I've hired 100s of people and made plenty of costly errors along the way.

Here are my 12 worst recruiting mistakes & how to avoid them 🧵
1/ Hired too fast

Solution: Don't hire

First, do the work with your existing team.

Worst case, you develop a deep understanding and will manage it better.

Best case: automate, streamline, or maybe even ignore it.

You’ll be shocked by how often you don’t need a new hire.
This new hire will:

- Add a small tax via new interactions

- Not add real value for 6 months

- Have a large recruiting expense, both is dollars & distraction

Add that all up.

That’s the value hurdle they need to clear to break even.
2/ Hired from desperation

Solution: Grow your community

Today's network leads to tomorrow's hires.

- Build a pipeline w/ intention

- Run your hiring process w/ urgency

- Make your selection w/ patience

Find who you need well before you need them:
3/ Hired for today

Solution: Hire for a year from now

Try to predict the team you’ll likely need at year end.

- budget reality
- your current org
- forecasted demand
- efficiency improvement

Strive for richness in your vision not precision in numbers.
Stress the map:

- Look for gaps in abilities, experiences, & diversity.

- Probability weight attrition for each person.

Even if you need to adjust to unforeseen detours, you’ll be better prepared with the GPS coordinates plugged in.
4/ Relied on my recruiter

Solution: Own it like it’s your job. B/c it is.

Best managers are always recruiting.

Yes, recruiters can bring their expertise and network in partnership.

But the candidates will work for you not them.

Delegate hiring at your own peril.
5/ Hired for an unclear role

Solution: Be as clear as you can be with what you need

- Rank needs vs wants
- Name the archetypes that work
- Clearly define success for this role

Tip: No unicorns. Does this role exist in the world?

Now stress your role with actual humans.
Name the 5 people in the world who are you dream candidates

- What would it take to get them

- Worried you don't know? Ask recruiters for their best examples.

Shortcut: Look to recently passed over lieutenants and protégés.
Name the 3-5 best internal bets

- Compare the effort to close the gap vs getting & onboarding those dream candidates

- Run a test on the best fit internal candidate early in the search

Careful: Don't criticize the known (employees) & romanticize the unknown (candidates).
6/ Accepted Applications

Solution: Craft a proactive sourcing strategy.

Post an ad on LinkedIn, expect to get 1000's of unqualified responses. Terrible leverage.

Two better options for your strategy: attract or search.
Attract - you're throwing a party.

You need:

- Strong vibe - culture, mission, role, people

- Awareness - not exactly invites, but signals

You're only limited by your own creativity.

Downside: unwanted guests.
Search - you're on a hunting expedition.

You need:

- Expert navigators - recruiters who know your market

- A keen eye to know where to look - crowded markets are no fun

You're only limited by your choice of recruiter.

Downside: great guides know their value & aren't cheap
7/ Recruited solo

Solution: Be Gary Kasparov

You have a goal and you need to use all the pieces available to you

- Recruiters
- Your team
- Managers
- The CEO & Board
- Alumni

Don’t assume you’re always the right person at each step.

Senior Hire -> Insist your board makes first contact

Top Developer -> Invite them to give a talk to your company

Conflicting Assessments -> Tap a high empathy manager for a read

Closing -> Bring a colleague with the closest experience to dinner
8/ Hired for experience

Solution: Hire humble & hungry

Here's the thing with people who've been there, done that:

They're often overconfident and undermotivated.


- Aim high but be realistic

- When in doubt, stretch vs shrink

- Look for alignment, ambition & agiliy
9/ Relied on useless data

Solution: Real work

Projects >> Portfolios >> Interviews >> Resumes >> School

- Craft a way to work with them -> internship, projects, freelance.

- Have them present their most relevant work.

The signal quickly fades further from real work.
10/ Lame interviews

Solution: Magical moments

On interview day, defy expectations:

- Thoughtful, unbiased, sharp questions

- Curated tour of your business for them

- Operationally efficient & respectful of their time

Want amazing candidates to say yes?

Details matter.
This list of questions from @theryanking checks both boxes:

- Help you get a clear read if you use them consistently

- Inspires the right kind candidates by not being boring retreads
11/ Made a bad offer

Solution: Do your homework

Offers & negotiation don't have to be awkward:

- Triangulate the offer w/ market research

- Address their objections in the offer

- Expect negotiation

As the manager, the real offer is you. That's what they're buying.
12/ Skipped references

Solution: Make references relevant

- Use trusted resource to find backdoor references.

