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Article:

Promoting Mediocrity: Why Employers Don't Always Reward the Best Talent

Find Out Why Companies Go with "Known Talent" Instead of Up-and-Comers

Companies are Afraid of the Unknown

This is how it works:

A hiring manager needs to fill a position. It's a job above entry-level, and the sort of position in which it is clear from the outside how well the employee is performing. Think journalism, sports, performing arts, investment banking. The choices include a limited number of people with proven, if not outstanding, skills and a larger pool of candidates whose abilities are entirely unknown. 

Some of the untried might prove to be exceptional. But, "among the untested there will inevitably be many people who are worse than mediocre," Terviö wrote in an e-mail.