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Summary of Lyons’ Assessments
By reading Disrupted, Hubspot is defined as a start-up technology company with
“Fun-loving” culture consisted with young energetic people. The company’s culture code
is “Creating a Company We Love.” (Lyons) Their behaviors and attitude towards work
are completely fit to the culture. It is mostly an emotion driven working climate. Feelings
are overweight principles in this situation. They care a lot about creating an interesting
atmosphere. There are some reasons from different aspects that makes the company has
such culture and behaviors.
Firstly, from the beginning of entering the company, the recruiting process is not
following any standard rules and cause disordered results. As Lyons stated: “B players
hire C players, so they can feel superior to them, and C players hire D players.” That’s
the bozo explosion (Lyons)
For example, Dharmesh Shah, who is the creator of the company’s code, is hired because
of his investment. Similarly, Cranium Wingman, the top manager is hired because
investment and his father’s background. The standard of choosing whom to work with
was blurred from the managers to common employees. They pick new colleagues based
on personal preference of the mangers and the company culture. The interview process is
simple and relax, questions are created to evaluate someone who is loyal yet not
professional. Experiences are not required for most of positions, so there are a lot of
employees just came out from colleges. In addition, Employees are constantly hiring and
firing for nonreason. Managers always make decision without careful considerations.
Thus, the structure of the company keeps nonstable.
Secondly, how employees poisoning themselves is an influential issue. As Lyons
expressed, the environment makes people “brainwashed” at Hubspot. Everyone thinks
themselves as a leader even only leading one person. They put a lot of efforts on building
personal brands which may help to contribute high-quality business performance in some
situations. However, at Hubspot, employees are trained to be a self-promoter instead of a
team player. For example, Cranium indicates himself as a marketing superstar and
launched Youtube channel to promote his ideology of marketing. However, he does not
have solid marketing background. This kind of behaviors cause the organization to
become extremely loose and lack of cooperation.
Thirdly, work profession remains in a low position in employees’ minds at Hubspot.
They create activities such as “Fearless Fridays” to strengthen the relationships between
everyone. Despite the activities has nothing to do with their actual jobs. It should be a
solution to make everyone connected better but a lot of time and energy is wasted by the
useless works. Ironically, the managers feel great about what they get. They value
emotional connection as a priority of the company but not the performance of business.
As review the company codes listed on their official website, we can easily find out
that there is no rules or regulations according to employees’ daily work but loaded
information about how to fit into the culture. The guideline for managers says they has
the rights to alter the instructions by their ideas and preference. (Hubspot Inc.) It is
absolutely not a rule to make a healthy structured company.
Therefore, the “bozos” have huge impacts on Hubspot’s culture and finally leads the
company to a dysfunctional organization. Employees are confused what they are doing
even with a strong passion.
Recommendations for How to Fix Hiring Problems
After analyzing the problems at Hubspot, I would like to provide some
recommendations to help the company to fix the hiring problems and increase their
First of all, I would suggest Hubspot to set up an HR team. The team members take the
responsibilities of hiring people and the managers only make the final decision. Since the
managers have other works and they may not have time to review too many resumes, an
HR team could filter the attendants for them. Also, this may help the hiring process to be
more objectively and professionally by absorbing more opinions.
Secondly, it will be much better if they could come up with a standard for evaluating
people, like a grading system. According to each position they want, setting up some
questions related to the actual knowledge in that field or something about problem
solving skills. In addition, for some high-end positions, it is better to require work
experience. The HR team may ask applicants to provide previous work. Now the
interviews are focus on applicants’ personalities, yet it should care more about their
abilities. The most important thing is to choose people who can be practical instead of
Thirdly, when a new employee is hired, there could be a probation period like some
other companies do. The purpose of probation period is to observe how they behave in
real work. It does not to be long, maybe couple weeks. So that the managers will have an
opportunity to evaluate the applicant’s abilities. It is also a chance for the new members
to get used to the company. If someone does well at the interview but not able to operate
the job during the probation period, the company could juts cut this person off. To make
the decision, other co-workers could vote anonymously for keep this applicant or not
while the managers’ decision weight more than common colleagues. Voting helps the
managers know what the facts are then avoid reasonless decisions.
In addition, it is necessary to have a post-hiring program to welcome the new member.
Since the company’s culture pays a lot of attention on relationships and feelings, it is not
okay to make a new member like Lyons wait so long on the first day of work. Assigning
someone to introduce the basic things about the company will be better for new members
to engage with the group and find themselves suitable positions.
As a conclusion, Hubspot is experiencing a disorientated hiring process because of
lack of regulations and meaningless interviews. If they could make some changes, the
business performance will improve then they will be able to attract more talented people