Must-Know Recruitment Practices
Director at Wayfair
At my previous company, I drove a major shift in how we hired, sourced and interviewed candidates. I'm a big believer that it is your problem as the hiring manager to fill your team's head count, not the problem of the recruitment department. You're the one feeling the pain. Not enough resumes on your desk? Lack of interviews? Open headcount? That's all on you. I, therefore, implemented this philosophy, this important shift of responsibility, with the buy in and support of my managers. I was then able to carry it over and we follow the same philosophy with the current company that I work for. Let's take a look at some of the practices that take place within this philosophy.
First, I suggest reading the book Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. It's a really easy read. Although the book was written from the perspective of a private equity firm who was hiring business leaders, most of the core fundamentals apply to hiring engineers as well.
There are a few ways to source candidates. Referrals are a great way to bring people on board and you should definitely take advantage of those the best you can. I also have LinkedIn Premium which my company pays for. I recommend signing up for their one-month free trial and making the most of the access you receive in that month and then continue on with their subscription if you need more time. Another great resource that my recruiters have is Entelo. It allows you to look up an email address from their name / LinkedIn profile and you will usually find their personal email. My recruiters will pass on email addresses to me and I reach out to them directly. My response rate is typically more successful than the recruiters because the email is coming from a hiring manager or somebody with a little more senior position. I also try to speak at conferences, go to networking events, host meetups and so on - that eventually leads to more candidates too but is a longer term strategy.
I also use the concept of a scorecard (which you can find more information on in the book mentioned above). My scorecards have two sections, one for objectives of the role and one for competencies (technical and behavioral competencies). The objectives include what I expect the person to accomplish in the first 3, 6, 9 months and so on. The competencies are the skills and values the candidate must ideally possess. I align my interview questions to these objectives and competencies. We try to be consistent with the questions and they are documented on the scorecard - they are divvied up amongst the interviewers so there is minimal overlap.
Finally, I'm big on owning the hiring pipeline and driving that. I have a service-level agreement with my recruiters on my expectations of how quickly I want the recruitment process to move along once we find a candidate. I try to be aggressive- I want to make sure that we are tracking each step of the process with every candidate, beginning from the first phone screen we make. Basically within two weeks I would like to get them on site, three weeks to make them an offer, and by week six they start.
- Take responsibility. It's your team and your head count. Start blocking off time in your schedule and commit yourself to sitting down and cranking through this stuff.
- Make the necessary shift in priorities. Recruitment should be the number one priority because we're only as good as our team. Once you feel like you've fulfilled your hiring requirements, only then do I recommend shifting priorities back to other important matters.
- Recruiting also involves brand-building, but that is more long-term. If your goal is to fill the head count then think short-term. It's all a numbers game. Volume, volume, volume.
- You have to add some rigor to the process. Authors Geoff Smart and Randy Street do a good job of outlining the fundamentals in their book, but ultimately you have to make it your own
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