Hiring for Failure?

You and I heard many stories of teams and companies hiring for success. Have you heard of or experienced hiring for failure?

Recently, I chatted with an executive I admire. We shared our stories of origin.

Amid our conversation, he shared a fascinating story of hiring for failure.

He asked, “AZ, do you know that before I joined Company X, the company I had been one of its leaders was bankrupt?”

I had no idea! I opened my eyes wide and sat at the edge of my seat to listen intensively.

Within seconds, I was asking so many questions in my head.

  1. How on earth could someone hire an executive who came from a bankrupt company?
  2. What were the people who hired him thinking?
  3. What swayed them to bring him in despite such a bad reputation?
  4. And more.


He cleared his throat and enthusiastically shared how it went down. I picked from his voice tone. He still considers that encounter a turning point in his life.

During the interview, he wasn’t sure whether his immediate past unpleasant work history would come in the way or not. He wasn’t hundred percent sure whether they would hire him for a senior and critical executive position.

The people who hired him had an unconventional wisdom. They argued that since you know what could lead to failure, you can help us avoid failing.

What a smart move! The company has been growing and expanding since then…

In conclusion, conventionally, companies hire for success. Very rarely do they take a chance on failure. Those who do this frequently have the wisdom to leverage failure. They may be thinking: Who understands what leads to failure and prevents the same failure from happening repeatedly than a person who has failed?

What about you?

  1. Have you hired others for failure? What was your thinking behind it?
  2. Have you been hired regardless of your past failures? What made the people who hired or promoted you take a chance on you?


Let me know your thoughts…