Harvard Business Review (HBR) ran an article on Netflix’s hiring practices in their January 2014 issue. In it, Netflix’s chief talent officer explained their hiring strategy: “hire only ‘A’players, and let go of people whose skills no longer fit.” Some of HBR’s readers shared their disdain for this practice. Here’s the author’s response in the April 2014 issue:
The culture we created is not for everybody, and we were honest about that. I wanted Netflix to be a great place to be ‘from,’ no matter how long the journey. Great colleagues, hard problems, tangible deliverables – those experiences create great resumes and careers. I have come to realize that it’s absolutely the responsibility of employees to hone their skills and proactively seek opportunities both within and outside their companies. Sometimes the timing is just wrong for the company or the person, and the next great job is somewhere else. I’ll say that if we don’t provide real life coaching to young workers, then they won’t acquire the skill of constantly learning. I find that technical folks tend to get this more than other people do, because for them it’s clearer when things change. The pace of change for tech workers tends to be faster since technology is always innovating. The thing is, we are all technology workers now, and we should all think that way.
Our learners need a new set of skills. What are we doing about it?