Do Something has a reputation for having one of the best company cultures around--but when I say "best", I mean consistent and pervasive--not necessarily one that works everywhere. That's what struck me when I spoke to Aria Finger. I could imagine people listening to this podcast and applying for a job there right away, or saying that they could never work in this kind of environment. It isn't for everyone--and that's the point. One of the strongest filters of a recruiting and hiring process should be the company culture. Not everyone should get excited to work there--because then your culture probably isn't very strong. I talked to Aria about all the care and feeding that goes into this and how she maintains it as CEO.
Employees of x.ai take a pledge. It's a lot different from their options agreement, or their non-disclosure agreement. It's about what kind of people they want to be to each other as co-workers. In the case of x.ai, that means joining a particular kind of mission. While lots of companies say they have a mission, very few get their employees to state what it means to be on that mission--and that agreement is at the core of how x.ai onboards their employees. It's a powerful and inspiring statement and we discuss how it effects their recruiting process.
Doug Chambers knows just about everything you need to know about getting a building off the ground--but building a team around a tech startup was new ground. He had a construction background--hammers, nails and hard hats, not 1's and 0's. So when he first started out, there a lot of lessons to be learned. He discusses those in the podcast and the key attributes from his evaluation criteria that he holds all new hires accountable to.
Episode #3: Adam Price at Homer: What They Didn't Teach About Hiring When I Got an Aerospace Engineering Degree
Homer Logistics is the most efficient last mile delivery network in the world--built on advanced routing technology and data science, together with industry leading people processes built to minimize turnover. It wasn't an easy infrastructure to set up, and Adam Price has learned a lot of hiring lessons along the way. He talks about turning gut checks into more effective screens, the hours he spends reference checking, and the role redesign process he kicks into gear when someone doesn't work out.
Shan-lyn Ma is a thoughtful, product oriented CEO whose entire career path feels like a lead up to assembling a great team. While she may not have known she would build Zola early on, she certainly knew the value of recognizing talent in others, and being someone people wanted to work with. We also talked about how to balance the idea of keeping the bar high with the pressing needs of a startup.
I've known Chad Dickerson, CEO of Etsy, for years. Etsy has a strong reputation for their company culture, employee diversity and creativity. We discussed how this has become a recruiting asset for the company and what strategies have made Etsy one of NYC's most talented companies.