You are at the point in your business where the company is ready to hire the first person to head up a department (i.e.: sales, marketing, engineering). You are excited and terrified at the same time. You’re thinking “I have to get this right”... and you are right, you do!

How do you evaluate a person with an area of expertise that you are NOT familiar with? 

The answer, my friends, is being prepared, digging deep and really listening! Step outside of your first impression and be aware of your tendency of confirmation bias. 

Shift your focus on gathering concrete evidence and the outcome will be the correct decision every time. 

Our guest today: Liam Rose, Founder of Catalina Seven Ventures.

Liam is the founder of Catalina Seven Ventures, a Southern California consumer software startup. Before forming C7V, he managed the sales team for an Orange County-based entertainment startup. As a result of his own challenges trying to juggle health, academic obligations, and personal relationships while attending the University of Richmond, Liam created a new approach to life scheduling built to enable better balance. During his time at the Robins School of Business, he was selected as a 2019 Innovator Under 25.

Catalina Seven Ventures' first product, HORUS Life Schedule, is now available for Beta testing on iOS and Android (access available through the company website)." 

Today we discuss:

  • How to effectively make your first departmental hire

Challenge today?

Hiring the first person within a department

  • How do you make that hire
  • How do we know if the person is good
  • What's the barometer 
  • First tech person, marketing, HR or finance person

How do you know if the person is the best person do the job at the current stage

  • Culture & environment fit
  • Metrics & deliverables
  • How well they can make the connections between metrics and the outcome

Why is this important to the company?

  • They will be the departmental cultural lead
  • Top quality people hiring more top quality people
  • The greatest impression people get is from the interview process itself
  • Set the tone on how you are going to manage the person based on the interview process itself
  • Improved interview process results in a higher level of talent 
    • Demonstrates the ability to understand the individual
    • Ignorance of the process

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Every hire is critical at every stage of your start up!

How do we solve the problem? 

  • Signaling - feel a unique attraction to our company 

    • Job Advertisement
    • Distributed via word of mouth/referrals first 
    • The step beyond who we are. Bold- unapologetically ourselves
  • Demonstration of understanding 
    • Interview process
    • Realistic expectations
      • Show that people can succeed
      • Difficult but not impossible
    • Show professional empathy
      • What is going to make you most happy? 
      • What does the individual want?
      • Communication preference, invest in every core operation of the company
    • Calling the Hotline
      • Advisor de-risk
      • Outside influence to identify the obvious 

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Prepare yourself by adopting process, engage in interview training & experience 

    • Process: must have a flow and timing- Start on time, end on time

      • Discovery call (45 minutes)
      • Interview #1 Cultural (60 minutes) 
        • Deeply tied to corporate values/principles/culture
      • Interview #2 Working Session - judge skills (60 minutes - ½ day) 
        • Live example of how we work together, problem solve, communicate 
  • Interview Training
    • Behavioral interviews produce EVIDENCE to uncover the TRUTH
    • Assign interview questions to the individual interviewers
    • Prepare the candidate for what to expect
  • Experience (not yours, theirs)
    • A-players are attracted to excellence
    • Leave everyone feeling good about their time investment 

Key Takeaways -Value:

  • Their language, not your language 
  • Gets you the people you want rather than the people you can get
  • Use experience to de risk: everyone in your network. What you should avoid with absolute certainty

Guest Links:






This show is proudly sponsored by Criteria Corp:

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