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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#113: Hell Yeah Hiring, Part 2

Last week, I posted my number one rule in hiring - that if someone isn't a HELL YEAH, they are a no. Whenever I post something like that, there's always pushback, and the main reason is that some people still believe that having SOMEONE in a seat is better than NO ONE in that seat, especially in a small business. They want to get a body in there to start doing the work, and they'll worry about culture fit, and personality, and capabilities later.

It probably won't surprise you when I say I heartily disagree with this philosophy. I think it is FAR better to have an empty seat at your company than to fill it with the wrong person. I've certainly extended the search for new people when the first pool of candidates I found didn't net me someone who was a HELL YEAH. Sure, it's not easy to look at an empty chair and think of all the productivity you could be getting from it, but that's still better than looking at a chair you filled with the wrong person and regretting it every day until they move into a new role or out to a new company.

The wrong hire slows everyone down, and builds resentment. A solid culture is helped by HELL YEAH hiring because everyone in the organization recognizes that you are committed to only bringing on the best hires. This is especially true in small companies, where everyone's contribution is acutely felt, and someone creating drag on the system can't hide.

I'm in the position right now of extending a hiring phase for an open position much longer than I initially wanted to. We planned this hire to coincide with our slow season, and that window is closing, rapidly. But I'm not going to let an external factor drive my decision—I'm going to keep looking until I find a person I'm excited to bring on, even if that means they start when things are busier.

That's the thing about rules—you can't just follow them when they are easy.

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