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What It Takes to Make 'Star' Hires Pay Off

The current economic recession has provided managers with a tempting environment for acquiring "star" employees on the cheap. But the track record of such acquisitions of human capital has been mixed, with many companies failing to integrate their new talent. Apparently, an organization can't just hire star employees and then expect those individuals to automatically shine in their new environment. But how, then, can companies ensure that they get the most out of the talent they hire?

The authors have found that, to build a top-notch organization of star employees, companies can't simply hire the best and brightest and then turn those individuals loose into a Darwinian competition. Instead, organizations need to provide and maintain the right environment for those employees to flourish. And that means avoiding a number of common pitfalls, such as falling for the "lone-star myth" (companies often mistakenly believe that one individual can single-handedly turn around an entire department or organization), overestimating the importance of pay (businesses frequently overpay for hiring top talent), allowing stars to go solo (high achievers are over-scheduled almost by definition, so managers should never assume that collaboration will "just happen"), focusing too narrowly on a single department or group (stars need top colleagues throughout the organization in order to do their best work) and neglecting homegrown talent.
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