Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

It’s OK to be casual

My hiring policy was ridiculous.

Because I was too busy to bother, I’d just ask my current employees if they had any friends who needed work.

Someone always did, so I’d say, “Tell them to start tomorrow morning. Ten dollars an hour. Show them what to do.” And that was that.

The thought was that it’s almost impossible to tell what someone’s going to be like on the job until he’s actually on the job for a few weeks. So I’d hire lightly and fire lightly. Luckily we didn’t need to fire that often.

But maybe the fact that the new hires were friends of friends helped with the trust part.

To be fair, this was a mail-order CD store, so most of my employees were in the warehouse. But I also took this same casual approach when I needed an important high-tech systems administrator.

“Anyone have a friend who’s good with Linux? Yeah? Is he cool? OK, tell him to start tomorrow.”

The first time I did that I found Ryan. The second time, I found Jason. Both guys are amazing and are key people at CD Baby to this day.

Don’t try to impress an invisible jury of MBA professors. It’s OK to be casual.

Anything You Want - book cover