Whether your company has five employees or one hundred, there’s always room to improve your hiring process. How to Hire, the first comprehensive book about recruiting, with insight from over a thousand hiring managers, candidates and VC’s, is a great way to hone in on the best way to hire talented candidates and set your team in motion on the right track.
We sat down with a few contributors from the book, CEO and Co-founder of Knot Standard, John Ballay, Senior Manager of Recruiting & Human Resources at Spring, Caitlin Wilterdink and Investor at Greycroft, Will Szczerbiak, to learn more about their individual processes.
It’s not often that you find a founder, hiring manager and VC in the same room discussing the hiring effort. Below are a few key takeaways from the discussion that covered topics such as establishing company goals, training your team, structuring the interview process, scaling, hiring in 2018 and more.
Adam Goldstein: How do you train your team? When do you bring other people into the interviewing process and how do you teach them?
John Ballay: As a founder, you overestimate how much you actually are training people, right? So you think of course you should know what to look for, what to ask for and all of the above, but if you were to sit down and compare notes, you’d be surprised. You may actually be passing each other in the night without actually saying the same thing. You’ve got to be out in the open and on the same page. These are the values of our business, this is how we would ask people if they fell into those buckets and those values, this is what those responses would tell us and all of the above.
Adam Goldstein: How do the investors get involved? I know with Greycroft, we had a senior hire that we asked the partners, one of the founders at Greycroft, to help us interview. So how often do you get involved with the process? If they do get involved, do the individual companies ever train the investors, like here’s what we’re looking for?
Will Szczerbiak: We take the cue from the team as for when we get involved, but generally it is for functional heads or more senior hires. But I know me, personally, I’d be happy to talk to anybody that you have a question about. It’s really a second set of eyes. In terms of training investors, it depends on how much you want to utilize us throughout the process. But if you have a specific set of questions that you would want your investors to ask, then you should absolutely tell your investors that. So, from a training standpoint there’s that, but there’s sort of an indirect training that happens from knowing you, from knowing the company, knowing their values and what they’re trying to accomplish and the vision they’re trying to realize. Because I think that ultimately carries the day when it comes to making successful hire.
Adam Goldstein: A lot of companies have different processes, but what does the ideal recruiting process look like? How do you go about structuring a recruiting process?
Caitlin Wilterdink: It’s important to have a structure in place before people come in. Things that I built early on at Greenhouse and then brought to Spring is a kick-off document. It’s something we use to understand what our hiring managers are looking for. And the things that are on that are knowledge, skill and abilities, which turns into the scorecard by which we measure our candidates. And then you look at short term goals, so what does this person need to do in 90 days and then 6 months, hopefully a hiring manager will have a really good idea of what they will do in 6 months? And if not, do we need this role or is this a short term project we can hire an intern or something like that? And then what we do is use that to open the role, build the job description, and my team does most of the initial interviews.
To hear the entire conversation, listen to the recording here.