Insights for technology professionals

Steve Jobs on Startup Hiring

Posted on January 19, 2011 by Jack Trompert

The other day someone came across an old interview of Steve Jobs from 1998. He was being interviewed about how he views top talent and how they spend their time at Apple going after them. Here's a notable quote he has about how startups have to focus even more on hiring great people than large companies do:

Assume you're by yourself in a startup and you want a partner. You'd take a lot of time finding the partner, right? He would be half of your company. Why should you take any less time finding a third of your company or a fourth of your company or a fifth of your company? When you're in a startup, the first ten people will determine whether the company succeeds or not. Each is 10 percent of the company. So why wouldn't you take as much time as necessary to find all the A players? If three were not so great, why would you want a company where 30 percent of your people are not so great? A small company depends on great people much more than a big company does.

From BusinessWeek Frontier

In a perfect world, start-up founders could spend weeks and months to find the right kind of people and bring them in. However, we live in the real world, and that isn't always an option. What we can offer at Talent 101 is the next best thing.

While you always have the final hiring choice, a lot of the initial screening and interviews can be handled by us. By working to understand what the goals of your company and ideal candidate look like, we can bring people to your attention that wouldn't normally be able to find on your own.

According to Steve Jobs, the first ten people at a start-up will determine whether you succeed or not. That means that it's wise to spend the most time and effort on these people. Our combined 50 years of direct-hire experience can help you significantly in this endeavor.

If you're beginning to assemble a world class team and need help, we'd love to assist you. Talent 101 works with companies of all sizes, including exciting new start-ups. Contact us today if you'd like to discuss various ways that we can help you put together a highly talented team.

Topics: Education and Training

Jack Trompert

In 2010, Jack and Janet Trompert started Talent 101 with a clear new vision on how to deliver talent to the marketplace. To work at Talent 101 is to be a part of something creative and big. From our modest roots as an ambitious startup, to becoming a global workforce solution provider to the world’s most recognized semiconductor companies, our growth and momentum owes a lot to our strong company culture of customer service, can do attitude, sense of urgency and always focus on the client and talent.