I feel that very large organizations are primarily process and system driven, to the point that any body (satisfying basic criteria of intelligence, academic qualifications, aptitude) can come in produce almost immediately and be of value. These people basically run the system/process (created by others), part of which is monitoring and reporting to ensure that these guys are doing a good job. The system ensures that they produce. Such organizations can recruit in large numbers, get work done, and it doesn’t affect them too much if there is a regular and heavy turnover. In fact many such organizations have perfected the art of selection, recruitment, induction, and exit. (Infosys recently had 730 people join on a single day…to get so many people through the security itself is evidence of how process driven the organization is.)
Unfortunately for small companies & startups, who have to first struggle to find the right product, strategy and business model before putting corresponding processes/systems in place, they need to find people who will go through this struggle and set the system/processes, which will be ‘run’ during the growth phase by the type of people described in the previous paragraph. In such an environment, a heavy turnover causes slowdown in the companies progress and can push the start of the growth trajectory. For such companies the primary selection criteria could be people with the right attitude & character, having desire to create something of lasting value, risk taking ability, have deep belief and confidence in their own abilities and possess a natural drive. Such people know that even in the worst-case scenario of the company failing, they will be only be better off personally.
I have to admit that such people are rare…No wonder that only 1 out of 100 guys make through our (Mithi’s) selection process. BTW, we took a tough call and let the 9-month guy go.