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Gilt CEO: Interviewing is a Waste of Time

Kevin Ryan, founder and CEO of Gilt, offers his advice on hiring new employees (and getting rid of them, too).

What's the best way to find talent?

Kevin Ryan, the founder and CEO of Gilt Groupe, a flash sales site that has grown to 850 employees and $500 million in gross sales since it was founded in 2007, offered his perspective on hiring and managing this morning at the Inc. 500|5000 Conference. His advice to CEOs? Don't waste your time on interviews. 

"I don't want to be thrown off by someone who presents well," he said. "When I think of why people succeed, it's because of intangibles that don't come through in an interview."

Instead, Ryan relies on aggressive reference checks and retains recruiters to be constantly monitoring for fresh talent.

"If your HR director reports to the CFO, I know [your recruiting strategy] is not important enough," he said. "I don't want them to be a nice person who's just friends with the employees."

Ryan concedes that hiring is an imprecise science that needs constant tweaking. But finding good people is the most important thing a CEO must do, he says.

"It's not just about having a visionary idea...It's about having the employees bring passion and flawless execution," Ryan says. 

What do you think? What's the most important part of your on-boarding process? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Last updated: Sep 23, 2011

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