What can the first hires of major tech companies teach us?

200024506-001The recent release of an infographic by Adzuna aims to look beyond the charismatic founders that in many cases have become synonymous with their companies, in order to celebrate the contributions of their first hires. But whether you’re making your first hire or you’ve lost count, the infographic is a helpful reminder of a few things to look out for when hiring internally.

A passion for education. While hiring brilliant people is great for your company, hiring brilliant people that want to share their knowledge is invaluable. Many of these first hires have gone on to be involved in education one way or another – Tim Brady is the managing director of K12, an organization that aims to accelerate the growth of education startups; Craig Silverstein is Dean of Architecture at the Khan Academy, a not-for-profit that aims to provide “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”; while Taner Haliciouglu of Facebook lectures at UC San Diego. Many candidates will express their eagerness to learn, but you should take notice of those that are also eager to teach.

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Big dreams. While some first hires stayed with their company for over a decade, many had much briefer spells – Jeffrey Skoll was with eBay for only two years before leaving to eventually start his own production company, while Tumblr’s Marco Arment left after three to launch his own startups. Of course you don’t want to hire someone whose main priority is how quickly they can leave, but don’t be afraid of hiring talent that one day wants to start their own company. These enterprising individuals can bring more value to your company in a few short years than some hires will over their working life.

Diversity. The first thing you might notice about the list of first hires is that they are all men. While not a comprehensive study of hiring practices in tech companies, you don’t need to look hard to find plenty of reports critical of diversity in these workplaces. While it’s perhaps natural that your first hire might be similar to you in certain ways, any organization should quickly look to diversify its workforce – if only to be better off financially.



Stephen Pritchard

Stephen Pritchard
Stephen Pritchard has recently joined the UK based job search site Adzuna (http://www.adzuna.co.uk) as a content marketer.

Stephen Pritchard

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