Dont keep “sucking the thumb”

Watblog reports on a great initiative by Headstart which will connect startups and freshers.  At the same time there is an ongoing debate about if startups should hire freshers at all.

My answer is yes,  I do believe freshers (the right ones) can make significant contributions and learn a lot in return.


The risk of hiring a wrong person is not much different even when you hire a non-fresh (experienced) person.  The critical next step is to quickly asses the person and act fast on that instead of “sucking the thumb”.

The important thing to keep in mind is that a startup cannot afford to have even one person in the team who is “non-productive / misfit”. The resource budgets are extremely tight and deadlines are always around the corner, speed matters a lot and having a wrong guy can hit you on both money and speed.

Startups should have a strict process to ensure the team is free of “non-productive / mifit” candidates. Whenever you add a new person to the team, give your self two weeks to asses him/ her. If things are not working as expected be quick to act.  Give candid and clear feedback to help the person perform / improve. Watch for another week and if still its not working out go ahead and inform the person that its best for them and the company “to not work together”.

As things are not going well for the employee, if you let them go chances are they will find job which has a better fit for them and excel at it, instead of just hanging around.

Many times people are worried /scared of firing, they keep “sucking the thumb” i.e: dont do anything and hope things will work out with time. That does not work at a start-up, and it hurts real bad.

PS:  “Sucking the thumb” is a term made popular by Charlie Munger.