Like an archer who wounds at random,
so is the one who hires a fool or hires any passer-by.
While it was on the air, I loved the show Numbers. Perhaps it was because I’m a nerd, and the idea of using math to solve crimes sounds kind of cool. Regardless, I thought it was a cool show. One of the episodes was about a sniper who was shooting people on the freeway. People were afraid to drive because he seemed to just be shooting people at random. Of course, Charlie came up with a way to detect a pattern in his randomness and figured out how to pinpoint where the next shooting would take place.
But, with the absence of Charlie’s genius, this proverb applies the same fear those drivers were feeling to the hiring of an employee. And if you’ve ever worked with an employee that was hired that way, you know exactly what this proverb is talking about.
When you’re hiring someone, you need to take aim and make sure that you’re hitting the right target with the person you’re bringing in to the workplace. It’s not target practice, shooting whatever walks in front of you. It’s looking for the right person who will be a right fit.
There are probably a hundred reasons why we should be careful about who we hire, but in sticking with the idea of this proverb, this is one that should be at the top of the list. When you hire someone without thinking about what they are going to do, what their strengths are or about how they’re going to fit in your organization, you are putting the people in your organization on the field for target practice.
Notice too that the distinction is not just for fools. It’s also for any passer-by. That doesn’t mean that a passer-by might not be a good fit, it just means you shouldn’t just hire someone walking by.
The point is, be intentional. Know what you’re looking for. Know the strengths of the person you’re looking to hire. And know the culture and environment of your work place. Don’t just throw anyone into that environment and put it at risk.
Take aim first.