strategic consultant to:  

~ serial CEOs & CTOs in software, Internet, technology & digital media
~ experienced consultants in all fields to maximize their practices

I once “watched” Steve Jobs pursue my close friend when he wanted to hire her. He was an unrelenting suitor. He was charming and forthright. Once he had her leaning towards saying “yes,” he set out to woo her husband to support the move. I watched his campaign from her first words to me, “Very flattering, but I don’t want to leave my practice, my house, my friends” to her ultimate joy that she agreed, and her marvelous success from the choice.

I recalled this story last week (4.7.10) when attending Dealmaker Media’s L.A. Strategy Series “Don’t hire your BFF”  Finding the right person with the best skills and a true fit to your organization’s culture is no simple matter, and a mistake is costly in time, money, morale and other company derailments that cannot be predicted. So perhaps Mr. Job’s ardent pursuit is a correct strategy.

Other interesting ideas were mentioned during this gathering, worthy of a short summary.

Hire folks smarter than you and make sure your hiring execs do the same.

  • “A’s hire B’s hire C’s” was Jim Jonassen’s soundbite of the problem you must overcome.

Bring unusual and insightful questions when interviewing:

  • What was your favorite failure?
  • What was your worst hire?
  • How do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Remember the importance of non-cash compensation, including:

  • Acknowledgement and praise, both private and public
  • Offering enough control to your hires that they can apply their maximum skills to any project
  • Determining what motivates each of your hires, and giving it to them.

Consider what motivates different people and reward them accordingly:

  • Task motivated people should receive reward compensation and be allowed to achieve their tasks’ goals.
  • Analytic/intellectually motivated employees should be given the freedom to solve the problems set to them, then praised for it openly.
  • Relationship motivated folks should be rewarded with personal or social time with the senior team, by way of acknowledging their achievement.

Thanks to Vince Thompson for his excellent moderation, and Jim Jonassen, Rich Battista, Brett Brewer and John Suh for their advice.