How Tom Crean Feels Today and Why I Know This to be True

I have some more thoughts on what the de-commitment of James Blackmon Jr. means that I need to get out of my head so I can focus on the other things in my life that I need to do, and none of them have anything to do with James Blackmon Jr. or his decision.

Part of what I do for a living is hire people.

In my field I have one advantage when I need to hire. There are more candidates than there are positions. But I have one major disadvantage. Everyone with similar positions is hiring at roughly the same time, so the best candidates have options.

I interview people with a team of my employees to find the person who is the right fit for the position I have open. I get their consensus and then I make a decision. I call to offer the position to the applicant who, more often than not, accepts the job offer.

You know what I do next?

I draw up their contract and schedule a time for them to sign it as soon as is humanly possible, because until they sign that contract, I have not filled that position.

I don’t hold more interviews, but what I really don’t do is send letters to the other candidates telling them thanks, but no thanks. Do you know why I don’t do that? You should after yesterday. Every year I have hired people this has happened at least once. I offer the position, they accept, the contract signing gets delayed for some reason, usually because the candidate is out of town (supposedly) and then, the day they are scheduled to sign the contract, they call and tell me they are sorry, but they have taken another job. They were very excited to work here, but this other offer that they didn’t expect came through and for whatever reason, money, location, it felt like a better fit, they have decided to take that job instead.

I get angry, because I wouldn’t have offered the position if I hadn’t wanted that person to work here and I am hurt a little, because this always feels like a rejection of me, but then I get over it and move on to the candidate we liked next best on the list. Something I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had accepted their word as a binding agreement and told everyone else that I didn’t want them.

This all usually happens over the course of a couple of weeks at most.

What Tom Crean just went through is nearly identical. But here’s where it’s different. Crean offered a job to a 14-year-old kid and then had to wait four years before he could get him to sign a contract. That’s gotta be torture. I know how angry and hurt I feel after just two weeks, imagine what it’s like once you’ve invested four years in this relationship.

But here’s the reality of both of our situations. Crean and I move on and we do it quickly. Because, and this is the absolute truth. If they don’t want to work for you, you don’t want them.

As good a player as Blackmon seems to be, there are other good players out there and the ones that come to Indiana are the ones that truly want to be there and that’s what you want when you hire someone.

Jeff Taylor