Members of our team are rewarded with stock options

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Cypress because they want to win. Members of our team are rewarded with stock options and the highest percentage raises in the industry. Everyone at the company, from the receptionists to the CEO, participates in an aggressive stock-option program. (We recently repurchased two million shares to fund that option program.) As for raises, our formal policy is to survey the competition, calculate the average of the three companies that grant the highest raises and add one-half a percentage point or more to determine the Cypress raise budget. We have a third principle: The interview and evaluation process should be tough, fair, and expeditious. Quality interviewing is the most important part of the hiring process—and something most managers are terrible at. We’ve developed several interview techniques to keep these sessions productive. (See the insert “The Science of Interviewing.”) Although the interview and evaluation process is demanding, it need not take forever. There’s no reason a manager can’t prescreen a candidate by telephone, bring him or her in for two rounds of interviews, and make an offer within one week. We’re not there yet; we meet the one-week target about 75% of the time. We also expect the hiring manager to be in daily contact with the candidate as the process unfolds. All of Cypress’s 1,400 employees have goals, which, in theory, makes them no different from employees at most other companies. What does make our people different is that every week they set their own goals, commit to achieving them by a specific date, enter them into a database, and report whether or not they completed prior goals. Cypress’s computerized goal system is an important part of our managerial infrastructure. It is a detailed guide to the future and an objective record of the past. In any given week, No Excuses Management https://hbr.org/1990/07/no-excuses-management 7 of 28 6/14/2018, 2:27 AM
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report to vice presidents, interview with two vice presidents. I interview all candidates who would report to vice presidents as well as many important individual contributors who report to managers. This is the technique Jerry Sanders used on me when I was considering joining Advanced Micro Devices. The first day I walked in the door, the receptionist in a building of 2,000 people smiled and said, “Oh yes, Dr. Rodgers, Jerry is waiting for you.” She took me right upstairs—no waiting in the lobby—and our session began. That’s the way to communicate to job prospects how valuable they are. 2. Make interviews tough and technically demanding—even for people you know you want. We are a hard-charging company in a tough business and have a no-nonsense way of communicating. People should know that before they sign on. At the beginning of the evaluation process, candidates receive a form that lists the technical skills the position requires, with whom they’ll be interviewing, and the questions they will be asked. This focuses the interviews and alerts the candidates to how rigorous the sessions will be.
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