How We Hire at Administrate (Hiring Tips for Startups)

Like this? Share it with your network


How We Hire at Administrate (Hiring Tips for Startups)



This is how we hire at Administrate and was originally presented as a brief talk at the Edinburgh CodeBase educational series for Startup Founders and Chiefs. Feel free to learn from our mistakes and ...

This is how we hire at Administrate and was originally presented as a brief talk at the Edinburgh CodeBase educational series for Startup Founders and Chiefs. Feel free to learn from our mistakes and see how we hire!



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



5 Embeds 7,362 7352 4 3 2 1



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

How We Hire at Administrate (Hiring Tips for Startups) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. How We Hire Administrate  
  • 2. First, Some Assumptions •  People  and  Teamwork  are  the  most  important   part  of  our  business.   •  Our  values  drive  our  company,  therefore  they   drive  our  hiring  processes.   •  These  thoughts  are  based  on  our  experiences   hiring  more  than  150  candidates  over  the  last  10   years,  across  a  mix  of  companies.  
  • 3. Three Ways to Recruit Buy, Steal, Grow   Right  now,  we  grow.  
  • 4. Hiring Prerequisites •  Team  structure  (aka  an  Org  Chart)  –  this  is  the  “meat  space”  API  of   your  company!   •  Job  DescripHon  that  includes:   –  Day to day responsibilities (“A day in the life of”) –  Success factors –  Interfaces to other people, teams, etc. •  Company Values •  Time set aside to hire (1-2 hours per day) •  You’ve read Peopleware and watched Office Space •  Company handbook and employment contract.  
  • 5. Don’t have these prerequisites? Don’t hire. Period.
  • 6. Our Interview Process 1.  Hiring manager works the job themselves for a minimum of 30 days (if it’s a new position, or if they’ve never managed it before themselves). 2.  Refine the job description and success factors, using what’s been learned from Step 1. 3.  Interview 1.  Review blinded CVs (remove name and university whenever possible) 2.  Phone screen first (code test with screen sharing for devs) and have the money discussion. 3.  In-Person interview with hiring manager (candidate meets team, sees environment) 4.  2nd round interview (including team-mate) 5.  3rd round interview if “cross team functionality”, senior role, or if we have a lot of great candidates. 4.  Verbal offer and acceptance. 5.  Email offer and acceptance. 6.  Official offer letter and acceptance. 7.  Send contract over in advance to review. 8.  Arrive and sign contract.  
  • 7. About Our Process 1.  Candidates can (and often do) bomb out within 5-10 minutes on the phone screen. That’s OK. We just politely say we’re not for each other and stop wasting everyone’s time. 2.  We respond to ever single CV sent in. Always. 3.  The first window into a company is the hiring process. Don’t be late. Don’t reschedule interviews. Respect the candidates and the process. 4.  We try to blind things as much as possible to remove any potential for subconscious (or overt) bias, racism, or discrimination. The phone screen serves to remove appearance as a bias point too.  
  • 8. About Our Process (continued) 1.  We sort the money question early, as it can be a deal breaker. We are transparent about our pay range and don’t play games. We communicate the pay scale first. 2.  We don’t outsource critical components of our product or support, so we don’t outsource our hiring. 3.  We apply our “values” test during the interviews. If a candidate is unreliable, that’s a values problem for us, and we take it into account.  
  • 9. ProTips •  Figure out a way or a question that can help you test each of your corporate values. We strongly value reliability, so we’re testing this with every email and interview interaction. •  Trust your gut, but get a second opinion. •  Every company has a few insanely valuable people with nontraditional credentials. Make sure any process you put in place wouldn’t preclude you from hiring that person again. •  If you dress casually, warn the person in advance they don’t need to dress up! •  Be prepared to let your interview time run long if necessary.  
  • 10. Important Things We’ve Learned 1.  Transparency really matters. Almost no question is out of bounds. Why are you hiding something? 2.  First week and first impressions are key – make sure EVERYTHING is sorted prior to candidate arrival. 3.  We actively attempt to discourage candidates from coming on board by contrasting how we’re different from other companies. 4.  We anchor expectations (usually with a small salary adjustment) around the 90 day probation period. 5.  During high growth periods, employee referrals are key. 6.  The CEO must be personally involved in the first 150 hires.  
  • 11. REALLY Important Things We’ve Learned 1.  You’re changing someone’s life. This a truly important decision. Treat it like one. 2.  Approach all HR decisions with empathy and using the Golden Rule. 3.  The best way to create a political company culture is to not provide a transparent compensation path. 4.  Culture fit is really important. There’s no fixing poor culture fit. 5.  More employees, more problems.  
  • 12. REALLY Important Things We’ve Learned (continued) 1.  Educate, educate, educate. In all areas (technical, interpersonal, financial, etc.) 2.  Change titles and give senior titles slowly. 3.  A startup is stressful. We’ve long understood that lots of life changes shouldn’t be made together, so we want to make sure if there’s going to be lots of change in their life, we talk about how we’ll both work to manage it.  
  • 13. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING Employees are #1. Act like it.
  • 14. Frequently Asked Questions Q: This sounds really complicated. You guys are obviously a huge company. What about for small startups? A: We only have 13 employees. We’ve used this process from the beginning. You can (and should) too. Q: What if I can’t afford to do X? A: Then you can’t afford to hire people. Q: I don’t like HR. Can’t I just ignore this? A: We don’t like it either, but it’s part of being a company. Do it well and nobody will notice it. Do it poorly and it’ll destroy you. Q: How did you learn all of this? A: We made a lot of mistakes. Learn from us!  
  • 15. Questions? Comments? Feel free to get in touch!