How to hire employee #2 given that we did not hire EmployeeNumberOne ?


Employees cost a bit up-front to on-board, and either work out or fail. Financially, they are option-like.1

Cash Flow

In order to support the empiric costs of employee search, the firm needs to have the cash flow to do so, otherwise it is risking the firm with each roll of the hiring dice.

Minimizing Option Burn

As long as employees are a net benefit, lower costs increase firm value by increasing the odds of finding good help.

  1. Retention
    Plan the exits: return to labor pool, train for mega-corp, train for partnership.
  2. Search
    Ask friends for recommendations. Hiring randos is for mega-corps.
  3. Trial
    Prepare a backlog for them to work through. Explain your schedule and values. Establish expectations and review / meet points.

Maximizing Draw

People who want to work with you will help deepen the recommendation pool and up the odds of success on first hire.

Professional reputation dominates and can be established by:

  1. Publish papers and designs
  2. Give talks at local meetups
  3. Blog-brag about works
  4. Obtain the blessing of the well-regarded

Isn't this just another employee #1?

While our over-confidence in our abilities to hire successfully means we need an auditor-risk-manager who will force our hands, it seem more like the proverbial Picasso sketch:

what looks like 10 seconds of work is actually 10 years of prep-work.