In the ‘Hard Thing About Hard Things’, Ben Horowitz recounts that his old boss, Jim Barksdale was fond of saying, "We take care of the People, the Product, and the Profits - in that order."
Therefore, great company culture and hiring the best people is massively important to the success of your organisation.
Hiring is an art in and of itself and so is attracting the smartest people to your organisation. No longer will a job advert alone will suffice.
A great recent example I’ve seen of attracting people to your organisation is by Noah Kagan at Appsumo. For one of his roles, a Business Development Specialist, he set tasks for each round of the hiring process. If you got through to the last round (a Skype call with him), he’d pay you $1,000 for doing so. No CV’s, no stuffy uninspiring interview process, but instead challenges and rewards.
That’s great for Noah and great for candidates. For Noah, he gets to see candidates delivering based on their ability. If they get through progressive rounds, they clearly have some of the skills he is looking for. For candidates, it levels the playing field. In this process, you’re not filtered out for having no degree or lack of experience. You’re assessed, at the inception, on your ability to get through the various tasks.
Another great way to engage candidate prospects I’ve seen recently is by CrunchBoards, a very cool Xero (the Accounting Platform) add-on. Crunchboards syncs with Xero to allow the business user to do comprehensive analysis of their business without the need for Excel. They launched last year and are gaining traction fast.
When checking them out I viewed the html source code of their website (naturally, I’m curious), and saw this:
How cool! CrunchBoards have considered that curious (and possibly smart!) people will check them out if engaged with their company or product, and so have placed a call to action appropriately. This is, I would imagine, a very effective engagement tool. Why? If someone is viewing the source code of CrunchBoards, they are already interested in Crunchboards. It’s actually more targeted (and cheaper) than writing a job advert and hoping for applications. Crunchboards is a Tech company that is picking up speed fast. As they expand, they are going to need both talented engineers and adept marketing and salesmen. By placing a hiring hook in the source code, the likelihood is that they will be getting both.
Attracting the best employees is paramount to helping you achieve business success. The hiring landscape is changing. Placing job adverts alone will not get you the best people. You need to go further to get the best people. Hiring executive recruiters is certainly one avenue. So is changing the recruitment process and making it challenge-based like Noah Kagan did. So is putting job adverts in the source code of your website like CrunchBoards did. Whatever you do, go above and beyond the traditional methods to attract the best employees.
How about you? What tactics have you employed that has attracted the smartest employees to your organisation?