There Are No Good People Waiting to Be Hired


Admiral Hyman G. Rickover is known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy.” A brilliant, irascible and demanding leader, Rickover was unsurpassed in his ability to put together a world-class team to build, and then manage, large scale projects. How did he do it?

The answer is found in the following dialogue, excerpted from the PBS special: “Rickover: The Birth of Nuclear Power”

Interviewer: “Now you managed to recruit an extraordinary group of people and bring them in. Now why do we not do that in other forms, in other fields of endeavor in the country?”

Rickover: “I can’t answer that, I can only tell you this. I did not recruit extraordinary people. I recruited people who had extraordinary potential and then I trained them. There are no good people waiting to be hired. All of the good people already have good jobs. And the only way you can do it is to get promising people and devote most of your time and energy to training them. And I assure if people in charge of other projects will do that, they could have better luck too.”

Following Admiral Rickover’s advice, what steps can you take to:

1) Attract more high potential employees?

2) Improve your employee training?