Don’t hire dogs

don't hire dogs

Dog’s are a man’s best friend. They are considered as faithful, loyal and will always be there to lift you up. A dog will fetch things for you and do silly tricks such as sit, roll over, etc.

In different companies, there is one such breed of employees. Don’t get me wrong, I am not objectifying people, and this is an analogy, if anything. So this breed of employees … they behave in the exact manner like dogs.

They are generally taken from the street or from the wild, they do not have any formal skill set with them. It’s probably because of this reason that they are extremely loyal to the company. They are willing to go the extra distance and spend more time in the office working unrealistic deadlines and striving to satisfy their masters.

Obviously, who would want to say no to such employees! Right?

Well, wrong!! Change is the requirement of all organizations, especially the small ones and the ones which are growing at a fast pace. The problem now magnifies is because you can’t teach an old dog new tricks (yes, I wanted to work this cliché into this post!!). Any organization that is growing at a fast pace (60% – 100% growth YoY) would require such a huge influx of talent, that the loyal dog would now be forced to question his erstwhile unquestionable value in the company.

This is the risk, and it’s a huge one. Why is it a risk? Because at some point in the founder’s life, this loyal employee has done a favor and worked in ridiculous conditions. Now that the dog is tired and cannot do anything new, it has become a liability for the organization. Not only does it sadden the person, but the organization cannot put this figurative dog to sleep.

So if you are an entrepreneur or about to start your firm, do yourself a favor and do not hire dogs.

Addendum

Arjun Bakshi writes –

This phenomenon is not restricted to start-ups:-) Most “Big” organisations are not very different.
I feel HR / Organisations are lazy and want the easy way out. Have a template of qualifications and experience required to hire, short-list such people thru employee referrals and employment consultants and then hire them.
Why take the risk to hire people outside the template and take efforts on them?
In case you follow sports, the recent example of Jeremy Lin is a very good example of the malaise which also exists in our hiring practices. I am sending just one of the millions of articles on him. I think, Malcolm Gladwell also has a few artcles on a similar theme.

Prasad Ajinkya

An epicurean who has read a Rand too many

6 comments
TheBigK
TheBigK

Now tell me how do I identify these dogs at the time of hiring.

Arjun Bakshi
Arjun Bakshi

Prasad, the employee is a "Dog" in the new environment. in the past he must have been a star who was delivering for the organisation in very difficult conditions. Isn't it a failure of the entrepreneur / organisation that they have not anticipated the change and ensured that this employee is ready for this change (in terms of training / new suitable roles, etc.) and continue contributing to the organisation?

Prasad
Prasad

Umm, Biggie try throwing them a stick and asking them to fetch :-D

Prasad
Prasad

 Bakshi, you are right. The employee could have been a star, but to keep shining further, the star needs either to be nurtured and shown the right path, or the star needs to burn more brightly. Problem in the Indian start-up scene that I see these days is because of the huge supply of labour, not much efforts are done on training and development of current employees. It is a failure of the organization, but the organization is acting purely on capitalist short-sighted mentality :) The post is intended for those entrepreneurs to stop hiring such folks who can later be a liability. One of the alibis that I have seen being used is that we are a startup and all such discrepancies are to be tolerated by the said employee. The things folks pull off under the name of startups is amazing!!

Arjun Bakshi
Arjun Bakshi

This phenomenon is not restricted to start-ups:-) Most "Big" organisations are not very different. I feel HR / Organisations are lazy and want the easy way out. Have a template of qualifications and experience required to hire, short-list such people thru employee referrals and employment consultants and then hire them. Why take the risk to hire people outside the template and take efforts on them? In case you follow sports, the recent example of Jeremy Lin is a very good example of the malaise which also exists in our hiring practices. I am sending just one of the millions of articles on him. I think, Malcolm Gladwell also has a few artcles on a similar theme. http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7574087/overlooking-jeremy-lin I have ranted enough on this topic:-) Hope you enjoy the article.

Prasad
Prasad

Linteresting article!