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If hiring TOP talent was easy everyone would do it

4 levers to pull when hiring the best, you need to be extraordinary to work at Coinbase & an AI Assistant to help with your taxes

“Usually, someone who really had to struggle with a problem, they really understand [the details], and they don’t forget”

Elon Musk

☕️ Where does Coca Cola get their caffeine from? Coca-Cola and other soda manufacturers typically obtain caffeine for their beverages through synthetic production or by extracting it from natural sources (i.e. Coffee Beans, Tea Leaves, Cacao Beans, Yerba Mate, Guarana or Cola Nuts). Regardless of the source, you are still drinking caffeine. There’s only one simple way to get your caffeine fix - Drink your coffee black. You can join the dark side but with better mornings. ☕️

In today’s email:

  • Job News: Are your recruiting skills good enough to hire top talent? 🙋🏽‍♂️

  • Overheard at coffee: Are you extraordinary enough to get hired at Coinbase? 🦄

  • Trending AI Tools: We all know you hate doing your taxes 💌

  • Hot Jobs: (keep scrolling down ⬇️)

  • Recruiting Fails:  Bad interview times = Few good candidates

Job News

What does it take to land a tough recruit? It’s not your ATS or 401k match but keep trying.

The recruitment of Ilya Sutskever from a Research Scientist at Google to OpenAI back in 2015 is coined by Elon Musk as one of the hardest recruitment battles in the technology industry and here’s what you can learn from it…

For starters, Illya Sutskever is a prodigy in the AI space. After earning his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto under a pioneering figure in AI, Geoffrey Hinton (known as the Godfather of AI), Illya went on to Google to develop AlexNet, a deep neural network that advanced the field of computer vision. His work led to the breakthrough of neural networks in pattern recognition, which is now a core aspect of AI’s capabilities. 

Insiders say Illya isn’t just technical, he is visionary. Finding a technical person who is technical and visionary is a rare find. In other words a purple unicorn or purple squirrel or purple cat - know that being Technical + Visionary = Rare Breed.

If you are a hiring manager or recruiter, you probably have dealt with someone who has a job open for the last 9 months while they search for the rare purple unicorn. 

Here’s how OpenAI was able to land him in 2015. Back then it was Sam Altman and Elon Musk (google their dramatic breakout if you are curious) and they wanted Illya. 

As the story goes they courted Ilya for months and below are the 4 levers they worked on to land Illya. 

  1. Align Vision and Career Impact: OpenAI was able to offer Sutskever a better vision and career impact than what Google could offer. Yes, it was risky for him to join OpenAI but at the time, the AI vision of OpenAI (i.e., advance digital intelligence that is most likely to benefit humanity unconstrained by a need to generate financial return) aligned with Sutskever more than Google’s vision. Do not look at hiring purple unicorns like a transactional hire where the candidate makes more money and the company makes more money. Action - Find out from your candidate what their vision is and how that aligns with the job and organization you are hiring for. If you don't do this, you don’t know your candidate well enough.

  2. Motivations beyond compensation. Find out your candidate’s motivations beyond compensation. If there is nothing behind the compensation, there is a good chance the candidate doesn’t last and is only with you for the money, not the journey. Learn what their vision is for the role, industry and company. They probably have deeply held beliefs about something and want to change the world, not focus on the time off policy. 

  3. Build relationships and trust. Recruiting a candidate like Sutskever will involve a lot of complex negotiations and earning trust. Earn your candidates' trust by sharing why the role is a good fit for them and also what your concerns are with their background. Find out what they like and dislike about the role. 

  4. Cutting edge projects and complex problem solving. Top talent doesn’t want an easy job. They want to be challenged and solve BIG problems. Find out what problem the company needs them to solve and test the candidate to see if they are up for the challenge.

Lastly, you will not always get the chance to hire a game changer like Illya Sutskever but when you do get that chance, go for them. They don’t come around often. More often than not when you see a candidate like Sutskever you CAN’T hire them because your company doesn’t offer a problem big enough for them to work on.

Overheard at coffee ☕️

Are you extraordinary enough to get hired at Coinbase? There’s an extraordinary cover letter to help you stand out…

There is a lot that happens in the hiring process but many times all the forms, questions, legal concerns can overshadow someone who is extraordinary. At Coinbase one way they are improving the talent who gets hired is they recommend every hiring manager submit a hiring packet on why a candidate should be hired along with a one paragraph summary of how the candidate has demonstrated extraordinary ability. Many times the candidate gets to write the paragraph and submit it with their application. 

The next time you do something extraordinary, write it down. You can use it to get hired at Coinbase or just show your next employer why you are extraordinary. There’s nothing wrong with showing some real world results to prove your worth. 

In other words, Coinbase is asking people to write a cover letter on what makes a candidate extraordinary. It just sounds more hipster to call it an extraordinary paragraph vs. a cover letter.

🚀 We all know you hate doing your taxes…

And if you don’t hate doing your taxes, then you can do my taxes. Why not find an AI Assistant to help you? I used it for some questions about my kids 529 plans and the answers checked out. I would still recommend you seek advice from a tax accountant but it’s not going to hurt you to ask Tax AI developed by taxabl.co 

🔥 Hot Jobs - $1K Referral Fee

Recruiting Fails: This job is so important to us that we only have time to interview candidates Friday at 6PM. Really? 

Yes, Friday at 6PM happens at times. We have even had clients ask for Saturday interviews. A hiring manager can get so busy they forget to make time out of their day to interview candidates. 

We are dealing with this issue right now. A busy CMO wants VP of Marketing candidates but gives interview times several days to weeks out and they are often later at night - like 7PM on Tuesday or 6PM on a Friday. 

Say no to bad interview times. Most people are checked out on Friday at 6PM, unless you're solving big problems like Ilya Sustskever (chances are you are not), don’t give terrible interview times to candidates. It makes recruiting harder than it needs to be.

Do you have recruiting Fail Stories? Reply with your epic fails – we'll feature them. Own your blunders, embrace vulnerability, and let's all level up together.

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