Seven Hiring Hacks From Seven Top Founding CEOs

31-Hiring-Pic#1“The CEO is responsible for the executive team plus the fundamental…hiring processes for all employees.” Do you agree with Ben Horowitz ? (from his book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”)

When was the last time you took a good look at your hiring and recruiting processes and practices? I believe Dan Shapiro, CEO & Co-founder of Glowforge, put it best in one of my interviews with him: “There’s nothing you can do that’s more important than getting the right people on the team.”

The challenge and opportunity is that hiring is both an art and a science. There are lots of variables, best practices, advice…both good and bad.

That’s why I pay close attention to the practices of the top Founding CEOs whom I interview each week on my podcast. They are successfully scaling their companies with different approaches, tools, and practices that can inform your approach.

Here are seven hiring hacks from seven of the top Founding CEOs that I have interviewed in the last seven months. I hope they help.

1 – Alechia Reese: Founder and CEO – 360° Gateway Brands

Advice: “…make sure you are paying attention to their EQ also, and run a background check…ask them open ended questions about how they deal with things…”

My thoughts: Alechia is so right. There’s not a lot of evidence that high cognitive intelligence equates to success. It’s often a threshold situation. However, there is plenty of evidence that high emotional intelligence is connected to success.

2 – Bart Lorang: CEO and Co-Founder – FullContact

Advice: Bart asks employees that make a friend as a referral for employment, “Would you bet your entire career on the performance of this individual?”

My thoughts: One of the traits I have noticed about effective Founding CEOs is their ability to get others to think more deeply and broadly. This question is a great example of doing that.

3 – Prem Thomas: CEO and Co-founder – Gurus

Advice: Work with a new employee or contractor on a trial basis to start.

My thoughts: This works for many organizations. I think it is worth a try.

4 – Kelly Boyer: Founder & CEO – Paleta

Advice: “I dive in very closely into what makes them tick.” “How did you do it? Tell me now about problems you solved and challenges you faced and how you solve problems. What is your management style? What drives you? What motivates you?”

My thoughts: I truly believe this is sound advice. Our behaviors are often driven by our internal motivators.

5 – Beau Henderson: Founder and CEO – The RichLife Group

Advice: “Hire for values and attitude more than necessarily previous experience and skills.”

My thoughts: This is similar great advice given by Kelly Boyer above. One way to uncover these dimensions is through behavioral based interviewing.

6 – Josh York: Founder & CEO – GYMGUYZ

Advice: These are some of the questions he asks potential employees:

  • “What’s 5 + 5?”
  • “What’s square root of 9?”

My thoughts: The point of Josh’s sage advice is in understanding the competencies or skills that are consistent with his company culture. His business is a service business. Therefore, how someone reacts to these types of questions may give Josh an insight into how they will react when a client tosses out a question that may be atypical.

7 – Alex Kopicki: CEO & Co-founder – Kinglet

Advice: “I never want to hire anybody that I wouldn’t actually work for.”

My thoughts: Alex knows that Founding CEOs actively create the culture of their organization. He has an understanding of the culture he wants to create at Kinglet. It’s starts with you, the Founding CEO.

Do you have any hiring and recruiting tips for our growing community of Founding CEOs?

Please share them. 🙂

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