Should I Hire the Best Person or the Right Person for the Role?

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

We are having an internal debate about our next hire. My boss, who is the lead advisor, thinks we should find the right person and design the role around them. He believes getting the right people is most important. My colleague and I believe we need to define what the role is, what kind of responsibilities we need covered and how the role will interact with the rest of the team (nine of us). It’s been challenging when we interview because we don’t feel we know exactly what we are interviewing for. But our boss says, “Just decide if you like the person or not and then we’ll figure it out.”

Is there a right way to do this? Are we wrong to need the level of detail we are asking for to go through this process?

I find it hard to like – or even not like – someone when I don’t know the context of what I would do to interact with them. We’re not hiring for me and my colleagues to have a friend. I don’t need someone to hang out with on weekends. I need someone who will fill areas of need.