Build Your SaaS

How do founders of small bootstrapped companies hire new employees?

Adam Wathan got over 1600 people who applied for two new roles at Tailwind Labs (a small team of six people). They ended up hiring two people, but neither of them actually applied. This wasn't how Adam expected (or hoped) this process would go. There were lots of surprising takeaways and lessons learned from the whole experience.
"If you figure we spend 5 minutes on every single application, that was like 133 hours straight reading applications. Processing these job applications was basically my full time job for 2 months." โ€“ Adam Wathan
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Timestamps:
  • (03:40) - What's the size of Transistor and when did you last hire?
  • (05:29) - How did you meet or find your employees?
  • (07:17) - Adam's process for hiring
  • (12:49) - The energy required to process applications
  • (17:37) - What got people in to the 100 list?
  • (21:08) - Did Adam get any videos in applications?
  • (24:54) - Previous employment was a good indicator
  • (30:21) - Painting a picture of what the position looks like
  • (32:07) - The kinds of people who applied
  • (34:57) - How did the application process work out?
  • (38:57) - The kinds of questions we asked applicants
  • (42:30) - Does a great conversation impact a hiring decision or not?
  • (49:29) - Does having the position open in public help?
  • (51:41) - How Adam was connected to the people they hired
  • (59:36) - The importance of conference conversations
  • (01:02:25) - Finding ways to share your work in public
  • (01:06:16) - The process does work... just not this time
  • (01:12:35) - Could I ever get comfortable with a 70% success rate?
  • (01:20:58) - Bringing in someone you knew vs a fan
  • (01:26:50) - Keeping a tab in different areas to pull from

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Creators & Guests

Host
Justin Jackson
Co-founder of Transistor.fm
Guest
Adam Wathan
Creator of Tailwind CSS.
Editor
Chris Enns
Owner of Lemon Productions

What is Build Your SaaS?

Interested in building your own SaaS company? Follow the journey of Transistor.fm as they bootstrap a podcast hosting startup.

Justin:

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to Build your SaaS. This is the behind the scenes story of what it's like to run, a web app in 2024 or a software company or any sort of small independent tech company. And today I'm talking to Adam Wathan. He had me on his podcast, Hackers Incorporated, and I wanted this discussion over here on the Build your SaaS feed as well.

Justin:

We talk about hiring and how hard it is to hire for a small team. Most small teams don't talk about their hiring process and most small teams honestly don't even go through a hiring process. It's, very ad hoc. But Adam decided to actually do a full, like, open it up to the universe. He got 1600 applications for 2 positions.

Justin:

He had to process them all. It took him 2 months of full time work to get through even processing all those applications. And then eventually he, tried to connect with a 100 people and interview many of them. And he just talks about what that was like. And then the result of who he ended up hiring really surprised him.

Justin:

I think this is a really transparent look at what it's like hiring for small independent companies. And I think whether you're hiring yourself as a founder or you're looking to work for a small company, I think there's lots of tidbits in here. So let's get into it.

Adam:

How's it going, Justin Jackson?

Justin:

I'm doing well. I'm doing well, man. It's been a while since we chatted.

Adam:

Been a I was gonna say that probably I bet it's been over a year.

Justin:

No way!

Adam:

Like, a real call? Yeah. I don't know, man. I'd be surprised if if not. Time goes a year is not very much time anymore. You know?

Justin:

You know, here's the problem Is the I hired a web developer, so Josh Anderton is building all my Tailwind stuff, so I don't need to bug you all the time.

Adam:

I just don't have any questions anymore. And I barely podcast anymore, so I don't really have a lot to talk to you about. You know?

Justin:

I gotta get back to building some stuff just so you can get some noob questions for me and have to jump on a call. You you were always, like, super patient with me or at least, like, visibly patient. But I did a call a couple times with Taylor, and he was just, like, sighing audibly every time. I'd be like, so what do I do here? He's like, just big sigh.

Adam:

That's funny. That's good. Yeah. I I thought it'd be fun to chat because we just, like, ran this big hiring process, to add a couple people to the team. And you guys are a really small team too, so it's very similar sort of vibe.

Adam:

And I wanted to sort of talk about this process while I was fresh and chat a bit with you about how you guys are doing things these days and, just sort of capture it all, like, before I kinda forget all of the sort of feelings that I have after after having gone through the entire thing.

Justin:

In in our past interactions, I think I think you and I are different in our in our spirit towards hiring. I I I think we have a little bit of a different angle. So, yeah, it'll be interesting how I process this and and, talk it out.

Adam:

Yeah. So I guess, like, first thing maybe just to, like, set some context. I'm curious, like, what's the size of your team now, and who and when was your last hire?

Justin:

Okay. So we're technically 6 people, 5 full time and 1 part time right now. We hired about 3 years in, I I guess, or two and a half years in. Actually, that's not so we hired Helen part time to do customer support for us pretty early on. And then she was our 1st full time hire.

Justin:

That was in 2021. And then we hired another engineer to work with Jon that same year. That's Jason. And then we waited a little bit. And then I was watching Jon and Jason have this interaction on the engineering side.

Justin:

And so I was like, I want that on the marketing side. So we hired Josh in 20. Well, he's he just had his 1 year. So that must have been 2023. I was still doing a lot of customer support during the day.

Justin:

And I was like, Jon, I want somebody to help me in North American hours so I don't have to be thinking about this. And I'd met a guy locally who's looking to break into tech. He used to be like a manager at Safeway and was like looking for his 1st tech job. And I said, well, we can hire you part time for now. And so he that's Michael and he's, been working for us for maybe 6 months or something like that.

Adam:

So Nice.

Justin:

That's how it breaks down. It's like 2 people in engineering and one of those is Jon who's an owner. 2 people in marketing, and one of those is me as an owner. And then 2 people in customer service.

Adam:

Yeah. Got it. So one thing I'm curious about, I guess, is how you met all of these people. You just explained how you met the most recent person that you hired. But what about Helen and Josh and Jason?

Justin:

Almost every time I've hired in my entire life, it's been somebody I knew before. Almost always. So before Transistor, I was hiring people at the various startups I worked at. Before startups, I was working in the nonprofit world and I was hiring all sorts of people, for, like, entire areas and regions like Northern Alberta region and all that. Like, I've hired a lot there.

Justin:

And then I was when I had our snowboard shop in my early twenties, I was hiring just vandals to work there. But in almost I I can't think of a case when I didn't know somebody beforehand. So Helen was in this this Slack group that I run called Mega Maker. Also, Jason worked with Jon before and, at Cards Against Humanity. Josh, I also met through Mega Maker.

Justin:

And then Michael, I met through just local tech events. And actually in every case, except for Jason, but him and Jon had already worked before together, with both Helen and Josh, and now Michael, we always started part time contracting. And then eventually, you know, when the time was right and if it worked, we built up to full time.

Adam:

Yeah. Got it. So I think maybe I'll talk a little bit about this process that we went through just now to hire this stuff and maybe some, like, takeaways, because that that's kinda why I was curious to kinda hear what your process has been so far. And, yeah, I I'm curious to learn more about, like, how you think about doing it going forward too and maybe how you think things might change. So we were hiring for 2 roles that took me, like, a year of humming and hawing to sort of just commit to and decide on.

Adam:

I think, like, I was shocked by it's easy to sort of just, like, lay out, like, a bunch of stuff that you sort of think you need help with, but, like, carving those into roles, especially on a small team where you can't just, like, wave a magic wand and all of a sudden be 25 people where everyone can be pretty specialized is, like, really, really challenging. I don't know if you've found the same thing.

Justin:

Yeah. Yeah. I can imagine on your team especially I remember seeing those those job ads. And I mean, you're offering good compensation, like, they stood out because it was like, oh, wow. Adam's looking for a very special person.

Justin:

And he's willing to pay a good salary for it. But yeah, on small teams, you're looking for people that can do multiple things. You're kinda looking for, like, many entrepreneurs, you know, people that can work autonomously. So yeah. And is this addition in addition to the 6?

Justin:

You have 6 right now and so you're looking to become a team of 8?

Adam:

That's correct. Yeah. Posted these postings, you know, figuring out, like, what to put in each one was really challenging and what kinda captured all the things that we that we sort of wanted. You know, eventually bit the bullet. This was, like, probably February, I started working on the postings sort of passively and then eventually more deliberately to try and just get these massive job posts done and figure out exactly what needed to be in them and tell the right story and make sure it's getting people excited while also being very clear and, you know, authentic in terms of, like, what the the work is like here.

Adam:

Mhmm. But posted those two roles, kind of just following, like, the 37 signals playbook. You know? Like, I've obviously been a big fan of Jason and David's company, and when in doubt, I kinda just, like, do what they do and hope that it, like, works for us too. And that's kinda how they've always done things.

Adam:

You know? They put up a job posting. They put, like, a application deadline on it, and then they just kinda filter through everyone that sort of shows up. Right?

Justin:

And they've created a culture over time because I applied there early in my tech career. Got got invited to go to Chicago and meet them when they had that original really cool office.

Adam:

Yeah.

Justin:

And, they offered me the job, and I ended up not taking it. But I remember I applied multiple times and I was just a student of what they wanted. Like, I was listening to podcasts of theirs, reading their blog, and I had, like, just seeped myself in, like, okay, this is what they're looking for. This is what they want. This is what my this is what a good application for 37 signals looks like.

Adam:

Yeah. Uh-huh.

Justin:

I mean, if you can develop that kind of culture for job applicants like that I'm sure they get a lot of bad job applications, but they they just seem to get these people who are the the people who end up getting work there understand what's at stake, how to apply all that stuff.

Adam:

Yeah. It's true. They have, like, a a very attentive fan base, you know, when it comes to that stuff. But, yeah. So I I guess, like, something I even left out is, like, the reason that I decided to even take this approach is because I've sort of held this belief for a long time that there's this massive number of people out there that are incredibly talented and qualified that I just don't know exist.

