Why we can't hire the best

"Hiring the best of the best" doesn't mean you went for the best in the market.

Among those relevant to you, you find the best in the market — and then look for alignment. Someone who can buy into you/your organisation's narrative and align their own story to yours.

When the story of an individual and an organisation aligns, you can create magic.

This alignment requires active awareness and work.

The transaction is two-sided. The person you're hiring adds value to the org and the work and org add value to the individual.

Most organisations spend whatever time & energy they get on the first part — what they want out of the candidate. And somehow, most don't do a very great job of it (guilty as charged).

However, clarity on the second part is equally important — what will the individual gain from working with the organisation, you, and the work they will do?

How will it help them grow? Does it fit with their own vision for themselves? Do you understand the story they are telling themselves?

If you don the first part well — have excellent clarity on what you want — you may actually end up hiring some great talent, but you won't be able to retain them for long.

Most of those conversations will end in, "Oh we could've / will do X for you [now that we know]", but by that time it's too late. Take note, work better, and deliver more value next time.

If you don the first part well — have excellent clarity on what you want — you may actually end up hiring some great talent, but you won't be able to retain them for long.

Most of those conversations will end in, "Oh we could've / will do X for you [now that we know]", but by that time it's too late. Take note, work better, and deliver more value next time.

When it comes to designers, product managers, and engineers, two critical things you must get in place are:

  • Mentorship: Have folks people can learn from — both in terms of variety & experience. Dedicate time and encourage collaboration and conversations here.
  • Evangelism: Encourage people to be on the leading edge of the field they are in, help them share their work with the world, sure you have legal binding by the client — but you can find a way — you'd have if it was your own CV.

(We spoke about this in detail at the design round table as well)

People want to solve problems and work with people who solve problems. This is such a basic thing that even writing it I feel — are you serious, Sidharth? Is this what you're planning to send out in the newsletter?!

But yes, lately talking to hiring managers and founders struggling to hire, it became clear we barely have clarity on who we want to hire, let alone have clarity on what we can offer.

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