Should you hire good people you find and build roles around them?

 

Never, ever design a role around a person if you want to build a real business. Although this can work in very small organizations (under seven people) with little growth it is very dangerous in significant companies. 

People come and go all the time. You need to design your organization's and processes first and write good, clear job descriptions and hire for those roles. This is a common failure point for entrepreneurs and managers who hire people because they "like" them, not because they are the right match for skills and experience. People also often do not understand the difference between skills (easily trainable) and art, which takes 5+ years to develop for far more complex things. What Malcolm Gladwell labeled "unconscious competence". 

This is not to say roles and responsbilities cannot be tweaked a little for individuals. You should expand the roles of good people to keep them challenged and engaged. Nor does it say if you find someone you think is a superstar you can not invent a role for them to take them off the market and let them find their role within a growing organization. This is possible when a company has some room in a budget and each individuak need not carry themselves every month, maybe upon reaching twenty plus people and a steady profit. At that point you can begin to invest in top people and their development for the medium-term and long-term and not look at cash-flow as critical. It just says you need a strong match to the needed skills and experience in each key role and should not compromise. The ripple effect of one bad match to a role can hurt an organization a lot.