As CEO of a global company with thousands of employees, I have to manage my time to ensure I'm an effective leader. So it may surprise you to learn that I read every sales and service rep's resume that comes through our door. Every. Single. One. I've done this from the beginning when we were a 50-employee organization, and I don't intend to stop. I could tell you that I do this because hiring the right talent is essential for a company's growth and brand, and of course that is correct. But arguably our HR department can vet candidates quite well. Here's why I want to do it:
As CEO it is crucial to have your finger on the pulse of what is happening within the company and how it is changing, as all companies inevitably do. This is easy to do when you're small, but as the company grows it gets increasingly more difficult for one person to have that in-depth insight. Injecting yourself into the hiring process is the easiest way to stay on top of that.
This is something I learned from Larry Ellison when I was at Oracle. He would review resumes and at the time I thought this level of detailed oversight was overkill. I know better now. Larry does know best.
There have been times when I questioned why a person was a favored applicant. I remember one time in particular, I was quite skeptical as the applicant came from the pharmaceutical industry and I had my doubts that she could make the transition to technology. The hiring manager explained why she was his top choice. I went along with the decision to bring her on board, although, I asked to see regular reports of her progress. She turned out to be one of our best reps and then one of our best sales managers. Today she is the backbone of our New York office, and ultimately expanded my mindset about what it takes to succeed in tech sales--to the benefit of my company.
Multiply variations of that story 5,000 times and now you understand why I pay such attention to our prospective hires. Of course, this story could have ended very differently if we didn't have a corporate culture that encourages such engagement on the hiring process including up to and throughout the C-Suite. Fostering that corporate culture is another task I refuse to outsource--but that, I suppose, is easier to understand when you know why I shuffle through resumes every day.