Top Valley VC: Here's How Companies Blow It When Hiring Engineers

Mike Abbott, Kleiner Perkins

Photo: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

There’s a war for engineering talent in the tech industry. And yet, companies trying to hire top engineering talent continuously shoot themselves in the foot when recuriting.Mike Abbott, the brilliant engineering leader who helped turned Twitter around before joining Kleiner Perkins as a VC, shed some light on engineer hiring practices in an interview with Startup Grind founder Derek Anderson. 

Here’s his list of do’s and don’ts:

  • Don’t meet in your office. Instead, pick a more informal place for instance, get coffee with potential hires, and (this should go without saying) always pay for it. 
  • Turn the employee recruitment process into an internal competition where existing employees help find candidates. 
  • The smaller the company, the more each hire will influence company culture so plan for that: do you want someone who understands design? Who is self-taught but ambitious?
  • Impress engineers with a difficult interview process. 
  • Train current employees how to interview and give them a list of questions to ask potential hires for the sake of consistency.
  • Play up the kind of experiences the potential hire will have that could be of use later in his or her career.

Here’s the full interview on TechCrunch.

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