Are You Recruiting Like Elon Musk? SpaceX CEO Reveals His Hiring Secrets

February 22, 2018 – 11:53 am

Recruiting Like Elon MuskYou don't found 4 companies without having a prodigious knack for hiring the right people.

More specifically, you don't found 4 of the most successful, innovative, and exciting new age companies without having a prodigious knack for hiring the right people. (later merged with Paypal), SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and SolarCity are all the brainchildren of one Elon Musk, whose fearless trailblazing attitude towards new-age tech has made him something of a demi-god among technophiles.

It's not merely his background with programming, branding, rocket science, economics, and physics that makes Musk such a talented organization builder. He's also supremely skilled in evaluating talent in face-to-face scenarios, in choosing the right candidate for a given role, and in selecting individuals who propagate a carefully delineated company culture. Luckily for us, this real-world Iron Man has spoken at length about this strategies for talent acquisition. Read on to see how the man himself explains his hiring strategies.

Late last year, Musk embarked upon an exciting new project with Tesla Motors. The mission? Developing an autopilot system for one of their latest editions, the Model S. Musk was thus tasked with putting together a team to make his goal a reality, so naturally, he took to twitter and put his own voice behind the hiring efforts.

Intense effort underway at Tesla to develop a practical autopilot system for Model S

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) — Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

Musk is really firing on all cylinders (pardon the pun) in what is essentially candidate outreach. Not only does he explain a specific project, which happens to be a supremely exciting opportunity, he also makes it easy for interested parties to apply by providing a tailor-made email address. In addition, Musk adds that the team will report directly to him. Even if software engineers weren't already clamoring for an opportunity to work with Musk, they always prefer to be in touch with their hiring manager or direct supervisor as early in the recruiting process as possible. Top marks, Elon.

This wasn't the first time Musk made efforts to be intimately involved in his companies' recruiting efforts. Back in 2008, onInnovation conducted this interview with Musk regarding how he goes about selecting the right hires, and even indulged his scientific side by asking him to put it in terms of the First Law of Physics. A few key quotes stand out:

I actually interview everyone at SpaceX personally. And we’re a 500-person company, so that’s a lot of interviews.


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