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Building A Great Culture

Company Culture
Diversity
Hiring

10 May, 2018

Seth Sakamoto
Seth Sakamoto

VP Engineering at TeamSnap

Seth Sakamoto

Problem

Early on in my career, when I was hiring I would look for people who were smart and who could code. As a result, the cultures of my teams were pretty uneven and in some cases not very good, as technical aspects were being valued above all else.

Actions taken

When you think about the attributes of your best engineers, you'll find that you come up with a list of things unrelated to coding and more related to the content of people's character. Make sure that your team understands that you value these attributes and then use them to diagnose and inform your interview process. Projects that are open-ended are especially useful for allowing people to show their best side. You'll see how well they manage you, how well they seek to understand what you're looking for, and what their standards are. Some of the strongest teams organizational and team cultures I've built have been the result of asking my teams what makes them feel good. It's never about an ability to code, it's always about behavior characteristics.

Lessons learned

If you want to build a great culture in your organization and come up with a better hiring rubric you should focus on the best character attributes of your team. Define what you're looking for based on this and then make sure your process effectively looks for this.

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