Apply the Shopping-Mall Test

There’s one more test to apply to candidates, the Shopping Mall Test.

“Life is too short to work with people you don’t like—especially in a startup.”

This is how it works. Suppose you are at a shopping mall; you see a candidate before he notices you. At that point, you can do one of the three things:

Scoot over and say hello.

Figure that if you bump into him, fine. If not, that’s okay too.

Get in your car and go to another shopping center.

No matter what your intuition tells you, you are supposed to hire people that you’d hustle over to and engage in a conversation. If you find yourself picking option 2 or 3, don’t make the hire. As mentioned earlier- Life is too short to work with people you don’t like—especially in a startup.

Define an Initial Review Period

(By the way, if you pick option 2 or 3 for someone already employed at your startup, either fix the situation or get rid of the person.)

Define an Initial Review Period

Your recruiting process (or your intuition) is sometimes wrong despite your best efforts, and a new hire does not perform to your expectations. For us, one of the most complicated tasks is to admit this mistake and correct it.

However, if there’s one thing that’s harder than firing someone you don’t want, it’s laying off people you do want. If you don’t make a course correction or terminate people who aren’t working out, you increase the probability of laying off people working out if your startup fails.

To make this process easier on both the organization and the employee (because it’s also the right thing for the employee to stop working for the wrong organization), you should establish an initial review period with incremental milestones. The more concrete the performance objectives, the better. For example, goals for a salesperson might include:

Completion of product training

Completion of sales training

Participation in five sales calls

This period needs to be longer than that of the hiring afterglow but shorter than the time it takes for the predominant feeling to become; why did we hire this person?

In short, ninety days.

goals for a salesperson

Establish an understanding that after ninety days, there will be a joint review in which both sides discuss what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and how to improve performance. Some issues will be your fault!

Don’t Assume You’re Done.

In 2000 Garage recruited a well-known investment banker from a big-name company. It took weeks of wooing, and two rounds of offers and counteroffers as his current employer sweetened his current compensation.

Every day is a new contract between startups and their employees.

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