How Does The Labor Market Affect Rank and Yank Success?
For rank and yank to succeed you need to hire employees who will be better than those you let go. What determines whether you will end up with better employees?
One of the factors is the existing labor market or talent pool from which you will be drawing your new, and hopefully better employees. If you talent pool for the positions is very small, your chances of hiring a better employee will be less than if the talent pool for the positions is large. If the talent pool is small, you will also be in competition with other companies to retain the services of the best and the brightest.
But it's also not about size. It's about the quality of the talent pool, too. If the talent pool is generally less skilled and competent than what you have, with only a small number of employees who are potentially more valuable to you, the chances of hiring better replacements is also lower.
What's interesting here is that if you have a situation where your existing labor force is average or above average, and the talent pool (for new hires) is actually average or below average, you almost certainly will end up hiring people who will perform less effectively than the people you rank and yank.