In the early days of Software Advice, we learned the hard way that we had to hire great sales staff, or “Software Analysts.” We discovered that an “A” player – an employee of the highest caliber – would generate about three times what a “B” player would. So we tightened up our hiring process… and quickly learned that it was very difficult to find “A” players.
At Software Advice, we used to have a relatively informal hiring process. We thought we were good judges and could assess any candidate in a fairly unstructured interview process. We also used to make a lot of hiring mistakes. As our company began to grow, we realized we needed some sort of formal process and framework for hiring.
Building your corporate dream team is a lot like how a coach builds a team, a director of admissions builds a college class or a fund manager builds a portfolio of stocks. They’re not looking for every selection to be the perfect athlete, student or stock–they’re looking for the perfect combination or portfolio.
Savants are really good at what they do. Really, really good. They have the ability to become skilled in many, but not all, fields. They may excel in, say, language arts, yet struggle with basic math. Thus, Savants flourish when they find the one thing they’re best at and focus on it intently. They are creative, humorous and often brilliant. However, Savants are introverted.
Matrix Thinkers are your quintessential creative types. They don’t just “think outside the box,” they think about where the box came from, why it’s there and how it could be designed better. While many people think in a linear fashion (a leads to b leads to c), Matrix Thinkers think more like a cube (a leads to m leads to z leads to c).
The Champ is your quintessential high-performing salesperson. Champs are high-energy, optimistic and love engaging with people. They’re also extremely skilled at reading people – a skill which often comes from their upbringing. Maybe a parent taught them. Or maybe their home life wasn’t quite perfect, and they had to learn at a young age how to understand and deal with the imperfections of the adults around them.
As an entrepreneur, you have a lot of things competing for your attention, from big-picture strategy to product development to human resources. So how do you decide what’s worth your time? In this post, I’m not writing about how to weigh the merits of one strategic project versus another. Instead, I’ll write about prioritizing the frustrating little battles we’re drawn into that distract us from our strategic projects.
As the name implies, Givers like to give to other people. At home, this may mean being an attentive spouse, a thoughtful parent or a helpful roommate, always putting others’ needs ahead of their own. At work, they’re the same way: Their overarching mission is to give to the company, and they put the company and their co-workers ahead of themselves.
If you’re an entrepreneur thinking of starting a business, there are a lot of questions you’re probably asking yourself. One question in particular tops the list: Should you bootstrap your business, or seek funding for your company from venture capital investors? To answer this question, I spoke with Greg Goldfarb, a Managing Director at Summit Partners, a growth equity firm that has invested in more than 380 companies over 30 years.
A couple years ago, Software Advice started out-growing its office space. When we decided to move to our current location, we had to think about the environment we wanted to create for our employees. We wanted to foster a spirit of openness and collaboration – so sticking people in cubicles seemed counter-intuitive. In search of a viable alternative to the cube, I sought the counsel of architect Wendy Dunnam Tita at Dunnam Tita Architecture + Interiors.