Hiring: False Positives and False Negatives

Hiring (and firing) is most important thing a CEO can focus on. It is also the thing that most first-time CEOs do a poor job on. From my own experience, I’m much better at hiring now than I was in my first few start-ups. Much better.


False positives and false negatives

When you are hiring, there are two mistakes you can make — the false positive (hiring the wrong person) or the false negative (not hiring the right person). Depending on your hiring strategy, you are going to fall into one camp or the other.

Big companies hire differently than small companies. Big companies need a lot of people (or, at least, they think they need a lot of people). Small companies need a few dedicated people.

So these big companies often err towards false positives. Great start-ups, by contrast, can’t afford to hire a B-player and must focus on only hiring great people and thus end up having lots of false negatives.

The biggest mistake I made on my first couple of start-ups (and the biggest mistake that most first-time CEOs make) is not being better at hiring great people.

1 thought on “Hiring: False Positives and False Negatives

  1. Pingback: 5 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Recruitment in 2019 -

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s