In March 2008, Facebook hired Sheryl Sandberg, the former head of advertising at Google, who would go on to play a big part in the social media giant’s expansion. Today, the company has over 17,000 employees and a revenue of nearly $28 billion. Founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that Sandberg inspires him, and attributes the most important hiring rule to her advice. Whether it is for a full-time executive or a freelancer writer, this tip can help hiring managers make better decisions.
Zuckerberg believes that surrounding oneself with people who are smarter and stronger is important for success. In business, he suggests, executives and managers should surround themselves with people who can inspire them. However, the trick that he uses to hire people for his growing company is something more specific: when you are interviewing someone, visualize what you would do if the seats were switched i.e. the candidate was the hiring manager and you were the candidate. Would you still want to work with or for that person? One should base his/her decision on the answer to this question.
He clarified that this rule may not be helpful when hiring interns or entry-level analysts because it is meant for executives who would report directly to the top. It is for people who would be discussing strategy, finance, and development with the founders and the CEO.
The point that he tries to make is to help leaders around the world understand that when it comes to hiring, they should keep their egos and preconceived notions aside and concentrate on the talent. They should focus on hiring people who they admire. Before hiring Sandberg as the COO, Zuckerberg took his own sweet time, meeting her regularly and talking with her for hours about what she could contribute to Facebook’s success. Although he took his time, he was confident that she would be an asset to the company as she was stronger than him. Zuckerberg admired Sandberg and that made his decision-making easier.
Today, when companies hire people, they focus on the CVs and the cover letters, appreciating a candidate’s education and work history. But, there are much more important things to be considered. The mark of a great leader is his willingness to work with people who are smarter than him and that’s enough to take a company to the next level. The cumulative impact of a good workforce can positively affect a company’s growth. According to Flywire Blog, students should understand today’s hiring practices so that they can be ready by the time they graduate.
To reiterate, the most important hiring rule in today’s competitive world is to observe if the candidate is a smarter human being who knows his/her stuff. Managers should focus on hiring people that are not only charismatic but who will also be a positive influence on the company, its employees, and most importantly, its future.