Why do some companies keep a ‘C” player in an “A’ player’s job?
We see two reasons why this happens. Some of it has to do with the pain and anguish of letting an employee go and hiring another. The bigger reason is that companies don’t understand what the ‘A’ player looks like.
Everyone agrees that removing a manager or staff person is unpleasant. It can be less painful to just deal with the inefficiency than it is to change the situation. The problem simply becomes a condition of the work environment – “that’s just the way it is”.It’s not the best solution, but it is more common than most people realize.
While less painful, it’s a real drain on company profitability and competitive edge. The sad part about this is that unless the company has a strategic vision for their ‘A’ level talent, they never fully understand scope of this impact. ‘C’ players are often kept around because no one really understands who should be in the job. They don’t know what a successful ‘A’ player would look like.
This is especially true if they are still using a job description as their guide. A better approach would be to profile the job, develop a clear picture of an ‘A’ player, benchmark it against other successful people in the same or similar job, and hire based on these results.
If employers become strategic in this fashion they can correct inefficient staff and, more importantly, avoid the same hiring mistake in the future.