Hiring has environmental impact

I have read multiple times that in order to grow a company, we need more people. Then we could delegate, assign clear responsibilities and do more work. That's all true, but it's only one side of hiring and evaluating it only through the positive lens can't make for a good decision. As everything else, hiring has also some disadvantages.

Some people try to convince us that we can't do it all, that we shouldn't even try so and that we should hire the specialists instead. There's a real danger in blindly accepting this advice, especially when we can fully appreciate other people's contribution only after we ourselves have spent a considerable amount of time on the same problem. Trying to do it all—even if it goes against common sense—gives us a better understanding of the process interplay and our role in the whole, which can be good if we need to collaborate with the people that will eventually take the same role later. By being able to do more things, we eliminate dependencies that stay in the way of completing our projects. If we hired a person immediately, we would become dependent on their role and the characteristics of their personality. If that person leaves, we would need to seek someone with the same role and again a personality that is a good fit for the company culture. Considering how long hiring takes, this could easily derail us from actually going forward.

People usually hire out of self-interest: they want to be their own bosses, to become independent, to have more freedom to do what they want, to take the decisions of the direction where the business is headed. They fail to realize that what is good for them might not be good for others. So, by hiring, they introduce environmental impact—one that isn't related to climate change or air pollution, but to the number of people's lives positively or negatively affected. This impact can be bound with the level of respect they have to their employees, the appreciation they have for their effort, the acknowledgement of what their needs at that particular moment are, the freedom they allow in deployment of their capabilities, the measures they take in their physical, psychical and spiritual advancement. This (incomplete) list shows how easily it is to affect people's lives by simply not caring enough about them. If destroying their dreams and conditioning them to accept the status quo isn't an environmental impact, it would be hard to imagine what is. Hiring is a two-side contract, which doesn't give the right to exploit people.

Even if it's easy or affordable to hire, we should always ask ourselves what environmental footprint we will leave. For instance, if you were in Bulgaria, you could hire many employees cheaply. But would you personally experience this as fair if someone else wanted to hire you? Can you really live well out of other people's misery? Would you like to become the place people wouldn't dare to leave or the place where they'll come happily day by day? Every small decision we take that directly or indirectly influences others has such an environmental impact. It's usually by evaluating hiring processes that we understand the values of the people behind the company. Sometimes the view can be quite unpleasant and then it doesn't matter how productive they are or how many people work for them.

If we aren't prepared, hiring won't grow our company, but create a single unhappy person that will gradually lead to a legion of unhappy people, that will contribute to the company's demise. Maybe the cost of hiring is much higher than most HRs realize.

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