For as long as I can remember, recruiting has always been my top priority as an entrepreneur. Part of the reason is the joy I get in creating opportunities for people. It is immensely fulfilling to see people grow and thrive in the organization. Another part has to do with our Cost Management Ideology. People represent about 75% of total costs for a company like TEOCO, and recruiting plays a critical role in managing these costs.

When we want to make a new hire, we look not just for a talent match, but also a cultural fit. We evaluate the upside potential of the candidate; not just in terms of the position they will fill today, but where they might be in a few years from now. This is true for our new “growth” hires as well as our replacement hires.

When someone at TEOCO leaves – or we ask them to leave – we are never in a big hurry to fill up that slot, especially if we don’t find a worthy replacement. I know this means that other employee-owners must work a little harder to fill the gap – something they may not greatly enjoy. But this is still more agreeable than being saddled with a new colleague who brings questionable value to the table and ruins the harmony of the team.

I have found that a little patience on the hiring front often yields handsome returns. Someone truly talented and capable comes along soon enough – and they typically turn out to be an incredibly good fit. They end up contributing immense value to the team and we win in two ways: a good person comes in, and we avoid a potentially bad fit. When you sum this differential gain over months and years, you realize that you’ve amassed a massive pot of gold.

The cherry on top of the cake is that a good hire will typically stay longer and eventually become an integral part of the cultural fabric of the organization. In fact, they often help us find new employees that further strengthen the team!

With special thanks to Srinivas Bhogle for his support and contribution to this project.