As a serial entrepreneur, I have always struggled with finding the right people to join my team. Previosuly I worked in HR for large comopanies, and there the recruitment & selection process was clearly defined. Big companies also usually have training services and departyment structure where work can be shared and learned among teams.
Small startups, however, don’t have these luxuries — in most cases each function is a “department of one” and each person much hit the ground running at full speed! Most startup “staff” are usually independant freelancers working remotely with minimal supervision and not part of a team, with the whole company busy in it early years trying not to fail.
I quickly realized that in such case, traditional CVs and interviews are mostly useless. I need to quickly assess the person’s charcter and drive for work, ability to bear responsibility and work autonomously, really taking ownership of their work and not just seeing it as a list of tasks to be completed and checked off. I look at their attitudes toward their job and themselves. I look out for people who are determined, eager to learn and grow — and these things are very hard to glean from any documents or tests.
So for me every interaction is part of the assessment — from the moment I read their Linkedin profile or messages, to how they reply to an email or a call, showing up for a meeting eager to impress, airing a strong passion to take on the challenges ahead. I’m a strong proponent of hiring for attitudes and training for skils. Would you agree?