Adam:

You know what I mean? Because they're not on Twitter or they're not they're not they're just, like, not in my sphere for some reason. May maybe they're paying attention to me, but I I don't know about them. Like, there's a lot of people who read but don't post or you know you know what I mean? Like, this is a story that I'm telling myself and that, like, by limiting myself to hiring from a pool of people that I already know, you know, I'm kind of limited to, like I I don't want people's, like, Twitter celebrity ness to sort of be, like to play into, like, being a positive factor because I actually think it's, like, not usually a pause a positive thing or or it's not necessarily correlated strongly with being good at doing at a a specific role or being a good fit necessarily.

Adam:

A lot of people are just, like, good at Twitter. You know what I mean? And that's, like, a different skill. But I've also, like, never worked at a real big tech company. Like, I've worked at a couple small agencies, so that's kind of my only experience outside of running my own company.

Adam:

So my own network of people is extremely small outside of, like, my online community that I participate in. Right? So, anyways, that's, like, the story I was telling myself is, like, I wanna put these job postings out there because I want to see who I learn about and meet that I just never would have met otherwise. And I bet you there's, like, some awesome people who would wanna work here that, I'm gonna be, like, really grateful that I posted these things and just use it as a way to get introduced to a bunch of people who I otherwise, like, wouldn't get introduced to.

Justin:

I'm, like, dying to know if it works.

Adam:

Yeah. It's interesting. So we have, like, 1600 people apply to in total for these two positions.

Justin:

Wow.

Adam:

Which is honestly, like, rough because, obviously, that's a lot of people, but it it also means that, like, it's impossible to, like, give everyone's application the attention that, like, it deserves. Because, like, if if you figure we spend, like, 5 minutes on every single application, that's, like, a 133 hours of just, like, straight reading applications. You know? And you can't just sit there and do it 8 hours a day because, like, your reaction to things just changes over the course of it. You know?

Adam:

By, like, the 7th hour of looking at it, like, you need to be fresh with a bit more energy. You know what I mean? So

Justin:

People don't actually talk about that part enough. I've never had to process that many applications, but I've had to process 30 or 40. And the truth is is, like, you just start going through them one after the other. And, you know, you might say, oh, this person's pretty good. That's, like, the first person you look at.

Justin:

And then the second, third person, you're like, oh, actually, that first person's not as good. You're always like

Adam:

Exactly. That's the thing. You don't just have to review each one once either. You have to read each one many, many times. You know?

Adam:

Some you can just filter out. Like, we did get, like, I would say probably at least half were obviously, like, disqualified because, like, for, like there's 3 fields. It was your application slash cover letter, which is where we sort of were hoping people would send us, like, a Notion doc or something that's just, like, crafted specifically for the application that sort of like, we gave you a lot of information in the job posting. You know? Tell us, like, why you're a good fit for, like, those specific things.

Adam:

Like, we we gave we provide so many specific examples of projects we've worked on, specific projects that are coming up. Do something to, like, tie in your area of expertise to those things and help me build, like, some confidence in wanting to, like, meet you to talk about the position Yeah. Because there's so many people who are applying. Right? But, anyways, that's what you wanted people to put in that field.

Adam:

Then I had another field for, like, your, like, resume, you know, just your job history. And then another one for, like, your personal site or, like, GitHub. You know, something where we can just go look at some stuff you've done. Yeah. And and a ton of people, like, half the people just didn't do that correctly.

Adam:

Like, they put just their, like, LinkedIn bio for, like, all three fields or for, like, the cover letter field, they just type, like, n slash a. You know? It's just like, oh, this isn't applicable to me. Like, I don't need a cover letter, but everyone else who applies this. So whatever.

Adam:

Like, that, you're gonna get that. You know? You're gonna get people who just sort of, like, shock and apply to, like, millions of jobs and aren't really being particularly deliberate about it, but we have to, like, filter through those anyways. But then you get a bunch of real Which by the way, what a waste of time.

Adam:

Huge waste of time.

Justin:

Like, does that work for any of them?

Adam:

I doubt it. You know? The only place I could see anything close to that working is applying for positions that have, like, really low volumes of applicants, maybe.

Justin:

Yeah.

Adam:

You know?

Justin:

I just what a waste of time to just spray out a bunch of applications. I was like, on, Reddit, there's always, like there's a subreddit called data is beautiful. And it's like how many jobs I applied for and how many callbacks I got. And they're just like, you know, sending up thousands of applications. I'm like, man, maybe just find a company you really wanna work at and then just do a really good job of applying.

Justin:

And, you know, maybe you might need to apply 2 or 3 times and then get a chance of working for someone great.

Adam:

Yeah.

Justin:

That's interesting. 50%. So 800 applications left.

Adam:

Yeah. But then came comes the hard part now of, like, okay. Now there's, like, legitimate applications, and we have to go through and sort of, like, many steps, like, many passes over the same things of, like, do we think this one is, like, someone worth talking to? And then you narrow it down to, like, a 100, and it's, like, crap. Now I still can't talk to all 100 of these people, you know, because that's, like, the other hard part of the process is just figuring out It's not realistic to, like, talk to every single person who, like, passes your, like, bar for, like, being noticeable, Unfortunately, like, you'd I wish that was the case that everyone who applied that seems like they could be a good fit if we could talk to all of them.

Adam:

But, again, if you're gonna talk to each person for, like, 30 to 40 minutes just in, like, a quick quick screening call, 30 minutes times, you know, 20 people, that's, you know, 10 hours of time right there, and that's, like, not 10 hours of time across 2 days. That's 10 hours of time across, like, 2 weeks because everyone's schedule is different, whatever, and you gotta, like, prepare for these things. You gotta take notes from them. You gotta debrief from them.

Justin:

Well, I'm I'm curious about so much. I'm curious about, those original hundred. What got them to a 100? Was it just that they had done a pretty good job of filling out the application? And then you're this a 100, you're like, now we gotta figure out who stands out.

Justin:

Or were these a 100 people, like, everybody who who got on that list of a 100 had lit had written you a nice follow-up email? Or, like, what were the signals that got them in or out?

Adam:

Good question. So because we had to we couldn't spend tons and tons of time on reviewing the applications, I would say, like, the most superficial, like, first pass thing is just, like, can I get information from this quickly? So a lot of people, if they sent me, like, a Google Doc that was, like, a 5 paragraph, all the same text formatting, just story of stuff, It's, like, you have lower odds. Like, you had to have done, like, a really, really, really good job there or have something else that, like, stood out because I just can't get the information out of it, and I can't sit there and, like, process the whole thing. Like, the people who got noticed in that regard, like, just did a good job of, like, highlighting things with, like, little examples.

Adam:

Like like, the best ones that I think we got for the roles were things where people would, like, inject links to things that they built that were related. Mhmm. Or even better was for, like, the design engineering role. A lot of people would would make, like, a little website. Doesn't have to be, like, a crazy thing that you're, like, putting a lot of design effort into or anything, but website's a nice medium because you can embed, like, here's, like, a little component that I built with React or something that's kind of similar to something that you guys have done in the past, and here's some things that I thought were interesting about it.

Adam:

Like like the what I'm looking for is, like, evidence that they can do this job. You know what I mean? And that they can communicate it in a very, like, high, like, signal to noise ratio way, you know? Because even that skill is valuable even if that's not, like, the main criteria.

Justin:

This is why I personally love a website. I I've I've had posts in the past and I got pushed back from this where I say, the first thing I click on is if you have a a custom website you've built for this application or a personal website, I always click on that first personally because it instantly gives me a flavor for who you are, what you've done, or it has the potential to give you that flavor.

Adam:

Mhmm.

Justin:

And I got pushback from people, I think, who are hiring more apple applicants. And they're just like, you can't do that. Like, there's just no way you can process that. But for me, that's the highest signal to noise thing is, like, if you've made a custom website that, like, addresses things in the post the job posting directly, perfect. Just show me what you've done.

Justin:

Give me a flavor for who you are. Give me a flavor for what it would be like to work with you, what you've the kinds of projects you've built, the kinds of people you know. Like, I just want, like, a feel for all that. And so people that did that, it sounds like they got a good that was a star on their application.

Adam:

Yeah. Because, again, like, the whole thing is is just about, like, give me, like, the confidence that I need to think that you might be, like, the right fit, so I I can talk to you. Right?

Justin:

Did anyone make a video that you watched?

Adam:

Yes. There's a couple videos.

Justin:

Good or bad?

Adam:

I think I l I like the idea of videos. I think it's nice to get a sense for how someone sort of is able to sort of, like, communicate, from a video and sell themselves. I will say, like, in practice, they were much harder to screen because, like, you you have to just watch the whole thing from beginning to end and pay very close attention, which people deserve that attention on their applications. Like, don't get me wrong. You know?

Adam:

But, again, just doing, like, the math, it's, like, difficult. It's it's very unbalanced in terms of, like, the amount of time it takes on on either side.

Justin:

This is my sense too is it it's just really difficult. The job I applied for, again, early in my career was customer support at 37 signals. And my favorite thing that I did that they liked was they were thinking about doing phone support. And so I just recorded, like, 4 or 5 32nd fake phone calls where I would do a voice for somebody, you know, I'm having problems with my whatever. And then I would record myself answering it.

Justin:

And, okay. What browser are you in? You know, like, I would just, like, go through it. But if they were really short, and they said they liked them because they were short. And it was just, like, just this refreshing out of the blue.

Justin:

But it wasn't and even like audio was nice because it gave them a sense of who I was, but they didn't have to, like, give their eyeballs to this, like, 5 minute video or whatever. Because yeah. I could see like, whenever I get a video from somebody, even my team, it's like, they're they're like explaining something to me in a video. I'm like, okay. I gotta watch this.

