Why Some Companies Always Win the Talent War?

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Dheeraj Lalchandani
December 5, 2023

Ever wondered why some companies seem to always attract and retain the best talent while others struggle to find the right fit? What if I said their hiring philosophy may be the key difference?

I'm going to be honest: Every company I've ever worked for, and every client, has shown me firsthand the importance of having a clear and well-defined hiring philosophy.

But what exactly is a hiring philosophy? 

Many people confuse a hiring philosophy with an execution plan, but they are not the same.

In simple terms, a hiring philosophy refers to an organization's thought process and values for identifying and hiring the right talent. It lays the foundation for your hiring strategy and execution and ultimately helps shape your company culture.

While an execution plan only outlines the steps an organization will take to find and hire the right talent.

Why do you need one?

In today's competitive job market, it is more crucial than ever to have a well-defined hiring philosophy, particularly if an organization relies on top-tier talent to meet its business needs.

A strong hiring philosophy can attract the right candidates, improve retention rates, and ultimately help an organization achieve its long-term objectives.

If we weren’t still hiring great people and pushing ahead at full speed, it would be easy to fall behind and become a mediocre company.” 

– Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft

So how can you craft an ideal hiring philosophy that best suits your organization?

Before that, let's explore some of the,

Successful Hiring philosophies that organizations commonly adopt:

Skill and Equality-Based Approach:

This philosophy is based on hiring the best talent available and rewarding them with the best pay, benefits, and work opportunities. 

This approach aims to attract top-tier talent and keep them engaged and motivated through performance-based incentives.

Con: It may create a toxic workplace where employees are exclusively driven & motivated by their personal benefits & rewards rather than a common mission.

This hiring philosophy is most common among top tech startups and enterprises like Microsoft, Google, Revolut, Catalyte, Steelcase, etc. because they seek to attract top-tier talent by offering competitive pay, benefits, and performance-based incentives. 

They prioritize rewarding individual excellence and believe this approach helps them stay competitive and innovative in the fast-paced tech industry.

Hire for Attitude and Train for Skills:

This approach focuses on hiring candidates who have the desire and passion to achieve a shared purpose, even if they lack certain skills or experience. This philosophy can help create a team that is united by a common goal, and can lead to more motivated and engaged employees. 

Con: Training and development can be time-consuming and costly. May take longer to achieve desired results as employees require time to learn and develop new skills.

This hiring philosophy is most common among startups and mission-driven organizations like Southwest Airlines, Ritz-Carlton, Zappos & more who prioritize candidate’s alignment with their shared purpose and values over specific skills or experience.

Prodigy Hiring:

This philosophy focuses on hiring only the most talented candidates, often from top-tier universities or with impressive resumes. This approach reduces the load of assessment drastically.  


  • The talent pool reduces drastically.
  • These guys are super talented, and it's always hard to keep them interested. 
  • Diversity and other parameters are not considered. 

This hiring philosophy is most common among elite and prestigious organizations like  Rippling, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Company,because they prioritize talent and excellence above all else.

They believe that hiring the most talented candidates, often from renowned institutions or with exceptional backgrounds, contributes to their success and competitive advantage. These organizations may be less concerned about diversity and other factors, as they place a strong emphasis on attracting top-tier talent.

Perfect Match for Role and Team:

This philosophy focuses on finding candidates who are the best fit for a specific role and team. It creates highly functional and motivated teams with a shared vision and purpose. Also enables the organization to hire candidates with the exact skills and qualifications required for the job.

Cons: It can also be time-consuming and lead to a narrow pool of candidates. As a result, hiring becomes very slow.

This hiring philosophy is most common among startups and specialized tech companies. They often have unique, dynamic environments where specific skill sets and strong team cohesion are crucial. 

They prioritize finding candidates who not only have the necessary technical skills but also fit well within the team culture. This approach helps build highly functional, motivated teams essential for driving innovation and handling the fast-paced nature of these industries.

Assessment Process and Diversity Hiring:

This philosophy involves creating a consistent and fair assessment process for all candidates, while also prioritizing diversity and inclusion.

It ensures that the organization hires the most qualified and competent candidates. This creates a fair and objective hiring


  • Can be time-consuming and costly to create and implement a comprehensive assessment process.
  • May overlook qualified candidates who do not perform well on assessments.
  • Over-reliance on assessments can lead to overlooking soft skills and personality traits that are important for success in certain roles
  • Can be difficult to ensure that the assessment process is truly objective and free from bias

This hiring philosophy is most common among large corporations and public sector organizations. 

They often adopt this philosophy due to their focus on fairness, diversity, and compliance with equal opportunity laws. They aim to create a diverse workforce and mitigate bias, while also needing to rigorously evaluate a large number of candidates.

How to Choose the Right Hiring Philosophy?

After successfully helping 100+ tech companies, including Ola, Uber, Vedantu, etc. fill 500+ roles, I assure you that there is no right or wrong philosophy, as long as it attracts the right talent.

Because every organization is unique and has its own set of needs. So the hiring philosophy will vary from one organization to another.

Yet there are several parameters you may follow. 

Company size:

The size of the company can influence the hiring philosophy. Smaller companies may hire for cultural fit, whereas bigger companies may hire for skills and experience.

Turnover rate:

High employee turnover may indicate the need for a hiring philosophy that focuses on employee retention and engagement.

Industry competition:

Industry competition might also affect hiring. In competitive sectors, companies may need to hire top talent from top institutions or with highly specialized skills.

Budget constraints:

Budget also affects hiring philosophy. If budgets are tight, the organization may need to hire candidates with potential and train them.

Company Culture and Values:

The company's culture and values should influence its hiring philosophy. If the organization prioritizes diversity and inclusion, skill- and equality-based recruiting may be better.

Business Goals and Objectives:

The hiring philosophy should align with its business goals and objectives. For example, if the company's strategy is to expand into new markets, a hiring philosophy that focuses on training and skilling candidates may be more effective.

Talent Pool:

The company's hiring policy should also depend on its target talent pool. If the organization requires highly skilled talent, a hiring policy that prioritizes top-tier universities may be ideal.


Every organization must choose a hiring philosophy that is aligned with its business goals and strategy. 

The type of talent an organization wants to hire is a critical factor in choosing the right hiring philosophy. Like the philosophy for hiring highly skilled professionals is very different from that for hiring blue-collar workers. Therefore, it's important to select a hiring philosophy that aligns with the talent an organization wants to attract.