Hire or Higher to go Further?
Social Equity and Economic Cohesion
I love my team. Every one of them is exceptionally skilled and motivated. They have created an ingenious product providing immediate value for online experts within minutes. It provides a never seen quality and precision of search phrase matching, using an AI component that can easily be trained and optimized directly by users through a top of the line UI.
Of course, we now want to grow and scale.
If you have a team of outstandingly responsible and efficient colleagues (and who does not want to have such a team?) there is ONE thing you can really do wrong: start hiring people of average skill level at higher salaries only to sacrifice to the God of Growth. As Joel Spolsky stated long before he launched stackoverflow.com:
“It’s not just a matter of ‘10 times more productive.’ It’s that the ‘average productive’ developer never hits the high notes that make great software.”
Joel Spolsky – Stack Overflow (https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2005/07/25/hitting-the-high-notes/)
Don’t get me wrong: I consider growth one of the most important motivations when running a company. But growth is not an end in itself. Growth should increase, your business stability (being larger than your competitors can help a lot), efficiency, (the effect of scale generates more profit), and general profitability. In the end growth should increase the happiness of the team. And if happiness can be achieved better by hiring new people than by raising salaries, we will do that.
Here at searchhub.io we regularly discuss whether we should hire new developers or pay higher salaries as soon as we realize that our profit has increased sustainably. Everyone is involved in this discussion and, naturally, has a profound interest in which direction we should go. Each team member involved in the daily business (development, devops, research, sales) must judge between increased fiscal freedom for the individual vs. less individual workload.
Growth is a Social Responsibility
But there is another component as well. We are intimately attached to this industry. When I look around our office during our morning „daily“, I see the faces of my colleagues, some of whom have worked together with me for over 20 years building this industry from the ground up. Because of this team of developers, ecommerce across Europe is more profitable, and makes more educated decisions about optimizations to their customers’ search journeys. It makes me proud to play my part!
So expanding our team of developers, and researchers, Sales and Marketing is not simply about scaling our business. More importantly it’s about maintaining a certain ambition, an ethos, a secret knowledge if you will. My team creates real solutions for real problems that make a user’s or customer’s day more efficient and profitable. This is our secret sauce. This is what allows our team such a close connection to our customers.
Site-Search is not a trivial topic. Few understand it in detail. Even fewer have spent their careers building this space. This is who my team is. And, again, I’m proud of them!
Going Further – Together – to take us Higher
To this end we aim to move forward together. Expanding our influence in ecommerce search. To go „higher“ – creating more financial freedom for each individual at search|hub along the way. To achieve this, each employee we hire has the marked responsibility to take our software and our customers, even higher.
This is the backdrop that provides the frame for how we understand efficient business management and FairPlay salary design.