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Hiring For A Lot Of Roles Rapidly Without A Recruiter

Delegate
Hiring
Health / Stress / Burn-Out

2 July, 2018

The mentor explains how he took a novel approach to recruiting a number of people rapidly, by treating each role he was hiring for as a Project with a Project Manager.

Problem

A while ago, the company I was working for had offices in the US and in India. As soon as I joined, I had to move back to India to work for two months due to some visa issues. While I was in India I was told that I needed to hire around eight people for the Indian office over the course of a month. The Indian office only had eight people and didn't have an HR person, so this was going to be a big challenge.

Actions taken

Because some of the roles we had were very technical, it was difficult to find people who matched our requirements. We were looking to hire someone for HR, five to six engineers and a person working in UI. We considered having a recruitment company find applicants for us. However, it would have been prohibitively expensive due to our tight deadline and requirements for so many people. We needed to find a way to solve this issue in-house. To do this, we formed a temporary structure within the company to reach our goal. For each role we were recruiting for, we would choose people from within the team to act as a hiring manager, an observer, a coordinator. The hiring managers and observers were all senior members of our team. In addition, each role would have a hiring team who would do the interviews and this included more junior team members. I acted as the coordinator for all of the roles and would ensure that hiring for each of the roles was going smoothly. If it wasn't I would find ways to assist and would drive the hiring forwards. The role of the observer was to act as a project manager but just for the hiring process. They would ensure the deadline we had set and our daily targets were being reached. The hiring manager's job was to help the observer to work with the coordinator to ensure that they were following all the processes in terms of the number of interviews to undertake, what to cover in the interviews, what skills to look for, and to come up with a strategy to fill that role. For each role, we figured out how many stages candidates would need to go through to be hired. For example, if we wanted to hire one person, we needed to interview three people on site. To get three people on site, we needed 15 people on the phone. We then continued expanding the funnel to determine how many people we needed to reach out to. Next, we worked backward through the funnel to determine how many candidates we would need to reach out to. Our most challenging role to fill required us to reach out to 350 people. Because we wanted to hire without spending a lot of money, we got everyone to sign up for a month's free demo of LinkedIn Business. The Hiring Manager and Observer would split the task of using Linkedin to find candidates for their role, and they would try to meet a daily target in terms of the number of people they were reaching out to. They would then spend ninety minutes every day sending template messages to potential candidates with a personalized message on top. At times, it was difficult to motivate people to use LinkedIn to find candidates, as it wasn't the most interesting task, and it was extremely repetitive. However, because we were all friends and it was a small team, we incentivized what they were doing by providing free food and incentives to keep them motivated. We also only asked people to hire for people in their business segment, so they would be more interested in finding the right person for the role. While hiring, I was working 10 to 14 hour days to get everything done. However, it paid off in the end. By the end of the month, we had hired people for five of the eight roles, and two to three weeks after this we had hired people for all of the other roles.

Lessons learned

If you are really time-bound when hiring, be careful to manage your risks. If you can't observe everything that's going on, it is useful to democratize the process and have more observers. Having an observer for each role helped to ensure that if there were any issues, the issue could be raised with me, as the coordinator, so I could find a way to fix issues and mitigate risk.


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