The problem with human resources, as my wife puts it in half-jest, is that in many cases its practices are hardly human (she works in the human resource department for a large multinational company).
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr, who speaks extensively on business leadership and human resource, has a new book out called “The Trouble with HR: An Insider’s Guide to Finding and Keeping the Best People“, which (as you can imagine) covers some real issues with HR. For example, one of the ten hiring mistakes he mentioned in the book, and the greatest, relates to company culture. He says:
I knew a CEO of a start-up financial services company who hired an accounting manager based on her resume. He was impressed by her skills and background and knew she could do the job. But when he interviewed her, he had doubts about how she would fit into the culture. She came across in the interview as having an edge. He sensed that her attitude could be a problem, but he was so impressed by her resume that he ignored the telltale signs and erased his own doubts. On her first day on the job, she attended a meeting where she offended three of her colleagues. Angry, she stormed out of the meeting, leaving little room for compromise. Her first day was difficult, and it went downhill from there. She was replaced after six months. While a study by the American Management Association says replacement costs vary greatly depending on the job and salary, it estimates that most searches cost from 25 percent for lower-level positions to 200 percent of annual compensation for senior executives. Those costs include executive recruitment fees and customer service disruption.
Questions over existing (and potentially flawed) methods of hiring are not new, of course. For example, Malcolm Gladwell spoke about the challenge of hiring in the modern world during the 2008 New Yorker Conference.
And why is this important to you as a startup, you ask. Well it so happens that in order for your startup to grow, you need to hire. And you must hire well, since you cannot afford to make any hiring mistakes early in the life of your startup.
So if you’re a startup in the process of expanding, you may want to check Johnny C. Taylor Jr’s new book “The Trouble with HR: An Insider’s Guide to Finding and Keeping the Best People” out.