The Debrief: Andy MacMillan on scaling hiring, empathy, and the introvert-extrovert gap

The Debrief is a series of conversations with founders, executives, and talent thought leaders on how they build talented and diverse teams, hosted by our own Teddy Chestnut. 

Andy MacMillan, the CEO of UserTesting, joined The Debrief to share lessons about hiring, the introvert-extrovert gap, and what makes a great CEO.

Here are some of our highlights from the conversation: 

Andy’s favorite interview question (2:57) – Tell me about a time when you were wildly successful when significantly under-resourced? 

Product Management as a CEO training ground (5:02) – Product managers are ultimately responsible for the success of a product but don’t own the resources to make it happen. Alignment is key to getting things done, and it’s an important trait to have as an executive. 

Why networks are critical (12:45) – The world is well networked and small. Be conscious of personal branding – a reference will play a big part in the decisions about your next job.

What leaders do (18:12) – It’s simple. Leaders hire people and make important decisions. 

The skill that should be taught more (20:00) – Mentors should teach mentees how to hire better. It’s likely what will determine their success in the long term.

Scaling hiring (25:55): At all levels, the most crucial thing is guidance and empowerment. Nothing de-risks a process, but leaders need to give managers tools and hold them accountable. That is how to scale hiring.

Testing for empathy (36:02): During the interview process, think about how people will behave within the confines of your company. Don’t just rely on company culture to change someone who may not act a certain way currently. 

Building offices internationally (43:23): Culture and getting to scale is key to success overseas. Find a balance between keeping your broader corporate culture and having a localized office culture. Think about having all functions in each office so that people feel they are a part of a company, not just an outsourced outpost.

Listen to the podcast or watch the entire conversation below:

Missed the last session of The Debrief? Catch up here.

More ideas from BrightHire