Justin:

It's like homework. It feels like, difficult.

Adam:

It's not the same, but it kinda reminds me of when someone sends you, like, an audio message and, like, Imessage or something. It's like, I have to, like, turn on I can't read this in the grocery line because I don't want everyone else listening to, like, what you're saying to me. So I guess I just gotta, like, wait until it's convenient. That that's not the same in case because, of course, you're sitting there actually processing these applications. But same type of thing.

Adam:

Like, you can't consume it at your own pace or in your own order or, you know you know what I mean? I'll say, like, the video stuff we got that I thought was really great was when it complimented, like, a written application, and a couple people did this, and I thought these were really good. They had they'd they'd point out, like, a couple things that they'd worked on that they thought were, like, relevant to the role, And they do, like, a quick, like, 2 and a half minute video for each thing where they just sort of narrated, like, walking through, like, here's how I did this. You know, this post hard because of this, this, this. Almost like doing the sort of thing that I'm gonna, like, wanna ask them about in an interview, but, like, preemptively.

Adam:

You know? And it was nice because, like, their written application was strong enough to convince me to spend the time to actually watch that. You know? So I thought that was good.

Justin:

It's so much like a landing page or a good sales page. Like, every element has to kinda draw you in and that starts with, like, presentation. Like you said, if there's just paragraphs and and no structure already, it's like, okay. But if it's like well written, that kinda draws you in. And then it has, like, nice sections where it's like, here's a project I work on, and here's a description, and here's a screenshot.

Justin:

Each of those elements is drawing you further in your

Adam:

Yeah. Convincing me to make a little bit more of an investment into, like, processing it. You know? And then

Justin:

it's like, oh, there's a video? Okay. I'm gonna watch the video because this it's like step by step. You're stair stepping the person into a, like, a deeper and deeper. Yeah.

Justin:

I could see that working well.

Adam:

So those those worked really well. And then I think, like, the other thing that helped us process things that I didn't expect to use this as much of a signal, but, like, job history, like, was definitely a factor. There was definitely people whose applications maybe weren't as strong in terms of the actual application itself not being, like, doing a great job, like, convincing me, but I saw they've worked at Facebook or Facebook's not even, like, the best example. Like, companies that are a little bit smaller Stripe,

Justin:

Vercel, anything like that.

Adam:

Or or, like, Elastic or, like, any of these companies where and and really all that was a proxy for for me is, like, someone else at a company, like, doing stuff thought this person was great. You know what I mean? And I know that I've not hired a lot of people in my life, and I don't consider myself to be an expert in it. And that was, like, a really hard part of this process, and we invested a lot into trying to figure out how to do a better job at it. So getting, like, some evidence that someone else who's probably done a lot more of it, like, thought this person was was great.

Adam:

It's like, okay. I'm gonna I'm more interested to talk to this person because they were able to convince somebody else. You know? I think I think generally that was a helpful signal, but it's also, like, one of those unfair things where it's, like, ruling out people who would pass an interview at Facebook, but have just never done one, for example. You know?

Adam:

So that I think that's, like, one of the things I've learned about this whole process in general is that there's no, for better or for worse, like, it isn't really fair. You know? Like, there isn't really a fair way to do it.

Justin:

Was there people that had a good application or other good signals, but you could just tell wanted it more? Did that matter at all?

Adam:

There definitely were people who wanted it more, and I'm a little bit mixed on how that influenced my opinion of their application, if I'm being honest.

Justin:

Yeah. Because want it more could mean different things. They could want it more because they just, like, really want the money. They could want it more because Tailwind is cool. Or, they could want it more because they just know in their gut or they feel like I could really move the needle for these guys.

Justin:

Like, this would be the kind of job where I'm fully activated and I could just kill it for them if I could just convince them that I'm the right person. Did you have any in that category where they were just like, listen. I you I can run this marathon.

Adam:

Hard to know. It's hard to know, honestly. Like, I I think the mindset that I came into it with like, for these roles in particular, in my head, I was really looking for people that I could bring on that I would feel like, where I felt like I was really bringing in expertise that, like, we could lean on that would feel like they were, like, supporting leadership in a way, you know, and they're supporting me and people that I could really count on for a lot of, like, on the design engineering side, someone who, like, could help me figure out what we should build for Tailwind UI even, you know, and think through that stuff. And then on the staff engineering side, someone who came in with more leadership experience than me and is gonna be better at kind of, like, helping helping, like, motivate people on the team and mentoring and coaching people on the team and stuff like that. And I think we got a lot of people excited to work here because they were sort of, like, really excited to kind of, like, get the chance to, like, absorb our environment and learn from us, which is good, but was in some ways a bit of a negative signal for me too because it made me kind of worried that, like, they're not coming in with, like, the external experience that I think, like, we lack that I want Brock to the company.

Adam:

They're coming in just to, like, oh, I'm in the big leagues now. You know? Like, I can't wait to just learn, learn, learn, learn, learn, which obviously no one wants a job where they're not gonna learn something, but the perfect people to bring in to me are people who are gonna come in with, like, the missing experience that we don't have that we need and want to learn stuff that is, maybe a little bit, like, unrelated to their, like, specific experience. So, for example, if we hired, like, a design engineer who really liked the idea of, like, writing a book one day and was excited to come work here and bring, like, a bunch of experience that they had that was was gonna be way better at this stuff than we are, but also was just, like, excited about the ability to, like, talk to me about, like, releasing info products or that's the sort of thing that feels, like, different than just, like, coming into, like, learn how to build websites or at our level or something like that. You you know do you know do you see that difference there?

Justin:

Instead of you didn't wanna bring up someone from the farm team, you wanted a free agent or a veteran player that, you know, could come in and be, like, hey, I've got all this experience, you know. I've got playoff experience. You guys don't have playoff experience. Let me come in and help you at that level. And still wants to integrate with the team and learn what you're doing, but could give you this perspective of like, hey, I've been in the playoffs before.

Justin:

I know what to do. You know, I'm I've got experience you don't have.

Adam:

Yeah. Like, in the staff engineering role, like, that perfect archetype that I had in my mind was, like, someone who had maybe become, like, an engineering manager at GitHub or something and barely gets to code anymore except, like, in their evenings and weekends, but it's still doing a bunch of open source stuff. And it's just like, man, I wish I could, like, code at work, and I like managing people. I I like doing all this sort of stuff, but I would love to be in an environment where that's, like, 5% of the work I do, and I get to still just build and ship stuff most of the time. Someone who sorta, like, got a taste of what it's like to go in that track, but, like, wants to come back down to something small.

Adam:

You know? That's, like, the picture that I had in my head of the ideal person for that.

Justin:

I wonder if you should have put that in your your blog post. I you've got like, when I read the staff engineer, it's almost like feels like you could have put, like, that little anecdote just that you had in there because that's a very you're painting a very specific picture. Like, this is the kind of person that I'm kind of you're kinda here in your career. You know, you don't code anymore, but you wanna get back to it. You're hungry.

Justin:

You know? You've worked at a bigger company. You wanna bring that sensibility to a smaller team. You have some examples of, like you've here's some real examples of projects you would have worked on in the last few months. And that those are, like, technical examples.

Justin:

But I love that bit you just said that it feels like that would have been added some nice color.

Adam:

I don't know how much to, like, lead with those search lead people with those sorts of things. You know? But I think it I think it wouldn't have hurt, you know, to just, like, paint that picture a little bit. I I think, like yeah. I mean, there's a million things to talk about here, but I do feel like in general, you know, we got we definitely got people who fit that description, I think.

Adam:

But what I've kind of feared, and this is, like, feedback I got from a lot of people too, but I don't didn't really know what to do about it. I feared that there would be a really that there's kind of like a few categories of people who are gonna apply. There's, like, people who are basically spamming us with non applications. Right? So not real applications.

Adam:

There's people who are not qualified or not the type of not the candidate that we're looking for and honestly, like, don't have the self awareness to realize it, so they do have, like, the confidence to apply, and we definitely got, like, a bunch of those people too. And then I think there's this, like, big group of people that are a bit intimidated by the job posting because it's got a lot of stuff in there, which I'm doing it to try and be clear and helpful, but I think it especially because we're a small team and we're working on wide variety of things, and you might be writing React one day and, like, Rust the next day. And at a big company, like, that's never the same person. You know what I mean? Mhmm.

Adam:

But there's a lot of people who I think saw that and are way more qualified than the last group I talked about who did apply, but don't apply because they're sort of self aware enough to recognize that it's gonna be, like, a pretty competitive position. Their current job is already, like, quite good. They don't, like, really need to leave even if they think, you know what? It would actually be awesome if I got that. That'd be I'd be pumped about that, but it's gonna be, like, a bunch of work to apply, and the odds are pretty low and, you know, so I'm just, like you know, I they don't have the activation energy to go through with it.

Justin:

Did they apply? You are you saying they did apply or they you you fear that those types of people

Adam:

I think there's a big group of people like that that didn't apply.

Justin:

Didn't apply.

Adam:

And there's some people in that group that did, you know, a a small number a smaller number of people. And then and then there's, like, the group of people who I think simply don't apply for jobs, period, no matter what, because they're very talented, and they have people knocking down their door for opportunities all the time. And even if they would be, like, really excited about this job, they kinda still it still just wouldn't happen unless we reached out to them. You know what I mean? For better or for worse.

Adam:

And I've I've known a couple people who sort of fit into that category who I still have heard from, but they never apply. They just kinda DM me or something, and they'll just be like, hey. I saw you guys, like, post this. Like, I'd be interested in chatting with you a bit more about this and learning a bit more about it, you know, which is, like, very, very different than someone who's just, like, applying. But I think there's probably a lot of people in that category too.

