NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you're a manager, recruiting a new employee for an open position is a crucial process that you must take seriously.
You must always fill an open position with an individual who is best suited to take on the role and responsibilities and add incremental value. You don't want any candidate, but the right candidate. Whom you bring on board can significantly enhance or diminish the team's potential.
It is common during periods of change and transition for intentions and decisions to be misunderstood. Your employees may be fearful about their own status and security, particularly if broader changes have been announced.
This is a valid and reasonable response when someone else is making a decision that will impact their future. But if these fears are not justified -- for example, that the new person will be stronger, better liked and offered better opportunities -- then as their manager you need to find your team's "happy place." There has to be a reason why they feel this way -- so before any further damage occurs, you'd better perform an intervention.
An unintentional side effect when a team is dysfunctional: The candidates you try to recruit will figure this out early on and grow discouraged. Those who are desperate will overlook the obvious while the best will disappear.
It is a particular problem when your message as a manager is contradicted by your team. One of my clients is currently interviewing for a senior portfolio manager position. The fellow who would be his boss is excited to have him on board. His future peers have made it clear that he is unwelcome through subtle and not-so-subtle gestures -- like repeatedly losing his resume, keeping him waiting for meetings and continually rescheduling appointments. If he were not out of work for almost a year, he would have walked away.
How do you avoid making these mistakes? Consider the following recommendations:
1. Conduct an audit. Take some time to survey your team to determine where both its strengths and weaknesses exist. The team collectively should promote interdependence and shared knowledge. But each member deserves ownership of a role that is unique and important.
2. Do your homework. When it comes to prospective candidates, always check references thoroughly so that you don't overlook important and material issues that should have been discovered, like not delivering projects on time and on-budget or problems with authority figures.