The Hiring Chasm

Business by on August 15, 2007 at 10:27 pm

I’m adding developers so I’ve had hiring on my mind a lot lately. Every startup goes through the rough transition that I think can be roughly compared to Moore’s Marketing Chasm.

Of course you can take just about any trend, stick it up against a Normal Distribution, draw a graph with a gap between the first and second standard deviations and claim great insight. But I’m going to stick a description of the gap instead.

The Hiring Chasm exists between the in-network hiring that propels most startups through their initial growth phase and the first few out-of-network hires that made. These are the riskiest hires made by a startup - not only do you know limited information about the people you’re hiring, but your team is typically small enough that a few cultural mismatches could implode the organization.

When the stars align, the hiring decisions are obvious, but most are not as clear. Online recruitment channels are inherently noisy, phone interviews are limited by the medium and at best you’re hiring someone that has a high probability of being a fit for the role. At worst, startups impose false OR decisions on themselves (Do I take Average Candidate A OR Average Candidate B).

I don’t have any brilliant insights for hiring across the chasm (typical of a blog eh?). Hiring success comes from high exposure (meet and network with a lot of people), creative outreach and persistence. But I’m guessing you already knew that.


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. | Dave Naffziger's BlogDave & Iva Naffziger