- So we're talking a little bit about hiring people. And I want to save you some heartache, heartburn, and maybe a heart attack. I don't have to tell you how important people are with your company, but I don't also think I have to tell you how big the people risk is. I mean, think about it. If you're looking to start a business, you're going to have a handful of people there, let's say you have 10. You get one person wrong, it's going to take you, let's call it three to six months to find that person. It's going to take three to six months to figure out that that person isn't the right person.
It's going to take three months for you to get up your energy and courage to fire that person because you're a good person and you hate firing people. And then you got to start the process all over again. I mean, think about it. A startup, you do that, you do that a couple times, your're done, you're absolutely out of business. So nothing is more crucial at a startup than getting the people right. Now I've got some bad news for you on this front. Because what I found isn't coming from corporate America. My network wasn't always the right network. I found that search people, I love them, you love them, we all love them.
Sometimes they're not the right people either. They've obviously got sort of a dog in the game. They often have big clients. They often aren't bringing you the right opportunities. You can't rely on search people. And the third thing is interviewing as we do it today is completely broken. It's absolutely broken. So, you know, it's the person who sits in that one-hour meeting with you who does a brilliant job who-- That's the best thing they do, is that one-hour meeting with you. And so my advice to you is as you're looking to find people to mitigate that risk by first of all expanding out your network, that if you've been in corporate America making sure you're getting into the entrepreneur networks in your community, getting to really know those folks who are viewed as the stars within the entrepreneurial network, and those skills can be very different.
So I want you to expand out your network. The second thing I want you to do is I really want you to look for relevant experience. Not relevant experience 10 years ago, but relevant experience today. Culture fit really matters, but you got to make sure that these individuals are going to do the job as the jobs exist, because you've got a lot of work, and you've got to get that work out. And the third thing is, I want you to check references, but what I really want you to do is check the back-channel references, The person who you know who knows the person who knows this person.
The person who you know who this person doesn't know you're speaking to. To really hear the truth about it, I want you to really check on those gaps in that person's career, and what the reasons are for them. If that person has gone from one job to another, I want you to dig in on it like you've never dug in on it. I've got to tell you, I had someone who I worked with some time ago. Friends recommended-- Head-hunters recommended this person, I brought this person on. Screamer. Screamer, she was a screamer.
She screamed, a lot, all the time. If she had screamed and gotten something done that would have been hard, but she screamed, she got nothing done. Really bad, lost months and months. So I don't want you to make that mistake. So what I want you to do as you're looking at hiring people, I want you to think about mitigating that risk. Relevant experience, back-channel checks, expand out your network. These things will help you get the right people in the door.
What's holding you back? How can you gain the confidence necessary to take risks and chance failing? Sallie Krawcheck is a LinkedIn Influencer and one of the most successful and influential executives in financial services. She has built her career and reputation on thoughtful risk-taking. Here she shares an approach that will help you to take chances while mitigating risk—and keep you on the track to growth and continued opportunity.