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@DAVESCHAPPELL
HIRING FOR STARTUPS
FEBRUARY 19, 2015
Insist on Great!
WHO AM I?
HOW DO YOU BUILD A TEAM?
WHAT MAKES A STARTUP’S CULTURE?
RECRUIT FOR YOUR CULTURE
or…
SHOULD HAVES MUST HAVES
• Rails/Ruby/Node
• iOS/Android
• 3 Years PM
• …
• Passion
• Customer Focus
• Work Ethic
• Certain Skills
TAKEAWAYS FROM NEIL/SUSTER
oKnow what you’re hiring for
oKnow what you’re going to ask
oTake notes
oDevelop a vote & back it up
oHave crazy-high standards!
BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWING
BEHAVIORAL VS. BRAIN-TEASER
• 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)
• Dig:
• 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 … Give me another
PROCESS
• Don’t walk thru resume (lazy)
• Do this beforehand!
• Know a Great/Bad Answer
• Take Detailed Notes/Shorthand
• Interview cheat sheet (txt file)
• Take lots of notes & type up interview
• Vote Immediately
10
FAVORITE OTHER AREAS
• Beginning
• What did you do to prepare for this interview?
• What are three ways we should improve our
product, to blow away our customer?
• End
• 3 Adjectives people use to describe you
• Give examples of what you’ve done
• Give them time for questions
• Suster:  ”No. Curiosity. No. Job.”
OTHER TIPS/TRICKS
• 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 ASAP
CHECK REFERENCES?
• 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:
• http://bitly.com/improve-startup-hiring
WHERE DO YOU FIND STARS?
•Friends/FOFs
• Referrals
•Past employers/ees
•Networking/parties
•Craigslist +
•Word of Mouth
•ABR (always be recruiting)
ALL ELSE
• Recruiters vs. in-House?
• Referral Program?
• When to Sell the Candidate?
• Comp Levels ($ vs. Ownership)
• Contractors/Interns = great hack
• Hire slow(er) than promised
YOU ARE STARS
DEMAND THAT YOUR
HIRES BE STARS TOO
16
QUESTIONS?
WANT OTHER ADVICE?
• @DaveSchappell
• http://blog.nosnivelling.com
• Mentor sessions …
• AWS Activate benefits for 500Startups
• This presentation borrowed from:
• http://twitter.com/#!/neilr
• http://twitter.com/#!/msuster
MICAH BALDWIN
• 500Startups/TS Mentor
• Graphicly – Founder
• CrunchFund –Advisor
• Blurb – VP Bus Dev/Prod
• Lijit – VP Bus Dev
• ServiceMagic – Growth/Marketing
• Kozmo - Marketing
@Micah MicahBal@amazon.com

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Hiring for Startups (by @DaveSchappell)

  • 3. HOW DO YOU BUILD A TEAM?
  • 4. WHAT MAKES A STARTUP’S CULTURE?
  • 5. RECRUIT FOR YOUR CULTURE or…
  • 6. SHOULD HAVES MUST HAVES • Rails/Ruby/Node • iOS/Android • 3 Years PM • … • Passion • Customer Focus • Work Ethic • Certain Skills
  • 7. TAKEAWAYS FROM NEIL/SUSTER oKnow what you’re hiring for oKnow what you’re going to ask oTake notes oDevelop a vote & back it up oHave crazy-high standards!
  • 9. BEHAVIORAL VS. BRAIN-TEASER • 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) • Dig: • 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 … Give me another
  • 10. PROCESS • Don’t walk thru resume (lazy) • Do this beforehand! • Know a Great/Bad Answer • Take Detailed Notes/Shorthand • Interview cheat sheet (txt file) • Take lots of notes & type up interview • Vote Immediately 10
  • 11. FAVORITE OTHER AREAS • Beginning • What did you do to prepare for this interview? • What are three ways we should improve our product, to blow away our customer? • End • 3 Adjectives people use to describe you • Give examples of what you’ve done • Give them time for questions • Suster:  ”No. Curiosity. No. Job.”
  • 12. OTHER TIPS/TRICKS • 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 ASAP
  • 13. CHECK REFERENCES? • 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: • http://bitly.com/improve-startup-hiring
  • 14. WHERE DO YOU FIND STARS? •Friends/FOFs • Referrals •Past employers/ees •Networking/parties •Craigslist + •Word of Mouth •ABR (always be recruiting)
  • 15. ALL ELSE • Recruiters vs. in-House? • Referral Program? • When to Sell the Candidate? • Comp Levels ($ vs. Ownership) • Contractors/Interns = great hack • Hire slow(er) than promised
  • 16. YOU ARE STARS DEMAND THAT YOUR HIRES BE STARS TOO 16
  • 18. WANT OTHER ADVICE? • @DaveSchappell • http://blog.nosnivelling.com • Mentor sessions … • AWS Activate benefits for 500Startups • This presentation borrowed from: • http://twitter.com/#!/neilr • http://twitter.com/#!/msuster
  • 19. MICAH BALDWIN • 500Startups/TS Mentor • Graphicly – Founder • CrunchFund –Advisor • Blurb – VP Bus Dev/Prod • Lijit – VP Bus Dev • ServiceMagic – Growth/Marketing • Kozmo - Marketing @Micah MicahBal@amazon.com

Editor's Notes

  1. 1) Just like of many of you (older) Lots of early success, Early amazon, startup to exit, now work with AWS (and places like 500) 2) Opinions are my own (not AWS) Ideas from mix of Amazon, TeachStreet, and others 3) There’s an exception for every rule (for every speaker) 4) No need to take notes (slides posted at ___________)
  2. How many of you have done recruiting before? Hired 1? More than 5? More than 25? How many of you have made mistakes? Great hires? How soon did you know? (like in relationships, you usually know pretty quick) Commonality? Lack of a plan? Does it help?
  3. Owner Mentality Wear lots of hats (dirty hats) – no silos Hard/Smart work (not 100 hours/week) Passion Strategic Plan = Do Stuff Doers vs. Planners Fast/Frequent Pivoting
  4. 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
  5. 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, Bias for Action, Innovative, Use Data; Invent & Simplify
  6. People Do What They’ve Done Before The best predictor of future behavior is to look at past behavior
  7. 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 Interview cheat sheet on desktop Helps organize questions & stay focused Interview many candidates at once Helps you discern true passion Calibrates interviewees with fresh memories 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 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.
  8. Founders must always be recruiting
  9. 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 Sell in interview (at end), if sure Dinners Send Gifts (“books, etc”) Calls – talk about first projects & urgency Don’t rest until Butt is in Seat! Great Recruting transitions into Great Onboarding (First day, week, 30 days, etc) – lunch/coffee with everyone 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 Hiring too fast once funds raised