As an expert in building great companies, Keith Rabois (Khosla Ventures) recently sat down with First Round Capital to share a bit of his expertise on startup hiring. In the interview, Keith explains his theories behind hiring, and talks transparency, finding the best talent, and what makes a great COO.
Having learned the tricks of the trade from prominent Silicon Valley tech moguls like Peter Thiel, Rabois encourages startups to have a realistic perspective of what to expect from employees. He believes it prudent to define what talent looks like for your company in a way that you can actually execute against and make it happen. To Rabois, this means hiring people who are a “little less proven” and take a chance on them.
First Round’s analysis of the talk highlighted a few leading indicators which Keith has found to work incredibly well:
- The candidate can relay incredibly complex ideas in simple terms.
- The candidate can see things you don’t see. Even within topics you’re fluent in, they’re able to convince you of new points of view or make you realize you’re missing something.
- They’re relentlessly resourceful. There should be things in their history, whether it’s on or off the résumé, which conveys that they’re able to make things happen, against all odds. If there is a wall in their way, they’ll go over it, under it or become friends with it. They just make things happen and leave you wowed. Any time you have that “Wow!” kind of feeling you need to just hire the person.
- They’re often contrarian. Peter Thiel now has a popularized way of figuring this out. He asks, “Explain something that you believe, that everybody else believes is wrong.”
To hear more from Keith join us next Wednesday at the 13th Founder Showcase, where Keith and Chris Dixon (Andreessen Horowitz) will be speaking on the Future of Funding. Tickets are selling quickly, so reserve your seats today. In the meantime, check out the video below.