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Come talk to me

Gary Hirshberg tells WS how he spots talent

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in Hiring,Human Resources

There’s one thing that Gary Hirshberg, a self-described cheapskate, will spend good money on: people.

Hirshberg, the president and CEO of Stonyfield Farms, a yogurt maker in Londonderry, N.H., loves to nurture his rising stars and give them opportunities to grow on the job. With only 150 employees generating $50 million in annual sales in 1998, he asks a lot from each of them.

In this interview, Hirshberg discusses his hiring philosophy and how he gets to know his employees.

WS: Do you find it hard to know your employees?

Hirshberg: Yes. There’s this misunderstanding about my role as CEO. Some of the newer employees see me as having this mystique. They keep their distance. I used to have “Lunch With Gary” sessions with a sign-up sheet. After awhile, I found that only the old-timers were taking me up on it. So I have to find new ways to be accessible.

WS: What new ways?

Hirshberg: I just talk to people. I encourage them to open up...(register to read more)

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