How we hire at Web Profits

Have you ever heard the saying ‘hire slow, fire fast’?

I had heard this saying many times in my life, both before founding Web Profits and after but I never really knew what it meant.

That is, until we went through a few years of rapid growth and we hired people who weren’t totally awesome.

They were good… but they weren’t awesome.

And it made a big difference to the team overall in terms of energy, productivity and overall happiness.

I often say that it’s the best team that wins the championship, not the best individual.

And that means you need a team of people who are not only great at what they do, they also like each other, respect each other, and are inspired by one another.

If you can build that, you’ll have a company that’s totally awesome.

A few years ago I heard the following statement, which now guides how we hire at Web Profits…

“IT’S EITHER A ‘HELL YEAH!’ OR IT’S A NO”

It’s confronting to use this standard of hiring because there are a lot of people who you interview that are pretty good but aren’t a ‘hell yeah!’.

But it’s also a really simple way of hiring because it’s obvious.

‘Hell yeah’ is obvious. Otherwise it’s a ‘no’.

So how do we find the ‘hell yeahs’?

We look for people who are hungry, ambitious and smart… and at the same time, humble, respectful, and want to have a good time.

Experience is great… but these traits are a lot more important.

Over the last couple of years I’ve really made it a point that I want the best possible team at Web Profits…

A team of awesome people who are passionate about what they do, who enjoy working with one another, and who enjoy coming in to work every day.

I’ve never really been good at ‘firing fast’ but using this standard of hiring (even though it’s slower) means I don’t have to be… because the chance that a new team member is going to succeed is a lot higher.

Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Director of Strategy + Innovation | Co-Founder at Web Profits
I co-founded Web Profits in 2006 with the belief that there's always a smarter and better way to do things. We're now a digital growth consultancy with offices in Australia, Singapore, and the United States. I'm passionate about personal and professional growth, and I like to surround myself with people who are as well. I have substantial private board experience, and have successfully launched an IPO.

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I’m the co-founder of Web Profits, investor in a number of different companies, and have successfully launched an IPO. Get access to 95% of my best life hacks.