Idan Cohen on Hiring Product Developers Based on Cultural Fit

In Chapter 7 of 13 in his 2013 Capture Your Flag interview, technology entrepreneur Idan Cohen answers "How Have You Learned to Better Assess Fit When Hiring New Employees?" Cohen shares how first you need to understand if candidate is technically competent to do the work. Second and more importantly, Cohen assesses cultural fit and whether or not the candidate will connect with the family feeling in the office.

Idan Cohen is a technology entrepreneur and product management leader at Samsung Electronics. He co-founded Boxee, which was acquired by Samsung in early 2013. 


Erik Michielsen: How have you learned to better assess fit when hiring new employees?

Idan Cohen: I used to do a lot of the sourcing of new people. So after you kind of figure out that technically, professionally they are the right people for you, which is actually hard and not-- you know, you're not always able-- a lot of people that look good on paper and look good in interviews and extensive interviews-- it doesn't guarantee how they're going to be professionally. But because of that, I think that the most important thing is actually having a good fit culturally, fostering that company culture and creating this family feeling where everyone is really connected.

And it's not always that everyone is connected to everyone, but even-- like, there's just overlapping groups inside of the company. And you really want to find people that can not just find their place but find their place within the group.

And I think that affects also productivity. When someone is extremely connected to the group, he is much more connected to the product, he is much more connected to the vision, and he enjoys his job better, and he performs better. When it's someone that's very much an individual, it can be a much harder job to do-- or it's just-- it's more of a struggle on everyone's side.