As Donald Trump gets closer to his party's nomination for president, I've reflected on how the outsider businessman turned candidate could significantly raise visibility in the who and how he's "hiring" for his team.
Will the candidate who famously became synonymous with "Your Fired," rely on a hiring best practices widely adopted by similar sized firms in the Forbes 400, or will he rely on "gut" and emotion? Because, of course, the VP, cabinet members and senior staff he will select are all part of the team who will be leading our country--and in many senses the free world.
The Trump Organization counted about 34,000 employees in 2015 and engagement in 515 subsidiaries and entities within the US, Europe, Asia, and many other parts of the world. In that way, it mirrors the complexity of most large multi-national companies who must nimbly and quickly identify, attract and recruit senior talent to stay competitive.
While I can't claim any familiarity with the specifics of Trump's hiring process, what I can surmise is, like most companies owned by individuals on the Forbes 400, it relies on applicant tracking system software or something similar that serves to manage the talent acquisition process across multiple units with different geographies and international offices.
While I'm certain that Trump will not be relying on an applicant tracking system to choose his running mate or cabinet members, it would be interesting to imagine if he did. If you weren't relying on emotion and the political calculation of who will help you win particular states, but instead on qualifications and experience as an indicator of greatest job performance, what would you look for in a VP?
The people who excel at hiring will tell you that what is critical is that Trump's running mate be a complement to Trump's strengths and weaknesses. In the election, his strengths and weaknesses may be seen as particular states in which he is favored or not, but I would hope that the American people might see one level deeper.
No matter who ends up on the presidential ballot, what is logical (but almost never considered) is that people should vote for the candidate who has the best team to execute on managing our nation. While a lot of times that is expressed as ideology, it would be more productive to express that in competencies and skills in addition to values.
Hiring experts would quickly point out that most hiring mistakes are made when we select someone based on an emotional affinity rather than objective, rational appraisal of the candidate's skills.
As a country of soon-to-be-hiring-managers who will be selecting the next executive team to lead our country, I challenge us to think hard on a candidate's objective skills and competencies before we give them our vote.