• To Be Great at Recruiting
• Great Recruiting is:
• Telling Stories – Company & Positions
• Understanding the Candidate
• Crafting an Experience
• Work to make it a strength of your org
Role of Talent
• Create the Experience
• Keep the Trains Moving
• Learn to use data
• The goal of recruiting is more than just a repeatable process, it is
about crafting an overall experience
• You should be deliberate about every step a candidate goes
through. Be aware of:
• It’s purpose
• What it feels like to go through
• Map steps and measure how long it takes
• Basic Anatomy
• Sync with manager on the ideal candidate and prepare the interview team.
• The Position:
• Why does this role exist and what is the potential impact to the company?
• What will the person work on the first 3, 6, 12 months? Why is it interesting?
• What hard skills do they need? Required vs. nice to have – prioritize
• Perquisite experience? How senior?
• What are you willing to trade off: domain experience vs. coding chops
• Ideal candidates? Where do they work? Look through LinkedIn together
• Select interview team and give them responsibilities – more to follow
• Goal: Generate Interest & Understand What They Value (LISTEN TO THEM)
• Generate Interest (storytelling):
• Why does the company exist and why does that matter?
• Why are you going to succeed where other have failed?
• Why does the company matter to you? Mission? Culture?
• Upcoming projects
• Set Expectations and Prepare for what lies next
• Why are they looking and how serious are they?
• What are they not getting from their current company?
• When are they looking to make a decision? Timing?
• Who is the competition? Other startups, founding something, large companies
• What do they want out of their next position?
• What’s their current comp and what are they looking for? Stock vs. cash?
• Who are the decision makers? Parents, wife, kids, etc…
*WRITE IT DOWN & SYNC WITH THE HIRING MANAGER
• Evaluate Fit , Communicate the Responsibilities of the Position &
Answer Outstanding Questions
• Main Areas:
• Work Experience, Relevant Skills, Culture Fit.
• Work Experience
• Systematically breakdown what they’ve done for the past 5 years.
• What projects where they working on? What were their specific
responsibilities? – Really dig into the details.
• What did they deliver? How did they influence the direction of the product?
• How much autonomy did they have to make decisions? Enough, too much?
• Did they work on core parts of the project?
• How did they deal with roadblocks? What happens when they get frustrated?
• Look for people that had key roles and that have had increased responsibility
over time. Each role should be a step forward.
*Takeaway: What have they done, how well did they do it, was it hard
• Relevant Skills: Break it down to the fewest people possible
• Technical Skills
• Programming languages, writing abilities, sourcing
• Problem Solving
• CS Fundamentals, deductive reasoning, situational questions
• They should be relevant to the position
• Tests, presentations, role playing
• Can be used as a filter if you have a lot of applicants or towards the
end of the process if you need to do a lot of selling.
• Examples of Previous of Work
• Code Samples, writing samples, portfolio
• Strength of knowledge on each required skill
• Problem solving abilities
• Quality of work
*2 - 3 interviews:
• Always leave time for questions and for interviewers to talk about their
• Culture Fit:
• Understand and quantify your culture first
• How do decisions get made?
• Conviction of ideas?
• How collaborative?
• Positive vs. questioning?
• How independent are people expected to be?
• The questions asked should be relevant to your current culture or the one
you’re trying to build
• How much control do you want over decisions?
• How do you handle disagreements with coworkers? What do you do if you
disagree with a decision that’s been made?
• What risks have you taken? What was the outcome, what did you learn?
• When have you gone out of your way to do something or learn a skill that
• When was the last time someone was critical of your work, how did you handle
*Takeaways: How well do they fit into the organization you have and do you think
they can adapt?
• Find ways of endearing the candidate to you
• Social interaction:
• Team lunch, dinner, golf, ping pong
• Potentially engaging other interests: family-life, outdoor activities, etc
• Engage the candidate after their onsite
• How excited are they?
• What questions do they need answered?
• Offer to spend more time outside of the interview process
• Discuss career growth and future aspirations
• Love Bomb:
• Have the interviewers reach back out
• Send a gift basket that relates to their interest
• Goal: Moderate a discussion with Hiring Manager and Interviewer(s) to determine
• Facilitating the conversation:
• Require concrete data
• Avoid statements like “I feel”
• Be thoughtful about the order in which people give feedback
• Don’t have the most influential people speak up first
• Look for a champion
• A weak YES is really a NO
• Don’t hire someone to be the weakest person on the team
• Get value out of “no’s”
• Know why they are a pass
• Learn what would have made them a YES
• Goal: Have the candidate ready to accept before the offer is delivered
• Begins at the Introduction: Reinforced through each stage of the process (slide 8)
• Take each thing they value and cross it off the list as you interact with the
• Have hiring manager and other leaders communicate the vision for the
company and how the candidate fits in. Why it is a career and not a job.
• Constantly check-in:
• How excited are they about the position?
• What concerns to the they have about the company, job, etc?
• What questions do they need answered?
• How does it compare to other positions?
• If terms could be agreed upon, would you accept?
• When can you start?
• Learn to position against: smaller companies, other startups larger companies
Close: talking numbers
• Making Comp Recommendations
1. Employee’s comp history – discuss early
2. Expectations/Motivations (equity vs. cash)
3. Industry benchmarks
4. Competing offers
5. Internal comparisons
• Figure out the best person to deliver the offer
• Hiring manager, CEO, Recruiter
• Have a “confidant”
• Typically the recruiter, someone that can discuss the details of the
offer while still being removed from the negotiation
• Avoid unless they’re ready to accept
• Sign-on Bonus
Close: the counter
• Mentally prepare the candidate for a counter offer
• Strengthen their resolve
• Stay connected, it’s not done until they show up
• Time in process
• Clock is ticking from initial intro or connection
• Treat employee referrals like gold
• Lumpy communication
• Follow-up immediately
• Missing interviews or being left waiting
• Not paying complete attention – checking phone/email
• Inconsistent expectations between interviewers, candidates
• Asking the same questions
• People that don’t know what the hell they’re talking about
• Weak Process
• Not challenging enough
• Goal: Understand conversion and time in process
• Overall Conversion Funnel
• Total Outreach response rate interview process offer
• Instrument interview process
• Track each stage in ATS
• Understand the funnel conversion from phone screen to offer
• Track days spent in each step
• Offer Conversion
• Run a post-mortem on each rejected offer, avoid making the same mistake
• Track where offers and hires come from, will help you better allocate time
• Define your philosophy:
• Create salary bands
• Don’t be a slave to data but be aware when you’re breaking band
• Update bands each year
• Start to level employees but don’t worry about it until 50 or so
• Stock Refresh
• @ 3 years in
• Modest increase in salary and equity (<5%) from 2012
• Average Salary for New Grad Engineers at top companies: $100K
• Companies are essentially paying 2 years ahead of current experience
• Will likely push other salaries up
• Little to no discount on salary for early stage companies
• Perks are getting more creative
• Laundry service, task rabbit, uber