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How LinkedIn Taught Itself to Hire the Best People

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Back in 2009, few engineers wanted to work for LinkedIn. It was a relative minnow as big Silicon Valley firms go, and not a particularly sexy one either.

Compared to the glamorous lifestyle on offer at Google (free food! 20% time!) or Facebook (moving fast! breaking things!), LinkedIn seemed staid. “We couldn’t pay as much and didn’t have a brand,” says Steve Cadigan, who led LinkedIn’s human resources department from 2009 to the end of 2012.

Most companies would hire a recruitment agency to tackle a problem like this. For LinkedIn, that was out of the question—its reputation would have been in tatters. “I didn’t know if the product worked, and I couldn’t go to a search firm. I had to do it myself,” Cadigan says. “And every two weeks I had to get up in front of the company and give my own performance review.

So Cadigan and LinkedIn decided to throw the weight of the entire company behind the effort. “We made hiring the number one objective for everyone in the company in 2009, ahead of operations,” Cadigan says. But even so, how would existing staff convince new people to join in the face of juicier offers from competitors? Cadigan says the key was figuring out what it is that tech talent really wants. When faced with a wealth of attractive options, they are most likely to want to work at a place where they can learn from somebody.

SOURCE: qz.com

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