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Entrepreneur: Insanely Stupid Hiring

by Miki Saxon

On March 25th I read an article on the newest perk, teaching employees how to start their own company, being used to lure talent; I choked and saved the URL for today’s post.

A few days later I read Bill Taylor’s reaction to the same article at HBR. To say that Taylor, who is a co-founder of Fast Company, is a big booster of entrepreneurial efforts is like saying Google is a modest success, but his reaction was the same as mine.

Rather than rehashing what he said (click and read it) I want to point out why jumping through hoops to hire from a certain tiny percentage of available talent is insanely stupid and tomorrow I’ll offer alternatives.

  • Insane because, as Einstein so aptly put it, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
  • Stupid because there is a wide range of talent available that would work its butt off for the right reasons.

Why it’s insanely stupid

  1. The candidate who joins a company primarily for money, stock or whatever is hot du jour will quickly leave for more money, stock or hotter du jour. In other words, when joining a company is “all about me” there is nothing invested in the company, its values/culture, products or even its success, so when (not if) the going gets rough there’s no vested reason to stay.
  2. Many companies and managers hire as much for bragging rights as for need. In other words, do you really need to hire god or will an angel or even a mortal do the job just as well?
  3. One manager’s star is another manager’s failure. In other words, past achievement is an indicator, not a guarantee, of future performance.
  4. Candidates have definite cultural ideas and needs. In other words, people perform based on how synergistic their cultural and managerial needs are with the same elements in their employer.

(Note: although the focus here is on software development, I’ve seen the same insanely stupid hiring in most fields and industries at one time or another.)

Companion posts,

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewhitestdogalive/3100357559/

One Response to “Entrepreneur: Insanely Stupid Hiring”
  1. MAPping Company Success Says:

    […] we looked at insanely stupid hiring and I said we would explore the alternatives […]

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