Do you wonder how you’re going to make the right hire? Does the process seem daunting? Bloom Talent recently held office hours at Heavybit where we had the opportunity to advise startups on how to address this topic.
Hiring people can be hard, time consuming and can feel overwhelming but creating an intentional system will make the process enjoyable and far more effective. Collectively agreeing on a process as a team and implementing it for all hiring across the board will have a positive impact on your company. Below are our 6 steps to hiring well.
We hope this helps and inspires you to hire your next Ops, Admin, HR, Marketing, Sales, Engineering, Customer Success, Product Manager and/or any other crucial person within your organization!
6 Steps to Hiring the Best People Ever
1. Write an effective job description.
One of the biggest hiring mistakes companies make is not knowing exactly what they are hiring for. Take time to think about what your organization really needs before starting the process. Brainstorm with key stakeholders for collective input.
Write your job description with the candidate in mind. It should be accurate, but also highlight the opportunities that this role offers. Be intentional when defining the preferred qualities of this role. Does this person need to be empathetic and intuitive? Is this role an individual contributor and therefore need to thrive working alone? The market is competitive, so be sure to include perks and benefits of working for your company.
2. Source the right candidates.
Everyone wants to know the key to sourcing top talent, and the truth is, it takes time! The good news is that if you put in effort at the start, you will have higher quality results faster. Start by identifying an ideal profile as a benchmark for sourcing. Create a list of relevant job titles and companies you would like this person to come from and connect with these people. Send targeted, personal emails about why you are interested in their background and why they should consider working for you. Ask if they are open to a quick conversation or to a meeting.
A consistent, engaging digital presence is key to establishing connections with candidates who may not be job hunting right now. By sharing information about your company on a blog and on social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, you help people get to know your company on a more personal level, which can help them realize they’d love to work for you. Every person you connect with that has an appealing background should be put on a list so that they can stay on your radar.
3. Make your interview process meaningful.
Identify what your interview process will be. It is common to start with a phone or video screen followed by an in-person with key stakeholders. A final interview should involve more of your team and include a social component (lunch, coffee, happy hour).
Set a purpose for each of the interviews with a defined result. If there is more than one person interviewing, coordinate with interviewers so they are not asking the same questions, which can be both frustrating for the candidate and a lost opportunity for your team to optimize the time with this person. Interviewers should have a rubric that outlines the experience and qualities they should be assessing. Ask a combination of standard and behavioral interview questions and get specific examples from their previous experiences. Here are some example questions:
- Why our company?
- What part of the role are you most excited about?
- What is an example of a project you took initiative on?
- How do you like to be managed and how do you manage others?
- Did your level of responsibilities grow or change at your job?
- When did you experience conflict with colleague and how did you resolve it?
- What are your careers goals and ideal next steps?
- How do you prioritize tasks and stay organized?
- What inspires you?
- What are three adjectives that best describe you?
If you are hiring for a role outside of your expertise, consider meeting with someone within that domain to better understand what you should be looking for. They can provide an unbiased insight into the types of questions to ask, experience to look for, and even appropriate salary ranges.
4. Create a great candidate experience.
This is essential. Top talent is in high demand and have options about their next opportunity. A well thought out interview process leaves a great impression on the candidate about your company. For longer, onsite interviews, provide your candidate with a schedule of what to expect. If it is over two hours, consider building in a break for water, a snack, etc. Even if the person isn’t the right fit, they should still walk away feeling good about your company and the experience.
You need to sell your company to great candidates. Do a good job of telling your story, vision, and where this candidate plays into that. Address where this position can lead, and how promotions are given within your company. Great candidates want upward mobility, and room for development. End the interview with explaining next steps. It's important to set expectations with your candidate by giving a heads up about what to expect next.
5. Determine a good culture fit.
Define your internal company mission statement and values. This is often closely connected with your brand as a whole. These values should be qualities that you want to see and develop in your team.
Try interviewing in an informal setting, like lunch with the team, which allows candidates to relax and be themselves. Have someone on the team who is heavily involved in culture do a culture fit interview where the candidate shares about personal interests, general background and lifestyle. Ask yourself if this is someone with whom you enjoy having a conversation.
6. Make the offer.
Moving quickly with a great candidate helps keep up momentum and energy. Don’t substitute speed for quality, but remember that a candidate’s excitement for an opportunity may wane if there is a lot of time between interviews and you may lose them to other opportunities. Booking subsequent interviews within the same week shows a candidate that you are serious about making this hire and about them in particular.
Do you know if your offer is competitive? Consider the value of your benefits and perks, this can be very important to candidates in addition to salary.
Start by calling the candidate to extend a verbal offer. Lay out the salary, benefits and start date over the phone and give the candidate a chance to ask questions. Follow up the call with a formal written offer and provide a deadline for when they have to decide.
If your company is offering equity, below is a great resource to determine how much equity to provide: https://fi.co/posts/885.