Marissa Mayer seems to be single-handedly turning the corporate hiring world on its head. First, the new Yahoo! CEO made national headlines when she became one of the only pregnant women in history to be promoted to a top-level executive position at a publicly traded company.Now, she’s sent another shock wave through the HR industry with her announcement that she will personally be reviewing every new hire that Yahoo! makes.
Mayer’s hands-on approach to the hiring process has a lot of people talking. While some HR pros are lauding her for taking the bull by the horns, many others are complaining that such micromanagement will actually hinder Yahoo!’s recruiting efforts. All in all, the controversy begs the question: “Should CEOs really review every new hire for their company, or should they focus their energies on more pressing issues?”
As seasoned HR professionals, here’s what we think. A CEO who possesses both the time and enthusiasm to review all of the hiring decisions made by their company is about as common as an albino zebra. This is why Mayer’s policy has become such a spectacle. But as unusual as the policy may be, it makes sense when you consider the circumstances of Mayer’s promotion.
Yahoo! was having major recruiting trouble before it brought in Mayer. As a current (but anonymous) employee told Business Insider, one of the company’s biggest problems over the past few years was that “B-players” were hiring “C-players” who “were not fired up to come to work” and were “tolerated for too long.” So the company was in drastic need of someone who could really whip the HR department into shape.
Mayer’s pedigree must also be taken into account. She’s a former master of Google’s legendary hiring system and is famous for her analytical tendencies. Where she’s from, the CEO doesn’t just review new hires – he or she meets them personally during the 16th interview. As such, it makes sense for her to carefully manage Yahoo!’s hiring system until she can get her new hiring chief, Jacqueline Reses, settled in.
But the fact that Mayer is running her company’s hiring system this way doesn’t imply that other CEOs should do the same. Her policy, though temporary, is already taking its toll on the company’s recruiting efforts. According to the anonymous Yahoo! employee, the company has already lost out on two top candidates who accepted other job offers while they were waiting for Mayer to review their resumes. Clearly, this is not a viable long-term strategy for the Internet giant.
That said, there’s a big difference between a company with 15 employees and a company with 15,000 employees. If you’re the CEO of a small startup, you should review every new hire. You’ll be working with these folks personally, so it’s important to make sure that they fit with your vision for the company. However, when your company has a few hundred employees and a competent HR department, there’s no reason for the CEO to be directly involved in the hiring process. If the system isn’t broke, as they say, then don’t fix it.
In the end, hiring isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. What Marissa Mayer is doing may be working at Yahoo!, but that doesn’t mean that it would work for other companies. If you’re the CEO of a medium-sized company and you genuinely want to improve your hiring, there are better ways to go about it than personally reviewing every serious candidate’s resume. Here’s what we believe: hiring software can make your hiring process far more efficient, and it’s a great place to start.