Your biggest hiring mistakes?

Moritz Wallawitsch
19 replies
We're starting a big hiring push in a few days, and I wonder what we should look out for.

Replies

Youri Nelson
Co-Founder of Telios.io
I have been listening to this course on Alpe Audio "How to Start a Startup" - https://link.alpeaudio.com/70to/... . They talk about hiring early one and what are some things to look for or avoid. I think at all cost prioritize your culture, early hires can make or break a company. Take your time until you find the right fit.
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Moritz Wallawitsch
Co-Founder @ RemNote.com
@youreka thanks I'll check out the audio curse. Any tips/practical steps on prioritizing culture?
Youri Nelson
Co-Founder of Telios.io
@moritzwallawitsch This is going to sound really cliché but I'd prefer having an employee that may be a little less talented but has a very collaborative attitude than a rock-star in the field with a God complex type thing. One thing I have done in the past is take our top candidates to go play laser tag, it allowed us to see a few things: 1) Do they like to have fun, sounds silly but I think it's important. 2) Can they collaborate with others to attain an objective or do they solo it (the laser tag place had missions which is super fun) 3) Where do they place themselves in the group are they a leader or more of a follower (both are good, it's helpful to know how they naturally position themselves) 4) It's helpful to see if mesh well with the rest of the team. In the end is can you get the candidates in a situation that is less formal, that will help them open up and be themselves. Interviews for me have always been as much for us to see if they fit well into the company as it is for them to see if we fit well in someones career and values, type thing. Nowadays, in COVID times this is made harder because I think it's more difficult to assess someone just via video conferencing. In the end, don't ever settle for good enough, keep searching until you have the RIGHT fit.
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Youri Nelson
Co-Founder of Telios.io
@moritzwallawitsch also early on, when the startup is still small you want to find people that can be self-motivated and don't need a lot of managing, that'll save you tons of time and when the name of the game is growth that will be key.
Minal Joshi Jaeckli
Hey, I help leaders build awesome teams!
@youreka Hey Youri, collaboration is totally where it's at - being the sweet spot of having someone on your team who 1) knows how to do the job and 2) actually has the "right" attitude. Funny thing about this "right" attitude part is what's "right" is a two way street 🤔 like when you go running with someone, the "right" pace is totally dependent what you find to be the "right" pace... which is going to be different for another person. Anyway, I have built an algorithm that does a fast two-sided assessment that tells you how well two people collaborate. Of course, it's easy to validate with existing team members - 'cause you already know who you work best with... if you'd like to see how it works with nailing how well you work with each person in your team, reach out. Best, Minal
Sarah Bond
Marketing Strategy @ Lucky Orange
Hire for attitude, not just aptitude. You can usually teach someone new skills, but it's nearly impossible to change someone's attitude.
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Moritz Wallawitsch
Co-Founder @ RemNote.com
@sarahbondksu wow that's a great mnemonic! What signs are you looking for to filter for a great attitude?
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Youri Nelson
Co-Founder of Telios.io
@sarahbondksu 100% agree with that statement.
Sarah Bond
Marketing Strategy @ Lucky Orange
@moritzwallawitsch Two things that I always look for in regards to attitude are a candidate's willingness to proactively learn new skills they need to help them succeed in their position and their willingness to help out in areas not related to their core focus (are they a team player?). All of the people I've worked with who are truly phenomenal (whether entry level or C-suite) has had these two attributes.
Sean
Co-Founder of Elevate.
Early on, we rush to find someone to fill a position because the work needs to get done ASAP, everyone is moving so quickly and there isn't time to waste. Which leads us to hire based on previous performance more, less on intangibles. Never forget to look for the intangibles. Hard-working, driven, self-motivated, empathetic, etc. It's hard in an interview to figure out if someone has these, but if you can, you won't just be talent-rich, you'll be intangible-rich.
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Moritz Wallawitsch
Co-Founder @ RemNote.com
@seanelevate Agree. I think using your intuition and trying to rate these after or during each interview helps. Or what have you found useful to test for these intangibles?
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Youri Nelson
Co-Founder of Telios.io
@seanelevate I really like the way you just phrased it! "Intangibles" are key, it's not all about hard skills, it's also about "human" skills, emotional intelligence, empathy etc.. Simon Sinek talks a lot about that topic, really good content there too.
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Sean
Co-Founder of Elevate.
@moritzwallawitsch Something we've done, is we will unexpectedly give them a task that showcases their hard skill, and ask them to complete it within 24 hours. There is so much you can attain from this simple ask. 1.) Their reaction. Are they too good for something like this? Are they chomping at the bit to show you what they've got, etc. 2.) Mental Framework. Immediately you can tell how their mind works. Do they ask follow up questions? Where does their focus go? 3.) Pressure results. We don't expect them to create Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel in their specific area, but does their rough work, give me confidence, I can give this person a task, and they will deliver. A great way to build trust from Day 0.
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Youri Nelson
Co-Founder of Telios.io
@moritzwallawitsch @seanelevate Have tried that many times by giving candidates a topic (example: Which avenger is the strongest?) and have them do a short presentation with some visualization. This was for a data science position. We hired one of our best DS to date with that question so definitely a win.
Daniel Obiokeke
Wikipedian. De-fi freak. Loves products!
I think - Hiring without testing for competence but rather on the rantings this person has always posted online about what he does. Turns out he is locked in his baby coding days and just outsources to others. - Not putting people on probation. Got a guy who we hired despite turning in his interview test later than it would take him if he tapped the keyboard once per hour. We had an urgent contract and had to fill the gap. 2 months later, that test has been pretty the most valuable thing he has delivered.
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Moritz Wallawitsch
Co-Founder @ RemNote.com
@daniel_obiokeke Interesting. What does your testing workflow/process look like? Can you recommend automated tools or do you use code-sandbox?
Alina Ihnatiuk
Social Media Marketing 🇺🇦 - 🇵🇱 - 🇷🇺 - 🇺🇸
good day! Pay attention to the person's knowledge of the proposed job. Give him a test task at an interview, prepare a personality test
Minal Joshi Jaeckli
Hey, I help leaders build awesome teams!
Hey Moritz, can I help you? People talk a lot about "hiring for attitude" like there is one measurable "attitude" that's right and going to jump out at you when hiring. I have an algorithm that helps you select people that are best fit for you and your team - which is super easy to validate with your existing team 'cause you already know how well you work with each of them. If it's worth checking out, contact me at minal@openelevator.com. No stress. I would absolutely love to help you.
Ivan Vorobyev
I am a novice tester
Hi. It's great that you decided to pay attention to the most common mistakes. I think I made every possible mistake when I first came in for interviews. I once got so confused in my notes that I forgot what position I was applying for and decided to check with the recruiter first. Of course I was asked to leave the interview, which was no surprise. I also once wore a hanfu suit to an interview, if you don't know what you should wear to a job interview, wear a classic suit. Dressy clothes never hurt anyone. To such a let's say strange look, for a job interview, the company staff reacted very strangely. Once, I even managed to be late, as I took a long time to get ready. I advised you, when hiring, to pay attention to how prepared the candidate is, it shows his interest in the job. Negative reviews of previous employers, too, can play an important role. Also, punctuality. A person who can't plan his work day is unlikely to be able to help your team.