382: How To Hire People Who Are More Senior Than Yourself
In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about how to hire people that are much more senior than you are.
Sometimes when it’s time to hire new staff for your startup, you may be in a situation where you’re hiring people who are much more senior than you, both in terms of age and experience. It can feel intimidating when this happens, but it really shouldn’t be.
Tune in to this week’s episode to hear Steli and Hiten thought on how to hire people that are much more senior than you are, how to manage this situation, how this could be an opportunity for learning and much more.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
00:00 About today’s topic.
00:30 Why this topic was chosen.
01:44 Hiten’s first response to the question.
02:43 How being a founder is management.
04:00 Why a big part of this struggle is a mindset thing.
06:01 Why hiring is no different than any other function of a business.
06:50 Why you shouldn’t put unnecessary pressure when it comes to managing this situation.
07:21 How unnecessary pressure can lead to bad outcomes.
08:01 How you can learn from senior people.
08:50 Why you consider every time you work with senior people as a learning opportunity.
3 Key Points:
One thing to realize is that this is part of learning.
Being a founder is management.
A big part of the struggle is a mindset thing.
Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.
Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.
Steli Efti: And today on the startup chat we're going to talk about how to hire people that are much more senior than you are. Right. So the reason why I wanted to talk about this is that a listener has emailed me a few days ago and asked this exact question. He was basically describing that he has never worked in a large company. He has never been an executive in a larger startup. He had a bit of solid experience as an intern and then he worked there as an individual contributor and now he's started his own startup. They raised some money. They have I think a five to 10 person team. And he is not out there trying to hire and recruit some senior people. And he was saying that it was really hard for him to talk to people that had 10, 20 years of experience. That had been VPs and CXOs and in bigger teams than he is built himself. And he's like, "How do you hire somebody that's a lot older than you? That's a lot more experienced than you. How do you A, deal with the intimidation and also the self doubt." It sounded to me like he was doubting his own abilities to judge these people. So I thought that will be a perfect topic to unpack on the startup chat. And so thank you for the question for the listener and now throwing the ball to you Hiten. What's your first response to this question?
Hiten Shah: Yeah. Wow. Well, yeah, thank you to that person, thank you. I mean this is a topic that you don't really see a talked about much in this way with a lot of honesty. And so I think this is a huge opportunity for us to share our thoughts on it. I've had to do this over and over again. And it's not challenging. I think that I would first want to tell this person and whoever's listening about hiring people more senior than you. So more experienced, older, and have done things you haven't done yet. Oftentimes the one thing you've done, they haven't done which is start a company. Oftentimes not all the time. So that's something to remember and to realize. Another thing is this is part of the learning. So one thing I would say that has actually been in my mind a little bit is being a founder is management and management period. Manage Yourself, manage your family, you know, with your partner, manage your team and that means everybody on your team. And so that's your responsibility. Even if you're like,