As a growing organisation, a startup will do well to have a streamlined process in place for the hiring, interviewing, vetting and onboarding of candidates, with clearly defined steps to ensure process consistency among all internal decision makers.
In Part One of our hiring series, we shared how a sales-like approach to hiring can multiply one’s results. Owing to a strong outbound engine, coupled with optimised recruitment partnerships, and hiring channels, you can have a sufficient number of candidates at the top of the funnel. So, what next?
In this part-2, I’ll walk you through how you can ensure candidates move smoothly through the interview process and there is zero compromise on the quality of people that join your team.
As a founder, when your team is small, you are personally able to critically evaluate each candidate. But as the team grows, multiple stakeholders start getting involved and you are not the only one taking the decision. This calls for a streamlined process with clearly defined steps to ensure process consistency among all internal decision makers.
A) Create a job description
This one’s quite obvious, but it’s important how you go about executing it. Treat this as your sales pitch to the ideal candidate. You can even go really creative here and do something like this video by Salesforce. But whatever you do, the most important thing is to sell right.
Apart from the regular role responsibilities and requirements, start with describing what your company is building, why you are building it, and what’s it like to work with you. Include company videos/photos/blog posts and give strong reasons for why an experienced candidate should take you seriously.
Writing a job description is something that members of your team will do very often, and it will not always be the same person doing it. Productising repetitive aspects of this process can help remove any biases and also ensure that the process runs smoothly without any internal communication loss.
At Squad, for example, the hiring owner creates the first version of the job description using a predefined template. This helps ensure standardisation across all roles. Within the description:
B) Define the hiring process
Each hiring consists of multiple stakeholders, involved at different steps of the process. One needs to make sure that everyone has clarity on their responsibilities in the process.
Just like the job description, the hiring owner can use a predefined template to share with internal stakeholders the whole process and steps involved in hiring for a particular role.
Any process document must include the following:
Once we’ve finished defining the overall process of hiring, the next step is figuring out distribution.
In broad strokes, think about all the online spots the ideal candidate would be hanging out at. Are they on any specific job portals, communities or groups? In case of freshers, any specific schools that specialise in the skills you are looking for?
Pro-tip: One key channel here is ‘referrals’. If your whole team hasn’t spent time asking friends and acquaintances to apply then you’re probably missing out on some great candidates.
We’ve shared detailed insights on acing distribution in Part One of this series.
D) The interview process
Though this varies from role to role, the basic structure remains more or less the same:
As humans, a majority of us make use of our ‘gut instinct’ while making the final call on a hiring decision, and more often than not it doesn’t turn out to be the right decision.
Result: churn, and not to mention all the hiring effort that immediately goes down the drain.
Which is why it is wise to use data internally to make hiring decisions. This ensures you are removing any biases and doing a holistic evaluation before coming to a conclusion.
Having a well-defined scoring matrix that scores everything from the traits you are looking for, to values, skills, strengths and weaknesses helps in making more informed decisions.
Taking inspiration from hiring committees at Google for the final leg of your evaluation for an engineering hire, hold a debriefing where all the stakeholders involved in the hiring process submit their evaluations. These should then be collated, discussed and debated upon before making a final hiring decision on the candidate.
F) Making the offer
And then we’re finally here – we’ve found our knight in shining armour to spearhead critical business processes.
But we still have to do some not-so-interesting stuff, like sending out an offer letter, getting legal papers signed, and more. Back and forth communication with different members on the team just to send simple document with a few details is something I’m sure none of us fancy.
The solution here, is simple. Productise this process to ensure there are no loose ends:
After the candidate sends back signed copies of these documents, you kick-start the onboarding process, which I’ll talk about more in Part-3 of this series.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)