This is a complex and varied topic, so even though I’ve written about hiring the best talent, making smart hiring decisions, and KPIs for People teams, there’s a lot more to unpack here. In this post, let’s go over how to think about the steps in your process and a simple checklist to follow.
I think people typically with the very formulaic (though necessary) steps that I’ve listed toward the bottom of this post. However, when building process, the design often begins at a level above the operational level. Here are some key elements that you’ll want to put some time into before you try to leverage against them:
- Employer branding is absolutely critical for early stage startups with little-to-no name recognition. This can often be combined with, or done in conjunction with, marketing efforts. Showing what the company culture, grand vision, current team, and exceptional opportunities are will pay certain dividends throughout the talent acquisition process.
- Determining who (besides the recruiter and hiring manager) are best suited to the interview process will ensure people’s time and efforts are not wasted; this will also allow the recruiter the appropriate bandwidth and energy to sync into helping those people achieve the highest level of success as a contributor.
- Compiling (or having compiled) a list of A-players in the roles you’re seeking or likely to be hiring for in the future, and starting to warm the pipeline for those roles can be the difference between making an exceptional hire within two months or making a pretty good hire after five months.
These steps are fairly ubiquitous and obvious: set up an ATS (paid or homegrown, but something to track candidates and feedback in), meet with the hiring manager to understand the role, research the job market as it pertains to this role to see what’s common and customary, use that information to build an excellent job posting and begin receiving submissions.
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you can begin leveraging all of the hard work you put in to lay out a process and train the interviewers as they begin seeing people who make it past the first stage. If written communication is key to this role (or to the company as a whole) then there should be a written component to the process.
As you start to hone in on the best candidate, you should begin checking references and ensuring that they are both effusive and in line with what the candidate said they would say about them (you asked the candidate that during the interview process, right?).
The number of steps and actual questions will vary depending on function and level, but here’s a helpful checklist to condense what I’ve discussed above:
- Button up your employer branding (recruiting sites, social sites, marketing site, etc)
- Build a fundamental process that provides key components to any interview and that can be utilized to build very specific versions for various roles
- Identify your talent acquisition cohorts and make sure they’re up to the task
- Always be looking for the best performers in your industry or in areas where you’ll likely hire multitudes of people (sales, engineering, etc) and store or start warming up those channels
- Meet with the hiring manager
- Research the market
- Build a great JD and get buy-in from hiring manager
- Post the job
- Reach out to potential candidates who look like they could be a great fit but who haven’t applied
- As applicable, reach out to candidates who have applied
- Phone screen, 10 minutes
- Second phone interview, 30 minutes
- Written or take-home component, 3-5 days
- In-person interview panels, 2-3 hours
- Reference checks, 3-5 days
Now get get ’em tiger, you got this!