Tips For Fast And Effective Recruitment

Ilya Pesahovsky

Engineering Manager at Meta



I began working at Dailymotion as the Director of Engineering to build a backend, a frontend and a QA team for a project that was being built from scratch. When I joined there were no lines of code, and no GitHub, so we operated as a start-up from within Dailymotion. While we had support from Dailymotion, it was a standalone project.

My biggest challenge was the hiring process. I started as a hands-on engineer with the title of Director of Engineering, but I needed to build a UI team, a backend team, and a QA team by hiring 16-17 people very quickly. As part of the hiring process, we had to deal with a huge number of external recruiters. This was challenging for me, as I was faced with dealing with numerous interviews and resumes for a large number of different roles.

Actions taken

At first, I told the recruiters to send me everything they had. I told them I'd go through them all and try to weed out candidates who didn't look like a good fit. However, this very, very quickly took up all of my time, meaning I was unable to start working on the project.

The biggest problem I faced was all of the resumes I was receiving. I found the most effective way of handling this was telling recruiters that they had just two chances. If they screwed up twice, I would cut the relationship with them, for all existing and future position. It was fine for a candidate to look promising, and then for me to discover that they weren't as good at coding as I'd expected. However, what wasn't fine was if I asked a recruiter for resumes of frontend engineers with experience with a specific technology, and the engineer then turned out to have just read a book about it. That's work that the recruiter should be doing for you. By making this very clear, I went from receiving 150-170 resumes a week to 30-35 a week.

I also needed to find a way to separate the candidates, so I began to set up quick screening interview calls, especially for development positions, to weed out people based on this. However, talking to someone doesn't always work. There were some people who sounded great on the phone, but when we set up a day for an interview we found that they couldn't code. After discovering this problem, I started to use CodePad. This allowed me to do live coding with the developers, and I was able to quickly weed out 70% of people within half an hour, as CodePad allowed me to immediately see whether the developers could code. Where people were not able to code, I was quick to finish the interview, even halfway through. It's not always a comfortable conversation to have, but it saves both your time and the candidate's.

Once candidates are onsite for the interview, I always make sure to tell them that the interview is a two-way street. If we hire someone we want to be sure that they will be happy and comfortable, so I always try to be upfront about both what's great about the company, but also what our challenges are. People really appreciated this approach, as they could see that the company was honest and upfront, and it helps to reduce the chance of candidates leaving the company just a few months after being hired.

Lessons learned

Teams are all about the people in them and the culture that they create. Having a good culture is important to the health of the organization, and the team and their day-today-life. Because teams are all about people, you need to hire the right personalities. They need to not just be great individuals, but need to be able to work well together.

Tell them about the job, but don't oversell it. Be upfront about what the job entails for your candidates, and tell them that they need to like the company too.

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Ilya Pesahovsky

Engineering Manager at Meta


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