Justin:

What what what's the crux like? I it it feels like you're leading up to something. So I can't tell if you're, like, leading up to the fact that you you didn't hire anybody or you did or you feel like you just couldn't attract the right applicants? Like, what's the

Adam:

the way this all ended is we did so we've hired 1 person, and we've put out an offer to another person, and neither of these people came through the application process.

Justin:

Okay.

Adam:

And it sucks to even say. Like, I hate even like, I'm a little bit uncomfortable even talking about it on the podcast, but I wanna do it anyways, because I kind of it kinda feels like, man, it would fucking suck to have applied and then find that out. You know what I mean? That you put in all this work to apply, go through interviews, and stuff like that. But that's why I thought it'd be interesting to talk about because I it it was just a surprising experience for me, and my takeaways from it, I think, are relevant to what you were talking about at the very beginning of this conversation.

Adam:

And that's why I wanted to talk to you about it specifically.

Justin:

Let me just, couch all of that to say I don't think anybody could you definitely put in the effort. I I'm not even willing to go through that effort most of the time because we're a small company. And for me, it's like I'm gonna be working alongside these people. I want ideally, I want to have some former experience with them relationally. I want to know them.

Justin:

And so for you to feel like, you know what, I want to open this up to the universe and I know it's gonna be way more work, but I wanna run the experiment and give folks a chance. I I don't think anybody could speak negatively about you running that experiment. That that seems that seems like wow. Like, a lot of small companies wouldn't have even subjected themselves to that. We we don't have the resources.

Justin:

Like, there are divisions at Microsoft that don't get 1600 applications. And they have Mhmm.

Adam:

All

Justin:

sorts of infrastructure, hiring departments and recruiters and process, and they've got all sorts of systems for going through all that stuff. But you're you're a 6 person team, like, you're to to allocate the time and resources to do that, I think, is commendable. The fact that it was a bet or an experiment that didn't work out, you know, that I think is fine.

Adam:

Yeah. So that's what kind of what I wanna talk about, I guess, is, like, why I feel like it didn't work out, if it even didn't work out, because there were some positive outcomes from it. But, yeah, like, it was basically my full time job for, like, 2 months. You know? And that means, like, I wasn't, like, building things here, which is what I normally am doing.

Adam:

You know? So it's like we're getting behind on things. It's stressful, whatever. A crazy amount of effort put into it. Like, you don't even wanna know, like, every morning at, like, 6 AM, I call Peter while I'm walking the dog because he's always, like, pushing his kid around the stroller at the same time.

Adam:

Because in Denmark, I've learned children babies only sleep in strollers. I don't know. Like, they don't put kids down for naps in cribs. They walk them in the stroller until they fall asleep, and then they leave them outside in the stroller to sleep out in nature. This is an interesting cultural thing I learned from Peter, but that means he's pushing the kid around the stroller fucking all the time.

Adam:

You know what I mean? He's always So he's always available for conversations. We would talk, like, every morning about, like, okay. Did you read that last chapter in the who book that we're both reading? There's this book called who, the a method for hiring, and we'd be, like, talking about it.

Adam:

And, like, okay. What what screening questions should we be asking? Oh, I saw this blog post from whatever. You know? We we spent so much time, like, trying to, like, put together, like, a a good process here.

Adam:

But, anyways, ultimately, like, what happened is we filter this down to, like, those 100 people, then you go through those 100 people again, and it's like, I gotta basically try and stack rank these people so I can slice off the top, like, however many I have time to talk to and talk and talk to those people. Mhmm. So we talked to all those people. We did this screening interview with them. I'm trying to think, like, maybe I can, like, go through like, the questions evolved a bit over time, and I think we kinda got better at them towards the end.

Adam:

But the questions were always things like I'd ask people like, okay. So what kind of got you interested in this role, and how do you sort of see it fitting in with, like, what you actually wanna do with your career? Like, why is this, like, the next logical step for you in in what you're doing? Which I thought was always interesting. I would ask people, what are you responsible for, like, in your current role?

Adam:

Like, specifically, what are you responsible for? And I would follow that with questions like, what decisions are you allowed to make without asking anybody? You know, like, things like that just to get a sense for, like, the level of trust that other people have in them. I'd ask people about a project that they worked on that they really enjoyed recently so we could dive into that, and then we'd get into just, like, specifics about the project, asking them. But whatever sort of just the leading questions so we could ask whatever follow-up questions made sense.

Justin:

Mhmm.

Adam:

We'd ask them the opposite things. So, like, what's a project you worked on recently that you just didn't enjoy and try to understand a little bit more about, like, why they didn't enjoy it? That those were kind of like the big ones. We learned a lot from those conversations, but, like, a very, very common thing that I kept coming away from all these, interviews with. And these were, like, probably they were between 30 45 minutes long.

Adam:

I would know pretty quickly if I just, like, didn't feel like I'm gonna really get along with this person day to day or that they just like, in my head, I have, like, a couple tests that I'm, like, running against people that are very, like, black and white that are sort of, like, easy ones. So one one is, like, the team retreat test. You know, does this seem like a person that I would actually, like, enjoy spending time with on a team retreat? Like, just asking that question, you usually have just, like, a gut reaction pretty quickly after talking to someone if, like, they're gonna seem like a pretty good fit. Another one, like, specifically for the staff engineering role was, like, we always have to, like, work with outside companies on Tailwind related issues.

Adam:

Like, maybe someone's working on an open source framework. Like, for example, a team we interface with a lot is Vercel because they're working on something for Next. Js, and they need to make sure the tailwind works or customer's having a problem. And those, like, communications, like, always come into me. And one of the things I want out of the staff engineering role is someone that I feel like I can pass those conversations off to.

Adam:

So Mhmm. One of the questions I have in my head is, like, okay. Like, do they pass, like, the Vercel test for me, which is, like, can I just put this person directly in contact with this other company and trust that, like, they're gonna it's all gonna go really well?

Justin:

You know? So so far, the the team retreat test and whether they could interface with external partners?

Adam:

Another one that's kind of a a good one that you can kinda just get from, like, the communication with people, and this doesn't really have some job requirement, but it's just, like, an interesting question It's sort of like the conference talk test. Like, does this person seem like they could go to a conference and give a talk about something we've worked on? You know? Which it's not something you're gonna have to do every day, but, again, the people that I'm trying to bring on, I wanna bring on people that I can trust to sort of speak for the company Mhmm.

Justin:

In a

Adam:

lot of different ways, whether that's through GitHub, whether that's talking to partner, whether that's writing a really good blog post about some deep technical thing that we did or whatever. You know? But they're just, like, interesting ways to sort of categorize, like, some of the people that we talked to. But, anyways, all I was really getting into these conversations is, like, it was clear when, like, I I knew enough about someone that, I don't think this person's the right fit. Mhmm.

Adam:

But I never felt like I came away from almost any of these conversations feeling like like I knew whether they were gonna be better at the job than I just got from just their application. You know? I felt every conversation, I felt like I was coming away with, well, yeah, that was like a cool conversation. I I don't it hasn't impacted my ability to make a decision, though. You know?

Adam:

Do you know what I mean? Does does that make sense? Like, is that relatable?

Justin:

So this this whole time you're talking, I'm just thinking, like, all these questions you're asking and everything. And I'm like, man, this is just so much easier when you're not opening it up to other to an application process and you're just you're just thinking of examples of people you know that would be great. And

Adam:

Mhmm.

Justin:

I have an antenna for this that I think is pretty well tuned. Maybe it's not perfect. But an example I've even talked to you about was I remember seeing Caleb Porzio speak at the first Laracon I spoke at. Yeah. And at the time, he just seemed like this younger guy wearing cargo shorts.

Justin:

But he had this charisma that I really liked. He gave this this talk that I didn't understand, but I could see how it was resonating. And I remember after he had made an impression on me that afterwards I talked to you about him quite a bit. I was like, man, this this guy is just and he was doing stuff, like, he's he started making these videos in his closet with the early versions of LiveWire. And there was something about him that I was like, I would hire this guy for almost anything.

Justin:

Like, I would just hire him to work with him because I like this whole this whole package, this whole picture is just, you know and he was working for Titan at the time, but I was like, this guy has got some magic that and as you continue you know, as I continue to follow him and then saw him release stuff, and even, like, release early Livewire stuff and get kind of push back from the community but still be enthusiastic about it and still be willing to dig into it and describe it, It feels like I was, like, dating him from afar. Like, I'm just getting all these impressions of him and then start listening to his podcast. And then I'm like, oh, I'm getting like this guy would be fun to be on a retreat with. He'd be fun to work with. He'd be the kind of person that would just be, you know, always pushing things forward.

Justin:

He's got interesting ideas. Those are the kinds of people that I'm like, oh, man. Like and I probably even talked to to Jon about it. I was probably like, man, it would be sweet to hire somebody like Caleb because he's just got this thing, you know. And you don't need, you don't need to speed date, like speed dating where you're just asking them a bunch of questions and then you're doing a phone call.

Justin:

Like, somebody like Caleb, I could, like, meet him and then get a sense and then, you know, kind of follow his progression and then see him again.

Adam:

And if he did apply for a job and you'd never met him before and you just had, like, a 30 minute call with him, like, you just you

Justin:

might not have known.

Adam:

I'd

Justin:

he he would have been maybe he would have been nervous or yeah.

Adam:

That's the other thing. Like, you're not you're never meeting, like, the same person that you're gonna hire, you know, and not not in any malicious way. It's it's just a different atmosphere. It's a different condition. That's You know?

Justin:

And I mean, I do miss it. To to your point, I know I miss out on good people, especially because one of the factors that I really like is charisma. And so I overrank on charisma. And sometime this might come to bite me at some point, but I just like people who are making videos and doing podcasts and writing blogs and can give a conference talk. I like people who can be engaging and entertaining, and I over index on that.

Justin:

But part of that's okay too because I can't I I've gotta choose a criteria. And part of that is I just like working with those people. I also like working with cranky introverts too. So I'm I'm

Adam:

I'm on I'm on

Justin:

both sides here. But, you know, like, I I do and, you know, our team is definitely probably more on the very different than me. They're they're they're more introverted and more cranky kinda crafts people. And I I'm I'm I have a ranking algorithm in my head for that too. Getting vibes of people and being able to follow people's careers, there's just some people that have a certain magic and a certain work ethic and they have a slot in my head.

Justin:

Jason Beggs is another one.

Adam:

Mhmm.

Justin:

Just in my head, he's just like this solid worker. Like, if if we needed that slot, I'd be like, man, Jason would be freaking awesome at that. He's just like solid, plows ahead. It seems like everybody has hired him. Everybody has had a good experience with him.

Justin:

He's got a slot in my head of like, oh, man. If we ever needed a person like that, he would be ideal, you know. And I just have this kind of Rolodex in my head of people that I've been impressed by. And not every role that comes up matches up with that. But you know what I mean?

Justin:

So that's kinda how I think about it. And it just seems like that is the way with small teams. Most teams do end up just hiring that way because it's such a risky endeavor. And to get all of that context from an application and then an interview, it's just putting a lot of pressure on a couple interactions that you know, I've had bad days and good days and

Adam:

And even the thing is even if it's a good day, it's just like the impression has to sort of sit. You know? It needs to you I don't think it can't be shortcut that way is what I feel like I learned. Like, I I feel like there was no way to sort of condense, like, 18 months of sort of passively getting to know someone through a bunch of different ways Mhmm. Into, like, reading something, a a 30 minute call, maybe, like, a pair of programming session or whatever.

Adam:

I again, I was just not coming away from any of these things feeling feeling like I knew the person well enough to hire them. You know? Like, that I guess is what it comes down to. Although, like, the the the 2 candidates that we made offers to are different in terms of, like, how I know them. You know?

Adam:

Which I think is maybe interesting to talk about.

Justin:

Okay. I'm curious about this too. I'm also curious if the artifact of having the job position open in public was actually helpful. And I had this other insight which is and and a reason I'm, like, thinking about these anecdotes you've given me, like, really what I'm trying to hire the staff engineer for is to be the kind of person that can talk to me about things at this level and that I can delegate this kind of work to. And, like, these examples you gave, one reason I like like, if you had a couple paragraphs like that, there I think where those are helpful as an artifact is that the people that aren't applying and the people that might not apply because they you know, they're very they are conscious of themselves.

Justin:

I think what paragraphs like that would achieve is people that work with them would DM them and say, hey, this guy is looking for someone that sounds like you. Like, you work for a big company. You're always saying that you wanna get back to programming. You wanna get back to grassroots stuff. Like, you know, Janet, I think you should apply for this because this feels like you.

Justin:

You you you've been saying for years you're kind of sick of working at Microsoft, like, maybe you should apply for this. So it it it's the kind of artifact that, gets noticed by friends of people that might wanna apply. And the more that you can kind of paint a picture rather than just have some bullet points, You're painting a picture so that Bill, who works with Janet, recognizes that that really sounds like Janet and then brings it to her and says you should apply.

Adam:

I think that makes a lot of sense and is true, but then you still have this problem of 1600 applications come in. You know what I mean? So maybe there's a way to do both, but or to kinda get the best of both worlds.

Justin:

If the best situation is when Bill knows you, and Bill reach reaches out and says, listen. I saw this application, and my friend would be perfect. But she doesn't think she's she's she thinks she probably doesn't have what it takes. But I'm telling you, she's got what it takes. Like, you should you should at least have a call with her.

Adam:

Yeah. A 100%. So, yeah, let me kinda tell a bit of the story. Like, I I can't give away too much information because, you know, it's still early here. But, I'll say, like so one of the people that we hired is someone who I've known for years, and they kinda fall into that bucket that I mentioned before where they saw the posting and kinda didn't feel qualified for it even though, like, I knew the whole time that they would be, like, perfect for it.

Justin:

Mhmm. Did you think of them initially?

Adam:

Yes. Definitely.

Justin:

Okay.

Adam:

They were, like, on my it was, like, it was, like, a person I was almost, like, trying to describe in a lot of ways. And I I wasn't even sure that they would be, like, interested in the role because they had a good role somewhere. In a lot of ways, I kinda felt like I missed my chance to kinda work with this person.

Justin:

Interesting. Okay.

Adam:

But it's also someone that, like, we had done some, like, contract work with in the past, like, helped us out in a pinch, like, when I needed, like, a couple bit of extra manpower on something. Mhmm. And, yeah, again, just someone who I'd had, like, a lot of conversations with over Twitter, over the occasional call here or there, just followed, like, their work, just a lot of time to just, like, feel like you have a pretty complete picture of this person. It's it's obviously never as complete as when you actually work with someone day to day. You're gonna learn things about someone that you don't know and, you know, and get to know someone better.

Justin:

Did you hire Ben Orenstein?

Adam:

No. But, so that was kind of the, like, the first the first person. And I basically just reached out to them saying, listen, Luke, we've interviewed a bunch of people for this role. I haven't found the right person. In my head, I keep comparing everyone we're talking to to you, and I still would rather hire you.

Adam:

So I'm just gonna take a shot here. Like, do you are you interested in this? Because I'd love to talk to you about it if you are. And that that kind of came together. You know?

Adam:

So really excited about about that one. So that's just someone I knew. That to me is similar to, like, the stories you've talked about where it's, like, just someone that has been on your radar for, like, a a long time, and you've been able to see a lot of different stuff that they've done and feel like you have some trust built up. The other one was someone I didn't actually know, though. So I think this one's kind of interesting in other ways.

Justin:

Is is someone trying to steal your car right now?

Adam:

No. I don't know why. Something's beeping out there, but, unfortunately, I have no control over it. Okay. Someone will, someone will do something about it.

Justin:

But, by the way, just just on that person, that first person,

Adam:

other ways, no, but the the no is only because I don't think I would have, like, had the confidence that I do now in how we should hire going forward if I didn't go through this process and really learn that this is, like, not a good approach for our size of team and, like, the amount of applications that we're gonna get and whatever. It'd be yeah. I would've saved myself a lot of time probably if I just, like, reached out to them in the beginning.

Justin:

Was that person aware of the posting and had they thought about applying?

Adam:

They were aware of it and had read it and didn't really think that they were the right fit in their own mind.

Justin:

You wrote that for them. You wrote that posting as a love letter to them, and they didn't even

Adam:

Yeah. Well, that's the I mean, that's kind of what I was saying where I think, like, a lot of really talented people are pretty modest too. Yeah. You know?

Justin:

This is like writing a a a a love poem in your school newspaper hoping, you know, your your your crush sees it, and they don't see it at all. Or they see it and they're like, that couldn't be me.

Adam:

Yeah. Exactly. And then the other so the other person I found this person by taking the job posting and sharing it with some people that I've known for a while that I do trust Mhmm. And just saying, have you worked with anyone that you think would be good for this role? And that's how I met this other person.

Adam:

So I didn't know them before. I probably could have found them if I turned up my sensitivity a little bit on just, like, my networking. You know, over the last couple years, I met this person. They were we had a really good conversation, and and, honestly, like, it's interesting to think about, like, how the conversation went differently maybe because of the fact that I just I reached out to them versus, like, them applying. You know?

Adam:

Maybe it's more comfortable. Maybe it's less nervous. Whatever.

Justin:

Can you say which role this was for?

Adam:

This was for the staff engineering role.

Justin:

Okay. This is for the staff engineering role. And you went to some other founders or some other CTOs or who did you go to?

Adam:

Yeah. Just like an another really senior developer in my network that had done leadership roles and stuff at other companies.

Justin:

Okay. And you said this is who I'm looking for, and they said did multiple people recommend this one person or just this one person?

Adam:

Ultimately, yes, but in, like, sort of a roundabout way. So this was just through one person. I met them, really enjoyed the conversation with them, did, like, a pair programming session with them, and it was, like, really, really fun. We were both kinda just laughing the whole time trying to figure something out and just came away it just went really smooth. You know?

Adam:

Yeah. Just felt like I would enjoy, like, working with this person every day, like, based on this. But also the fact that this person that I know, like, worked with them for multiple years and speaks really highly of them and was the immediately the person who came to mind and gave me a bunch of evidence of examples of, like, when this person did things that I checked the boxes. Like, I think one thing I learned from this whole process is that a referral or, like, a recommendation from somebody else counts for so much more than what the person can tell you themselves about themselves, even if it's a referral from someone that you don't even know that well. You know what I mean?

Adam:

Because it's still, like, a real experience that person had working with this other person.

Justin:

Think about the stakes. The stakes are different there too. Because if you ask for referrals in a resume, of course, they're gonna find someone theoretically who's gonna give them a good referral. But the stakes are just different as opposed to talking to someone in your network and saying, like, who's been great that you've worked with? And they're thinking, oh, it's right in this dynamic.

Justin:

It's my reputation that's on the line here. I gotta recommend somebody that I actually truly and even just, like, the dynamic of that conversation is totally different. Mhmm. I'm saying like, who's amazing? And the the people that come to mind when you think, like, who have I worked with that's amazing or that really fits this description, totally different.

Justin:

Right? It's just it's the it's the Jason Beggs thing. It's just like, who

Adam:

who have you worked with?

Justin:

It's, like, well, I've worked with Jason a bunch of times, and if you need someone like him, like, who's just a workhorse, like, hire him. Like, for sure.

Adam:

Yeah. So it was interesting. Right? Like, to to go through that experience. And then so I was already, like, really confident about this person, and, you know, was hoping that we can make an offer to them.

Adam:

And then we were at reactconf last week, and I just happened to meet someone for the first time who I'd never met before, who through conversing with them learned that there's a chance this person knows this person. And then I asked to them, and they were like, oh, yeah. I hired that person when they were at job x y z. Wow. They're they're amazing.

Adam:

They're good at this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this. And it was just like, okay. So now I've got 2 really strong referrals from 2 people who now this person I just met, but their, like, pedigree is extremely strong. You know what I mean? Like, this person knows what they're talking about.

Adam:

It's just amazing, like, the level of confidence that that gave me versus anything I was able to, like, suss out myself from meeting strangers for the first time effectively. You know?

Justin:

Conference gossip is actually a great signal. Like, that's the thing is that people do talk about other people. And, you know, when you're that's one reason I like I'm going back to Laracon for this reason. I just wanna get back in the mix of being around people and hearing about who's doing things. And it's almost always somebody saying, did you hear about what this person's working on?

Justin:

Or have you seen this thing that they just did? Or have you met this person? They've done this.

Adam:

Exactly. Dude, it was Underrated. I've never been to a conference with, like, an sort of a networking mindset before, and I did go to this conference more being more deliberate about, like, wanting to meet some new people. Yeah. And it's just it's it was awesome.

Adam:

You know? Base basically, like, I think, like, the takeaway so couple things. I learned from talking to a bunch of people even at this conference and outside of this conference who've done a lot of hiring. You know, I've been asking a lot of people, like, how do you hire at your company? Yeah.

Adam:

And especially at, like, somewhat bigger companies, like, even, like, 50 people and up type of companies, it's so the the most common answer from everyone was we we basically exclusively hire from employee referrals. We just ask people who already work here, who have you worked with before that you liked, and that's basically where they find everybody. So which kind of lines up with the experience that I am talking about here. You know?

Justin:

Mhmm.

Jason:

I

Adam:

think the other, yeah, the other thing is just, like, I think what I recognized is if I'm gonna have the most confidence and sort of the most luck hiring people that I know, and there's people that maybe I like, this person that I made this offer to for this staff engineer role, like, if if like I said, if I turned up, like, the sensitivity on, like, my paying attention to people thing just a little bit higher, I think it's, like, pretty high already. Like, I'm I think I I somehow know a lot of people, and I've never really tried to meet people. You know what I mean? So what happens when I I

Justin:

don't know if this is true, but

Adam:

a bit harder.

Justin:

I I don't know. No. You're like

Adam:

I don't feel like I've ever deliberately tried to, like I wanna make friends with this person. You know?

Justin:

I To me, you're the king of the cold DM. Like, hey, I'm working on this thing. Let's I'd love to dig into this with you. Or back when you had Fullstack Radio, that was, like, your bit is that you would DM people that you wanted to, like, get in with. I think you're very good at this, personally.

Adam:

I must be because, like, I I consider myself, like, friends with a lot of people that I never would imagine I'd be, like, friends with now. Like Yeah. I like me and DHH message each other on signal, like, every week about random stuff, you know, and, you know, Jason Fried DMs me about things. You know? It's like a wild spot I feel like I found myself in.

Adam:

I do think I could be more deliberate about it. Like, I'm already, like, following more people on Twitter. Like, even at the conference, I was meeting people and, like, it's it's almost like you know what it kinda reminds me of is something that, like, I've always advice I always give people who, like, wanna work in public is to just turn on this little background process in your brain that's, like, paying attention to everything you do and trying to notice, actually, someone else might think this was interesting. I should, like, share it. You know what I mean?

Adam:

That's how, like, we've always marketed everything that we've done. It's just find ways to sort of, like, find little takeaways and share them with people. Mhmm. I feel like I I'm now doing the same thing with, like, meeting people.

Justin:

Yes.

Adam:

It's just, like, this extra little thing I've turned on in the back of my brain that's not just meeting people and, say, I meet someone, I met someone, whatever. There's a little bit more of, like, paying attention to, like, where I should put this person in my little, like, personal CRM in my brain. You know?

Justin:

This is I actually one of the first apps I built on my own was this first start up job I had. I was helping hire and we went through the same thing. We we were getting cold applications. And then at the end, I'd be like, I've known this person forever. Let's hire them.

Justin:

They're gonna be great. And they've they ended up being great. And I I said what I need is a CRM, but for, tracking relationships for people I could hire or work with.

Adam:

Mhmm. Now

Justin:

that's in terms of my market, there's not a big enough market there for for there to be a product. But it's the the spirit of that is actually, I think, the right spirit. You kind of file it away in your own little CRM, like, okay. Yeah. And it almost happens well, it totally happens organically.

Justin:

It's like you interface with people a few times and then it's like all of a sudden you're they're on your radar. Like, oh, man. This person I would love to work with that person. Or

Adam:

Mhmm.

Justin:

Man, they would be super good at whatever. And then what I also love doing is I love, like, making a note, like, that's the kind of person I would hire for whatever and then tracking those people. And invariably I mean, maybe there's a confirmation bias. But it in my head, at least, I have a high hit rate of people that I noticed and end up

Adam:

End up doing doing pretty good stuff. Yeah.

Justin:

Really cool stuff. I I felt like this, I mean, I I a lot of people felt like this with, with Aaron. So Corey Griffin was this other guy just noticed and I just loved his vibe. He was, like, making videos. He was explaining stuff.

Justin:

Ended up doing a phone call with him. We were interested in hiring him, but I think he got hired by I think it was I think he got hired by Shopify and then Apple. And he was just, like, out of our but he's just had a great career. Yeah. So I I like turning this background process on.

Justin:

And then you just notice it and then start tracking people kind of just in your head, but and then noticing, oh, look what happens. You know? And then at your level what's great about your level is I feel like you have the resources to hire and are doing interesting work that has such a massive surface area that you could hire there's your pool of people that I think would wanna work with you is is bigger than most. Like, you have the resources to hire them and you're doing the kind of work that attracts people that wanna do that kind of work. You know?

Justin:

Like, the the impact is big.

Adam:

Yeah. It's, like, pretty high impact projects that we work on for sure. Yeah. Like, outsizingly compared to the size of the team for sure. So it's an interesting interesting spot.

Adam:

I'll say, like, one thing, even running this, like, hiring process, like, even though I don't think we're gonna do it this way in the future, and I actually, I know with certainty I'll never do it again this way in the future. It's tough though because, like, Robin who works here, I did find him to put through this process. You know? And, that's worked out really well. He's been here for years, and he's awesome.

Adam:

So I know it can work, and I bet you it could have worked here too because we did meet, like, a bunch of people that I knew were skilled and talented people, but I just, like, never mustered up enough to feel, like, certain. You know? Yeah.

Justin:

I think the difference is that the risk with hiring someone like Robin is greater. Like, you're taking a bigger risk on making a fairly big decision. And I know you don't like hiring and firing. And so Yeah. If you have an aversion to that, in my experience I mean, there's always gonna be the chance you're gonna need to let somebody go at some point.

Justin:

Like, that's sure. That is just the way things work. But if you've had multiple, you know, touch points with somebody in the past and they know people you know and people you know know them. And there there's this kind of just simmering of getting who they are.

Adam:

This isn't enough, like, what is enough? You know what I mean? In terms of confidence. Yeah. It's kind of like

Justin:

And there's also the counterfactual which is you could have met Robin if you'd run this playbook. You might have still found found them.

Adam:

Yeah. That's kind of what I mean with the sensitivity knob thing, you know, because he was at, like, Lyricon EU that I was at once. He was already following me. He was already in our, like, tone CSS Discord. You know what I mean?

Adam:

I never noticed him before, but I think I maybe I would notice someone like that now, you know, because I'm paying a bit more attention. And the other thing is, like, when we hired him, like, I was a lot more naive. Like, the very first person we hired, man, I just emailed him and was like, do you wanna work here? Like, we have too much work to do. I'd never done a call with him.

Adam:

I'd never had any conversation with him. He just worked on an open source thing that I thought was good, and he's like, sure. I wanna work there. Then we did, like, one call where I, like, answered some questions for him, and then he took the job, and it worked out great for many years. He was not with us anymore, but it was awesome.

Adam:

And that was just like, wow. This hiring shit is easy. You know? And then with same with Robin. You know?

Adam:

He joined when I was in that total naive stage where I I never had any issues or never had to make any hard decisions yet or any any of that stuff. Right? So maybe maybe now I still wouldn't have even felt confidence to hire him even though, of course, like, it worked out the first time, but, you know, now maybe I'm more fearful, and I I wouldn't have been willing to take the chance. You know? And and that's the thing.

Adam:

Like, it's not like the people we interviewed were definitely not the right people. It's just I just didn't have enough confidence, and I don't think I could have, like, got I don't think I can get it without just, like, knowing them for a long period of time. So, like, a nice takeaway is now there's, like, a bunch of people that I did meet through this process that, like, I'm following on Twitter and looking forward to, like, paying attention to what they do for a longer period of time and building relationships with more people like that, and and maybe they'll turn into something eventually. You know?

Justin:

I mean, I for me, I think there's a few things. 1, this is a perfect hackers inc type conversation because you often will go and do these hard things and then report back. And you just ran the the hard playbook. Like, maybe I am missing out on somebody. So that was the hypothesis.

Justin:

Maybe I am missing out on somebody. I should really make this, like, agnostic, fully open, fully accessible, fully, anybody can apply. It's it's democratic. And I'm gonna see how it works out. And your conclusion was for a team our size and for me personally, as the owner, this isn't the best playbook to run.

Justin:

Yeah. Right?

Adam:

It's it's shocking though or or hard in some ways because, like, it's hard for me to reconcile the with that with the fact that, like, it works for 37 signals. You know? Like, works really well for them. But I also wonder if they were our size, would they be doing things differently than

Justin:

I think I mean, I also think they they have the benefit of people are in their ecosystem. And, I mean, even I applied twice. You know, I applied the first time, and maybe that was when they started checking me out. And then I applied the second time, and that was what got me a call. And so I think you could also use that process as relationship building.

Justin:

Like, you do a you know, you get a bunch of applications and you're like, oh, wow. These people are folks I wanna keep an eye on. And then, you know, you keep an eye on them. And then the next time they come up, you've got all these subconscious interactions with them. And you're like, oh, wow.

Justin:

This person looks interesting. So you can play that playbook if you want to, you know, open it up that way. The other thing is that doing a company, you're often playing to your strengths. And so Mhmm. I'm a relationship person.

Justin:

Like, I like meeting people. I like, I like meeting people and almost instantly, I'm, like, impressed by what they can do or the vibe they get give off or whatever. And so I'm tracking that stuff. And I have fun working with people. Like, I like doing projects with people.

Justin:

I like pair programming with people. I like that stuff. And so if I have those experiences with folks and it's super fun, then, you know, I kinda file that away. And that's just part of my personality. I don't wanna open it up to the universe and then get thousands of applications and be like I just have no idea who this person is beyond this a 180 pixel avatar that I'm seeing.

Justin:

And I that to me is not as fun. And so as a founder, I just wanna play to my strengths, which is I'm good at this. I'm good at going and meeting a bunch of people and, increasing the luck surface area for potentially meeting people that I could collaborate with in the future. And so if you're the kind of founder that likes that or wants to get good at that, then that's what you should do.

Adam:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I feel good about, like, where we I've sort of landed in terms of, like I feel like I know how I wanna do things moving forward. I do saw a little bit of that concern of, like, who we missing out on, but maybe not. Again, I kinda think I can compensate for that with just, like, a little bit more.

Adam:

Just, again, just paying a little bit more attention than than maybe I've paid in the past. The advice that everyone has been giving me, which is, like, hard to accept, but I know is true, it's just, like, the reality is in when you're running a company, you're taking chances on people, and it's not always gonna work out. And the odds of it working out are actually sort of lower based on the conversations I've had with people than maybe I thought. Like, a fairly common number that I've been hearing is, like, if you have, like, a 70% hit rate on someone you hire working out, like, that's pretty good, which means, like, a lot of companies are firing, like, 3 out of 10 people that they hire within, like, the first few months that they're at the company. That just, like, I I'm glad to know that's the reality because it, like, helps me feel like my sort of paranoia is, like, reasonable, but I also am just, like, I don't know that I can, like, ever get good at being comfortable with, like, just, like, letting someone letting that percentage of people go and taking chances like that.

Adam:

You know?

Justin:

Yeah. That's hard. That is a hard reality company. There's all sorts of reasons you might need to let someone go too. Like, sometimes, you know, the the company's not doing as well or whatever.

Justin:

But I I guess I just mean in terms of just, like,

Adam:

being wrong about someone. You know what I mean?

Justin:

Yeah.

Adam:

And I don't wanna be wrong about people because I don't wanna put people through that. And,

Justin:

yeah. I mean, this is a bad metaphor for me because I I haven't dated since I was 18. But, the the thinking about dating is, like, if you're on the apps, you're just getting all the people on the apps. And it's like you put out a job posting for yourself, and then you just see who applies. And you get these, like, very your your interactions all of the depth of your humanity is just reduced to chatting and, like, pithy one liners that you're gonna start with.

Justin:

I always think, like like, here and where I live, we live in this ski resort town. The dating advice I hear people giving is, like, if you, like, are really into skiing, for example, you just get a get up to the resort and just hang out at the ski resort all the time. Join some group skis. Go to some events. Like, you just gotta put yourself in that It's

Adam:

like a luck surface area thing, you know.

Justin:

Yeah. That's fear. And and rather than sitting in town on the apps and just saying like, having skier in your bio, it's like you're not gonna get the fullness of really running into people and having interactions and, you know, going for some runs with them and sitting on the chairlift, and then going in for coffee. And, you know, I've met tons of people up at the ski resort just hanging out. And, you you know, you meet one person and then all of a sudden you're riding the chairlift with some more people and pretty soon you just know all these people.

Justin:

And, you know, if I'm looking even if I'm just looking for some friends to go riding with, it's kind of the same chat, like, who's about my level? Who, like, do I vibe well with? Who you know, there's all this checklist. And eventually, it kind of sorts itself out through multiple interactions. And, I think it'd be a lot harder for me to get the right people if, in every once I see people posting on Reddit in, like, our city's subreddit.

Justin:

Like, anybody here into knitting? You know, it's like, well, you're just opening yourself up to whoever's on Reddit.

Adam:

Yeah. I

Justin:

mean, even that is at least increasing your luck surface area, but I'm just saying there's something about getting out of your house and for both job applicants and people looking for to hire, for me, it's like almost all about going to conferences. That's actually the biggest one. It's just going to conferences and meeting people. And you don't need to be a celebrity even like, I've met so many cool people that have never given a conference talk, have never you know, they don't have a big Twitter following, but they're just, like, super cool. And then eventually, you realize they're doing cool stuff, but they're super understated online or, you know, not giving talks

Adam:

or whatever. Exactly.

Justin:

That's kind of the I I think the if I was if I had applied for the Tailwind job and I'm listening to you right now, I personally wouldn't be, like, upset. I would just be like, oh, wow. Okay. The what I need to do is I need to increase my luck surface area and just get out more. I just need to be in the sphere of Adam Wadden and, you know, not in a try hard kind of way, but just in a, like, I'm gonna I feel like him and I would get along.

Justin:

I feel like, I would love to hang out with him and talk shop. Those kind of activities are what that's a relationship. Then you're starting to, you know, eventually, you get into the orbit of those folks. And if if they find you cool, then then, you know, it'll get reciprocated and, you know, maybe opportunities will come out of it.

Adam:

Totally. Yes. Something I've thought with this whole thing is I almost wish we were like a local company because I feel like it'd be even easier to hire people then because you could just go to meetups and meet people and you know? Like, it's it's like it's easier to get a little taste of people that already live near you than to have to, like, travel to conferences and

Justin:

stuff like that. This is why I almost think either you need this role or, like, you're if you ever do another tailwind event, depending on how much energy you have to give to things. But one of my favorite thing about, like, MCing at Laracon is it wasn't even something Taylor told me to do. But I just loved, like, being on stage, but then thinking, like, I'm actually, like, just a host at this event and just going around in the hallway and just asking people if they're having a good time and, you know, where they come from, what are they working on. I just love that role.

Justin:

And your next tailwind event feels like you could do that or somebody at your team could do that. They're just being the master of ceremonies, but for the community. And you're just like, hey, where'd you come from? What's going on? And thinking like this is my first interaction with this person of what could be many, you know.

Justin:

Like, I'm just like meeting this person and there could be this could start like, that was like I met Jack McDade that way. I have no idea who Jack McDade was. Don't know what he can do. Don't know what he nothing. Just sat at a table with him.

Justin:

You know, I worked on it with him on on doing my personal website, and it was, like, still one of my favorite things that has ever been, you know, I've ever worked on. And he did most of it. Right? It was just like Yeah. There's certain people you can meet and get a sense of and these are the other thing is these people just tend to keep bubbling to the surface.

Justin:

It's like again, maybe I'm over indexing for charisma. But again, I again, most of my team is introverts, so I don't think this is true. I've just there's certain people that can even as introverted people can still keep bubbling to the top. It's like you just keep seeing them, keep seeing stuff they're putting out, keep, you know, they touch base every once in a while. That rule seems to be it's almost like the number of impressions of positive impressions is what ends up getting you you reach this benchmark and then it's like, oh, man.

Justin:

That's that's the kind of person I wanna hire.

Adam:

Yeah. It's totally true. It's, yeah. I don't know. I I guess yeah.

Adam:

This process has made me a lot more comfortable with just, like, putting that constraint of just, like, hiring people that this isn't the first time I've seen their face, you know, at a minimum. Like, there's some sort of history there. The thing I was thinking about too, like, it's so funny. I I have this, like, vivid memory of this being true, and it turns out it wasn't true at all.

Justin:

Okay.

Adam:

That you remember, like, when, when, Jason Newstead quit Metallica. Right? And they needed to find, like, a new bass player. I swear, I remember them doing this, like, a worldwide bass player search where, like, they were holding auditions in, like, big cities, and people were lining up the door, like, you know, like, fucking what's that show that, like, Kelly Clarkson was on? Oh, shit.

Adam:

You know?

Justin:

Like, American Idol or something like that?

Adam:

Yeah. Like, American Idol style for, like, auditioning to be, like, the bass player, Metallica. And everyone got, like, 30 seconds to, like, play something. And and I remember I remember I've I swear I believe that that happened, and that they didn't pick anyone. Turns out that never happened, words worth.

Adam:

I have no idea, like, how that got planted in my brain, but never happened. It's one of those bears seen bears things. You know what I mean? Like, I I I swear I believe this happened to the point where I feel like a guy I know's cousin auditioned. You know what I mean?

Adam:

But Yes.

Justin:

Yeah. Yeah.

Adam:

Yeah. Went and watched, like you know that they did that, like, some kind of monster documentary DVD years ago, and, like, a big part of that DVD is them, like, finding a bass player. And you just look at, like, all the dudes that they brought in that they auditioned for the band. It's like none of these people are people, like, they don't know. It's like the bass player from bands that they've toured with or that was, like, referred to them from a band that they toured with or someone that they knew from, like, back in the eighties when, you know, when they when they were a lot smaller and it was a little bit more relatable.

Adam:

And, that was just like I've always thought of the Our Company as a band. You know? Like, that's kinda what I want it to be in my head. So to find these, like, these, like, comparisons is always is always interesting to me, but it also kinda speaks to the point we were talking about earlier where it's like, there's something that feels, like, a little tricky about, like like, if Metallica was to bring on, like, someone who's just, like, a pure fan into the band, it would feel like a weird dynamic for a long time. You know what I mean?

