Hiring should account for 50% of a founders’ time. The impact of a great hire is always underrated. The impact of a poor hire is usually invisible. The impact of a bad hire is generally easy to detect, but many times emotionally challenging to attend. The economic return on your time in hiring the best talent is always worth all other things you leave aside.
Hire slow, fire fast — Antithesis, no author
If in thirty days you don’t feel that they are coming up to speed, definitely fire them — Ben Horowitz
A classic. Couldn’t leave this one out. Ben Horowitz even provides a timeline.
A players bring A players, B players bring B and C players - No author
I’m not a fan of classifying people. Humans are too complex for a simplification like this, but this quotes conveys the idea that talent attracts talent.
People who leak to you, leak about you. — Antonio García Martínez
Blaming is always bad, winners won’t blame — Geoff Smart
Simple advice that helps avoid bad apples.
Intelligence, energy and integrity. If you don’t have the integrity part, then you have a really smart and hardworking crook, and they will find a way to cheat you. — Warren Buffet
You can spot loose integrity by asking about peoples’ past positions and by running reference checks, but it may be tricky to spot.
Hire the guy who has something to prove — Doug Leone, Sequoia
Most people rather fail conventionally than succeed unconventionally — Tren Griffin, Author
Very few people want to fall off track. The ones who do, should have a good reason to detour their careers, and that reason should have something to do with what your company is building.
Outstanding performers, from athletes to founders to business executives, are often “difficult.” You want them on your team. — Bill Campbell
Expect dealing with difficult personalities if you are dealing with talent.
If you are going to build a one hundred-story skyscraper, make sure the corners are perfect — Howard Schulz
Your first 5 hires are critical.
Gut instinct is terribly inaccurate when it comes to hiring someone. If you extend an offer based on a goof gut feel, you are going to have a somtatch-ache! — Geoff Smart
Intuition is trained over time, but never stop using your established hiring process despite falling in love with a candidate.
The proper reason to hire a senior person is to acquire knowledge and experience in a specific area — Ben Horowitz
Otherwise hire someone who has something to prove.
If they are truly an A player, they will value the potential of the company — Geoff Smart
If great people are not being attracted to the startup, something is wrong. A startup that punches above its own weight in attracting great people is on the right track. If you think: ‘how did they attract someone of this caliber?’ Thats a good indicator that the startup will be successful — Doug Leone, Sequoia
We’re happy to help recruit the first three, four, five engineers, but we firmly do believe that recruiting is a core competency that companies should learn — Doug Leone sequoia
No one is trained for this, so having company guidelines builds up the hiring skill for your whole company; this must be formally expressed.
Candidates who claimed the most credit for deals would have the most difficulty describing the details of how the deal was actually won and orchestrated. During reference checks, others involved in the deals would tell a very different story. — Ben Horowitz
Reference checking is generally thought of as easy to bypass by most hiring managers. It’s the hardest interview to do, and it should always be done. If the feedback is good, the only good reference check interview is the one where counterpart is very excited to help. If the feedback is bad, it’s a great opportunity to discuss with the candidate and get to know her better.
There are two categories of good people: ammunition and barrels. You can add all the ammunition you want, but if you can only have five barrels in your company, you can literally only do five things simultaneously. If you add one more barrel, you can do seven. So finding those barrels that you can shoot through is key. — Keith Rabois (Koshla ventures)
Note: If you are ever in an interview with me: I’m flattered you are researching; the best thing you can do to earn credit is telling me you read this, not try to mimic the ideas here.