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Mike Abbott on hiring engineers:


Stashed in: Hiring, Culture, Startup Lessons, @mabb0tt

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“There are a lot of considerations when you’re under 10 people. You always want to get the best engineer. As a percentage when you’re two people every person has such a large percentage and I would argue that most cultures in companies are set after the tenth employee and then you can very slightly change those, but for the most part you’re pretty set in terms of, is this an engineering centric or design centric company or where you sit in that area of gravity. So you have to be thoughtful about that so it’s not a common saying you lowered your bar, but think about who you’re hiring for. For example you know you can find great self-taught computer scientists that maybe are not far along in their career, but are so ambitious they are willing to sacrifice so much to get your company going. That’s awesome and you know maybe they didn’t do the best on the mobile sort problem or whatever, but you’re willing to take that bet and I think you have to have a balance and be pragmatic about it too.”

Summary from Business Insider:

  • Don't meet in your office. Instead, pick a more informal place for instance, get coffee with potential hires, and (this should go without saying) always pay for it. 
  • Turn the employee recruitment process into an internal competition where existing employees help find candidates. 
  • The smaller the company, the more each hire will influence company culture so plan for that: do you want someone who understands design? Who is self-taught but ambitious?
  • Impress engineers with a difficult interview process. 
  • Train current employees how to interview and give them a list of questions to ask potential hires for the sake of consistency.
  • Play up the kind of experiences the potential hire will have that could be of use later in his or her career.

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