The Only Two Hiring Mistakes Ever Made

This concept comes from another one of my morning walk/podcast sessions. Again just living the life over here 🤓… The concept was shared by Chamath Palihapitiya, very successful VC, worth over $1B.. so definitely a smart guy…in his interview with Lex Friedman.

You can boil every hiring mistake down to two things: Being a Low performer or Bad character.

Of course both of those are more of a distribution than a pure binary. But let’s break down the buckets…

  • Low Performer – Average Performer – High Performer
  • Good Character – Bad Character

The thinking here is instead of trying to pick who is going to be a rockstar.. (because that is very hard to do) .. Start with avoiding the two biggest mistakes… the low performer and the bad character… as those will tank your team, tank your performance, poison your team, etc.

I want to acknowledge that once you make the hiring decision the focus shifts to retaining them, keeping them engaged, keeping them producing and improving their performance. So I understand “who you put on the bus” is only part of the process.

Now there are a ton of decision frameworks and tools and tactics and different hiring ethos to help you avoid the two biggest mistakes. The list is long. Let me share the #1 easiest most simple thing you can do (and what we do for our clients)…

Track your decision-making.

Open a google doc or note or paper or whatever is easiest for you and each time you decide to hire.. Write what you are thinking at that time ..Then go back and look over time. Look at your decision-making evolve. What seems to be working, what doesn’t, what are you seeming to get right, what are you seeming to get wrong, etc. You don’t need to create, just simply document. The patterns will become very obvious.

It’s crazy to me that people are faced with the same decision repeatedly.. and don’t do the most basic tracking on their decision-making. Nothing fancy, no metrics needed. Just a basic hiring journal, date, the person, what the thought process is. Over time, you will see your decision-making improve and you will notice patterns that help you. Then as you test different tools and technologies and assessments and frameworks.. you can see what is actually helping you.

Final Thoughts.

Here is the link to the podcast. It was super interesting! Chamath Palihapitiya: Money, Success, Startups, Energy, Poker & Happiness

As always, if you ever want to chat about recruiting.. you know where to find us!

Sincerely, Todd Patrick Dorsey

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