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Max Levchin's hiring tips  

Max Levchin's hiring tricks, put together by Bill Trenchard:

  • If there's a doubt, don't hire them
  • Hire people you know already
  • Stay away from diversity early on (controversial!)
  • Differentiate your company through its hiring process

The article is interesting. Sadly, I don't think it will help. Call me a cynic, but I think hiring is one of those things where people listen to the advice but then do their own thing anyway. Then they learn.

An interesting point from the article:

It's easy to think you can't possibly know enough good people from your network to build out an entire team. While in some ways that's true, Levchin's experience is that almost everyone actually knows more good people than they believe they know. The challenge is that most founders rule out top talent because they think they'll never be able to actually get them to join their team.

Levchin learned early on not to make this mistake. When PayPal was founded, he sat down and created a list of potential engineering hires. When he was done he had a single name written down. Levchin recounts demoralizing exercise, " Peter [Thiel] sat me down and he made me write down every smart person I knew in college personally. Turned out to be a list of about 30 people and we ended up hiring about 24 of those." You can't rule potential hires out just because you don't think you can win them. He went on to note, "We had this cascading effect where our team would be forced to write down everybody smart they knew that they were absolutely confident they could never hire. We then went after them like banshees and they would eventually crack."

Enjoy the read.

More from the library:
The salesman and the developer
Investor tricks to mess with valuations
Networking in the middle