Entrepreneur Andrew Chen has written a great post about building your initial team, after you receive your first round of funding. The advice is great for any small business ready to start hiring people. He suggests:
- Hiring T-shaped people versus specialists
- Try to get doers
- More candidate flow solves a lot of problems
- Interview for the actual work you’ll be doing, not skill set trivia
- Raw intelligence is just one factor – don’t overestimate it
I thought all five suggestions were valid, but the one which stuck out the most for me was # 5 – Don’t overestimate raw intelligence.
Years ago, I had a choice between two candidates. Karen was clearly smarter than Julie. But there was something about Julie I liked.
Against my better judgment, I let others convince me to hire the smarter candidate, Karen. I soon discovered the problem. Everything had always come easy to Karen, and she was lazy.
About six months later, I had a chance to offer the Julie a job. While it took her longer to catch on, she knew how to ask for help and work until the project was done. Given a choice, I would hire Julie again.
Some projects require raw intelligence; others require muscle and work ethic. Be sure you know what you need most.