Matt Mochary is the CEO coach of Brian Armstrong (Coinbase), Naval Ravikant (AngelList), Sam Altman (OpenAI) and tons more.
We’ve compiled three of Matt’s keys to hiring below, and believe they are particularly helpful for early stage founders hiring their early employees. That said, the ideas can also be applied by recruiters, talent leaders, and hiring managers from companies of all sizes.
Move Fast 🏃🏻♀️
- Initially schedule 15 minutes for initial candidate screens. After 15 minutes, you’ll likely have a strong sense for if you want to pursue them, and can then make the decision to extend the call.
- If it’s a fit, then you can say, “hey X, I like where this is going. Do you have a bit more time to keep chatting?”
- But if it’s not, then you’ve saved yourself time by only blocking out 15 minutes
- One advantage you have at the early stage over larger companies is speed, use it! The typical recruiting process at large companies can take weeks (sometimes months 🥴). You can show candidates your excitement about them by scheduling interviews quickly, being responsive, and moving fast. Candidates will often reciprocate your excitement with their own!
Perform Reference Checks with Previous Managers 🪞
Mochary often asks candidates to intro him to their former managers. Why? Because he’s hoping to validate that the candidate can indeed do what they say they are capable of, and get more info.
Some sample questions you might ask their former manager:
- Would you hire this person again? If so, why?
- Can you tell me about a time when the candidate had to deal with a difficult situation at work? How did they handle it?
- How would you describe the candidate's work style and approach to problem-solving?
- Can you provide an example of a project the candidate worked on and how they contributed to its success?
- How does the candidate handle feedback and constructive criticism?
- Can you describe the candidate's communication skills and their ability to work with others?
By asking these types of questions, founders can get a more complete picture of the candidate, and gain valuable insights into a candidate's work history and suitability for the role.
Talk to the Significant Other 📞
If the candidate doesn’t have a significant other, then disregard this section.
But if they do, Matt often suggests getting on the phone with them too (if they are willing of course), because they likely play an enormous part in the candidate’s decision. The partner may have questions and concerns around compensation, work-life balance, and more, and it may be important for them to have all of the details too.
This practice will not only help your chances of closing this particular candidate, but will also:
- help you better understand how candidates think about joining your company
- help you close future candidates
That’s it! By moving quickly, doing your due diligence with reference checks, and talking to the candidate’s significant other (if applicable), founders can improve their chances of hiring the best talent.
Thought this was helpful or have questions? Let us know at email@example.com!