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We’re excited to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration this year the world 8767 s largest gathering of women technologists. We 8767 ll be teaming up with YC alum Elpha (a community where women in tech can talk candidly online) and hosting office hours on October 8 in Orlando.

Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance at London Business School.

Proyectadas a dimensiones celestes o á mbitos inquietantes para procurarles el protagonismo que a veces eligen.

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Kat Mañalac So, you 8767 ve both talked a lot about how important culture and values alignment is for people who work within your company, but what about people that you work with, you know, that are external to your company? So investors that you might bring on or partners. Talk to me a little bit about that.

So, this is a picture from after our YC interview in November 7566. And we were beaming ear to ear because it was actually the first VC pitch in months at which people hadn 8767 t basically just laughed us out of the room. And so, you know, we were kind of very used to the only few people that were interested in working with The Muse were people that were deeply passionate about the mission and deeply aligned with the values that we had. All of a sudden, we get into YC, that news becomes public, and we have all of these people wanting to work for us. We didn 8767 t realize a lot of them actually just wanted to work for a YC startup. They wanted to work for a company they perceived as sexy. They didn 8767 t actually want to work for us.

Metá foras poé ticas e imá genes de hondo contenido poé tico y del mundo oní rico.

Kat Mañalac Can you talk a little bit about what culture-fit-interviewing is?

Kathryn Minshew And do you know, without going into all the gory details, we had a couple of quick conversations and then we 8767 re pretty much like, 8775 Great, well, it sounds like you should work somewhere else and we should find another person to partner with, 8776 because obviously, that 8767 s not an example of shared values.

Kat Mañalac It doesn 8767 t matter how small the check is, we 8767 ll take it.

Kathryn Minshew We also think a lot about finding the right fit for you. And I think that 8767 s particularly important for startups because every startup is so different, right? They have different cultures than each other, they have different cultures than a large company, for sure. And I think that we live in a culture these days that 8767 s obsessed with, you know, the best places to work list or sort of ranking companies, rating them from one to five stars. But one of our really deep beliefs is it 8767 s all about alignment, not ratings. It 8767 s about what is the right thing for you. And so, we 8767 ll talk more about this, but I think when you 8767 re a startup founder, one of the most important things you can do early on is really identify, what is the culture you 8767 re trying to build? What are the characteristics of the company that you want to create? And how do you kind of broadcast out, you know, loud and proud so that people who want that will be drawn to your company? And people who don 8767 t want that will say, 8775 No thanks, 8776 and they 8767 ll go find somewhere else to work.

Kat is a Partner at YC. She was Chief of Staff to Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of reddit, before joining YC as its Director of Outreach. Prior to that, Kat was at WIRED Magazine where she managed brand and strategy. Kat has a BS in Communications from Northwestern University.

Alex Cavoulacos Great question. So, one of the things I have actively played against is the notion of sort of culture-fit-interviewing. I do think there 8767 s, you know, culture and different ways to think about how culture evolves. But culture fit, especially for people who are not skilled interviewers, who have not done it for a long time, is an amazing cause for bias.

Alex Cavoulacos I think one of the biggest things, when you 8767 re hiring, is you have to know what you 8767 re looking for, and that 8767 s a mix of skills and values. And so, you might be like, 8775 Okay, I need a salesperson, they need to be able to close a deal, 8776 great, but what are the values that are core to your company as well? And then, how 8767 s your process allowing you to actually figure that out, especially early stage, especially if you haven 8767 t really interviewed a ton prior to starting a company. A lot of people just jump into it. They 8767 re like, they go with their gut feeling and they are like, 8775 I think this person can do the job. 8776 But you really actually need to set up a process. And it can be a lot less, you know, arduous in the early days than it is if you get bigger, but what are you 8767 re gonna ask for every single person going through the process? How are you gonna compare them head to head? How are you gonna check their skills? Are you doing reference checks? You should be doing reference checks. All of those things, and actually just thinking through the process at the beginning and identifying what you want, because there are many types of salespeople, many types of marketers, many types of engineers. You don 8767 t just want an engineer or a salesperson, you want one with a particular skill set to make your company successful.

And the last thing I 8767 ll say is, nobody is perfect. So, unfortunately, it 8767 s kind of a harsh rule of thumb, but if you have, sort of, for every 65 people you 8767 ve hired, if there 8767 s not one person that you 8767 re either managing out or firing, you 8767 re probably being too soft on performance.

That said, you can make the opposite mistake, which we did about a year later, which is get people who are so into your mission and so into what you 8767 re doing that they don 8767 t actually want to do the job that you 8767 re hiring for, which again, is a real problem.

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