The art of recruiting is the purest form of evangelism because
you’re not simply asking people to try your product, buy your product,
or partner with you. Instead, you are asking them to bet their lives on
your organization. Can it get any scarier for them, and tougher for
you, than this?
- Hire better than yourself. In the Macintosh
Division, we had a saying, “A player hire A players; B players hire C
players”–meaning that great people hire great people. On the other
hand, mediocre people hire candidates who are not as good as they are,
so they can feel superior to them. (If you start down this slippery
slope, you’ll soon end up with Z players; this is called The Bozo
Explosion. It is followed by The Layoff.) I have come to believe that
we were wrong–A players hire A+ players, not merely A players. It
takes self-confidence and self-awarness, but it’s the only way to build
a great team.
- Hire infected people. Classically, organizations
look for the “right” educational and professional backgrounds. I would
add a third quality: Is the candidate infected with a love of your
product? Because all the education and work experience in the world
doesn’t matter if the candidate doesn’t “get it” and love it. On the
other hand, an ex-jewelry schlepper like me can make it in technology
if you’re infected with a love of the product.
I work from home on my secular job and went into the office last week to talk to HR, so I stopped by and paid a visit to my old team. During my visit one of my co-workers was complaining about a new team member and his seemingly not being able come up to speed on how we do things. Now his issue was the young man never took notes at meetings or training sessions and was always asking the same questions over and over again. During the interviewing process it was noted that the young man in question was from eastern Europe and that there may be an little issue with a language barrier, that his english skills may not be strong enough to handle the position. I shared with my co-worker the he (the young man) may be having an issue translating the information in his own head from english into his native language. How many time have you seen people put into positions where their only option was failure? When building a team you need to able to look beyond the resume and see the big piture. Guy Kawasaki has a great post on his blog about the art of recruiting.