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Episode 40 of 62

Executive hiring is incredibly difficult to get right — Robinhood COO Gretchen Howard shares her playbook

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Today’s episode is with Gretchen Howard, COO of Robinhood. Gretchen joined Robinhood in early 2019 as the company’s COO and just its second executive hire. She climbed aboard the Robinhood rocketship after 5 years building CapitalG, Alphabet’s investment fund.In today’s conversation, we dive really deep into what she’s learned about executive hiring. To start, she explains how to align the hiring profile to the trajectory of the business to make sure you’re investing in the right places. She also unpacks her hiring philosophy as it pertains to Robinhood, including balancing financial industry expertise with an innovative, hands-on mindset that’s critical for startups.Next, she walks us through the executive interview process she’s crafted at Robinhood, including the three traits that are always at the top of her wish list for candidates — including sussing out whether someone has a “knower” versus a “learner” attitude. She also explains her complicated feelings towards certain interview exercises and how she leverages reference checks. Finally, she shares her tips for successfully onboarding new executives so these hires don’t result in what she calls “organ rejection.”If you’re struggling with your executive hiring — whether it’s coming up with the right candidate profile, aligning on culture fit, or finding that your interview process doesn’t seem to be surfacing the best candidates, this conversation is a must-listen.You can email us questions directly at review@firstround.com or follow us on Twitter @ twitter.com/firstround and twitter.com/brettbersonLearn more about how Cocoon makes employee leave easy by visiting https://www.meetcocoon.com/