So much has changed in recruiting in the past 4 years:

  • Folks do far more Zoom interviews than they ever did IRL, often with zero research
  • Reference checks aren’t taken as seriously as before, or even done at all
  • Many don’t even plan to stay for a year
  • Many are working 2 or more jobs at the same time, and multiple side hustles
  • Layoffs are up
  • SaaS companies have to be far more efficient than before
  • Folks want bigger teams, and to do less work themselves

And with that, I think across my portfolio of 30+ investments, I think we’ve all gotten a bit worse at hiring.  Hiring is always tough.  It never gets easier.  But in general, I’ve seen folks lower the bar, hire faster, and do less diligence on hiring than we used to.

So I’ve added a new test with CEOs I work with and VPs I interview: they just >have< to pass the 20 Minute Test.  You have to truly believe they can do it within 20 minutes of the first interview.

You’ll hear a lot of excuses, from the team and even in your head:

  • They’ll do better — once they know the product
  • They are great at process
  • Not sure anyone will come with them, but they might
  • Everyone likes him
  • They worked somewhere great

But did you truly believe within 20 minutes they could do the job, VP of Sales, Marketing, Product, Eng, etc.?  Really, truly?

95% of the time when a VP doesn’t work out, I ask the CEO this question.  They admit they were never truly sure that VP could do it.

Take risks.  But not there.

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