Hiring great people.

I’ve worked for a bunch of companies and I’ve been through a lot of different hiring processes. Company A only hires really smart people. Company B only hires PhDs. Company C gives personality tests. And all of those processes haven’t necessarily resulted in finding exceptional people.

But the most concise description of how to hire great people that I’ve ever seen comes in Marc Andreessen’s latest post.He lists three specific criteria that he looks for:

  • Drive
  • Curiosity
  • Ethics

I love his definition for Drive:

I define drive as self-motivation — people who will walk right through brick walls, on their own power, without having to be asked, to achieve whatever goal is in front of them.

He also describes his ideal hiring process, including preparing written questions. I agree, but I also like to be able to see where our conversations take us, anticipating the kid of situations that we will encounter when we actually work together.

The one thing I’ve seen over time though, is that great employees often have particular quirks that just have to be lived with. The best way to minimize the impact is to have a good manager who knows how to deal with them.

Of course I’m still looking for a company that actually values those things in their employees.


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