Why I no longer hire from Harvard & Google
And how I hire for 2-3x cheaper than most
Before we dive in two things…
#1 - New podcast is live with NYTimes best-selling author Yung Pueblo on building his audience, community and product.
You’re going to want to listen to this one. There’s a reason Yung Pueblo has millions of die-hard followers.
#2 - We’re going to close enrollment for Community Empire for now. Probably increase prices in the future when we reopen.
If you want to build a cash-flowing empire powered by community, check it out here.
“This literally gave me the kick in the ass I needed to build an empire, not a business. No brainer.”
Ok let’s dive into this week’s post…
Why I no longer hire from Harvard & Google
Two ways to create a winning business:
Hire the right talent
Don’t run out of cash
Let’s tackle a bit of #1 and #2 today - how to hire great people at 2-3x cheaper than usual.
Your team is your lifeblood.
Especially true in an internet business (where your teams are usually more compact).
Instagram sold for $1B with 13 employees. WhatsApp sold for $19B with 55 employees. Each employee matters so much in internet businesses. Less is more.
So the question becomes, “How do you reverse engineer the world’s greatest team for your business?”
At Late Checkout, we use the 95/5 rule.
5% of our hires are been there done that expensive hires (often our operators of our businesses or senior talent), 95% are these non-traditional hires.
There are two checklists you can use when interviewing potential hires: the standard interview questions, or non-obvious traits.
You know the standard interview questions. They’re what most businesses look for.
What school did you go to?
Where have you worked before?
What did you learn at XYZ school or workplace?
Proven candidates who have “been there and done that”.
The downside of viewing hiring in this way is typically you have to pay a lot more money for these hires. It’s not uncommon for the average Meta employee to make $400k+… and that’s a lot of money if you’re pre-product-market fit.
And this matters so much in these non-VC businesses I talk a lot about here and in Community Empire.
Another downside that I’ve seen personally is they tend to be less loyal than other candidates. They’re more likely to be looking for the next big thing and won’t hesitate to jump ship.
These matter a bit, but I put much more stock in a different kind of resume…
6 Questions to Dig Up Non-Obvious Traits
Sure, Harvard and Google look great on a traditional resume — but these non-obvious traits tell me much more about what kind of team member you’ll be.
Have you made money as an affiliate?
This shows your ability to hustle on the internet. If you can sell anything online and make win-win business relationships, you can find your place in a larger company structure.
It could be selling stuf via your Instagram or doing more complex ad arbritrage.
Either way, being an affiliate tells me you from “the streets” of the internet.
You graduated the school of hard knocks.
Have you sold stuff on eBay?
This shows that you understand copywriting for the internet, pricing strategy, and the ability to communicate with others. Plus, the importance of good customer service (need those 5-star reviews.)
Have you ran a successful meme page?
You can write for the internet and specific niches within it. You can connect with wide ranges of people, foster community, and take marketing projects from zero to one.
Have you launched a product?
Whether it’s something as simple as a DTC t-shirt brand or you’ve coded a SaaS project, the ability to take products from zero to one is a rare, invaluable skill.
Zero-to-one is a completely different skillset than 1-to-N. Most big
Were you in any gaming clans/teams/guilds?
It’s essentially the internet version of youth sports, plus the community aspect of building respect and authority through chat rooms. Teamwork, strategy, communication all come through in online gaming.
So much of what I’ve become as a CEO I learned becoming a leader of clans in Counter Strike.
Have you hosted events?
Think about all that goes into setting up a party.
How many people are invited?
What time does it start?
Where’s it at?
How do you set up the space?
What kind of food and where’s it coming from?
What’s the playlist?
How do you create mystery?
Building community is just setting up parties on the internet.
These non-obvious traits might not get you an interview at Facebook — but in my opinion, they’re true indicators of success when it comes to building on the internet.
❤️ Greg’s bookmarks:
We’re about to see a ton of re-caps in tech. Tons of opportunity. Link
I’d never heard of the term “Misogi” and now I can’t stop thinking about it. Link
How Matt Rife makes $1m/month. I’d never heard of him (and posted the wrong link last week). The story is interesting. Link
This brand is making $50k/month with only organic traffic. This TikTok approach is novel. Link
Mean Girls the movie can now be streamed fully streamed on TikTok. Prediction: People predicted TikTok to be more like YouTube, but it’ll be a mix of YouTube and Netflix. Link
That’s a wrap!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s post. Tag me on Twitter if you did. I read every @ mention.
It’s free and will give you free startup ideas. And I’ll see you in Community Empire if that’s your thing.
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