Who to hire
This could just as easily be titled:
Who to be friends with
Who to hang out with
Who to admire
My former boss, and current friend, the great Eddie Hartman, has only one
major criteria when it comes to hiring people.
And I will get to that in a minute, but first I’ll tell you what other
people say and do about hiring.
They say it’s the hardest thing they do. They say they only get it right
50% of the time. They say that A-players hire other A-players, and
B-players hire C-players. They outsource it to professionals. They say that
you want “smart people who get things done”. They say to hire an unproven
A-player over a proven B-player. They write entire books about hiring
sequences and get famous over interview questions. They craft crazy PR
campaigns to attract talented people.
They all know how important it is.
Your mom used to work in the recruiting industry, and she would be the
first one to agree. It’s all about who you hire.
And I would take it a step further to say that it’s not just about who you
hire - it is also about who your friends are, who your neighbors are, who
you hang with, who your kids hang with, who runs your town, who runs your
country, and so on.
People run this world - and if you want to be successful (and, I would
argue, happy) you need to hire, hang with, and live around the right kind
That’s why I chose Silicon Valley, and I am continually rewarded for this
choice. The people here are incredibly smart, driven, get things done, with
vision. That is why they are here: they were either brought here by
incredible companies, or were attracted for the same reasons I was.
So, what was/is Eddie’s criteria for hiring?
Hire people who’s work you would be proud to take credit for.
This means you are getting A-players, because they do great work. It means
you are hiring people who get things done, because they have already proven
they can do it.
Note what it omits: don’t worry about gender, color, religion, beauty,
language, location, etc.
Apply this same principle to people you want to hang out with in the
Hang out with people who’s passion and actions will make you proud to say
you knew before they were famous.
- they are passionate about their occupation or hobby, to the point of
wanting to be better than anybody else, or change the world in a meaningful
- they could do something great, maybe given their talent, unique
perspective, or work ethic, it is even likely
- they are good people, do’ers, not talkers