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Hiring advice from our friends in tech

Steve Gilles
Nov 23
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In our journey through the tech world, we've made some amazing friends, from seasoned CTOs and VPs to bright-eyed junior developers. Along the way, we've gathered a wealth of tips and insights.

These nuggets of advice have been a highlight in our monthly newsletter interviews. Now, we're excited to share these gems in our series 'We asked friends in tech.'

In this edition, we're bringing you warm, wise, short yet invaluable hiring tips from our tech community buddies.

Hiring advice from our friends in tech

When it comes to hiring, it's not just about 'what' or 'who', it's also about 'why'.

Ensure you have clearly identified the problem you’re hiring to solve. - Dave McPherson

Before you start the hiring process...

Read Jennifer Kim's (she is a D&I guru and former Head of People at Lever) blog post on inclusive hiring practices, and let's all be better at this. - Hannah Field

And think about this...

To borrow a quote from Stripe CEO Patrick Collison — when you hire your first ten people, you're actually hiring your first hundred as those hires will set the foundation for the culture and talent bar of the company. - Hayden Bleasel

Then, follow 3 simple guidelines...

Be consistent. Fight bias. Hire slow. - Jess Telford

Speaking of biases...

Standardise your hiring process to reduce unconscious biases and to make better hiring decisions. - Elle Meredith

When looking for candidates...

Look for candidates who show that they can adapt and constantly learn new things rather than the technical skills they have or that you have listed in the job description. -Justin Mclean

Emphasise selecting candidates who possess strong potential and concentrate on recruiting exceptional leaders before filling out the rest of the team. - Huanhuan Huang

Hire the people with the right leadership and people skills, and don’t underestimate the value of people who can be the glue. You can teach them your tech, but it’s harder to teach people skills. - Jo Montanari

During the interview...

The people you are hiring need to see the real you so don’t try to be too stuffy and professional – be a real human being and have a real conversation so you get to know each other properly. If you’re on the other end of the hiring process, again, don’t try to pretend to be something you’re not. It’s okay not to have all the answers or be good at absolutely everything. Just focus on the things that make you special and unique and share those. Good luck! - Katie Boland

As the interviewer it’s just as important to bring your authentic self to the interview so the candidate has a better understanding of your company and your team. - Nadia Vu

Take a sense of humility into everything you do and be open and honest with yourself and those around you. - Rob Cornish

The Anti-Sell can be a great tool to add to your hiring and recruitment toolkit. Honesty is the best policy, and we’ve found it’s a great way to setup candidates, teams and companies for success in the long run, and play to win over the long game. - JP Costales

When it's time to choose...

Stop over-indexing on candidates with CS degrees or who have worked at FAANG companies, instead judge each candidate as an individual, and really understand what they would bring to your company. - Ted Tencza

Hire people who inspire you, on any level. - Chris Stallard

Ultimately you’re trying to establish if you can trust that person. Once you’ve made your assessment, offer that trust fully, and you’ve got a chance to build a productive long-term relationship. - Nathan McGinness

Don’t overthink it - trust your initial instinct because it’s usually right. - Marcus Zeltzer

And remember this one thing...

Don't hire people like you. - John Allsopp

Hiring advice from Lookahead team

A good introduction at the start of the interview can go a long way to reduce nerves, and in turn, will help reduce false negatives. - Debbie Teakle

Be incredibly clear in your mind as to what is a must-have skill and what's a bonus. While it's understandable to have a 'wish list' of qualities/skills you're looking to bring on board, unicorns are legendary for a reason so it's important to be realistic with your expectations. -
Sarah Jacob

Have a readily available budget for roles you regularly hire. Speed matters most when it comes to truly incredible people. - Steve Gilles

Want more?

Check out this blog post on improving your hiring approach. Try these tips on how to run a good interview and this small tweak to reduce interviewer bias. Here is a low-down on running technical interviews.

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