured interview?

  10. Last but not least: Is the practice of hiring from the outside one of the reasons at least one Payson public entity has so many problems, as well as a high turnover rate in its upper level positions?


Pat Randall 2 years, 6 months ago

Tom, 5. If they were doing their best, maybe they would have been hired. Maybe their best wasn't good enough. 7. Yes, none qualified. 8. There was a better person already there. No matter how good you are there is always someone better. 9. You do homework on them before or after the interview before hiring them. 10. Homework wasn't done. Dumb board or whatever doing the hiring. 11.When you hire from within, there is always jealousy or to close to some employees under them.

             How was that?

Tom Garrett 2 years, 6 months ago

That was great, Pat!

You made some good points!

As you can guess by the questions I asked, I get very disturbed when I see people hired from the outside when there are better qualified people already in an organization.


I get just as disturbed when I see a place which is burdened with incompetents because they always hire someone's wife, sister, brother, uncle, or whatnot.

I suppose if I had to make a choice I would choose a known quantity — someone who has been working in the organization — over an unknown quantity. Boy! Have I seen some duds hired from outside!

I think some boards look at a happy, happy smiley face, and a lot of high flown ideas and jump for that, forgetting that if the person were really what good he'd be running the place he came from.


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