If you’ve read Joel Spolsky’s “Smart and Gets Things Done,” you should have a fairly good idea about how to hire your next rockstar hacker.
However, the processes for hiring a great engineer doesn’t really translate when trying to hire a top notch sales shark.
Ben Horowitz provides some key difference on how technical founders/co-founders should go about hiring a development team vs a sales team.
Interviewing for personality traits:
- Engineer: Test for natural problem solving skills, and depth of knowledge for tools.
- Sales: Test for courage, hunger, competitiveness, and emotional intelligence.
The background check:
- Engineer: What have they coded? Do they even know what GitHub is? Where have they worked before?
- Sales: What have they sold? How much over what period of time, and how competitive was that market?
Expanding your department:
- Engineer: Take your time. Hiring the wrong engineer can be costly. No such thing as being too careful.
- Sales: Hire fast. Not having market share can be costly. No such as thing too many sales.
“Applying engineering hiring techniques to a sales organization is like eating poison ivy to get more green vegetables. You will get the opposite of what you want.”