We’ve all heard the phrase “Be slow to hire and quick to fire.” But what other tips are helpful when you’re looking to grow your team and hire top talent? To find out, we asked 10 WeWork members for their best advice. Here’s what they learned from their own experiences.
What’s the best advice you can give about hiring new talent?
Know your stage
Always hire the right person for the right stage of the company you're at. Startups have become glamorized so that a lot of people are keen to get involved. Working in a small or early-stage place isn't for everyone. I found building relationships with freelancers and ramping up that engagement is a great way to build a lasting fit.
Go with your gut
Go with your intuition when you meet and interview a person. Some of the best employees I have hired are not always the top candidates, rather they are the ones that I connect with immediately after we talk about life experiences.
Value shared passion
Hire people who are passionate about the issues you are trying to solve just as much as you are. Such passion is much more valuable than any other skill.
Match expertise with enjoyment
Since our business model relies on freelancers for a bulk of our staff, we try to ensure that we are placing the right people on the projects where they have passion and an expertise in the subject matter. This makes it much more likely that we will have great people working on things they love.
Make sure you diversify your staff. I'm a person of color in a field that lacks diversity, but many studies have proven a team with members of different backgrounds and genders can provide a wide range of opinions and thought processes that have proven to produce the best product results in multiple industries, but especially in tech.
Focus on fit
It's the most crucial aspect of hiring. If people don't fit your culture, mojo and pace, you need to fire them. We, or I, made a lot of mistakes. When we realized hires weren't a good fit, we took too long to fire them. And, we also hired people too quickly; even when we weren't so sure they were right for us. So, find people who are a great fit.
Attract proactive people
Early on it’s important to have people be proactive. Time is limited, and you can't waste it hand-holding every time.
Look for drive
With new talent, find someone that is confident and knowledgeable, but most importantly someone with drive. Having drive ensures that you can trust someone to make tough decisions in your absence.
Chase the hustle
As a CEO or an HR exec, I wouldn’t expect to find someone who cares as much as I do, but I want to believe that they can take ownership of the work they will be doing. If they are one of those grinders, you know they’ll work until they get the job done and go above and beyond in doing so.
Check for referrals
Avoid hiring someone off the street (e.g. from a LinkedIn profile) if you can. I almost always hire based on referrals and tap into my network when I need someone with a particular skill set.