Transform your hiring process today.


On the latest episode of The Debrief, LinkedIn COO Dan Shapero joined our Co-Founder Teddy Chestnut to chat about his experience building great teams. 

After nearly 15 years as a leader at LinkedIn, Dan has uncovered fundamental truths about finding excellent talent and scaling with intention. Dan unpacks these insights and stories in his conversation with Teddy, including:

  • His approach to hiring and how it’s evolved during his time at LinkedIn
  • The secret to expanding the candidate pool and hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds
  • What the future of recruiting holds

Read on to uncover five takeaways from our chat with Dan. Scroll down to the end to watch the entire conversation.

5 takeaways from our conversation with Dan Shapero

Balance performance and potential. 

Early on at LinkedIn, Dan’s manager Mike Gamson taught him a critical hiring lesson he’ll never forget. Evaluate candidates by balancing their performance with their potential. In other words, go beyond a candidate’s related experiences and consider how they might contribute to your team. 

Mike’s advice encouraged Dan to take big bets on people who could grow over time, and the approach has paid off. Many of the candidates Dan took a chance on turned out to be extraordinary leaders who are running LinkedIn more than a decade later. 

Ask questions that show you what a candidate values.

Dan’s favorite interview question is, ‘What are you most proud of?’ The question helps you understand what a candidate values, how they approach their work, and their depth of knowledge on a topic. 

A good answer will show you that a candidate is proud of doing work that’s hard and impactful. 

Get creative to expand your candidate pool.

Many organizations believe their talent pool is limited to candidates with similar backgrounds and experiences. But Dan was determined not to fall into this logic trap. Instead, he realized LinkedIn could expand their non-traditional talent pool by updating the onboarding process to provide additional training for people new to the industry. 

Dan and his team put this theory to the test. They decided to try hiring former teachers for sales roles. Although the teachers didn’t have direct sales experience, they had the right skill set: they were great at explaining complex ideas and communicating. 

As they began interviewing the teachers, Dan’s team revised the onboarding to address core knowledge gaps and teach essential sales skills. That way, as the former teachers began joining the sales team, they had everything they needed to succeed in their new roles. 

Be slow to judge a candidate.

Have you ever felt an immediate connection with a candidate you’re interviewing and realized their potential right away? You’re not alone – Dan says when interviewers share things in common with a candidate, they tend to see their potential faster. 

While this instant connection may seem like a promising sign, deciding on a candidate too quickly can cause you to miss out on great talent. Dan’s found that waiting to make a decision until the end of an interview helps avoid bias.

Hone your sales and marketing skills.

Dan thinks the future of recruiting looks a lot like sales and marketing. It’s no longer just about the candidate selling you on their skills. They’re also assessing you, so you have to be able to sell your company like a product.

Watch the entire conversation

There are so many great takeaways and insightful stories from our conversation with Dan. Uncover them all by watching the conversation:

Interested in more episodes of The Debrief? Watch the previous episode.

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