eShares’ hiring strategy

In an earlier post, I wrote about eShares’ values and execution strategy. In the post, I highlighted my most important takeaways from the valuable knowledge which eShares CEO Henry Ward shared on these topics.

I was therefore excited when I discovered Henry’s most recent post on eShares’ hiring strategy. I was confident that it would contain as much valuable information as the earlier post and Henry once again delivered. I encourage you to read the full post but here’s a summary of the headlines:

Hiring Principles:

  1. Hiring means we failed to execute and need help
  2. Startup employee effectiveness follows a power law
  3. False Positives are ok, False Negatives are not
  4. Culture is defined by who we hire

Hiring Heuristics:

  1. Hire for Strength vs Lack of Weakness
  2. Hire for Trajectory vs Experience
  3. Hire Doers vs Tellers
  4. Hire Learners vs Experts
  5. Hire Different vs Similar
  6. Always pass on ego

I agree with each of Henry’s points with the exception of hiring different versus similar. I believe that especially early on, startups need to be composed of people who get along well. This is the easiest way to build the interpersonal trust necessary for each team member to focus on performing their responsibilities to the best of their ability while trusting that their fellow team members will do the same. It’s also the easiest way to get people to spend a lot of time of working. If you don’t enjoy spending time with the people you’re working with, you’re likely to spend less time working and this will slow down the company’s execution speed.

And people who get along well are often quite similar in character and mindset. They may be different along dimensions outside of their control like gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, and startup team members should be different in the functional skill sets they bring to the table. However, people who get along well are often similar in character and mindset.

The benefits of working with like-minded people get smaller as a company grows larger. After a company has established its position in a specific market, its priority changes from executing fast in an environment of personal accountability to executing fast enough while also looking for ways to better serve its current market and new market entry opportunities. This requires diversity of thought which justifies hiring different-minded people.