Modifying Recruiting, Interviewing, and Hiring Processes According to City Size

Jacob Meacham

SVP | Head of Engineering at Mindbody



"When I joined my current company, I was tasked with the mission of stacking up an engineering team in a much smaller city than I was used to. The goal was to make sure that the office was a viable place for a team and to ensure that it was successful. One problem I came across, though, was that our interview process was set up in a way that was fitting for larger cities like New York or the Bay area. In these places the candidate pool is essentially infinite. If you reject somebody that is good, there are hundreds of other people who could fill the spot. This is not true of smaller areas."

Actions taken

"As soon as I started I hit the ground running and became a vigorous recruiter. Within a couple of days I had already met with a number of professors at the local college, gone to meetups, and was extremely active in the recruiting process. I talked to everyone that I knew, I went to almost every tech event in the city, hosted some of my own events, had coffee with a ton of people, and cold emailed hundreds of candidates on LInkedIn in the surrounding areas."

"Moreso, I redesigned our interview process from the ground up. The new process ensured that we were still filtering out the false-positives but that we were minimizing the false-negatives."

"Additionally, I created a solid selling pitch. I practiced it in front of a mirror, then in front of colleagues, and finally in front of hundreds of candidates so that by the end I could pitch it in my sleep. Also, my fellow recruiter and I also had a 1, 2 punch where we knew exactly what each of us was going to cover during the sell."

"Over the course of six months I personally phone screened, interviewed, and sold around 300 candidates. In the thick of it all I was doing 30+ interviews per week and spending a huge portion of my time, ⅓-½, dedicated to the hiring process. By the end, I grew the team from 1 person, myself, to 30 people. So 10% of the candidates we found and screened I hired. That's pretty reasonable. And now our office is the largest engineering office within the company with a little more than a third of the people in the organization. Furthermore, of all the people that we hired, no one has been an underperformer. This is all evidence that the new implemented process was a success."

Lessons learned

  • "Figure out what makes you unique and pitch that to your candidates. This should be your selling point from the moment that you first contact them. That way they understand why you're different and why they should be interested in you. This means that you need to spend a significant amount of time really getting to know yourself, being able to say why the place that you're working at is amazing, and why that person you're talking to should work with you."
  • "I had the help of a technical recruiter but I still needed all the help I could get. Thus, because I was so enthusiastic about the recruiting process it made the rest of the team feel the same sentiment and they began to see themselves as recruiters as well. My ethos flowed through to them and they then became very active and engaged in the process."

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Jacob Meacham

SVP | Head of Engineering at Mindbody

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