A word from a CEO #88

Lessons from Amazon’s hiring strategy

Hi all –

I believe that the key to successful leadership is hiring the right people. It’s why Elias, Drift’s co-founder and CTO, and I have been so involved in hiring since day one at Drift.

Throughout all of my companies, all my pain and suffering has come from making a poor decision on hiring and hiring the wrong person. That person could be amazing, great – but the company could be a bad fit for them.

On the flip side, all of my happiness and productivity comes from when I’ve made a great hire. Because great hires require very little management. They know what to do. That’s not just a matter of experience – but they just naturally know what to do. Whereas a hire who might be a poor fit requires an extraordinary amount of training and coaching.

As you may know, when we started hiring at Drift, our goal was to hire someone in seven days or less. And while that worked for those early stages of the company, the bigger we get, it’s going to take us longer to ensure that we are hiring the right person.

And as we get busy, as things get crazy and you don’t have enough hands for the work today, let alone tomorrow – one of the easiest things to do is cut back on the time you spend looking for a candidate, the time you spend in the interview, the amount of time you spend doing back channel work.

It’s so easy to rush to hire. But we have to fight it.

In Jeff Bezos’s 1998 Letter to Shareholders, he said “We want to fight entropy. The bar has to continuously go up. I ask people to visualize the company 5 years from now. At that point, each of us should look around and say, ‘The standards are so high now – boy, I’m glad I got in when I did!’”

That is what I want at Drift.

How do you make sure each new hire you make raises the bar? Let me know by replying back to this email.

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