TECH TALK: Vision and Worries: Talent

The second worry that I discussed was Talent. I have plenty of ideas on what Id like to build out in the future. But these ideas will not go anywhere if we cannot bring in the best talent. This realisation hit home when Girish walked in and said, Rajesh, we have a strategy for lots of things. But we dont have a strategy on how we are going to recruit the hundred best people over the next few months. Without this team, we arent going to go too far. He was right. I hadnt thought about much about it till then.

In IndiaWorld, I never had to worry about people much. We were a small team. My wife and I led from the front. While we did have attrition, it didnt matter much because the small core team that we had could essentially take care of all that needed to be done. In Netcore, the work we did while exciting was not extraordinary to require bringing in great talent. So, in essence, I never worried about building the best team.

The irony was that Id read about the need for great talent everywhere. For a long time, I thought if I could just get the right ideas in place, execution would not be a problem. Over the past year, as the scope of what Ive wanted to do has enlarged, Ive realised that I was wrong. Without the best team in place, execution will not happen. Now, I worry about how we are going to build this great team over the coming months.

As Jack Welch put it: Hiring good people is hard. Hiring great people is brutally hard. Yet nothing matters more in winning than getting the right people on the field, then guiding them on the right way to succeed and get ahead.

In this context, these words from Joe Krause ring true:

I always keep two things in mind when hiring, no matter how desperate I feel.

1. a bad employee does far more damage than no employee, no matter the issue.
2. A players hire A players, B players hire C players, and C players hire losers. Let your standards slip once and you’re only two generations away from death.

Any hiring process should focus on never letting in a bad fit. Even if that means accidentally rejecting a lot of people that would be good fits. Said another way, it optimizes for no false positives, even at the expense of false negatives.

So, as we go ahead, this is for me the most important worry and challenge. How do I get the best people in? On that will hinge the success of what we want to do.

Tomorrow: Being Blind-sided

TECH TALK Vision and Worries+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.