How to hire at scale when your organization matures

Jeff Queisser

Cofounder and SVP Engineering at Box



Engineering managers often like to complain about recruiters—they're too slow, inefficient, don't find the right people, etc. But I believe that as a manager, one of your key responsibilities is to lead a high-performing team, and hiring is a big part of that. This is especially important when you're trying to hire at scale. If you're consistently filling roles, you need to create a process that allows hiring managers and recruiters to work together efficiently. One of the things that kills efficiency is rotating through engineering managers, recruiters, and sourcers.

Actions taken

Here at Box, we've created a system of fixed "pods." These generally consist of a hiring manager, one recruiter, two sourcers, and one coordinator. We've determined that each pod can handle a certain number of roles at any given time. So we assign each manager to a pod, give them a fixed number of roles that they can ask the pod to fill, and let them determine the best way to work together. Most pods will meet on a weekly basis, look at the funnel metrics of the recruiting pipeline, and function as a localized problem-solving machine. Anything they learn in their pod can then be shared out to other pods.

Lessons learned

  • Don't assign too open many roles at once. Determine what's a reasonable number of job openings for a pod and stick to it. If you try to assign them too many roles, you'll find that the process breaks down, becomes inefficient, and your close rates will suffer as a result.
  • Experiment with job descriptions. We've found that when hiring for a hard-to-fill role, it really helps to post several adjacent job descriptions. That way we increase the likelihood of finding someone who's interested. Similarly, if we've had success with a job description in the past, we may leave it open and then funnel applicants to a different role that's harder to fill.
  • Have two distinct groups: Those who define your philosophy and those who execute on it. As a company, it's important to define your hiring philosophy. Are you going to be like Google and use data to analyze everything? Are you going to be like Netflix and use a performance evaluation process to offset a high-risk tolerance when hiring? It's important to have a kernel of people who define this philosophy, create rubrics for determining who's a good interviewer and who's not, how to reduce bias from the hiring process, etc. But this group needs to be distinct from the group who is actually running your recruiting machine.

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Jeff Queisser

Cofounder and SVP Engineering at Box

Engineering Management

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