recruiting: good to great

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May 2013Recruiting: good to great


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

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Role of Talent

Create the Experience

Keep the Trains Moving

Troubleshoot Learn to use data

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Recruiting Process/Experience

Interview Structure

Preparing Offers

Compensation Data


Scaling Culture Steve Cadigan

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The Experience

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:Its purposeWhat it feels like to go throughMap steps and measure how long it takes

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The Experience

Basic Anatomy





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SetupGoal: 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 chopsIdeal candidates? Where do they work? Look through LinkedIn together

Process:Select interview team and give them responsibilities more to follow

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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

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Discovery: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 companiesWhat do they want out of their next position? Whats their current comp and what are they looking for? Stock vs. cash?Who are the decision makers? Parents, wife, kids, etc


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Goal: Evaluate Fit , Communicate the Responsibilities of the Position & Answer Outstanding Questions

Main Areas: Work Experience, Relevant Skills, Culture Fit.

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Work Experience Systematically breakdown what theyve 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

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Evaluation Relevant Skills: Break it down to the fewest people possibleTechnical SkillsProgramming languages, writing abilities, sourcingProblem Solving CS Fundamentals, deductive reasoning, situational questions They should be relevant to the position Practicals Tests, presentations, role playingCan 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 WorkCode Samples, writing samples, portfolio

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*Takeaways: Strength of knowledge on each required skillHorsepowerProblem solving abilitiesQuality of work

*2 - 3 interviews: Always leave time for questions and for interviewers to talk about their experience

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Culture Fit:Understand and quantify your culture first How do decisions get made? Conviction of ideas? How collaborative? Pedigree? Passions/Interests? Positive vs. questioning? How independent are people expected to be?

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The questions asked should be relevant to your current culture or the one youre trying to buildHow much control do you want over decisions? How do you handle disagreements with coworkers? What do you do if you disagree with a decision thats 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 wasnt required?When was the last time someone was critical of your work, how did you handle it?

*Takeaways: How well do they fit into the organization you have and do you think they can adapt?

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Connection 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

Check-in:Engage the candidate after their onsiteHow 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

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DebriefGoal: Moderate a discussion with Hiring Manager and Interviewer(s) to determine hiring decision

Facilitating the conversation:Require concrete dataAvoid statements like I feel

Be thoughtful about the order in which people give feedbackDont have the most influential people speak up first

Look for a championA weak YES is really a NO

Dont hire someone to be the weakest person on the team

Get value out of nos Know why they are a passLearn what would have made them a YES

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Close: pre-offerGoal: 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 candidate

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

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Close: talking numbers

Making Comp Recommendations

Employees comp history discuss earlyExpectations/Motivations (equity vs. cash) Industry benchmarksCompeting offers Internal comparisons

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Close: delivery

Figure out the best person to deliver the offerHiring 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

Negotiation Avoid unless theyre ready to accept

Sign-on Bonus

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Close: the counter

Mentally prepare the candidate for a counter offer

Strengthen their resolve

Stay connected, its not done until they show up

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Experience Killers

Time in processClock is ticking from initial intro or connectionTreat employee referrals like goldLumpy communication Follow-up immediately Missing interviews or being left waiting Not paying complete attention checking phone/emailInconsistent expectations between interviewers, candidatesAsking the same questionsPeople that dont know what the hell theyre talking aboutWeak ProcessNot challenging enough

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Useful Metrics

Goal: Understand conversion and time in process

Overall Conversion FunnelTotal Outreach response rate interview process offer

Instrument interview processTrack each stage in ATSUnderstand the funnel conversion from phone screen to offerTrack days spent in each step

Offer Conversion Run a post-mortem on each rejected offer, avoid making the same mistake twice

SourcesTrack where offers and hires come from, will help you better allocate time

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Define your philosophy:

Create salary bands

Dont be a slave to data but be aware when youre breaking band

Update bands each year

Start to level employees but dont worry about it until 50 or so

Stock Refresh@ 3 years in

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Comp: trends

Modest increase in salary and equity (