Congrats on Batch 9 I’m an investor, so couldn’t be happier to be here
- Main Topic Recruiting - Mini Topics: Customer conversations Be great at one thing Hire slow(er) than you expect once you raise $
Just like of many of you (older) Lots of early success, Early amazon, startup to exit, now work with AWS (and places like 500) Opinions are my own (not AWS) Ideas from mix of Amazon, TeachStreet, and others There’s an exception for every rule (for every speaker) No need to take notes (slides posted at ___________)
How many of you have done recruiting before? Hired 1? More than 3? More than 10? How many of you have made mistakes? How soon did you know? Great Hire (date/relationship/…) Bad Hire (date/relationship/…) Commonality? Lack of a plan? Does it help?
Owner Mentality Wear lots of hats (dirty hats) Hard/Smart work (not 100 hours/week) Passion Involvement / Anti-Silo Strategic Plan = Do Stuff Doers vs. Planners Fast/Frequent Pivoting
Job Postings should convey culture Know what you want & have guts For TeachStreet Web DNA, Learners For Everyone Passion/Results-Delivery Set Clear Expectations Don’t hire non-Stars (expect Greatness) Bad Hire/Disconnect, Address Quickly
Q&A - What are some of your ‘must haves’? Skills are important, but Core values are critical TeachStreet wanted WebDNA, Passion, Scrappy Amazon Customer-focused, Innovative, Invent & Simplify
People Do What They’ve Done Before The best predictor of future behavior is to look at past behavior
Founders must always be recruiting
Interview cheat sheet on desktop Helps organize questions & stay focused Don’t walk thru resume (lazy) If so, limit it to 2 minutes & tell them to convince you that your startup makes sense in their changes Take lots of notes & type up interview (and vote) afterward Often I decide my vote while typing them up Or, if a phone screen, I identify areas of concern to focus on Interview many candidates at once Helps you discern true passion Calibrates interviewees with fresh memories Involve 4-6 interviewers Two sets of eyes better than one Focus on different skill sets/areas of focus Who? Key employees: CEO, CTO, Engineer Board member/advisor (or tech person you respect) Make sure everyone is willing/able to follow same process Ground rules (exude confidence in company) Assign areas of focus to interviewers Everyone must have their ‘votes’ before you meet. Figure out best way to log this. Don’t allow people to be sloppy. Schedule debrief within 24 hours of last interview. In-person.
Sell in interview (at end), if sure Dinners Butts in Seat is what’s important! Send Gifts (“books, etc”) Calls – talk about first projects & urgency Onboarding (First day, week, 30 days, etc) – lunch/coffee with everyone Recruiters vs. in-house First 10-15 This is the first of many hard things. Your job is ‘chief salesperson’ (recruiting, fundraising, press) You’re always recruiting, every day. Even when fully staffed. Graphic to remind me to do a little of everything, every day Beyond that/scale Get help, with eye to bring in-house Referral Program Yes, when it makes sense (best hires are referrals) Why? Puts referrer’s reputation on the line Comp (how to close them without the $$$) Make multiple/varied Cash/Equity offers Base Cash & Equity ½ Cash (for 3 mos.) & 2x Equity ½ Cash (for 6/mos.) or $0 cash (for __ mos.) & 3x Equity Try Before You Buy / Contractors
Customer conversations Be sure you’re building something that people want/need and will $ Only way to do that is to interact directly with customers, frequently Spent weeks/months doing this; better than building wrong thing Be Great at One Thing TeachStreet – 400 categories, but not great at any of them Could have instead chosen to do Music Lessons great Or even be best at Piano Lesssons Eventbrite – did ‘one thing’ very well, and crushed a customer pain point Hiring too fast once funds raised
HIRING FOR STARTUPS
500 STARTUPS – MAY 6, 2014
•Focus on Customer
•Be Great at 1 Thing
• Give me an example of a time you:
• … blew a customer away? (Customer Obsession)
• … delivered a key project under deadline? (Deliver Results)
• … improved a process of co-worker(Invent and Simplify)
• What did YOU do?
• How did you know it worked/didn’t?
• What could you have done better? Or, did you, in future?
• Give me another
FAVORITE OTHER AREAS
• What did you do to prepare for this interview?
• What are three ways we should improve our
product, to blow away our customer?
• 3 Adjectives people use to describe you
• Give examples of what you’ve done
• Give them time for questions
• Suster: ”No. Curiosity. No. Job.”
WHERE DO YOU FIND STARS?
•Word of Mouth
• ABR (always be recruiting)
• Interview cheat sheet (txt file)
• Don’t walk thru resume (lazy)
• Take lots of notes & type up interview
• Interview many candidates at once
• 4-6 interviewers (key employees, board)
• Assign areas of focus to interviewers
• Everyone log ‘votes’ before you meet
• Schedule in-person debrief with everyone
• Yes, eyes wide open
• Look for great
• Probe on anything where not raving
• Find a way to talk to non-references
• Read Mark Suster post:
• When to Sell the Candidate?
• Recruiters vs. in-House?
• Referral Program?
• Comp Levels
• Customer conversations
• Be Great at One Thing
• Hiring too fast once funds raised
WANT OTHER ADVICE?
• Mentor sessions tomorrow
• AWS Activate benefits for 500Startups
• This presentation borrowed from: