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A Guide to Hiring for your Startup

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A guide to hiring based on my book, "Hello, Startup". Learn who to hire, where to find them, how to interview them, and how to make an offer they can't refuse.

Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaSmYLymc0U
Book: http://www.hello-startup.net

Published in: Business
  • Thank you very much for your valuable advice. It's really hard to find people for a company. Your advice is very helpful. I found some interesting ideas for yourself. and I will share your presentation and the book with my friends. I would like to see another one topic. How to find a programmer for your project. I mean a temporary employee or a company (https://itechcraft.com/find-programmer-startup/). I think many companies consider a possibility to work this way. I would be very interested to hear your opinion
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  • You can find the video for this talk at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaSmYLymc0U
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A Guide to Hiring for your Startup

  1. 1. A guide to HIRING FOR YOUR STARTUP Yevgeniy Brikman
  2. 2. What is the most important part of a startup?
  3. 3. a) The idea b) The technology c) The sales and marketing
  4. 4. a) The idea b) The technology c) The sales and marketing
  5. 5. People are the most important part of a startup
  6. 6. Differences between people are massive
  7. 7. Therefore, hiring is the most important thing you do
  8. 8. Best piece of startup hiring advice:
  9. 9. Don’t do it
  10. 10. Don’t do it (yet)
  11. 11. Stay small as long as you can
  12. 12. Build a culture of leverage and efficiency
  13. 13. Eventually, you’ll need help
  14. 14. Founders spend >25% of their time on hiring
  15. 15. You must spend this time wisely
  16. 16. I’m Yevgeniy Brikman ybrikman.com
  17. 17. I wrote a book about startups hello-startup.net
  18. 18. based on my experiences at LinkedIn & TripAdvisor hello-startup.net
  19. 19. as well as interviews with developers from many startups: hello-startup.net
  20. 20. Google, Twitter, Facebook, Stripe, Pinterest, Quora, Coursera, GitHub, and many others. hello-startup.net
  21. 21. Here’s what I learned about hiring
  22. 22. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look 3. How to interview
  23. 23. 1. Who to hire a. Co-founders b. Early hires c. Later hires d. What to look for 2. Where to look
  24. 24. 1. Who to hire a. Co-founders b. Early hires c. Later hires d. What to look for 2. Where to look
  25. 25. You need a co-founder
  26. 26. to fill in your weaknesses
  27. 27. to talk you out of bad ideas
  28. 28. to share the work load
  29. 29. Two or three founders works best
  30. 30. Building a successful startup takes 10 years
  31. 31. So be careful when picking a co-founder
  32. 32. Look for someone you’ve worked with before
  33. 33. College classmates & former co-workers are ideal
  34. 34. Split the equity evenly
  35. 35. Make sure everyone is on a vesting schedule
  36. 36. Remember, a successful startup takes 10 years
  37. 37. You need everyone to be bought in for the long term
  38. 38. 1. Who to hire a. Co-founders b. Early hires c. Later hires d. What to look for 2. Where to look
  39. 39. Early hires are like bringing new DNA into your company
  40. 40. Choose the first 10 employees very carefully...
  41. 41. ...as they determine the next 100
  42. 42. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky would ask early candidates:
  43. 43. “If you had a year left to live, would you take this job?”
  44. 44. Early on, prefer generalists
  45. 45. In the early days, everyone has to do everything
  46. 46. “You don't want someone saying that's not my job” - Julia Grace
  47. 47. 1. Who to hire a. Co-founders b. Early hires c. Later hires d. What to look for 2. Where to look
  48. 48. Later stage startups can hire more specialists
  49. 49. Prefer “T-shaped People”
  50. 50. Experts at one discipline (vertical leg of T)
  51. 51. Broadly skilled at others (horizontal leg of T)
  52. 52. 1. Who to hire a. Co-founders b. Early hires c. Later hires d. What to look for 2. Where to look
  53. 53. Smart and gets things done
  54. 54. Smart because you constantly have to learn
  55. 55. Gets things done because you must ship
  56. 56. Good communication skills
  57. 57. Can you converse with them?
  58. 58. Can you understand their writing?
  59. 59. Can they explain complicated concepts?
  60. 60. A good culture fit
  61. 61. Similar tastes & appearance is NOT culture fit
  62. 62. It’s discrimination
  63. 63. Real culture fit is about shared values
  64. 64. E.g. at Zappos, providing amazing customer service is a core value
  65. 65. Everyone who is hired answers customer calls
  66. 66. That’s culture fit.
  67. 67. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look a. Use your network b. Employer branding c. Job boards d. Premature optimization
  68. 68. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look a. Use your network b. Employer branding c. Job boards d. Premature optimization
  69. 69. The majority of startup hiring is via referrals
  70. 70. Referrals fill jobs faster
  71. 71. Referrals have the highest retention rate
  72. 72. Referrals are the highest quality hires
  73. 73. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look a. Use your network b. Employer branding c. Job boards d. Premature optimization
  74. 74. Employer branding is attracting candidates to your company
  75. 75. You do this by sharing valuable content and teaching
  76. 76. Blogs, meetups, hackathons, conferences, open source, etc
  77. 77. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look a. Use your network b. Employer branding c. Job boards d. Premature optimization
  78. 78. No one likes job postings
  79. 79. “Results oriented”
  80. 80. “Has at least 12 years of iOS experience”
  81. 81. Only active job seekers look at job postings
  82. 82. If you just “post and pray”, you only reach 1 out of 5 candidates
  83. 83. If you’re going to post jobs, get creative
  84. 84. And post them in the right places
  85. 85. Better yet, reach out to candidates directly
  86. 86. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look a. Use your network b. Employer branding c. Job boards d. Premature optimization
  87. 87. Old joke: the boss takes half the resumes, throws them in the trash and says...
  88. 88. “I don’t hire unlucky people.”
  89. 89. You’re throwing away resumes if you:
  90. 90. reject someone for typos in their resume
  91. 91. reject someone for not having a particular degree or GPA
  92. 92. reject someone for not being a “bro” or a “ninja”
  93. 93. Instead of looking for reasons to reject a resume...
  94. 94. “Look for something that shines” - Gayle Laakmann McDowell
  95. 95. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look 3. How to interview a. Interviewing is hard b. Basic interview process c. Interview questions d. Making an offer
  96. 96. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look 3. How to interview a. Interviewing is hard b. Basic interview process c. Interview questions d. Making an offer
  97. 97. You get an hour to make a decision that lasts for years
  98. 98. 1970’s orchestras: 5% of members are female
  99. 99. 1990’s orchestras: 35% of members are female
  100. 100. The difference? Blind auditions.
  101. 101. Interviewers will be wrong. Err on the side of no.
  102. 102. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look 3. How to interview a. Interviewing is hard b. Basic interview process c. Interview questions d. Making an offer
  103. 103. Step 1: connect
  104. 104. Email, phone, in-person. Get them interested.
  105. 105. Step 2: phone screen
  106. 106. On-site interviews are expensive
  107. 107. Use a phone screen as a filter
  108. 108. Step 3: on-site interview
  109. 109. Aim for 4-8 interviewers, each with a different focus:
  110. 110. communication, culture fit, job-specific skills, closer.
  111. 111. Don’t confuse interviews with interrogations
  112. 112. Your goal is learning, not a confession.
  113. 113. Make sure the interviewers are good representatives of your company
