Never hire ahead of the curve

"There’s nothing worse than looking at an expensive team of talented people twiddling their thumbs while your dead cert opportunity goes sideways"

Claire Hynes | Co-founder | Mr.President

How would you explain what “never hire ahead of the curve” means?


“Never hire ahead of the curve” means don’t hire people to do the work until the work is in the metaphorical building. This is sound advice.

“The curve” has a nasty habit of going walkabout and taking a few unexpected turns and detours before deciding whether or not it’s coming through the door at all. There’s nothing worse than looking at an expensive team of talented people twiddling their thumbs while your dead cert opportunity goes sideways.

I know there’s a fear of being unable to hire the right people when the time comes. But my advice would be to have confidence in your culture, ensure you’re the place that people will come to when asked. Know who your next hires are, start some conversations, and when the moment is right, bring them in.

I don’t think I’ve ever consciously hired ahead of the curve but I’ve certainly had a few moments when pitch “wins” don’t materialise into viable projects, or clients pull the plug over night. And I’ve been grateful that we didn't get ahead of ourselves. Conversely, leaving it late to hire has at worst meant we’ve needed to bring in freelance to fill the gap, or juggle the client timelines a bit until the brilliant new hires arrive. Much better problems to have than too many bums on seats. So my advice would be, let the curve unfold and hire as you go.

Humble promo of Claire Hynes and Mr.President

Claire built an incredible agency with her partners. She is generous with her time to support others around her. Especially her own people. Not many agency founders manage to move a long-term team member move into a Managing Director role and make it work. Claire has made that work and it's a testament to the great leader she is.


Claire Hynes' bio

Claire Hynes is the co-founder of the agency Mr.President.

Explore other perspectives

Rob Pierre
Co-founder @ Jellyfish

"If you want to stay small and lean, then that's good advice"

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Simon Schnieders
Founder @ Blue Array

"For an agency that's ridiculous advice"

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Vineeta Greenwood
Co-founder @ Wholegrain Digital

"It’s not clear which curve you are hiring ahead of"

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Alex O'byrne
Co-founder @ We Make Websites

"As with anything, it's not great to hire when you're desperate"

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