The Battle between your Need to fill a role vs. hiring for cultural alignment. 

More thought needs to go into “Who” you are going to hire than “What” you are going to hire. Meaning proven performers with transferable skills, not shiny objects.

Today’s Quote:

Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was - and still is - the most important thing we do.”

- Marc Bennioff, Founder, Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce

Guest Bio: 

Ben Mones is the co-founder and CEO of Fama, an AI-based solution that identifies problematic behavior among potential hires and current employees by analyzing publicly available online information. He founded Fama in 2015 to address the needs of organizations everywhere that are grappling with the challenges of protecting their workplace culture and preventing harassment.

Prior to Fama, Ben held a number of executive roles at a variety of startups in the Bay Area, including Acceleprise, an independent accelerator focused on enterprise technology, where he served as Entreprenuer  in Residence as well as Lanetix, a leading provider of cloud-based customer relationship management platforms as director, revenue operations. He also spent two years at content analytics and insights company Chartbeat. Ben has been tapped as a guest lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, UCLA Anderson School of Management and USC Marshall School of Business, and has also been featured in CNBC, Fast Company, Los Angeles Times, TechCrunch and the Wall Street Journal. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University and is based in Venice, California.

 Show Highlights: 

  • Why & How culture shapes your business
  • Ego over common sense- Hiring rock stars
  • Lessons learned and a structure to follow


Why is it important to invest in culture?

  • Shaping the culture of your business.
  • Human behavior drives business outcomes.
  • The virtue of power, ability to destroy or drive excellence 
  • When you need a function desperately filled, how do you balance your need to fill with the cultural value
  • People want to align with products and services that they are passionate about

Why does Ego make decisions over common sense?

Anybody with a legitimate amount of responsibility makes a difference. 

Rockstar engineers, leaders, need to fit into the organization, not the other way around

*** first-time founders Story: 

  • They decided to bring in some rockstars. Someone to groom. 
  • Didn't really fit the culture, demographics, hustle & grit. They went for the big dog name!
  • Knew almost immediately and he took a position of superiority
  • Hostile, no empathy… what they thought was not the reality

Lesson Learned

  • Hired but got rid of that person quickly.

Rick’s Input:

  • Cultural alignment/values alignment increase productivity
  • One wrong egg 
  • Hire Performers, not “Rockstars”
    • Rockstars 


What road map should leaders follow?

  • Get to know yourselves first. What is important to your business to ensure your success, mission & values to drive success. Team-based decision
  • Structured interview process. Strong candidate experience, all voices/perspectives are heard in the decision process… treat each person like a new hire from the very moment they get in contact with you
  • If you think you have talked to enough people, talk to a few more. 
    • Confirmation bias
  • Be swift. Hire slow, intervene quickly! A closer look on the first 60 days. Course correct early on!  With more transparency
  • Driving synergy is more important than putting a rockstar in a seat

Rick’s Framework

  • Treat each Person as if they are your only person
  • mindset eliminates bias

Key Takeaways:

  • Human behavior drives business outcomes
  • Before identifying the talent that can help drive your business forward, critical to dig-in and understand the values and culture drivers within your business.
  • Intervening and course correcting is an easier option than you might think...terminating a person is a last resort.
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