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Tell HSI: Hiring is your personality test. Don't blame others
7 points by indus 1335 days ago | 13 comments
In the last week, I've been watching a lot of threads here and 2-3 blog posts floating and a lot of comments elsewhere where people complain:

(a) lack of talent. Not enough rock-stars around (b) salary being too high, or I'm barely funded to pay top $$ (c) ecosystem does not allow risks (d) lack of success stories (e) Other misc. BS

In a nutshell: Hiring is the personality & skills test of the hiring manager (or the founder in case of a startup). If you can't attract people like you are a magnet, look inwards. Don't blame others. If you can't hire, then better get hired!



4 points by prateekdayal 1335 days ago | link

Interesting. In your portfolio companies, which startups do you think have been very successful in selling the vision to employees?

It would be interesting to hear from these folks on how they do it and hear interesting stories from them.

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1 point by indus 1335 days ago | link

In a broad sense, the jury is still out for a lot of our companies as they are still growing and still to prove themselves.

However, without naming names :P) a lot of our companies which are growing and are doing excellent are because of the founder's ability to "convince" people to work for money, food, kicks, challenge, whatever.

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2 points by suntzu 1335 days ago | link

Hiring is founder's chance to create a tech cult http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_cult. Osho was born in our motherland. Isn't that big enough an example to shut those who complain about lack of talent here.

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1 point by indus 1334 days ago | link

Are you saying founder's are like Osho?..love that analogy BTW :P)

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1 point by zeroknowledge 1334 days ago | link

assuming India, question of motivation and passion would be an open one, btw i am Indian ( born and partly educated in India)

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1 point by santhoshsd 1334 days ago | link

yes completely. The investment of time in hiring quality engineers will add value/quality/in evolving the product.... it is worth the effort and money in the long run to have high energy guys sit up and do your work and enjoy it.

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1 point by gowthamanb 1335 days ago | link

Yep, i agree, i worked at 2 startups (i kind of perceive myself as talented) and i was sold on kicks/challenges, Money/brand was definitely not a factor.

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1 point by gubbi 1335 days ago | link

There really is no contradiction / conflict between points (a) to (e) and your point. They are just answers to different questions.

What are the challenges involved in hiring? points (a) to (e)

Are these challenges "valid reasons" for failing to hire talent? Now comes the personality and skill set of the person. For a person already in the muck, these challenges have to be worked around, else these would just be excuses. I believe every founder learns and finds their own ways around these problems. Some effective, some not so much. So yeah, the onus of getting things done ultimately lies on the founder, challenges not withstanding.

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2 points by gubbi 1335 days ago | link

ultimately every question boils down to personality and skillset. And it can't be a valid and sufficient answer to every question.

Whats involved in getting into IITs, whats involve in getting a job, whats involved in finding a cofounder, whats involved in finding someone to marry, etc., etc.,

everything boils down to personality when it comes to succeeding or failing. But it's not a valid answer by itself.

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2 points by indus 1334 days ago | link

Yeah. You are right. There is no delegated person.

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1 point by mbansal14 1335 days ago | link

Interesting take.

I would sort of agree, coz hiring requires a skill in itself. Being a founder doesn't make you the best HR guy. But accepting that might be difficult as compared to saying "i have tried everything and ppl are not interested in working with start-ups". Thats because you can discuss the issue here (or other similar forums) and many would agree on the later than the former.

Hiring is no less than selling, but of a different sort.

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1 point by bipin 1335 days ago | link

Its dangerous to sell way beyond the present state of the company because it can come back to bite you.

IMHO, folks, especially techies get disillusioned very quickly and will move on to the next thing leaving the company in a bigger soup than it was before hiring that person.

It takes 2-3 months at least for a new techie to gain confidence around a complex product. It takes less than that time for him/her to get disillusioned.

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1 point by pocha 1335 days ago | link

I think there is more to it :-

1. It is an optimization problem between - hiring/outsourcing to get it done & doing it yourself. Take your pick which ever thing you are better at. If you are services company that needs people anyway & you are bad at hiring - well shutdown & move on to a product venture.

2. I would not entirely deny the salary skew & finding right talent thing. Its difficult, less for some, more for some. Its again a choice that you make - do you really want to take the pain or keep finding ways of doing things yourself. I am yet to come across a person who has even 10% success rate in hiring people for startups. You interview 10 guys & 1 guy join. Not talking about the case when you have taken the guy for internship/out-sourced job, he liked your model, you bought him a drink over weekend & shared vision etc. Its again a time investment that you have done to orient him to join your startup.

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