Expert Interview: How to Hire Top Talent in Startups
9 min read
fairly easy
This quote, famously coined by Steve Jobs, sums up perfectly the importance people play in your business. And, as a co-founder at, I'm always looking for new processes to onboard the best…
If I talk to an audience of entrepreneurs and I tell them hiring is a slow process and firing is a fast process I think it gives them the wrong mindset. The mindset should be one of process, discipline and speed.

If you can write a scorecard quickly. If you can get through your screening interviews quickly. And if you design your second interviews well you'll be able to move fast.

But my advice is you have to follow the four steps I mentioned, without cutting corners. You don't get a 90% success rate when you cut corners, you'll get 50% success rates.

It's less a game of fast vs. slow and more of a game of adhering to the best practices.

I do think firing can be fast. But in this legally sensitive world, if you treat people with disrespect and fire them too quickly, you're going to get sued!

However, you should make that decision quickly. If you think you need to fire someone, put them on a performance improvement plan, give them three months plus to prove themselves, meet with them weekly, try to coach and develop them and if it doesn't work out you fire them.

"I think hire slow, fire fast is stupid advice for entrepreneurs. If you follow it you won't be hiring the right people quickly enough and you'll end up in a lot of legal trouble."

The Brass Tacks

According to Employee Benefit News, it costs employers 33% of a worker's annual salary to hire a replacement if they leave. To put that in dollars and cents, if an employee is earning $45k a year, it's going to cost you $15k to find their replacement should they leave.

Maybe the focus shouldn't be on hiring slow and firing fast, but on hiring right an avoiding unnecessary staff turnover.

P: In Who: The A Method for Hiring, You write about the characteristics of A players. How do you detect high-quality candidates in a short space of time?

G: There are a lot of bad ways to evaluate a candidate. Let's start with bad methods. Take The Handbook of Industrial and Organisational Psychology for example. This…
Paolo Dotta
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