January 25th, 2022

TJ Kastning

What are your expectations for success when you hire someone? Do you feel relieved and enthusiastic? Does the wary probationary period start? Is the path for success in your organization (performance expectations) immediately clear to them or do they need to prove they can figure out your system on their own? Do they need to prove their ability to ‘get it’?

How many times has someone surprisingly ‘under-performed’ expectations after being hired? Regularly is a fair guess.

If the employee under-performs is their manager comfortable and prepared to hold them accountable to a precommunciated set of expectations? Does the company culture care deeply about performance?

Why is it that some say you can only know if someone will be successful after 90 days? Some even say it takes LONGER!!! YIKES! This is a poor reflection on their hiring practices.

Is it possible to set more clear expectations in the hiring process, for the benefit of candidate and company, to avoid these circumstances?


The candidate must be queried about how successful they were in their past position and how their team measured success. Deep exploration required. Often dysfunctional teams teach people dysfunctional success metrics.

Interviews have a deep need for understanding. You MUST understand the candidate. They MUST understand you. This requires humility and honesty.

Sometimes these painful revelations means the candidate or job goes away, but that is good. When people join together under false pretense, their disbandment is already scheduled.


Next time you hire; force yourself to ask yourself, articulately, why this person will be successful. Write it down. Hold yourself accountable for being right. This means MAKING it right. If you are ultimately wrong, take that responsibility on yourself. The candidate didn’t hire themselves, you did. You chose them. Reevaluate your criteria, behavioral questions, relationship building process, interviewing practices, onboarding, and ongoing mentoring.

What do you need to do to make each person you hire, successful? What do you need to do to KNOW they will be successful?

P.S. Maybe it is obvious by now, but, explicit 90 day probationary periods at a management level are a sure sign of a company which knows its hiring process is dysfunctional but, instead of fixing it, they displace the problem on employees. Do not work for one.