Good Hiring Means Becoming The Dumbest Person In The Room

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Everyone knows that in order for a company to succeed it needs to have the best people with enough freedom and responsibility to let them do their jobs as well as they can. But hiring great talent can be a challenge. During a 'fireside chat' between ServiceNow's CEO John Donohoe and founder Fred Luddy, the question of picking great people came up. And while some founders can come across as arrogant and egocentric, Luddy's advice when hiring people was refreshing.

During the chat, which ended the second day of the company's Knowledge 18 event, Luddy talked about his strategy when bringing people into the company he founded and now chairs. As well as developing and acuiring great technologies, he said the company focussed on bringing in "really great talent".

When it came to his objectives for ServiceNow Luddy said "I'd love to be the dumbest guy in the room".

One of the challenges I found when recruiting people in my past roles was ensuring that I didn't hire people simply because we struck a strong rapport quickly. One of my past mentors warned me once to not hire in my own image. In other words, it was about finding people that filled in the gaps in my skills and knowledge and didn't just mirror or amplify my specific skills and talents.

Luddy's goal was to bring people into the business that took his vision further. For example, much of the code and design he created during the company's early days has been replaced because new people were able to go further by doing things in new and different ways that Luddy didn't see.

While many technology conferences are all about product and service announcements, being able to hear from a founder and get those perspectives on what makes them tick is perhaps more interesting and not likely to end up in a press release or widely reported.

For those looking to hire people, are you looking for people who will add new skills and experience that you don't have? If you're looking for a job, think about what you can bring that will make a difference to the organisation you're joining.

Anthony Caruana attended Knowledge 18 in Las Vegas as a guest of ServiceNow.


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