When YesGraph’s founder, Ivan Kirigin, was looking to make the first hire, he asked YC founders on how they did it. The responses were diverse and fascinating. We pulled some quotes, but they aren’t attributed.
Hiring doesn’t happen overnight
There’s a strong chance that the person you want to to hire is not actively looking, which means it will take time and significant effort to convince them to join you. Expect to meet with them on numerous occasions, and seek to understand what they would look for in a career move. Even if they aren’t interested, you may be able to assist them with their next career move.
I have spent a lot of time looking for a first hire and it took a while to find him. When I did he was working for another company nearby and we did a little “dating” – meeting up for lunch, “bumping into each other” at events and really got on. When I felt my company was in the right spot and that he was in a receptive place I then “asked him out formally” and proposed that he joined me.
So, I know that you’re seasoned and have heard all the same advice I have a million times but from my own experience: believe the wisdom around hiring extremely carefully and slowly. Give your potential hires significant and real projects and see how they do. And most of all, stay objective. Don’t get excited that you found someone good and excuse them for not being as great as you really need that first hire to be. Continue reading