Do you ever want to compromise when trying to recruit a much needed position? Consider this insight from Dave Grow that might help you rethink your decisions.
I was feeling overwhelmed and overworked. But we had just interviewed a candidate at Lucidchart who could provide some immediate relief. I was optimistic. That is, until my conversation with our CEO Karl.
Karl: “Did you think he was great?”
Me: “Um… I think he’s pretty good. Besides, I need someone now.”
Karl: “That’s not why we hire people. We’re not settling.”
It was clear Karl wouldn’t budge. I was upset. It meant more long days, wearing too many hats and shouldering too many responsibilities. Indefinitely. Until we could find that person who cleared our hiring bar.
I hated that bar sometimes.
Several months later, we walked out of an interview. And we knew. This candidate was the one. Raw. Early in his career. But potential to be truly exceptional.
It wasn’t until years later I realized the law of recruiting. Great people want to work with great people. And so – especially in the early days – if you create a nucleus of ‘pretty good’ people, that is the upper bound of who you will be able to hire. But if – and sometimes it’s a painful if – you hold out for the exceptional ones, there’s no stopping you from hiring the best.
When it comes to your team, don’t settle. It may well be the difference in building a ‘pretty good’ company vs. something legendary.
Yes, this is much easier to write on a blog than to deal with in person when you’re suffering without someone in a specific position. Plus, there’s certainly a grey area between someone who’s not perfect but has massive potential and someone who is a bad fit for your company. Knowing the difference can be a real challenge, but is essential to hiring the right people.
However, Dave’s insight is 100% spot on: Great People Want to work with other Great People. Once you compromise on a hire, it makes it that much harder to recruit the next person. However, the opposite is also true. If you bring on an amazing hire, then it makes your next hire that much easier.