Take an odd recruitment lesson from LinkedIn’s founder

TaskmasterThe staggering debut of LinkedIn on the New York Stock Exchange has tech people talking around the world. Prior to the float, the company was worth about $3 billion, but on the first day of trade investors pushed the value of the group to almost $9 billion.

 

That’s helped make Reid Hoffman, the company’s executive chairman and co-founder, a very rich man, with a pile of about $2.7 billion.

 

Hoffman has got some very interesting ways of doing business (as this great story shows) but one recruitment technique really stands out – he makes potential executives write their own obituaries.

 

“One of the questions that I ask executives when I’m interviewing them is you write your obituary,” he told interviewer Charlie Rose a few years ago.

 

“It’s a question of what do you want to be known for? And you know, he or she who dies with the biggest bank balance isn’t a terribly interesting life.”

 

It’s an interesting strategy. It forces people to think about their work, their personal life, their hobbies and interests and their achievements in a long-term, holistic way.

 

The exercise should tell you a lot about that candidate and where they want to go in their life.

 

Besides, it’s a lot more interesting than asking “where do you see yourself in five years”.

 

Get it done – today!

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