Hiring Means We Failed

The most humbling of things happen when you start to scale and grow a company – you realize that you’re grossly unprepared and understaffed to build said company.

In other words, the company failed to optimize the organization in a way that maximally utilizes the existing resources to complete all the necessary tasks and functions that are required to grow.

A fascinating and humbling perspective, right?

When most people think of hiring they typically think about “success” and how such-and-such company is doing so well that they just need to hire a ton of people to maintain velocity and momentum.

Although this is true, in some respects, it’s just half of the equation. A “perfect” company is one that is completely automated, a system that’s plugged in and that has all the commands necessary to create wealth and value for the organization and customers. A computer requires very little overhead while, in comparison, humans are overhead defined.

Customers and revenue are consequences of success (and vice versa) whereas hiring folks means that we have failed to execute with our current resources. It means that we need more help to get the job done.

I believe this is the right attitude if not altogether a better one to have when you start looking for people to help build out a company. And, as a leader, it puts you in the right spot, with the right perspective in-hand.

Great teams need great help.

Great teams need great help.

You see, a good leader recognizes his place – she needed people’s help to get this thing off the ground and she created spots on the team that were made available for that help. There were tons of other great jobs available but the people that she found to help choose her and her team and her organization instead of the many, many others.

All she (and I) can do is be grateful. We needed you while you really didn’t need us (again, there are tons of other great jobs out there)! And, if we do our hiring well then we can turn our failure into success.

A company that is actively hiring means that that company is currently sub-optimal and needs your help to get back on track (and beyond). This slightly different yet healthy perspective is one worth remembering, on both sides of the table.