Chasing Stars

by | Apr 13, 2023

In a post from the archive, we highlight the research of Harvard Business School Professor Boris Groysberg.

Dr. Groysberg studied the pros and cons of recruiting high performers (what he called ‘stars’).

After examining the careers of more than 1000 star analysts at Wall Street investment banks and conducting more than two hundred frank interviews, Groysberg came to a striking conclusion:

Star analysts who change firms suffer an immediate and lasting decline in performance.

Their earlier excellence appears to have depended heavily on their former firm’s general and proprietary resources, organizational cultures, networks, and colleagues.

There are a few exceptions, but most stars who switch firms turn out to be meteors, quickly losing luster in their new settings.

I don’t know of any specific research like this for the real estate industry, but some of the underlying issues affecting future performance would certainly apply.

If you’re going to recruit high performers, you should be aware of the inherent risk that past performance may not duplicate itself in your company.

It may be better to try to recruit emerging high performers.

These could be new agents who you believe have transferable skills and talents.

Or it could be experienced agents who have stagnated and not reached their potential with their current companies.

Recruiting is hard because it depends on you successfully predicting the future.

You can increase your odds, but there is no way to guarantee the success of every hire.

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