Last summer I brought Guy Kawasaki to Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program (which has since been rechristened to “Global Solutions Program” — and you should apply!).
One of the topics Guy talked about was hiring…
It is no secret that hiring the right or wrong people can pretty much make or break your company. Particularly your first hires are setting the path for your organization.
The reality is: One wrong hire is far costlier than being one person short. And the cost of hiring too many wrong people (and one wrong hire often leads to multiple wrong hires because the wrong person will tend to attract more wrong people) is what Guy calls the “Bozo explosion”. The Bozo explosion leads to a formerly great team or company descending into mediocrity.
When I was at eBay we hired “behind the curve” — we waited until we (a) had a really good grip on what we need the new hire to do (which typically means you have someone else do the job as an additional responsibility for a little while, until you are crystal clear on what is needed) and (b) you always wait for getting the right person on the bus and not just hire a warm body.
Make no mistake: Hiring this way is hard. And yet — the cost is low compared to what happens to you and your organization if you give in to hiring bozos.
(for some fun Sunday watching — here’s Guy’s talk at Singularity University)