I was teaching a class at the UW last night and we had a interviewer from a big company come in to talk about how to conduct an interview. It was a great class and got me thinking about recruiting. I've long seen recruiting as a critical job of a start up CEO. And I'd thought share some of the tips from yesterdays class.
Note: The tips below are aimed at CEOs who are recruiting SVP and VP level positions as opposed to staff positions.
- Write the press release for the job first. This is something they do at Amazon....and it gets you thinking about one of the key customers of a senior level hire -- the press. It also helps you "vision" the gloating you might make from a great hire....and that's what you want -- a great hire.
- Write a solid job description -- these aren't exercises in beuracracy or tedium. They outline by what factors you'll assess a candidate.
- Focus on the soft skills as much if not MORE than the hard skills. Be specific about the soft skills when you interview. When you say you want a leader who is open and hgih integrity. What exactly do you mean?
- When you intereview a candidate -- don't make up your mind in the first 5 minutes. All you learn in 5 minutes is how you react to a candidate and whetehr you like them (which is important information) You don't learn whether they are qualified for a job or might just be different than you.
- Some key skills to focus on :
- ability to deal with ambiguity,
- a history of demonstrating good business judgement (they're right a lot),
- ability to see the big picture AND dive deep,
- hire and develop the best team,
- adaptive and flexible