- Learn how to optimize you new hires first 90 days.

- You're also likely talking to another good candidate.

- Use @amandanat's questions:
Insider tips

- Intangible “sparkle” is dangerous, a breeding ground for bias. But it is also a source of genius. Don’t settle, but assess thoughtfully.

- Clear writers tend to be clear thinkers. The outreach email or cover letter often holds more clues than the resume.
Cautionary Tales

- There are few things more destructive than an ambitious person with nothing to do. You’d rather be lean than fat.

- Until they show up on Day 1, you haven't hired them. Bridge the gap by treating them like part of the team immediately.

Want a team with 1/10,000 talent:

1) Don't hire
2) Curate community
3) Hire for next year
4) Own it like it's your job
5) Clear roles
6) Proactively source
7) Use the team
8) Hire hungry
9) Assess real work
10) Magical moments
11) Show the work
12) Relevant references
Hiring is your biggest chance to impact the future of your team.

Get it right? You’re the @RamsNFL
Get it wrong? You’re the @Giants

You’ve run a gauntlet to find 1/10K talent, don’t fumble at the goal.

Follow @dklineii for more practical management & leadership lessons.

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More from @dklineii

11 Jan
I was fortunate enough to get accepted into @MavenHQ's Course Accelerator.

Today we kicked off.

The energy & ambition was set to 11.

Great lessons from @wes_kao & @gaganbiyani including my favorite:
Turn a bug into a feature.


🐞 This course is not as credible as MBA programs.
💡 Provide high touch interactions + be inclusive vs exclusive.

🐞 No co-workers in class with me.
💡 Learn from new friends in lockstep on their own journey.
Plus I get to build side-by-side w/ great creators:

@amandanat: Content Marketing
@nathanbaugh27: 0-1 Newsletters
@ThePupOfWallSt: Monopolize Creativity
@SachinRamje: Visual Personal Brand
@ericpolite2: Manager Mindset
@chasedamiano: Amplify Your Time
@LeslieCBarry: Pretotyping
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
A human approach to employee feedback that will inspire your team🧵
In 10 years at Bridgewater, I regularly gave feedback most would consider harsh.

Doing that well takes trust and care.

Sadly, leaders often give feedback that does more harm than good.

That doesn’t have to be you.
1/ Why give feedback?

To inspire the change needed to improve the outcome.

- The goal is NOT to get people to conform.

- The goal is NOT to get things off your chest.

- The goal is NOT to force them do it your way.

If outcomes don't improve, your feedback didn't work.
Read 24 tweets
6 Jan
Don't let fear keep you from starting your own business.

Expert advice to overcome 15 common roadblocks 🧵
I made 20 years of excuses.

And I used every rationalization out there not to start:

- I have a lot to learn
- Still working on a big idea
- Need just a little more cushion
- All the good ideas are already taken

Don't be like me: action over aspiration.
Read 19 tweets
31 Dec 21
I've overseen teams that spent more than $1B in my career:

Goals matter.

- The right goals galvanize your vision & inspire your team.

- The wrong goals undermine progress & leave your team rushing for the exit.

Here are 20 tactics to set and achieve game changing goals 🧵
I've led goal-setting under a range of circumstances:

- Small teams & large divisions
- Companies growing & cutting costs
- Startup cultures & slow bureaucracies

No method is one-size-fits-all.

Instead, build a system for setting goals that works for you and your team.
1/ Create Quality Goals

I'm over SMART goals. If they work for you, great.

For me, less is more:

- Simple: Everyone gets it.

- Important: It matters. It beat out other options. And it's worth the additional overhead to track.

- Measurable: Success & failure are clear.
Read 22 tweets
16 Dec 21
I've managed high performing teams for 20 years.

They don't tolerate mediocrity. Neither should you.

Achieve excellence at work by mastering these tactics 🧵
Ensure your great work is recognized:
Read 10 tweets
13 Dec 21
I've negotiated employee compensation countless times.

Most people make simple mistakes that cost them $1,000s.

Here's how to negotiate a raise and get paid what you're worth.🧵
1/ As year end approaches, so does that dreaded office ritual:

Performance reviews

I detailed the tactics you need to get the recognition you deserve.
2/ Right after, companies start to plan & budget the next year.

And guess what the biggest expense is for most companies?


Their people.

So if you deserve more money, now is your ideal moment to ask.
Read 19 tweets

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