Hiring is a Problem / by Lewis Lin

Hiring is hard. You:

  • Post the job description

  • Wait for resumes to come in

  • Do rounds and rounds of interviews

  • Three or four months later you realize you’ve hired the wrong person

In addition to taking time, traditional recruiting is error-prone. Here’s are a few reasons why:

  • References can omit the negatives

  • Interviewees can say the right things

  • Interviewers’ cognitive biases lead them to hire the wrong people

  • Candidates can embellish their resumes

Hiring is not just a problem for hiring managers. In the past two weeks, I’ve also been looking for help with personal projects:

  • House cleaners

  • Handymen

  • Landscapers

And of course, I’ve been looking for help with work projects:

  • Authors & editors to collaborate on my next book

  • Mobile design experts

  • Tax experts

  • Copyright experts

  • Slander & libel experts

  • Experts on community management

If you’re trying to get things done, you’re going to need help. Whether you call it hiring, partnering, or something else - finding that special someone is challenging, time-consuming, and error-prone.

Ideally, we’d only hire or partner with those we’ve worked with in the past. The problem is we haven’t worked with very many people first hand. Over my 20-year career, I’ve only worked with 300 to 400 people firsthand. Eventually, I’ll need to work with someone outside of that 300 to 400 person network.

So what do we do? We tap friends and family for referrals. People we trust.