agile recruiting startup advice

“I have never regretted firing anybody. Not once.” – Mark Suster

One of those things that most business people don’t talk about unless prodded. I’m not sure why, but I assume it’s one aspect of the fear “don’t burn any bridges; don’t let anyone think you can be nasty; don’t let anyone see you’re human”. None of which are healthy, long-term ideals IMHO – although they may be a good idea for many people. (they’ll often keep you in a job you’re unsuited for for longer than you would survive without them).

“I have on many occasions regretted not firing somebody quickly enough.

I’ve made every excuse to myself in the past, “I can’t fire him now, he owns the customer relationships and it’s a crucial point in our sales process.” Or, “I haven’t given him a long-enough chance to prove himself – let me see how he develops” or even, “it will have a big impact on morale because she is well liked. I can’t afford that right now.””

Some other good points in the post from Mark, including his list of 3 key ideals in hiring. Although … I still don’t agree with his “if [you change jobs] 5-6 times there is probably a pattern that isn’t completely the fault of some asshole boss.”. Well, I agree with the deduction – I’m sure there is a pattern, something interesting causing these rapid job changes – but I don’t agree with his conclusion that this is a bad sign in a jobseeker / candidate *for a startup*. (for a corporate role, it’s a huge red flag; for a startup, it might even be a positive selector; IMHO it’s too complex an issue to make catch-all pronouncements like Mark’s)

(and c.f. my previous comments on hiring, e.g.:

“I’ve noticed practically no correlation between skilled people going on to fulfil greater potential – many did, but many got worse. I’d still hire very skilled people – you know they’re useful – but … and this is a reflection of my own interests … in a startup environment, I’d tend to look for the enthusiastic ones by preference.”