Why you’re not looking for your next Ronaldo


Often when companies think about their next hire, they focus on finding the “best”. They talk about looking for “high performers”, “the best in the industry” or even finding a “unicorn” – someone almost too good to be true. 

But when it comes to recruitment, focusing on finding the “best” might hold us back from finding the right person for the team, not just the right skills and experience. 

As Fintech recruitment experts, we understand that finding the right fit for your Fintech sales team can be challenging. With an increasingly complicated mix of working environments where colleagues may never even meet face to face, it’s as much about how people collaborate as how capable they are. 


The Ronaldo Effect 

Take an incredibly high-profile, recent example of “top talent” not working out: Christiano Ronaldo leaving Manchester United after just a year. And with those loaded words “with immediate effect”. 

Following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan, it was obvious that the fit with the team and manager wasn’t there. 

Recruiting someone that isn’t a good fit doesn’t just impact team morale, it has a huge effect on performance too. 

On paper, Ronaldo is the “best”, having scored more goals in his career than any other player. But during this stint at United, the team scored fewer goals, covered less ground, and were ultimately less successful with Ronaldo in the team, winning just one of the four matches he played in. 


The cost of getting it wrong

Just as the attitude and approach of one player is enough to throw off a team on the pitch, it’s no different in the workplace.

Whilst very few employees cost the £500k a week Man United were paying Ronaldo, hiring the wrong person is expensive. 

Taking into account recruitment, lost productivity, and training, one report estimates that mis-hiring a mid-manager on a salary of around £42,000 costs a business £132,000. 

With the cost of replacing that team member coming to around 1.5 to 2 times their annual salary according to Gallup, these are sunk costs that all businesses want to avoid at a time of economic uncertainty. 


A whole team approach 

Rather than developing tunnel vision on one “star performer”, it’s about making sure everyone in the team has the conditions they need to perform at their best. That way, the team can collectively achieve big things that outstrip their individual abilities. 

Who’s responsible for creating the right conditions to thrive? The team leader. 

Beyond setting the strategic direction, leaders set the expectations for how people collaborate, they model how they want their team to communicate and interact with one another. 

Getting the right leader in post is crucial to building a high-performing Fintech team. 


The person behind the job description

When we receive a brief to find a new Fintech sales leader or the first Chief Revenue Officer for an organisation, finding the right skills and experience for the role is a given. What makes a successful hire is matching people – their profile, their preferences, and their goals – to the organisation. 

Next time you’re looking to expand your Fintech sales team, think beyond the job description to the context that person will be working in. 

If you’re a fast-growing Fintech startup, it might be that you prioritise someone that embraces frequent change. If you’re a large multinational, you might be looking for a considered communicator who’s switched on to cultural nuances. 

When looking for a senior leader, it’s also worth thinking about the existing team members, their preferences and working styles. 

A good question to use is “how do I want a new leader to make this team feel?”. You can then think about questions to help you explore whether potential candidates have the right approach at the interview. 


Hiring the right person first time

Moving beyond just looking at skills and experience as part of the recruitment process can be daunting. At Finiti Search, we focus on building a relationship with you and really understanding your business first. It helps us get the right person for the role the first time, every time. 

Our team is always on hand to share insights on the best way to design a successful recruitment process. Whether you’re looking to hire immediately or thinking about sales organisation design and future recruitment, get in touch with us for a chat.  https://finitisearch.com/contact-us/