June 23, 2024

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Waze cofounder Uri Levine explains 30-day test of new employees

2 min read

New hires can’t get a break: Waze’s cofounder Uri Levine has revealed that after endless rounds of interviews and tests, under his leadership, they have to spend their first 30 days proving they’re right for the job—or they’re fired.

The traffic and navigation app mastermind and serial entrepreneur told Lenny’s Podcast that he started the recruitment practice after noting that “about half” of the failed startups he spoke to blamed their demise on not having the right team. 

The “scary” part, the Israeli boss added, is that all of them knew which workers weren’t a right fit within weeks of them starting.

“If you knew within the first month that the team is not right and you didn’t do anything, the problem was not that the team was not right,” he adds. “The problem was that the CEO did not make hard decisions.”

Levine has founded 10 companies (including two unicorns and Waze, which he sold to Google for $1.1 billion in 2013), served on the board of 20, and has advised more than 50 startups. 

In the end, he warned that underperforming employees can corrode company culture, send away top performers and make succeeding as a startup “mission impossible”.

It’s why he advised: “Every time that you hire someone new, what I really want you to do is mark your calendars for 30 days down the road and ask yourself one question: Knowing what I know today, would I hire this person?”

If the answer is yes, he suggests reaching out to the employee immediately, giving them more equity in the company to buy “their loyalty for life.” 

But if the answer is no, he advised: “Fire them immediately”—for both their sake and that of the businesses.

“They’re already set on a trajectory of not being successful and they are creating damage to you, to the rest of the team, and to themselves,” Levine said. 

“They deserve to find someplace…

Orianna Rosa Royle

2024-06-11 07:07:32

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