February 15, 2011 7 Comments
Every hire affects the average of the employees in your company. Hiring someone good brings the average up, hiring someone bad takes it down. Even hiring someone that is no better or worse than average consolidates my position and makes it harder to improve with good hires later.
For startup companies where the team is small, the influence of each new hire on the average can be huge. It’s not just that you have a team member that isn’t performing – it can created a downward spiral of falling morale.
One of the worst mistakes I have ever made was hiring the wrong person for a job. What makes it even worse is that I knew inside he wasn’t the right guy for the job from the start.
At the time, I justified the decision using a series of arguments, for which I now repent. I have heard these arguments used by others many times since then, so I will list them here in the hope that they might help others avoid making this mistake.