As the son of an old school barber, this phrase has particular relevance for me. I remember well the leather belt for sharpening the straightedge razor, the hot towel and the shaving cream dispenser.  This simple act that many men perform for themselves everyday gets elevated to a high art form when performed by a master barber.  And suffice it to say, the results are dramatically different.

So when a client of mine said “This role is so vital to our organization that we need a real pro with a track record of success in this area. In short, I don’t want them to learn to shave on my face!”, I knew exactly what they meant. There is simply too much risk in hiring an unproven person in critical roles.

Now more than ever businesses need the steady hands of proven professionals to mitigate risk, achieve their business objectives and build their future success.  They need talented, proven marketers, product managers and sales pros as well as other functional areas to get them through the current rough patch and position them to have explosive growth as the economy recovers.

A mis-hire during the best of times is horribly expensive.  In this economy, like an unskilled barber, a mis-hire can literally cut deep into a company’s prospects.

In short: Don’t learn how to shave on my face!