3 Silicon Valley Leaders on Hiring

Matt Harvey, Stanford University May 25, 2011

As the United States trudges its way out of recession and high unemployment rates, Silicon Valley appears to be growing jobs at a faster pace. Even if the job market is picking up, competition for jobs at valley companies will continue to be fierce. And if you’re a startup founder looking to add the next key members to your team, the hiring process can be a fantastic opportunity to seek out great people. Here are a few insights on the recruitment process from some iconic Silicon Valley leaders.

Hire Great People

IDEO Founder David Kelley suggests avoiding conventional approaches to hiring, and in this clip, he offers a few recommendations: 1) Hire non-confomists to stimulate the organization, 2) Hire experts and generalists from different fields, and 3) Form “hot groups” of 8-12 people for maximum impact. Kelley says ideal hires interact well with staff and demonstrate an “attitude of wisdom” that balances the ability to promote ideas and still consider feedback.

Hire the Right People

“The number one thing I look for is raw intelligence,” according to Mark Zuckerberg, the high-profile founder of Facebook. Zuckerberg also believes it’s important to hire individuals who align well with the company’s focus. In this video clip, the founder also reveals the skills and balance of experience he looks for when recruiting college graduates.

Hiring Affects Company Culture

Deciding which candidates to extend offers to is no small responsibility. Emphasizing this point, NVIDIA Founder Jen-Hsun Huang states that hiring decisions are the choice of the company and no one else. With skilled engineers everywhere, hiring decisions often come down to the personalities and motivations of the candidates. Huang believes a candidate’s ability to mesh with the company culture must be a primary consideration in the hiring process.