What are some of the best recruiting and hiring practices when founding a company? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
Recruiting starts and ends with your network. Recruiting shouldn't start when you're founding a company or when you're "hiring". Recruiting should start when you're 18, when you're on your first day of a new job, when you're meeting a friend of a friend at a party. What I mean is that building a network and providing people value is something that you should (and can) continually be investing in -- even when you're 16 years old. Your network is like any other resource; you should be depositing and investing in it constantly by being a good human that people want to be around, by doing your current job really well that people notice/want to work with you, by constantly thinking about how you can create value for friends and people around you, and not thinking about how you can capture value from them (you can obviously have your imperfections and quirks, but the golden rule goes a long way here).
And like any other resource, you want to have a deep 'reservoir' by the time you actually need to call on it (for recruits, investors, advisors, etc), like saving money/making deposits in a bank account. You don't want to found a company, and on day one, look into the "bank account" and see it's empty.
In truth, your network is even better than money -- it's more like an investment (when approached *genuinely*) that compounds. Derek Sivers, the writer/entrepreneur/programmer, puts it best when he talks about the fact that "doing things for others is pretty much the behavior that the universe rewards most."
So in short, if you approach recruiting and hiring as an exchange that you're seeking because it currently benefits you to do so, you'll be behind all the folks who have been "recruiting" for years without knowing it by investing in their networks.
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