Topics: Life Before Apple | How He Saw Himself | Building Apple | Macintosh Memories | Returning to Apple | Leadership Style | The Apple Difference | Apple Products | Design | Creativity & Innovation | Technology | Recruiting | Microsoft | Other Companies | Money | Philosophy & Beliefs | Predicting the Future | Personal Stuff | Death | Lessons Learned
Steve Jobs Quotes: Recruiting
We hire people who want to make the best things in the world.
At Apple… we attract a different type of person — a person who doesn’t want to wait five or ten years to have someone take a giant risk on him or her. Someone who really wants to get in a little over his head and make a little dent in the universe. We are aware that we are doing something significant. We’re here at the beginning of it and we’re able to shape how it goes. Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.
It doesn’t take a new person long to see that people feel fine about openly disagreeing with me. That doesn’t mean I can’t disagree with them, but it does mean that the best ideas win. Our attitude is that we want the best. Don’t get hung up on who owns the idea. Pick the best one, and let’s go.
What happens in most companies is that you don’t keep great people under working environments where individual accomplishment is discouraged rather than encouraged. The great people leave and you end up with mediocrity. I know, because that’s how Apple was built. Apple is an Ellis Island company. Apple is built on refugees from other companies. These are the extremely bright individual contributors who were troublemakers at other companies.
Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. We do it ourselves and we spend a lot of time at it. I’ve participated in the hiring of maybe 5,000-plus people in my life. So I take it very seriously. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview. So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? Why are they here? I ask everybody that: “Why are you here?” The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.
We are inventing the future. Think about surfing on the front edge of a wave. It’s really exhilarating. Now think about dog-paddling at the tail end of that wave. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun. Come down here and make a dent in the universe. [said to a job applicant]