Have startups become afraid to hire? And how to overcome it

Jack Aureliano De Santis
3 min readFeb 14, 2019

We have all heard countless talks, read countless blogs and had countless conversations about the importance of cultural fit, I won’t go too much into cultural fit itself as a topic, as answering that question, or even asking a company “What is your culture?” are topics that might require an entire blog of it’s own and some more.

Instead I will focus on particular aspect I noticed as a consequence of the forever quest for finding cultural fit, specially in startups.

People seem to be really afraid of hiring the wrong cultural fit person, and to some degree it’s justified, but I have seen it go too far in many startups.

How exactly? If you are involved in hiring yourself, in any way, you should ask yourself, are you subconsciously approaching interviews with candidates thinking about finding a fault? Thinking about finding is this person not a good cultural fit? Are you thinking more about your fear of hiring the wrong person then trying to see the positives this candidate can bring to the company?

If you thought about the above for a moment and your answer was yes, well I can tell you you are not alone, but you have already done the most important step, realising what your mind might not be telling you directly and becoming aware of it.

Approaching an interview with the subconscious mindset of finding a fault in a candidate will result in just that, finding a fault in every candidate.

I have seen bad hires myself, and even made some, I remember once a new developer on his first day at work refusing to shake hands with a woman, I have seen developers name everything in the code after themselves and I have even seen developers shouting at each other in the office.
And those bad hires will still happen, no hiring manager is perfect and no human has perfect judgement, that’s just a fact, no way around that.

What the important thing here is is to be able to recognise such cases and fire quickly and promptly, the ability of the people in charge to make prompt decisions is key, because a bad hire might ruin your company or make it a place no new people want to work at, but won’t do so in one day.

So let’s take a step back at the job interviews, if you are approaching them with the fear of making a bad hire you might likely miss good people, I have seen it happen countless times, and everyone is losing, both the company and the candidates.
Depending on your case leaving a position unfilled for too long might even do more damage to your company.

And at the end, no matter how many interviews you do, no matter how good your hiring process is, you will never get a complete picture of a candidate until you start working with them.