Are You Doing At Least One Interview Every Day?

by | Jun 13, 2018

by Ben Hess, Managing Director, ThirdPool Recruiting

Kevin Ryan does.  Ryan is the CEO of AlleyCorp, a variety pack of internet start-ups he founded in New York City.  Inc. Magazine recently featured him in a series of articles about the secrets of business leaders who are highly productive.  While the whole series is worth reading, I found the interview with Kevin Ryan the most intriguing.

How does a guy who runs five start-up companies have time to conduct daily interviews?  According to Ryan, he doesn’t have time not to:Kevin Ryan

“I used to think business was 50 percent having the right people.  Now I think it’s 80 percent.  The best way to be productive is to have a great team.  So I spend more time than most CEOs on human resources.  That’s 20 percent of my week.”

He goes on to talk more specifically about his work at the Gilt Groupe, a website for bargain-priced luxury brands, that will grow to 500 employees this year.

“I interview a potential employee literally every day, for about an hour. Gilt, the company that currently occupies me most, hired 300 people last year, and I interviewed 50 of those — plus all the candidates we didn’t hire.  I heavily over-invest in recruiting.”

Ryan states that he maintains contact with more than 2,000 people solely for the purpose of attracting the best talent to the businesses he manages.  He puts special emphasis on first level managers because he doesn’t want the good people under them (many of whom he has hired) leaving.  He’s found that people will put up with a lot if they like their manager, but they’ll most definitely leave if they don’t.

If you are a business owner or responsible for managing a team, ask yourself this question:  Do you put this much emphasis on recruiting?  More specifically, do you put this much emphasis on interviewing?  Do you see the value of sitting face-to-face with people (for an hour a day) who could potentially make your team better

If not, Kevin Ryan thinks you’re missing something:

“Intensive as all this is, I ultimately save time, because I can delegate with confidence.  I don’t feel compelled to have weekly one-on-one meetings with senior managers.  We’ll meet once a month, but otherwise, I just ask them to send me an e-mail with a few paragraphs about whatever they think I should know.  I’m also comfortable being away from the office more often.  I take six or seven weeks of vacation a year, though I’m always connected.  When you’ve got the best people running things, you can take your kids skiing in France.”

Hmmm…interview more and take six to seven vacations a year.  I think this guy is onto something!

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