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The Secret Hiring Practice That Helped Max Levchin Build PayPal | Fast Company

Stashed in: Networking, Talent, Hiring, Decisions, Relationships, Peter Thiel, Awesome, My evil corporation

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Fascinating! Insight into how Max Levchin uses networking thinking to hire employees and make decisions. 

The key concept is activate your network:

"Peter Thiel sat me down and he made me write down every smart person I knew in college personally," he told First Round Capital. "Turned out to be a list of about 30 people and we ended up hiring about 24 of those."

For Levchin, while resumes (unless they're thoughtless) and interviews (unless they're like dates) are useful, you know a person best if you've spent years with them.

This is is why PayPal hired via networks: It was a matter of finding the best talent, vouched for via pre-existing relationships, as quickly and effectively as possible.

"We had this cascading effect where our team would be forced to write down everybody smart they knew that they were absolutely confident they could never hire," he says. "We then went after them like banshees and they would eventually crack."

Again, whether or not you're hoping to start up and scale a unicorn or just plonk along, it seems that the smartest way to get ahead and stay ahead is to hang out with the smartest people that you can trust... not so surprising, is it.

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