August 8, 2017

Post-Funding Startup Recruitment (2/3)

Aik Deveneijns
Aik Deveneijns Founder/CEO

You’ve got the funds? Time to talent!

Hello again, my founding friends!

In Part 1 of the series, we briefly discussed the first P, that of people. How the people you hire need to fit into the culture you have decided upon, and how the people you already know may be able to introduce you to the people you hire. People, people, people.

But alright, let’s move on to P’s #2 and #3… Startup Recruitment Process and Payment

Create a startup recruitment process that will scale

Step 1: Get yourself an ATS (applicant tracking system).

No more passing CV’s through email and losing candidates along the way. This is where you will store CV’s, interview feedback, and where you will communicate with both candidates and your team about candidates.

Step 2: Use the video or phone screen before bringing candidates onsite.

It weeds out about 50% of candidates which saves both your time and theirs. You can tell a lot about a person in 3 minutes.

Step 3: Establish an interviewing team

Try to establish a team for every open position and stick to it. Consistency is key!

Step 4: Assign interview focal points for each member of the interviewing team

Try to keep these focal points consistent. Think about creating a question bank for interviewing Engineers.

Step 5: Interview day! Make them part of your process – ‘show and tell.’

Walk the candidate around the office, introduce them to their future team, have them eat lunch with employees if that’s a possibility, and try to show them the actual work/code being done on a day to day basis.

Step 6: Write your post-interview review/summary immediately after interviewing

Tip: Use the ATS. This way you won’t forget your interview if you have to refer back to it in a week. Your review will also act as data for the future. People re-apply to companies all the time and it’s important to be able to refer back.

Step 7: Conduct a post-interview discussion with the entire interviewing team

Try to do this step quickly after all interviews are over. Conduct this however you’d like, but do it and do it quickly.

Step 8: Extend offer (yayy!!) or decline

When it comes to extending an offer, but especially when declining the candidate give a reason as to why they are not a fit.

Please note: Your startup recruitment process shouldn’t be only about steps, but also about candidate experience. During this process, the candidate experience is absolutely crucial! You will have the best results if you build real relationships with the people who walk into your office.

Why does a good candidate experience matter?

Well, because candidates today often have multiple offers. And when it comes time to make a decision on which company to work for, they are going to think back to the interview, the product, and the relationships they’ve made or haven’t made. Those relationships are impactful when it comes to that decision.

Another factor they’ll consider is the salary which brings us to our next P…

Pay people what they’re worth. If you don’t someone else will.

It’s a competitive hiring market out there. Startups are absolutely the little fish trying to compete against the corporate sharks in terms of salary and benefits.

The amount of engineers I’m seeing ‘selling out’ (sorry engineers) for a bigger paycheck is substantial. Darn you ING!

But okay, I get it… You’re a startup and you can’t afford to pay people competitive salaries right now. The solution to this is very simple.

If you can’t pay your people with salary, don’t be afraid of giving away equity.

Quentin de Metz from PriceMatch/ summed this up very nicely. He says,

“Don’t be greedy. Giving up 1% of your company will not hit your wallet that hard. Besides, 90% of all startups fail anyway, so the chances of anyone cashing out are pretty slim.”

If you’re worried about equity, do what Quentin did. Do offer equity, but only after employees had been on board for one year. Seems pretty fair to me.

All very straightforward, right? Let these points marinade for a moment or have a look at the rest of the P’s.

Post-funding startup recruitment (1/3): People

Post-funding startup recruitment (3/3): Perks & Product

Ta-ta for now.

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