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How to hire - Sam Altman


Stashed in: Founders, Networking, 106 Miles, Hiring, @rabois, Startup Lessons, Business Advice, Awesome, Jeff Bezos, RTFM!, Leadership, @sama

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From the post:

The vast majority of founders don’t spend nearly enough time hiring. After you figure out your vision and get product-market fit, you should probably be spending between a third and a half of your time hiring. It sounds crazy, and there will always be a ton of other work, but it’s the highest-leverage thing you can do, and great companies always, always have great people.

You can’t outsource this—you need to be spending time identifying people, getting potential candidates to want to work at your company, and meeting every person that comes to interview. Keith Rabois believes the CEO/founders should interview every candidate until the company is at least 500 employees.

Reminds me of something Jeff Bezos said along the lines of:

Early in my career I executed; then I hired people who executed; then I hired people who hired people who executed.

I'm butchering the quote, but you get the idea.

I have been looking for that quote.

It's something like: First I did the work, then I hired the people to do the work, and now I hire the people who hire the people who do the work.

If you ever do find the actual quote, please stash it.

It's also important to be "hiring" even when you cannot afford to hire with actual dollars.

Network, find potential partners, find potential hires in the future, talk with customers.

People are essential to any business.

Always be looking for the best people to associate with your business.

This, to me, was the best part of Sam's article:

*Focus on the right ways to source candidates.

Basically, this boils down to “use your personal networks more”.  By at least a 10x margin, the best candidate sources I’ve ever seen are friends and friends of friends.  Even if you don’t think you can get these people, go after the best ones relentlessly.  If it works out 5% of the time, it’s still well worth it. 

All the best startups I know manage to hire like this for much longer than one would think possible.  Most bad startups make excuses for not doing this.

Hey Adam, perhaps you forgot about this groovy Stash you made:

http://pandawhale.com/post/17923/how-to-hire-the-best-people-youve-ever-worked-with-pmarca-archive

I just stumbled across it right before arriving here on this page.  It's a great post and seems more than apropos to thoughts already shared here.

It's always been interesting to me how frequently we ourselves repeat themes, topics and specific knowledge.  My college-age filter of dis-engaging with acquaintances was determined by how long it took before they started repeating themselves.  My friends either took a long time or never appeared to repeat themselves.  But then in those days I didn't have any ability to see and read everything someone wrote to everyone they knew...there was no online--just in your face, beside you or behind your back.

Access to online information and people's willingness to disclose from all angles has not only revealed the personal geography of people's lives, but also made the pacing of their life visibly succumb to the dictum of there truly is nothing new under the sun.  And what is most strange is the emerging accompanying amnesia about such repetition.  Perhaps this repetition is in part intentional marketing strategy and perhaps in part amnesia created by the sheer volume of information that erodes one's recollection at times.  I'm not sure.

I am continually surprised at noticing this increasing frequency of commercially recycled ideas, appearing again and again and spreading as if they're new, and then once more all over again.  It feels downright Orwellian at times...

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