Hiring people

1. Hire well:

  • It is your single most important people function
  • A structured process helps to make the right decisions
  • If one person is in charge of hiring, they should consult with feedback panels, and use a structured process to help run analytics behind the hiring process and decision making Structure your interview:
  • Common to assess people on knowledge of the role but this overemphasised
  • One of the strongest predictors is problem-solving ability
  • Ask an open-ended question and measure how they ask questions, structure problems, come up with a range of solutions, then land on an answer
  • Ensure the interviewee is comfortable, or better thrives, in ambiguous situations
  • Test for this by asking about a time they dealt with adversity
  • Growth mindset - i.e. a vivacious learner.
  • Ask for a time the interviewee experienced failure. If someone has the raw intellectual horsepower, they can scale and adapt

2. Measure Culture:

  • Use engagement surveys and making sense of the data
  • Work backwards from whatever it is you want to solve (common to measure engagement and retention)
  • Look at YoY changes
  • Shows a shift on how your people are feeling
  • Concentrate on the absolute score not making incremental % shift in one area as this is likely to provide huge effort for a small gain
  • Communicate
  • Own your results and how they are communicated to the team
  • Take one action
  • Use your data and analytics to ensure you are solving the right action
  • Communicate it again:
  • “You told us x so we did y” - people want to know that you took their feedback seriously
  • Measure some more
  • I.e. looking at bias or consumer preference surveys 3. Building resilience

3. Building resilience

As a leader:

  • Take action. Move from sinking into adversity to action-oriented
  • Resilient leaders bounce back fast. Set some short term goals to help feel a sense of team accomplishment
  • Be present. Our most painful thoughts are generally about the past or future. Rarely about the present. Pause and take five deep breaths for 30 seconds before a meeting

For your team:

  • You can't carry a company on your resilience alone
  • Create a sense of belonging and show that you genuinely care for your team and their growth
  • Create psychological safety. The fastest way to do this is to be humble - share how you’re feeling
  • Instil a sense of hope and purpose. Give the team agency and set milestone goals, not just revenue 

Culture fit bias:

  • Important to define what culture fits is as it can bring a lot of bias.
  • Define it as values not likeability
  • Define company values by determining the behaviours you expect to see from an employee
  • A big red flag is when a hiring manager says “ I can’t put my finger on why they’ll be great.” This is likeability not culture fit.
  • As you scale this across departments assessing a culture fit will become more difficult. But defining values and good answers to questions about these values are the best way to tackle this


  • Critical for founders to be transparent.
  • There's a delicate balance between sharing raw data and letting employees find out information for themselves
  • Provide a narrative or context around shared data, but make it authentic
  • In Justin’s experience, low-production value presentations such as a simple screen share provide trust for employees over well-polished slide decks