When you work in a start-up you end up doing all sorts of stuff and sometimes it helps you hire better people. I have long believed people tend to work for people and if they meet someone they really like or would want to work with then they make that choice in case they are evaluating multiple offers.
So I spend quite a lot of time selling the company, the product, the services, the culture anything else I think is sell-able.
So this one time, there was this candidate who was coming to meet us for an interview. We had a small office and my cubicle had slightly higher walls but was right out near the main door.
He was due to arrive at 3 pm and hadn’t arrived yet. In the meanwhile someone from my team in the other work bay shouted for me to come and have a look at the internet router so that I could sort out one of the perennial disconnections issue that was plaguing us that day. Right that moment, this candidate walked in through the door and met my colleague who had spoken to him earlier. So he actually heard my colleague shouting for me to get the internet fixed and saw me walk through to the other bay.
Meanwhile my colleague sat him down him in my cubicle waiting for me to get back. I took about 5-10 minutes, before I came back to my seat, met the candidate who was already seated in my cubicle. The interview was fun, he was a sharp guy and he was one of the best candidates I had met in a long time. There was no doubt we were going to make an offer. We did, he accepted and he joined. He stayed at the company for more than 3 years and did really really well.
The fun part is that I wouldn’t be writing this blog post at all but something this candidate (now colleague) said after more than 3 years at his farewell speech. He was moving towns and had to leave our firm. We pulled him into the pantry and did the usual brouhaha. Everyone insisted on a speech as well. So he made one and then he said it. He had found it very unusual on the day of his interview that I had walked from my desk and fixed an internet issue before returning to complete his interview. He had initially thought maybe I was the networks guy!!! He did mention that after the interview he felt really good about the fact that he thought someone senior in the company (small company) would walk around and address seemingly trivial issues. He thought it would be a good thing to work with someone who could roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty in getting things done and that would help him learn new stuff.
I was quite pleasantly taken aback at his speech. I had never even known that he had observed so many things and reached a decision favourable to our organization.
So there it’s, fixing the internet helps you hire Rockstars.