If you want to build a world-class company, you need to hire world-class talent. This is why I believe recruiting is the single most important skill your organization can invest in. The best and brightest developers, product managers, marketers, and salespeople have the luxury of being selective in who they work for; if you can’t convince top talent to join your mission then what makes you think investors or customers would be onboard? Your hiring process shouldn’t be a static, industry-wide routine, it should be an ever-changing, dynamic technique that is specific to your company, mission, culture, and team.
First and foremost, outsourcing your recruiting process is a mistake. Nobody understands your company’s dynamics better than you or your colleagues so hiring should be a team effort. In the early stages of your company’s growth you can build the foundations of a strong team by hiring a handful of people you know from your own network. As you grow larger, raise more funding, and launch new initiatives, you’ll have more support from your team to help with hiring; recruiting is scalable if you have a flexible team working toward the same goal.
I thought I was a natural-born recruiter until I met Paul English. HubSpot CTO Dharmesh Shah and Paul English, CTO of Kayak, traded places for a day and my talks with Paul made me rethink my whole hiring technique and process. He introduced me to his Seven Day Rule, a discipline recruiters at Kayak use wherein they offer promising candidates a position within seven days of first connecting with them. Around that same time, I had just lost three talented candidates because I hadn’t prioritized reading their intro emails or following-up. My team missed out on valuable talent because I wasn’t quick enough- naturally, the Seven Day Rule hit home for me. But to make the Seven Day Rule work for me and my team, we needed a process that would match our recruiting style.
Lindsay Grenawalt, a Recruiting Partner at Google Ventures at the time, was a driving force in bringing our process to reality. She shared Google’s systematic approach to recruiting and interviewing with me to help me outline an effective process I could implement with my team. We borrowed strong aspects of Google’s interview process as a foundation and customized it to fit our style, culture, company, and mission. We designed an authentic recruiting process we could own by combining the Seven Day Rule with Google's interview technique and wrapping it up in a package that matched our team’s zeal to get great talent through the door. Now, it's not a surprise to hear candidates express how fast and unique our recruiting process is.
Recruiting isn’t one size fits all. You have to develop a repeatable process that works for your team, your company, and your candidates to make hiring smooth and effective. Get started now by sitting down with your team and outlining your interview process- collaborate to craft a plan that is agile and professional while echoing your company’s culture and leveraging your competitive edge. This process should be updated, tweaked, and altered as you grow, but you have to start small by looking at yourself and your co-workers for inspiration.