Over the last few weeks I've gotten involved in hiring for two startups, a public agency and a non profit. Part of each conversation was getting asked to help them put together a "job spec."
I had them leave with a pie chart.
There must be something in the air. In the last week I had four separate groups through the ranch all wanting to talk either about hiring a senior exec or a senior exec looking for a new job. Having sat through these job discussions as an entrepreneur, board member, and now an interested observer, here's what I concluded:
- Decide whether you're hiring someone to help search for the business model or to help execute a business model you've already found (same is true is you're looking for a job - are you going to be searching or executing?) Are you looking for a visionary or an operating executive?
If you're hiring an operating executive (CEO, VP, Executive Director, etc.)
- Don't start with the candidate (board member x has a great VP of sales he knows, founder y wants this CEO he met at a conference, etc.)
Since I've always been a visual guy, job specs with their long lists of job requirements always left me cold. My eyes would glaze over at these recruiter/board wish lists. I wished there was a way to see them at a glance. (Just to be clear this isn't the entire hiring process, just a way to visually begin the discussion.) So here's my suggestion: Start with a Pie Chart.
- Draw a pie chart.
- Are you hiring for search or execution skills?
- Show the job requirements visually as a pie chart
- Prioritize each requirement by the width of the pie
- Show your assessment of each candidate's competencies by the length of the slices
- Now with the data in front of you, the conversation about hiring can start