Don’t Catch Fire When You Hire, KIR#2

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Bad luck in hiring? Hiring the wrong person for your business is like getting a tumor. You need to remove it FAST.

In my company we have learned this the hard way because in the last two years we grew the headcount from 30 to 210 people.

In this post I will talk about one of our former employees who we hired for an executive position. From the very beginning there were many things fundamentally wrong with this hire.

  • Number one, the main reason why we thought we needed the person was flawed – we thought we could hire someone who will tell us how to strategically develop the company (which markets to enter, what products to launch etc.). We learned very quickly that it is the one thing that should not be delegated away from the founders/CEO in an early stage company.
  • Second, the cultural fit was very weak. Even though during the interview process it felt like a love from the first sight, later the classic mismatch between the mindset of a big company executive versus high growth startup grew bigger and bigger.
  • And finally, the employment contract was pretty f@#$ed up. Three month notice period, no probation and other painful clauses made this the most expensive hiring mistake, at least some EUR60,000. A small peek from the employment contract attached at the end.


Lessons Learned

The reality is that developing a strong hiring process requires making some mistakes even if experts and sufficient resources are involved. My suggestion is to hire slow and fire fast and keep changing the hiring process to fit the size and complexity of the business.


Yours Truly


Related articles:

kir32 Scaling Up Hurts, KIR#3
kir12 The Very First Deal, KIR#1
kir22 Don't Catch Fire When You Hire

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