Friday, October 12, 2012

Hiring Hustle: 5 Tips for Building a Killer Startup Team

1. Have a Structured Recruitment Process

It’s good practice to come up with a structured recruitment process, which you can evolve over time and bypass only for exceptional candidates. Having every candidate go through the same process means that you will have a level playing field on which to evaluate them; we’ve often found that when we’ve skipped our interview process for a candidate, there are glaring issues down the line that we hadn’t picked up on. Here’s a good step-by-step outline.

    Review the profile of candidates coming through and arrange a short call with the ones of interest.
    Keep the initial call to 15 minutes and mainly focus on assessing cultural fit to figure out if you’d get on working with this person. This is also an opportunity to “sell” your startup to the candidate and get them excited about what you’re working on. If the candidate is a cultural fit, then reach out to arrange a follow-up call for him to speak to one of your engineers.
    The follow-up call with an engineer will last roughly 15 to 30 minutes and center on getting a high level assessment of the candidate’s technical knowledge. During the call, they will agree on a time when the candidate would be free to spend roughly 30 minutes completing a technical interview question.
    Using tools such as Boomerang for Gmail or RightInbox, you can schedule to send a technical engineering question exactly at the time agreed upon with the candidate. At that point, you’ll be able to assess how fast he can problem-solve and how complete an answer they send back. For consistency, send all candidates the same technical question. A good place to look for inspiration for these engineering questions is university courses. If the candidate does well in the engineering interview, then invite them to your office for an onsite interview.
    When the candidate comes onsite, introduce him to the whole team, then have him work with different engineers through a series of engineering questions. Then give the candidate an opportunity to hang out with the rest of the team, perhaps over lunch. Review candidates based on this onsite interview.

2. Keep on Top of Your Hiring Pipeline

It’s no use having a structured interview process if you can’t keep track of what stage of the process each of your candidates is at. PipeDrive is a great way to manage various candidates and keep track of their recruitment process, but you could just as easily use Excel or Google Docs.

3. Utilize Different Tools To Get the Right Amount of Candidates