Asaf is the Founder of Home Made – the biggest hybrid letting solution in the UK. His background is in management consulting with Bain n and then an MBA at INSEAD. He’s now well into the founder lifestyle.
Today, we go back 5 years to mid-2018. Asaf has just realised that a key hire he made to drive business development wasn’t working out.
The company was burning a bit of cash, and the growth that he needed wasn’t happening.
This was the first time that he’d had to fire someone.
And in hindsight, it was nothing to do with the person.
He hadn’t made a great hiring decision. And it was his fault as a leader.
Had He Made the Mistake of Hiring Someone at the Wrong Time?
The hire in question hadn’t originally applied for a sales position. It was for an Ops role.
They’d had a great interview. And Asaf was excited by them as a person. He saw her in a management position. But after the interview, he realised that they didn’t really need an Ops person… so he put her in this growth position.
Her job was to focus on getting the company enterprise clients.
A few months down the line, it had gotten to the point where they knew they weren’t going to see any revenue from her in this role in the next 6 months. It just wasn’t possible.
Making this kind of hire at this time was the wrong decision. The reality was, the company wasn’t even ready for enterprise clients.
As she was a key hire — the price to pay for this mistake was big. If Asaf didn’t pull the plug now, it would cost him the company.
And to rub salt into an already deep wound — he knew that he was to blame.
He had made a biased decision because of her values alignment and belief in the vision..
But, she didn’t have the right skills for the job she was hired for, nor the time to learn how to do it. Her role was almost destined to fail.
Asaf’s Ideas for Making Great Hiring Decisions
Asaf highlights that because of his immaturity as a founder, he wanted people who shared his vision and was willing to put them anywhere.
But the reality is, if you want someone to success, you need to put them in a role that allows them to do that.
After deciding to fire this person — Asaf regrouped with his team and completely changed the hiring process.
They couldn’t afford to make that kind of mistake a year down the line. So they created a process that would ensure it would never happen again.
A few big changes were made in his end-to-end hiring process:
- Made a hiring workshop for key hires to make sure that they were a great fit for the company. Not just culturally, but in terms of achieving deliverables too
- Stopped hiring people in sales, finance and marketing roles that had the potential to match… without the relevant experience
- Put measures in place to reduce the chances of bias in interviews — by creating case studies and looking at the actual work
- Added a voting process — hire or champion. Even if one manager didn’t select one — the candidate didn’t go through
- Shortening the period that allows new hires to demonstrate their abilities — with no exceptions
Asaf’s process still makes space for entry-level roles to be trained and learn new skills… because there is less risk involved. But when it comes to key hires, the process is long and extremely carefully considered.
In this episode, we talk about
- Common biases and mistakes made in the hiring process
- Cross-hiring from corporate to start-up… and how it never really works
- Essential traits in a candidate that will lead to a hiring success
With Asaf’s new model, the key hires that he does onboard have between a 90-95% chance of staying long-term. A success rate that is practically unheard of!
Tune in for more insights on how he got to this level of success.