Seth Godin points out the 90/10 rule for marketing a job.  He notes that if employers do what every other employer is doing to fill a job, they will only hire sub-par employees. 

Most hiring managers don’t understand organizations that go to extraordinary lengths to find and retain amazing people. And from their point of view, they’re completely correct. Pay market wage, run a classified, process the resumes. Done.

It only takes 10% as much effort to hire someone in the bottom 90% of the class.

And it takes the other 90% to find and cajole and retain the top 10%.

Most hiring, especially in a down market, is handled as a mostly bureaucratic task. Find people who fit in, do a rudimentary background check to eliminate problems, try not to break any hiring laws…

I’ve noticed (from prior working experience) that employers who simply fill positions, get a low return on their investment.  Employers need to actively (and continually) be on the lookout for good talent, and when found, must actively go after that individual.  No doubt this takes a lot of time and effort.

I also have found that good employees are the ones that don’t require their employer’s time – they work quietly and efficiently, never have to be remined about their role, and continually meet or exceed expectations.  This is the problem – the good employees are not on their supervisor’s minds, but the problem employees always are.  The good employees are overlooked.  The managers spends 90% of their time trying to deal with sub-par performers, while the productive employees move to a company that truely recognizes thier worth.