Marc Andreessen, who’s best-known for being the co-founder of a company you may have heard of, Netscape, wrote a superb post titled How to hire the best people you’ve ever worked with.
He splits the post into an explanation of the criteria (‘what to value when evaluating candidates’) and the process (‘how to actually run the hiring process, and if necessary the aftermath of making a mistake’)
The criteria: drive, curiosity, and ethics. No intelligence? Here’s what Andreessen has to say about that:
Lots of people will tell you to hire for intelligence.
Especially in this industry.
You will read, hire the smartest people out there and your company’s success is all but guaranteed.
I think intelligence, per se, is highly overrated.
Specifically, I am unaware of any actual data that shows a correlation between raw intelligence, as measured by any of the standard metrics (educational achievement, intelligence tests, or skill at solving logic puzzles) and career or company success.
Now, clearly you don’t want to hire dumb people, and clearly you’d like to work with smart people.
It’s a superb post and while it’s written for a software-based company, you could extrapolate to other fields as well.
Even if you’re not hiring people, you can read the post and forward it to all the recruiters you know. And your managers.
Why do you think I’m writing about it?