On Hiring Procrastinators

The work ethic that you have is likely a carryover from how you were in school.

Some of us might be labeled as procrastinators – not out of laziness, but out of a misalignment of goals.

In school, high leverage tasks (as teachers and the department viewed them) were tests, homework, and classwork. They assumed that you were in school with the goal of getting a degree. However, going to school is the norm. Not everyone goes because you necessarily want to. Some go because you need to (to get a job). As such, your goals in school won’t necessarily align with that of getting the degree.

In the workforce, it’s hard to interview for goal alignment (i.e. that the company’s goals align with the candidate’s goals). Hiring in tech is a bit desperate so we make offers to talented folks who have barely heard of our products. One solution could be to make sure that the candidate is passionate about your mission and product; unfortunately, that leaves you with an even smaller pool of candidates. If a candidate only want to join your company to “build cool shit,” you’ll need a strategy for alignment and readjustment.

Expecting the candidate to be aware of their misalignment is putting the company at risk. The candidate wants to achieve their goals – not yours.