  114. 114. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look 3. How to interview a. Interviewing is hard b. Basic interview process c. Interview questions d. Making an offer
  115. 115. Puzzles and brain teasers are terrible interview questions
  116. 116. Whiteboard coding is a terrible interview practice
  117. 117. There are much better alternatives
  118. 118. Work on real- world problems (GitHub, Jawbone)
  119. 119. Give a talk (Peopleware)
  120. 120. Take home problems (Pinterest)
  121. 121. BYOL: Bring Your Own Laptop (Coursera)
  122. 122. Go through a real workday (Typesafe)
  123. 123. 1. Who to hire 2. Where to look 3. How to interview a. Interviewing is hard b. Basic interview process c. Interview questions d. Making an offer
  124. 124. First, check references
  125. 125. What has this person accomplished?
  126. 126. What was it like working with this person?
  127. 127. If the reference checks are good, make the offer personally
  128. 128. Then follow up in writing
  129. 129. An offer has four parts
  130. 130. Part 1: the opportunity
  131. 131. There's work and there's your life's work. The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over it. The kind of work that you'd never compromise on. That you'd sacrifice a weekend for. You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don't come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end. They want their work to add up to something. Something big. Something that couldn't happen anywhere else. Welcome to Apple.
  132. 132. Part 2: the salary
  133. 133. Be fair and transparent
  134. 134. Use a formula hello-startup.net/resources/salary/ Salary = (job type x seniority x experience) + (location + salary choice)
  135. 135. Seniority Salary Executive $150,000 Senior $125,000 Junior $100,000 Use a table hello-startup.net/resources/salary/
  136. 136. Part 3: the equity
  137. 137. Be fair and transparent
  138. 138. Equity = (i - 1) / i Use a formula hello-startup.net/resources/equity/
  139. 139. Employee Equity Hire #1 2-3% Hire #2 - 5 1-2% Hire #6 - 15 0.5-1% Use a table hello-startup.net/resources/equity/
  140. 140. Part 4: the benefits
  141. 141. Listen to the candidate
  142. 142. $1 in benefits can be worth a lot more than $1 in salary
  143. 143. Time off, classes, outings, commute, hackathons, remote work, etc.
  144. 144. Recap
  145. 145. People are the most important part of a startup
  146. 146. Founders spend >25% of their time on hiring
  147. 147. Use your network
  148. 148. Build a strong brand
  149. 149. Be thoughtful about how you interview
  150. 150. Make an offer they can’t refuse
  151. 151. Check out Hello, Startup for more info hello-startup.net
  152. 152. Questions?
  153. 153. Slide 1, Road: Bec Brown Slide 2, Business plan: Heisenberg Media Slide 5, People: Heisenberg Media Slide 8, Four buildings: Davide Ragus Slide 11, Ant: US Dept of Argriculture Slide 13, Helping Hand: Tomas Sobek Slide 21, Handshake: Flazingo Photos Slide 22, Road: Joshua Tree National Park Slide 25, Jobs & Wozniak: Revol Web Slide 29, Schmidt, Brin, Page: Joi Ito Slide 32, Classmates, Travis Rigel Lukas Hornung Slide 34, Scale: Bob Miller Slide 39, DNA: EnzymLogic Slide 42, Brian Chesky: Official Le Web Photos Slide 44, Swiss Army Knife: Wikimedia Slide 48, Tools: Lachland Donald Slide 49, T-shaped person: Valve Slide 53, Brain: Allan Ajifo Slide 56, Tin Cans: Sebastien Wierz Slide 60, Scrabble value: Got Credit Slide 69, InMap: Ali Imam Slide 74, Honey: Thien Gretchen Slide 78, Flyers: Joel Kramer Slide 82, Passive candidates: LinkedIn Slide 83, Billboard: Google Blog Slide 87, Trash can: Sebastien Wiertz Slide 97, Office interview: Weltbild Verlag GmbH Slide 103, Keyboard typing: iloque Slide 105, Phone call: NEC Corporation of America Slide 108, Office: Robert Couse-Baker Slide 111, Chair: Paul Kehrer Slide 115, Puzzle question mark: Horia Varlan Slide 116, Whiteboard: Doc Searls Slide 117, Light bulb: R. Nial Bradshaw Slide 124, Reference call: Martin Cathrae Slide 129, Letter: Bearstache Slide 132, Money: Ervins Strauhmanis Slide 136, Stock certificate: Wystan Slide 140, Ear: Travis Isaacs Slide 152, Questions: Derek Bridges Photo credits

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