Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Right to Hire

By Susan J. Millis

In my many years as an executive recruiter I have found that the most difficult task is to gain a thorough, indeed even an accurate picture of an Entrepreneur’s needs, (job description), whereas a detailed conversation about a Candidate’s background and career moves, reveals their unique character and their past performance quality, as a best predictor of their future performance potential.

What I realised early on was that the word unique played preeminent in the “hiring-dance.” Candidate equality, if they are ever equal before the Entrepreneur, is a condition as fleeting as a sneeze! Something will quickly tip the balance of preference in the eyes of the Entrepreneur. If I bring multiple Candidates to the interview table, the Entrepreneur can better put value to the trade-offs to be made with each, and in post interview conversations, each Candidate shares with me something additional about the scope of the job. Often the scope changes because of a Candidate’s unique offering.

Multitudes of factors are to be considered by both our “characters”; so many options to be narrowed down to a final decision, and yet magnificently, without a single outside interference, needs converge. The Entrepreneur accepts all the risks that come with the hiring, and the Candidate accepts all the responsibilities that come with the job. Sometimes, there are bells ringing, and fist-pumping with joy, but sometimes compromises will force that emotion to wait for the 6-month review. This is, as the brilliant Thomas Sowell unequivocally states, “There are no solutions, only trade-offs.”

Executive recruiters do not interfere with voluntary actions and are unwise to favour any Candidate, because we do not rule the mind of the Entrepreneur, nor know the chemistry between Entrepreneur and Candidate. If even this closest outsider to the engagement does not have critical knowledge, how then can a government presume to interfere in unique voluntary actions and contracts?

And that’s why I would ask the government. “Will you deny the validity of this voluntary outcome? For what reason, by what right, for whose benefit, and at what cost? If not you, to whom would you give that power to deny voluntary contract, and if you make a poor decision what is the price you or your surrogate will pay for your lack of judgment?”

“And, if you are “right” to make decisions for another, because you think they are “right” decisions, where does your knowledge end and your ineptitude (power), begin? Do you claim the right to speak for one man, two men, 20 men, 2,000, 2,000,000, 200,000,000? Will you not have to enlist and train multitudes to do your “right” work? Who will pay you to interfere, and how will you enforce your decisions?”

The Entrepreneur bears full financial responsibility for success or failure, and as the company is his property, freedom of choice rightfully is his.

James Buchanan wrote that, “Profit-seeking entrepreneurs continuously move resources to more valuable uses, and in the process create economic growth and development, which unintentionally leads to ‘socially beneficial consequences.” To this end, the Entrepreneur must be free to hire, without intervention, the people whom he believes are ‘right’.

I remain eternally in praise of free-market capitalism as the inimitable economic system that cherishes the individual. Now, as in all of human history, minorities rail. However, Ayn Rand said it best: “The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”

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