Thursday, September 26, 2013

How I Hire: The 5 People You Should Never Hire

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HotelTonight, like many startups I talk to these days, is cursed/blessed with a wealth of riches in the form of resumes and job candidates. We’re fortunate enough to get a lot of interest in the roles we post, but the sheer number of responses we get means we need to be efficient about the way we approach the hiring process.

One way my team and I streamline the process is by going into it with a clear list of dealbreakers. Stay away from hiring:

The One Who Hasn’t Used Your Product
A few years back, when HotelTonight was just getting off the ground, I had an interview in San Mateo for one of our first Market Managers. One of my first questions was about what she thought of the app. Her response: To be honest, I haven’t had time to download it yet. She had time to trek down to the Peninsula for the interview, but didn’t have a few seconds to download the app, do her research and demonstrate her interest in the product and company? I continued the interview, but in retrospect, I should have ended it right then and saved both of us time.

Getting the company name wrong, not downloading their app or checking out their website, not thoroughly researching what a company does – you’d think getting these things right would go without saying, but they come up more often than you’d expect, and demonstrate a lack of attention to detail, passion for the product and industry and, frankly, respect for the company and interviewer.

The One With the Typo
Speaking of attention to detail, typos are another non-starter. Our team has received many a resume expressing a candidate’s enthusiasm for a role at “HotelTonihgt” or emphasizing their “editorail skills” (really). First impressions matter, and it’s worth taking the time (and getting a second set of eyes to look over your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn page) to make a good one.

The One With the Out-of-Date LinkedIn Profile
In many industries, but in particular the tech world, having an out-of-date LinkedIn profile just doesn’t make sense. Sharing your resume via email is great, but having a clean, updated and professional public profile is essential. Having an updated LinkedIn profile says that you value personal brand management, understand current hiring trends and are upfront about your career history. Take the time to clean yours up, get recommendations from colleagues (and write them in return!) and make yourself look enticing to potential employers. You never know who might discover you that way. 

Ways 4,5, and the complete LinkedIn post

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