Top VC firm Andreessen Horowitz makes exec candidates do 'free work' before hiring them

Marc andreessen ben horowitzREUTERS/Brendan McDermidMarc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz

Fancy Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has a podcast. Two recent episodes were about hiring senior people.

The host interviewed the firm’s two in-house recruiters who spend all day placing executives in Andreessen Horowitz’s portfolio companies. Some of the lessons are things all of us already know.

One surprise was how much Andreessen Horowitz’s recruiters advocate for asking the candidate to do “free” work — e.g. create a 100 day plan or attend a staff meeting.

Here are the key takeaways

  • Have a process.
  • Have different people interview for different traits.
  • Put the person in a game-planning situation with their future team, mocking up the real work.
  • Make sure the candidate’s expectations for what the job will be are aligned with yours. No surprises!
  • “Test for the personal side”…does this person have some sort of personal reason for wanting to take this job? (For example, it’s a healthcare startup, and this person just lost a favourite aunt to a disease.)
  • Ask the final candidate to make a 100 day plan. Budget, hiring, etc. Does it align?
  • Have him or her come to a Monday senior staff meeting.
  • Help the new hire get a win within first 100 days.

Listen to the podcast here >

Disclosure: Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, is an investor in Business Insider.

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