One Hiring Strategy that Scales

One hiring strategy that scales. This is from Michael Lang.

Here’s one thing I’ve learned that works great. Grow slow in beginning to grow faster later. This is my formula for building great IT teams: In the beginning do this: a) hire someone, indoctrinate them with your values/expectations and coach/prep them to onboard the next person. b) hire next guy once you no longer have to directly oversee first employee’s every day activity — i.e. at the point you trust them to “just run with it” Now two of you can hire and train the next, but use the new hire experience to further develop the first hire and solidify the culture you want. Keep doing that as you hire and scale and everyone should learn to take care of each new recruit and bring them into the culture. Your job after the first two or three hires is basically to detect and cut the B.S. to keep everyone honest with each other.

One of the things that is useful here is that the idea starts to work when the team first expands beyond one person. The core concept of defining and spreading the team values and culture is beneficial immediately.

And taking it a step further, the initial idea of needing to define your values and expectations is needed even for a team of one. You still have to define your own values and expectations for yourself. And then be able to carry them over to your clients and strategic partners.

As far as scaling, I’ve heard another method of using the group to help match new employees to the culture before they are hired. (I don’t recall the source) The concept is simple. A group of ten people go to lunch with the potential new team member. If all ten agree that there is a good match, it probably is. Simple.