Human Resources

Tips for Hiring Tech People

John Shiple is Founder of FreelanceCTO ( In this video he discusses tips for hiring tech people.

  • Hiring practices differ from business & tech standpoints
  • Tech standpoint: culture, smarts, skill
  • Business standpoint: skill, smarts, culture
  • Seek help if you're unable to evaluate skill

What are my tips for hiring tech people? I have a deep background ranging from start ups to Fortune 500 companies. I’ve built companies, you know, with five people up to 20, 50 people even over a 150 people. And so I have a lot of experience building and growing teams. The way I hire is different than the way I would recommend that I business person hire.

And here is why. I audit people by culture, smarts and then skill. Sure I do a quick audit to make sure they have the basics on their resume or whatever. But more often than not, I’m needing someone who—a contact and what I’m really looking for is, are they right for a start up or a big company how capable of learning are they and then only at the end who are really digging to their technical skills. Because for the most part is the culture and smart that I think really matter.

For business person, that’s a bit tougher. And so I would recommend auditing and reviewing your candidates first by skill then smart and then culture. Then there’s a reason for that, I think it’s very easy for, specially maybe younger CEOs or inexperienced business people, you meet a tech person, you fall in love with them but you really have no idea of how good they are and it’s very easy to get along with somebody I have to say.

So, you know, for technical people, I strongly recommend reviewing people by culture, smarts and then skill whereas for business people, I strongly recommend skill, smarts and then culture.

Now, there’s one catch to that, you know, at least half of the business people that I know are not really capable of auditing technical people. So, in that case, if you are comfortable or you are not working with someone you have worked with a long time before, then you should get help. There are ton of people in the industry, CTOs, Senior Technology people. So, if you just start networking, you can start running into these people. But if you do need, you probably do need that help on this goal, friend.

So, what are my tips again for hiring tech people? If you are a nerd, culture, smarts, skill. And if you’re a business person, skill, smarts and then culture. And get help if you need it.