Hiring Means Your Organization Failed

Henry Ward, the CEO of eShares, wrote a post on Medium recently on How to Hire.  It’s a great piece from an executive point of view regarding the concept of talent acquisition.  Basically, Henry feels that if your organization needs to go out and hire external talent, you’ve failed as an organization:

“Hiring means we failed to execute and need help. First, let me quell a misconception. Hiring is not a consequence of success. Revenue and customers are. Hiring is a consequence of our failure to create enough leverage (see eShares 101) to grow on our own. It means we need outside help. The perfect business is a computer plugged into the internet. Starting with me, every human thereafter is overhead. And we are increasing overhead by 50%.

I want to repeat this point. We are increasing overhead by 50% because we failed to execute. It is not something to be proud of. It is humbling to go back to the labor market, hat-in-hand, asking for help…”

Want to know why your executives don’t respect HR?  Read above.  Executives think about the business differently than we do in HR and Talent Acquisition. I’m 100% sure any head of TA would believe hiring, because of business growth, equals success, not failure.

Even if you take out Henry’s example of the perfect business model being a computer plugged into the internet, he could still argue that any organization that can’t self-sustain its own growth of labor is a failure. Think about it from a training and development point of view. You hire entry level candidates and train and develop them into every part of your organization. You have a succession plan. If everything works perfectly, you never hire ‘talent’ from the outside. You just hire new, clean, entry level bodies, and create your own clone army!

Okay, at this point we still need to use outside bodies. I would guess at some point Google will create real, live human clones, then the process could be completely self-contained.

So, how does Henry Ward hire at eShares?  Here is his hiring philosophy:

  1. Hire for Strength vs Lack of Weakness
  2. Hire for Trajectory vs Experience
  3. Hire Doers vs Tellers
  4. Hire Learners vs Experts
  5. Hire Different vs Similar
  6. Always pass on ego

Pretty solid. Some of it might depend on your industry, company, etc. I’m not a huge believer in always hiring for difference. Difference causes conflict. In some organizations that is great. In some organizations that is catastrophic. Just as similar, group think, etc. is bad in many cases, it’s perfect in some cases.

Give his article a read, he goes into detail on each step with an explanation.  One of the best executive written pieces I’ve read on hiring.

One thought on “Hiring Means Your Organization Failed

  1. I agree with this to a certain extent. If you were to never hire external talent, you severely limit your company’s growth to new markets and products efficiently. You won’t scale, and you won’t grow, because you stubbornly refuse to hire someone capable enough to ramp you up and lead the effort quickly.

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