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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

Employers Won't Roll the Dice

If the company hires an unknown quantity who ends up being a bad bet, it has wasted time and money. If it uncovers a hidden talent, other firms are likely to lure the new recruit away with a higher salary. 

"The firm taking the gamble doesn’t have so much to gain if the untested person turns out to be good," Terviö said.

So in the end, it just makes more sense to hire the candidate with a track record. And as employees move up the career ladder, there are fewer and fewer proven talents to choose from, being offered jobs with bigger and bigger compensation packages.