You should never hire rainmakers. Controversial I know – firms like the idea of hiring rainmakers. Those partners who can generate massive revenues from the get-go.
They seem like a sure bet right?
Well, let me share a secret: I have yet to see a successful transfer of a rainmaker.
And I have been part of the industry for 3 decades.
Why hiring rainmakers should work
Rainmakers are successful. There’s no question. But if you look closer it’s because they do many (if not most) things differently than other partners at the firm.
They generate huge fees by having their firm, partners, and associates dance to their every drumbeat.
Their old firm, where you’ve seen them perform, was used to it. Odd, quirky behaviors here and there? A little stretching of firm policies Non-adherence to cherished firm-wide rituals?
Not a problem: “…we know how Frank is. But he’s bringing in those fees!”
But, did you know? Take them out of this space and the revenues dry up.
And why it doesn’t
Rainmakers are not successful at their new firm.
The team at the hiring firm get too excited at hiring a rainmaker and fail to see what unique platform the old firm provided to them.
The old firm was the place the rainmaker got established. And the old firm was willing to let things slide.
Whenever the rainmaker got out of hand, key players who had known them forever stepped up and reigned them in. These team members would make the excuses and appease the wider team. They protected the rainmaker so they could keep bringing in the money.
In short: the firm created the environment the rainmaker needed to thrive.
So. The things you have to think about before trying to hire rainmakers is: can your firm offer the same platform for the rainmaker to succeed?
But, more importantly – do you want to?