“Batfleck” – What you should know about making bad hires

by Gia Ciccone on August 29, 2013

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We don't need Christian Bale, we have Ben Affleck!Hiring is hard, we know. Making sure you have the best candidate for the job is one of the most difficult and daunting tasks as a hiring manager. Even Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite has dealt with his fair share of bad hires, and the US Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of a bad hire can be 30% of the individual’s first-year potential earnings. …Yikes.

We’re here to clear the air about bad hires, and to help us contextualize this, we’ll be using recent examples buzzing around the entertainment industry. 

The Bad Hire: Batfleck

Grumpy Cat will not allow Ben Affleck to be the new Batman. She just won't.Ben Affleck? As Batman? We, like much of the public, are extremely disappointed in this recent selection by Warner Brothers, DC Comics and the Superman vs. Batman director, Zack Snyder. Let’s just put it this way… Did you watch Ben kick some butt as blind superhero, Daredevil? No? Well, you’re not alone. That movie tanked at the box office.

We’re a little disheartened to know that DC didn’t reach out to us. As a leader in IT staffing and all things geek, we could’ve helped prevent this bad hire. We even did our research. Like any job, Batman has a list of requirements that must be met in order to be successful:

• 3+ years experience driving a Batmobile
• Proficiency in employing Batarangs
• Rigorous training in martial arts (black belt or equivalent preferred)

Unfortunately, we don’t think Ben meets these qualifications. It seems as though Warner Bros. is settling on Ben Affleck’s Hollywood star power to balance out his inability to portray a good super hero. Is he a great actor? Absolutely. Argo was phenomenal. We’re not judging Ben on his ability to act, but we are concerned ability to perfect the character that is Bruce Wayne/Batman… and about his ability to wear the ever-prestigious Batsuit.

Settling on a candidate who is a super hero with one of your requirements and sub-part with others isn’t a wise move. Instead, hold out for someone that could be a well-rounded fit. If your candidate is “good” at a variety of skills you’re looking for, it’s smart to offer trainings and education to help them go from good to great. This in turn could help strengthen your manager-employee relationships.

Now, let’s get back to Batman. Men like Josh Brolin or Eric Bana have that Bruce/Batman balance that fans are looking for, and we highly encourage DC to take a second look before production. There is still time to reverse the bad hire. For example, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, offers new hires a $2,000 bonus to quit after their first week on the job just to weed out bad hires. — You may want to take this idea with a grain of salt, as Zappos is a very large company and consistently ranks in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

Now that we’ve discussed the very painful experience of choosing a bad hire, we can focus on what a good hire looks like. Tune in next week as we discuss a good hire example, again pulling from the same bucket – Hollywood.

Editor’s Note:

We hope everyone enjoyed this parodied piece about bad hires. The public opinions on “Batfleck” are strong, and we encourage our readers to continue the conversation with us. Comment here or tweet to @modis & use the hashtag “#NowHiringBatman” with which actor you think would be most qualified to wear the Batsuit and why. You’re welcome to check out our Pinterest Board with funny memes & articles surrounding the “Batfleck” decision, too!

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