Derek Sidebottom

Don’t Force the Fit

TBOP2017 ⋅ 2:23 ⋅ Filmed May 11, 2017

As a leader, one of the greatest challenges you will face will be turning away a talented candidate who isn’t the right fit. Maybe on paper they’re great. Maybe they interview really well. But in this clip, Derek Sidebottom explains how entrepreneurs and business owners and executives need to be wary of “forcing the fit” — and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to unengaged employees, and tons of wasted time and money. If you’ve ever wondered “Should I hire this person?” this clip will teach you how to know when it’s time to say “You’re hired!”, and when it’s time to say, “We’re going in a different direction.”


I've had to do this a few times myself, I'm guilty of this, don't force the fit. If someone is not going to make it into the ‘you're what I need as an organization’ and their interests are so outside of what you need to achieve, there is very little you can do to bend that person to be successful in your organization.

[00:21] Again, I go back to my example where the CEO was looking at me saying, "I hate all these people, I don't want to work with any of them anymore". And when I went through it person by person, it was, "You shouldn't have hired them. You force fit that. That person was a rockstar in their field and not even remotely interested in what you're trying to do in your organization. He was like, "I know but I couldn't find anybody else!" "Yeah but he doesn't want to work for you but you hired him anyways". So, it's your job. It's your job to do that. It's the founding team's job to do that.

[00:55] This is the toughest part. While I'm talking about hiring today and I'm mostly talking about scaling your team for growth, part of that is you do have to manage The Disengaged up or out. And we all slipped into the disengaged mode from time to time. We all get there. We have a bad couple of months. I'm not saying, screw up once and you're out of here. What I'm actually saying is you need to embrace a coaching mindset and really care and cultivate the health of your organization.

[01:25] If it's not a good fit for the organization, if the person is just not in, if their interests are not aligned with what you're trying to achieve, it's time to move on. And then call your HR person and figure out how to do it in a caring way.

[01:41] And of course, my favourite, and I've seen this too many time on Engineering hiring panels, never put The Disengaged on a hiring panel. Never, ever, ever. How many interviews have you been to where you've looked across and you're like, ‘that person don't want to be here either’. Never happened to any of you, right?

[02:00] Why would I put people in front of other people and try to get them attract to my org if they're not engaged.

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