hiring religion

by Paul English, May 2002.If you are looking to build a company, your most important skill is hiring. If you do not get excited about this, and do not always think about networking and hiring, it means you need an equal partner who does, and who is world class at it. At my last company, I used to give a hiring training session which lasted 1-2 hours; here are some brief notes, I’ll add more info later…Why is hiring so important? Think back to teams you have run in the past. Think about the best person you ever managed… Think about the worst person you ever managed… Want more of the former, and less (or none) of the latter?Hiring CriteriaHere is how I hire, listed in priority order.Bandwidth. I’m a snob for intelligence. I like to surround myself with people who are much smarter and faster than me. People who can juggle ten things at once, and handle curve balls. This is a requirement in an entrepreneurial activity, as by definition you are doing something new, so you have to learn (from your customers) while you are building.Attitude. I like people who have fire in their belly, who are outwardly competitive, and who are very goal / results driven. I like people who are fun and who laugh a lot, including at themselves. I like people who are so confident in their skills that they are openly and instantly humble about things they are not good at. I like people who delight in seeing others perform, and who delight in blowing away customers with awesome products and services. I like people who are open and honest.Experience. I want people who have been successful at something– getting stuff done. They don’t need to have done what I’m hiring them for, but they need to bring some new success experience to the team. (I once hired a guy who had an olympic medal in rowing; I thought that was just the coolest thing; I did not need him to row, but I knew if he could get an olympic medal, it said a lot about his determination etc.)Lack of dysfunctional behavior. I will not tolerate anyone who hurts the team. I don’t care how awesome they are. If they are a jerk, work will not be fun (for me or my team mates) and that is not acceptable. We all have insecurities and much dysfunctional behavior is bad responses to such.Contract RecruiterYour most important hire is your contract recruiter, the partner you will work with to hire the rest of your team. This person must be someone you trust completely, and someone you enjoy spending lots of time with. If you hire the wrong recruiter, fire them immediately and go find someone better. Your recruiter must have a phenomenal track record. Be prepared to pay lots of money for a superstar recruiter, they are well worth it. The CEO and each hiring manager should meet with this person EVERY DAY even if just for five minutes. I like to have all new hardcopy resumes handed to me by the recruiter, and I review them all WHILE THE RECRUITER IS STANDING IN MY OFFICE. This might seem like a waste of time, but it is not. If you do this, and think aloud while scanning, you recruiter will VERY QUICKLY get tuned to your criteria, and you will find that you will start getting much better candidates. I also like to have the recruiter’s office to be right next to mine, so I get to see him/her all the time, and everyone else knows the priority of hiring.HeadhuntersSome headhunters are good, many are bad. With some work, you and your contract recruiter can just leverage your own networks. If you do end up using any headhunters, here are a couple important rules: (a) train your managers to never take calls or receive resumes from headhunters unless they have already signed a contract with your contract recruiter or HR manager, and (b) do not let the headhunter be involved in offer negotiations, as they can screw them up to just to try jack up the offer/fee, and you also want to directly get this important experience with your new potential employee.Hiring ToolsDon’t waste your time with expensive and difficult hiring software. Just use QuickBase for all of your hiring databases, including:Database of job descriptions, including requirements, job responsibilities, required work style, and optionally a one-page hiring worksheet which interviewers can use. (If you don’t know what you are looking for, you probably won’t get it.)Database of all incoming resumes, including the candidate name, source (which employee or headhunter), date acquired, type of position, status.Database of all the companies where your employees (and their spouses and close friends) have worked so anyone on your team can know where they can instantly get backchannel references (but be careful to never risk exposing confidential job searches).Seven Day RuleOne of the nice things about using a database is that it will show you how quickly you are hiring, as you can see how long a resume has been in the system. I try very hard to make an offer within seven days of anyone on my team first hearing about a candidate. I’m not kidding

Source: hiring religion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *