Hack & Hustle is the company blog of Elastic Inc. We write about startups, sales, and everything related to hacking and hustling.

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How to Hire the Best Hustlers in the Game

Elastic hires the best hustlers to join our sales team to generate growth for the hottest startups across the U.S. and abroad. Hustlers develop and scale sales campaigns for our clients, bring in new business for our company, as well as market and sell Close.io, our sales communication platform.

We believe in transparency, so below is what hiring managers never tell candidates, an inside view on what I look for as I’m hiring our next Hustler.

1)     Anybody can apply to a job on craigslist. Express interest and make them follow up with you.

When I am screening resumes, I send interesting candidates a simple email with my Skype, telling them that I want to chat. Those who are smart enough to call me (since my work number is online and in my email) will get an immediate phone screen. Otherwise, after enough follow up I will get back to them.

2)     Screening resumes.

Resumes don't really tell you much. I feel too many companies discriminate based on resumes. So I do the opposite. I take a quick scan for something I want to talk to the person about. Did they work at a company I hate? That’s a plus! Boring hobby? Let's chat about it. A terrible resume, the kinds that make me cringe will fail, but it makes screening much more fun.

3)     There is a reason I don't take job interviews, so I don't give them either.

I don't care if someone is good at interviewing. On my first phone screen I want to know:

  • Can you sell yourself?
  • Can you sell me our company?
  • What can you teach me that I don't already know?
  • Do I want to hire the people you know?
  • If I interrupt your thinking, how do you react?

4)     "If you were to start a company, instead of getting a job right now, what would you do?"

I love this question. It started as an accident, but that ambiguous ending is there for a reason. Tell me what the startup does, or what you are going to do in that startup. Or both! Just tell me something with some real passion. If you have passion I'll deconstruct your idea to get a sense of how you think. If I don't like your idea or thought process, even better, because the candidate can then explain why they want to pursue that idea!

5)     If they seem like a no. Tell them so they have a chance to prove you wrong.

If someone doesn't have the skills or passion to move on to the next step, I tell them. This saves me from sending them some sad rejection email later and gives them the opportunity to prove me wrong. The most important skill for a Hustler is to manage objections. Sometimes I even tell good candidates, “No, and here’s why,” giving them a chance to pitch after hearing an objection.

6)     In a flat org, you have to work with the people you hire

Many hiring strategies focus on hiring the best. Here’s the selfish reason why. Any problem this person can't handle is going to become a problem that I may have to handle, so I have to end our encounter genuinely wanting to work with a candidate.

7)     The boring test.

Google had a great hiring test in its early days. Larry (fact check) didn't want to hire anyone boring. He said that when Google got huge he never wanted to have a delayed flight and have someone come up to him at the airport and say "Hey I work for you." Followed by a boring conversation. It was his worst nightmare, so I stole it!

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