Elaine Wherry (@elainewherry) joins Erik on this episode to give us the playbook for recruiting for your startup. Elaine was co-founder of Meebo and is now investing at Edelweiss VC (https://www.edelweiss.vc) alongside co-founder Lee Jacobs (https://www.leejacobs.co).
Elaine explains her superpower — being able to build quantitative systems around qualitative characteristics. She talks about how to evaluate candidates with your team and the way she uses TaskRabbit workers to calibrate her team’s assessment of a candidate. Elaine discusses why work simulations are so important in hiring and breaks down how you create a good simulation.
She explains why she asks behavioral questions exclusively in interviews. She tells founders that it's okay (and ideal) if they are spending more than half of their time recruiting. Elaine points out that an employee’s experience on the first day is the best predictor of the length of their tenure.
She also addresses some of the biggest misconceptions about recruiting and talks through how to deal with some of the thorniest aspects of managing people, including annual reviews, compensation, and having difficult conversations.
Quotes From This Episode
“The test of a work simulation is that any smart, well-intentioned person should fail that simulation.”
“[When interviewing someone] within the first five minutes, you have a tendency to have a reaction. It’s easy to fall into first impressions, but it’s your job to challenge that first response.”
“If people just want to get their review to find out whether they got their raise or their bonus, that isn’t going to be a great conversation, so my goal is to de-couple that.”
“People always seem to care more about where they stand in the organization than they do about where they stand outside the organization.”
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Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.