There's an old truism about that you, the CEO, should be spending at least fifty percent of your time recruiting. The reason recruiting is so important is your startup can't grow unless you have great talent around you.
That's why I interviewed everyone we hired when we were just starting out. It didn't matter whether it was a recent college graduate or a potential senior executive, I made sure to interview everybody.
I recommend that you should interview the first 50 employees for several reasons:
A. The founding team will want to meet you before they join your company.
It seems obvious. You’re the CEO, and candidates are going to want to pass judgement on you before joining your company.
And it’s your chance to share your vision with potential employees. So let it fly. Be open and honest, and answer all their questions.
Beyond helping potential employees make a decision about joining your startup…
B. You get to help close potential employees.
You’re answering the candidates questions, but you, as I said above, get to share your vision and convince the candidates why they should join your company.
Remember that great talent has its pick of where to work. What makes your company 10X-100X better than the other opportunities they are evaluating?
In this way, recruiting is like pitching to investors or customers. You’re selling. And you’d better be convincing or you will not close the deal.
C. You get to make sure the potential employees fit your culture.
Cultural fit is one of the most important indicators of a successful company. And hiring someone that doesn’t fit your culture, no matter how good they are, can really cause problems.
The bottom line is don’t hire any brilliant jerks, and step in as needed if someone else wants to hire a brilliant jerk. Having hired a few brilliant jerks during my career, I can tell you with certainty the brilliant jerk is never worth it. Ever.
D. You get to know your potential employees names.
Until you hit Dunbar’s number of 150, you will likely be able to memorize the names of your employees. Interviewing the first 50 will give you a running start.
Then holding the monthly new hire orientation meeting is a great way for you to learn the rest of your employees names. Plus, it’s a great way for you to keep selling them on your vision.
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