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Let's face it, HR leaders, it's happened to you and your organization. You had a key role available. You helped your organization go out and do what was necessary to get the best talent available.  

Then a funny thing happened - The talent showed up, the scene they walked into at your company was kind of messed up, and the key hire left after two years.

In short, you did a great job on the recruiting front, but your organization and hiring executive failed to think about what changes were necessary to maximize the performance of the key new hire.

As a result, the new hire quickly got out of the honeymoon period and viewed your organization as a dysfunctional circus. You should have planned better.  You're not alone - the Cleveland Cavaliers should have planned better as well. Love meme
Consider these brief notes from Fansided on the on-boarding of Kevin Love, an all-star in professional basketball and recent underperforming, high-paid member of that NBA Franchise:

"In Love’s final season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he posted an incredible 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. He was one of the best rebounding big men in the NBA at the time, however, now he is nothing more than LeBron’s sidekick who makes a lot of mistakes.

(Capitalist Note - The Cavaliers traded for Love two years ago, seeking to put a third all star with existing team members Lebron James and Kyrie Irving.  The trade was universally greeted with applause, but Love's performance has been lacking in extreme ways..)

It seems like a perceived notion that the Cavaliers will shop Kevin Love this off-season, especially if they fall short in Game 7. The power forward hasn’t been the same player since being traded to Cleveland, however, that didn’t stop him from signing a $5 year, $113 million deal last summer. Love is set to receive $21.5M, $22.5M, $24M, and $25.5M over the next four seasons, and Cleveland would love to get that off their books.

The Cavaliers would much rather use that money somewhere else and also try to land a more valuable pick in the upcoming draft, even if it’s not a top-five selection.

Cleveland tried to turn Love into what Miami turned Chris Bosh into when LeBron spent four seasons with the Heat. They have him hang on the perimeter where most of his shots come from behind the arc now – 44.9 percent of shots. It has led to a significant decrease in his scoring and rebounding production as a result.

Part of the reason is that’s how big men have to play nowadays, however, the Cavaliers have banished his role in the paint. You rarely see Love post-up down low anymore, he’s used as a kick-out option for a driving teammate. Not only does it not fit his offensive game but it also cuts into his rebounding – the strongest part of his game."

The point to this - and there is one - is that the Cavs were just like your company at its dysfunctional best.  They looked for the best talent available and got the deal done.  Then the high-priced talent showed up, and no one asked the question of what was necessary to get the new hire performing at a high level.  You just gave them an office and expected him or her to figure shit out.

Of course, it's never that easy.  The Cavs opted to give Love a bunch of money.  But Love has a history of playing a certain way, and the Cavs didn't attempt to figure that out at all.  As a result, Love's putting up numbers that the market suggests are worthy of a third of what he's being paid.

The reality is that when you bring a high performer into your organization, you have to ask what you're doing to make sure the company gets the return on that investment.

The Cavs never asked that.  Your company doesn't either.  You just ask the new hire whether they want a Mac or a PC (after all, they're top talent! They deserve that choice!) and leave the rest to them. 

Love touched the ball in Cleveland 25% as much as he touched it in Minnesota.  Are you doing the same thing with a key hire at your company and still expecting them to perform at a star level?



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