Chapter 1

How to Build an Effective Hiring Process

An important startup hiring concept to understand is the recruiting life cycle. While each organization is different, every one will need to provide structure and guidance to every candidate being recruited and it should follow the same process each and every time. 

Think of your company’s recruiting lifecycle as an extension of your company culture. With every touchpoint, you’re extending an invitation that says, “Hey, join us!” Make sure that your candidate feels valued and welcomed. Processes are, by definition, rigid. Culture helps fill in the gaps to humanize your company. 

According to job search platform Indeed, there are six stages that make up an end-to-end recruitment process.



The Startup Recruiting Process

1. Preparation

Getting started with hiring means getting organized. That means meeting with your leadership team to identify positions that your company needs, determine salary ranges for roles that you’re opening, understand the right personality traits for your organization, and create an inspiring job description. 

Before any of that, consider using our Success Profile Template to help guide your criteria. 

2. Sourcing

With your ducks (i.e. your job description) in order, you’re in a good position to start spreading the word. In addition to waiting for people to apply, you’ll need to put yourself out there to reach your audience. 

Most likely, you’ll rely on a mix of job boards, industry communities, and word-of-mouth referrals. It’s also important to keep your door open to internal candidates who may be seeking a career change. Most of all, it’s important to make sure you’re sourcing diverse candidates. More on that later.

3. Screening 

This step is meant to streamline your interviewing process.  Out of all the job applications that you receive, you need to invest your time in the people that you’re most likely to hire — not every person, no matter how amazing they are, will be a fit for a particular role. Your screening process may include a series of steps that include resume reviews, phone calls with recruiters and hiring managers, or portfolio evaluations. 



4. Selecting

At this stage, you’re ready for the most exciting part of your hiring process — interviewing candidates! Now is the time to get to know your prospective hires in depth and to understand the many skills that they bring to your organization. The key to succeeding with these interviews is to prepare your questions ahead of time. You may also ask your candidates to complete a take-home pilot project. Especially if you’re hiring for a technical position, it will be important to work through some code together.

5. Hiring

After your interviews are complete, you’ll be in a good position to narrow down your candidate pool to a few options. Once you’ve decided who you want to hire, the next step is to extend a formal job offer. This is the stage where your candidate has an opportunity to ask questions and negotiate terms around salary, bonuses, and benefits. It’s crucial to be open, honest, transparent, and supportive of the candidates’ needs.

6. Onboarding

Now that you’ve found the right hire, it’s time to integrate them into your team. The onboarding period starts before the new hire’s first day and continues for upwards of several months.

Candidates should know exactly what first steps to take on day one. For that reason, it may make sense for your recruiting team to send over paperwork and “day one” instructions in advance of a formal start date. If your employee is remote, you may consider scheduling a series of kickoff meetings to ensure that the person does not feel lost.

The biggest benefit to a defined hiring process is the candidate experience that you create.

It’s important that every potential teammate feels supported and valued through the application and interview process. With a recruiting framework in place, you’ll reduce the potential for an important detail (such as a scheduling email or calendar invitation) to fall through the cracks. As a result, every candidate will benefit from a personalized and tailored experience.

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