Andrew Thompson of Proteus

Here is a piece of an interview that Adam Bryant did with Andrew Thompson of Proteus. In the full interview that you can find HERE they make some very good points but I want to highlight these points below specifically:


Q. How do you hire?

A. I always say to everyone at Proteus that we don’t hire pegs, we hire people. We have job descriptions, but we’re looking for very capable authentic personalities. We hire in teams, so that’s really important.  So there’s no individual hiring.  And we hire across functions, so you don’t just get to hire within your area.

The single most important aspect of the hiring process is the human interaction — the cultural fit and the person’s raw talent.  So we’re very biased toward talent over experience.

Q. Break that down for me.

A. So cultural fit is very clear. It’s about people who talk about impact, and who are authentic about it and can be specific about places or spaces they’ve been where they’ve made an impact.  That matters because we’re a very impact-driven and purpose-driven company. We want people who come to work with their head, their heart and their hands. All of it.  You want the whole person walking through the door.

If somebody doesn’t have passions, that’s a problem. People who like risk and who are biased to action have some passions.  They have things that they’re excited about.  It could be their kids.  It could be their sports.  It could be their sewing machine.  It could be all kinds of things.  But they have it.  If they don’t, and if all they want is a paycheck and they don’t really care where they get a job, that will come through, too. And frankly, some people are like that, and some people want to go to work with their hands, and they want to leave their head and their heart somewhere else.

The points raised here are well taken, they seem to make the best use of their resources, and it starts right with hiring. He says:”we don’t hire pegs” referring to trying to put a round peg in a square hole. This is a very good point. Obviously folks need to be able to have the skills and capabilities to work on your product but beyond that the resources need to be approached flexible so that you can get most benefit of the wide variety of options people bring to their jobs. The clarification about passion comes back in our article about motivation, one of our 10 points of management, and is key to driving a successful team.

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