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21 articles on how to hire.

Stashed in: Startups, 106 Miles, Marc Andreessen, Learn!, Ethics, Startup Advice, Company Building, Intelligence, Business Cat

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Summary: Look for drive, curiosity, and ethics.

For the 21 articles, see: http://jonbischke.com/2011/05/21/21-must-read-articles-on-building-world-class-teams/

There's a lot of good stuff in that list. At certain points I found myself agreeing with claims that were contradicting things I had been agreeing with in another article :)

That's the nice thing about advice: so much to choose from!

I do want to call out this article, which is my favorite of the bunch: http://pmarca-archive.posterous.com/how-to-hire-the-best-people-youve-ever-worked

I've kept the Pmarca RSS feed in my Google Reader for years now just to have access to that archive! I posted this a while back on hiring: http://www.bakadesuyo.com/who-should-you-hire combining a number of study results into one post. If I had to recommend only one of those it would be Bob Sutton's piece summarizing a robust study on what actually works when selecting employees: http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/10/selecting-talent-the-upshot-from-85-years-of-research.html Oddly enough, it contradicts some of what Andreesen says -- IQ tests are quite useful.

The great thing about free advice is that there's so much to choose from.

That said, thank you for both of those links, which are excellent.

I do believe IQ tests have some signaling power. I'm just not convinced they're appropriate for all startups.

My thoughts are similar to yours. While I feel intelligence rarely hurts, IQ test results should probably be prioritized based on role (raw intelligence is probably more important for engineers, people skills trump all in sales, creativity moves to the forefront in design, etc.) And as I believe Sutton says, the best thing is a test that evaluates the exact things the job requires. An IQ test probably shines most consistently when you have no other objective info. With nothing else to go on other than a resume and the standard squishy interview process, knowing someone achieved a near-perfect score on the LSAT or MCAT can at least provide peace of mind that this person isn't dumb, probably isn't overly impulsive, and knows how to effectively prepare for a demanding high stakes event weeks/months in advance.

HBR had an excellent article several years ago, Hiring for Executive Intelligence.

Although they focus on executives, many of the skills are applicable across all parts of a company.

The article's main points:

  • IQ tests don't assess the practical, on-your-feet thinking skills needed in business.
  • Intelligence is the skill with which someone uses knowledge to solve a problem.

The article also has a chart of skills that make up executive intelligence regarding tasks and people.

Regarding themselves, intelligent leaders:

  • Pursue feedback that may reveal errors in their judgments and make appropriate adjustments.
  • Recognize their personal biases or limitations in perspective and use this understanding to improve their thinking and their action plans.
  • Recognize when serious flaws in their ideas or actions require swift public acknowledgment of mistakes and a dramatic change in direction.
  • Appropriately articulate the essential flaws in others' arguments and reiterate the strengths in their own positions.
  • Recognize when it is appropriate to resist others' objections and remain committed to a sound course of action.

Thank you for this... very helpful (and timely). I am also reading the book, "Who" by Geogg Smart and Randy street... Goes thru their method of hiring, and am finding it helpful reference / reminders as I'm going thru the vetting process. They also have a website: www.whothebook.com

I meant Geoff* (not Geogg)... does the "edit" link allow us to edit comments + mis-spells? :)

It does, so feel free to hit "edit" and make the change.

Also, for your link to work you either have to put it in A HREF tags (HTML5 markup) or include the http, as in: http://www.whothebook.com/

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