#CJP Insights : How Netflix would hire only “A” players

#CJP Insights

How Netflix would hire only “A” players

Good Afternoon,

I was going through a year 2014 article titled “How Netflix Reinvented HR” by Patty McCord

During her 14 years at Netflix, Patty McCord kept a head-down approach, isolating herself within Netflix’s walls, to eventually come up with the brilliant document called “Netflix Culture: Freedom & Responsibility.”


She talks about the most basic element of Netflix’s talent philosophy – “I’ve learned that I’d rather work by myself than with subpar performers”. She says that the best thing you can do for employees—a perk better than foosball or free sushi—is hire only “A” players to work alongside them. Excellent colleagues trump everything else. She termed it as Hire, Reward, and Tolerate Only Fully Formed Adults. The company wanted only individuals who rely on logic and common sense instead of on formal policies.  Netflix’s pioneering approach to culture, like not needing permission to take time off or its policy of no employee annual reviews, is meant to attract “fully formed adults” who are OK with the business being run like a pro-sports team rather than a family

In a high-performance workplace, 97% of your employees will do the right thing. Most companies spend endless time and money writing and enforcing HR policies to deal with problems the other 3% might cause.

Isn’t this quite an interesting approach to create teams – hire only “A” players?

A few pertinent questions that came to my mind

So this meanscompanies would hire only from Day Zero at IITs/IIMs or let’s say only CA Rank holders?

What about effective ways to then make lateral hires?

Would only the crème de la crème suffice to hire large conglomerates?

Would they be affordable?

Would they be stable? I have seen premier leadership programs for MBAs and CA Rank holders being used as only stop-gap arrangements by these super talented people. In India, family owned businesses give greater importance to loyalty, notwithstanding the dead-wood that often remains behind.

So, a barrage of questions that came into my mind as I thought about the practicality of this recruitment philosophy


Sonia Singal

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