Adam:

Whereas if they bring on, like, Pepper Keenan from Croznan Conformity, it's like, yeah. He might be, like, a little bit, oh, man. This is the big leagues compared to, like, what I was doing before, but it's still like, oh, like, we played shows with these guys in the eighties, and, like, I've known them forever, and I see them at parties and you know?

Justin:

There's so much more in that too, which is, like, if you're hiring someone that's been referred to you or that you've worked with, you just have so much more context of like yeah. Like a fan has never done any of the work to be in a band. They haven't been in the van. They haven't put in they likely haven't put in the hours. So they might be great technically, but there's like all these other things that you need for a role that kinda speaks to what you're saying.

Justin:

Like, it's like your vibe check was like would I go to a conference with them and could they give a conference talk. And there's like all these other things. Like, can these guys last 48 hours in the tour bus with us? Sure. Do I wanna spend 48 hours with them in the tour bus?

Justin:

Like, that's a big deal. How else are you gonna get that besides, you know, through your network and talking to other people? Like, what was it like to tour with, you know, Bruce? And you're just getting a sense of, well, this is what it was like, right away. All that

Adam:

Like, we played 3 shows with these guys, and, you know, they were around all the time. So I saw this guy a lot, but I also had the ability to sort of escape from him when necessary. So it's not like the big crazy commitment that this, like, you know, just hire someone. That's why I, like, yeah, contracting with people is nice. And we don't we don't have as many opportunities as I wish we did for for that.

Adam:

Like, it's a lot of the work we do here is, like, very ongoing work. It's not like this is, like, little project that we can

Justin:

bring someone on for. Although that's a good muscle to keep going is I personally like if there's a small project. I just like keeping that in play. I'm like Mhmm. Yeah.

Justin:

And I do it for company projects but also personal projects. It's just if there's something that needs to be done now, I just wanna, like, find somebody and hire them for something really small. And, I like having that in motion. Constantly be working with new people and going, how did that feel? How did that work out?

Justin:

Did they do everything did it end up blowing up later? Or, you know, I just like it's like a nice practice even if you don't really need it to bring someone in and even bring someone in for like again, you have this opportunity if you ever do another tailwind event. Bring somebody in and say, why don't you emcee it?

Adam:

Yeah.

Justin:

Or why don't you be our you know, we're looking for someone to do this there.

Adam:

Yeah. Totally. Like, I I would love to hire, like, a sort of a developer relations person maybe one day. You know what I mean? And that would be, like, an interesting example of, like, a way to to test that out.

Adam:

Like, obviously, it has to be someone you already know a a bit. Mhmm. You know? But maybe you never met them before. You wanna spend a bit more time with them.

Adam:

You wanna see how they really do in, like, a real situation or whatever. You know? Yeah. I think that's I think that's smart to, like again, it's another, like, knob to turn up a little bit, like, paying attention to, like really trying to pay attention to things that could be sliced off as projects. You know what I mean?

Justin:

And you are I mean, this is gonna be your challenge all the time. Is that you're you're very like, you still do a lot. Mhmm. I would love to hear, how Taylor Otwell is thinking about this right now. That's interested to me because he's doing all this hiring and hiring people outside of his network, I think.

Adam:

That's Yeah. I I mean yeah. Maybe it's a conversation to have with him. I know a lot about it, but I don't know how much I could say or how much I can't say. I know in the engineering side, he still really hires people from the open source community.

Adam:

You know? And they have a real Liravah has a really strong community of contributors and stuff. We've never been able to really build that. I think we have a weird tool where the people who use it are, like, very it's very uncommon for them to be qualified to build it, whereas Laravel is like, you're using Laravel to build applications with PHP. Like, you can probably go into Laravel and make some changes to the PHP there.

Adam:

Ours is like, you're styling things on a website, but the tool to build that thing is like this complex no JS library. You know? They're, like, so different from each other. I wanna believe that's the reason that we haven't been able to, like, there there's a few. You know what I mean?

Adam:

But Laravel is, like, incredible amount of people in the community doing stuff.

Justin:

If that's true, then I think you need to either run 2 events or be involved in 2 events. 1, Tailwind for the Tailwind people and fans, and then a Node. Js conference whatever. So you get you're always in that like, if that's in some ways, most things are like that, like we're in the podcasting industry, but most podcasters can't build a product. And so we have to be in 2 worlds.

Justin:

We have to be in the tech product world and then we have to be in the podcasting world. Yeah. Yeah. And developing both at the same time. So maybe that's how you gotta think about it.

Justin:

And that's why I wanna start going you know, I I've just been going to podcasting events and I'm like, I gotta get back to tech events and business events because I want I want some of that juice too at the same time.

Adam:

Did you go to MicroConf this year?

Justin:

No. I thought about it. I it's just one thing I the other thing I like about tech events is it's like the nerds I wanna hang out with, like, the really technical people, but then there's always the kind of business people I like are often there. So it's like this nice slice of, you know, the ecosystem. You just get, like, business people and you get tech people, and you get a mixture of both.

Justin:

But I would love to be go back to another MicroConf too.

Adam:

Yeah. Yeah. I definitely wanna do a lot more conferences in general if I can figure out how to do it. The hard thing is, like, a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a 9 month old. So, like, getting away, leaving my wife with that crew on her own, for extended periods of time is, is a hard one.

Justin:

This is why I'm curious about the staff engineer. If there's people on your team that can do part of that for you too, I haven't really figured this out on our team. Like, I'm definitely the most I'm I'm the most equipped to go out and network. Mhmm. Jon is pretty good at it too, actually.

Justin:

So when he gets out, he does, he does it. He's good at it as well. I I started going down the path of, like, oh, this would be a cool thing to delegate. But in practice, I think it is just harder to delegate some of this stuff. It's just nice to be the person that's, you know, doing it.

Adam:

Cool, man. Yeah. Maybe a good place to wrap it, but, glad to have the chance to kinda get this all out of my brain while it's still fresh so I can listen to it in a year from now if we ever wanna hire again and remind myself of of what it was like. But, interesting takeaways at least. You know?

Adam:

Even to just feel like I know what I wanna do next time, I think is is enough, but, man, it was a big commitment to run that experiment.

Justin:

I would definitely be curious if anyone's listening and they've had the opposite experience. Small team, opened it up to the public, and found just had a process that had amazing results.

Adam:

Real hidden gems. You know? Yeah.

Justin:

I would love to hear about that.

Adam:

I mean, I'm the thing is I'm sure we had them apply. And that that was one of the other things that sucks about having 1600 people apply and having to, like, somehow get through all of them is this, like, constant worry of, like, I I'm almost certain the the best person for the job is somehow in the disqualified pile. You know what I mean? Because they just didn't stand out in the application the right way and didn't get a chance to, like, talk with us, but I don't know what else I could have done about that. You know what I mean?

Adam:

But there's just But

Justin:

I think that's kinda like thinking, like, I'm sure there's someone that would love to date me that just never saw my profile. And so and, like, thinking about it too much is, like, yeah. But in reality, the kind of person I'm gonna date, or the kind of person I'm gonna hire, or the kind of person I'm gonna work with is I've interacted with them at some point. Like, that's that's more likely in my head.

Adam:

I think that's I think you're probably right. And it's it's helpful too to just, like, think about just start going through people I know and just think, like, I don't even know how I know this person. You know what I mean? I didn't have to try, but I know them, and I'm glad I know them. And that just means that's gonna keep happening no matter what.

Justin:

Yes. You know? And and to not exclude people like, there's there are lots of people running their own companies that you could actually probably also hire. You know what I mean? Like, that that pool is also open.

Adam:

Yeah. Yeah. That's something I'm trying to learn, honestly. It's, like, I think I I think I I don't even try to recruit certain people because I'm just, like, well, they only started at that job 9 months ago. So, you know, the that's no chance I'm gonna do that.

Adam:

And then what happens is, like, there's one person that I've wanted to, like, work with for a long time that I've held that belief in my head, and now I've seen them at 3 different jobs.

Justin:

Yeah. Exactly.

Adam:

Actually, 4.

Justin:

And also don't don't, like, people that are working at big companies and you're thinking, well, they'd never wanna leave. A lot of those people wanna leave. They there's a lot of people that want to work for a small indie company where you're doing way more cool stuff and you're way more hands on and you have way more leverage in terms of what gets built. Like, you can be in there. I love small teams because it like, if you wanna make a difference, you can, like, get in there and just work and get a lot of leverage on a small team if you're willing to go after it.

Justin:

So I think those people are out there. I I I think that's the other lesson.

Adam:

Yeah. They are for sure. For sure.

Justin:

Alright, dude.

Adam:

Cool, man. Alright. I better get to dinner before, the kids start yelling at me that they're hungry. But, yeah, it was good to catch up to. I'm glad we got to do this.

Justin:

Oh, dude. Yeah. Let's talk again soon.

Adam:

Looking forward to seeing you in, whatever the hell Lair Con is. August?

Justin:

August. Yeah.

Adam:

Texas and August, baby. Bring your shorts.

Justin:

Yes. Yeah. I'm gonna I'll be dead, but, yeah, I'm looking forward to it. Alright. See you.

Adam:

Alright. See you.

Justin:

Alright. Hopefully you enjoyed that. If you have feedback on any of that stuff, reach out to us on Twitter. I'm m I Justin on Twitter and Adam is Adam Wavin. I wanna give some shout outs to the folks who support us on Patreon.

Justin:

We've got Pascal from Sharpen.page, rewardful.com, Greg Park, Mitchell Davis from recruitkit.com.au, Marshall Follett from we are bold dotaf, Bill Kondo, Ward from memberspace.com, Evander Sassy, Austin Loveless, Michael Sitford, Dan Buda, Colin Gray, and Dave Junta. We'll see you next time we post an episode. Thanks, folks.