A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of speaking with Mike Salguero, the co-founder and CEO of CustomMade, and he shared an insight about culture that really stood out to me – You can’t write it down. Although the sentiment is simple, it makes as much sense as tripling the chocolate in fudge cookies or binge watching your favorite Netflix shows instead of going out.
It’s clear that Mike’s advice rings true at Livefyre, as the San Francisco based company has been named one of best places to work in the Bay for the second year in a row.
When I asked founder and CEO Jordan Krecthmer how he did it – especially while scaling the company to serve 50 % of the world’s biggest corporations – he laughed and said that Livefyre actually doesn’t have a culture – Way to make it awkward to ask a follow up, Jordan – instead, they simply commit themselves to hiring the best people possible.
The company’s hiring tactics are refreshingly simple as they target individuals who are passionate about working with others and are eager to play a role achieving the team’s goals. While it may seem too good to be to true (like when Christmas and New Years Eve structure themselves to give you the entire week off) the Livefyre mentality is a wake up call for organizations to forget initial test projects and 90 day trial periods and simply trust people.
When you hire with trust in mind, you allow people to feel like they’re proven, and instead of causing the age old sleep in your clothes before the first day of work syndrome, you give them an opportunity to be bold and take risks. Aside from tailored clothes, this empowerment is a natural dedication test as each new employee has something to lose and if you’ve presented your startup’s work as meaningful, they won’t want to lose it.
Once on board, Jordan recommends encouraging, and more importantly allowing, employees to run departments like their own startups and always highlights their commitment by celebrating their achievements.
So to the age old headache of hiring and leadership, here’s an Advil – If you want to build a company that’s capable of scaling, don’t prescribe strict rules for it, simply let it be and get excited when you cross each milestone during the journey. And for CEOs concerned with maintaining culture during scale, just be you. Whether that’s a Bourbon loving, squirrel enthusiast like Jordan or Fashion Week worthy style mavens like Fueled’s Rameet Chawla and Ryan Matzner, forget the script and let your corky traits shine.