The Meme: Five Tips for Hiring

23 April 2007 at 6:56PM Leave a comment

Last month, Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and CEO of Atlassian, started a meme asking for the Top Five Tips For Startup Hiring. Mike, I’m glad you asked. I’ve done my share of start-up, high-growth hiring. Here’s my $.02:

1. Put a link to your “Careers” section on the front of your web page. The web guys won’t like it – it spoils the cool vision they had. They’ll claim it looks too crowded (no) and that you’re soliciting customers (well, yes). Don’t let them shut you out. Help your busy candidates find your opportunities quickly. Then ask the web guys to check. They should find that your “Careers” pages are the busiest on your site.

2. Take time to interview your final candidates. Too many hiring managers think they can get all they need from a 30 minute interview. Geoff and Brad Smart of Topgrading fame suggest that every hiring manager should do a three hour final interview that covers everything from high school to yesterday. That may sound a bit extreme, but think about it. You’ll have to live with this person (and their work) for at least eight hours a day. Your success depends on their success. Don’t you want to know who they are?

3. Maximize your candidate touch points. Every experience a candidate has interacting with your company is a touch point. Make those touch points positive. Are you leaving Mr. Candidate out in the lobby cooling his heels for 10 minutes after every half-hour interview? Does your web application continually lose candidate information? Did you tell the candidate how much time to block out for the interview? Each of these touch points says something about your company. Make sure it says something good.

4. Interview behavior is best behavior. Does your candidate seem a little odd? Did they snap at you, argue or never answer the question you asked? Guess what – it’s never going to get any better. It can, and probably will, get worse, but it will never get better. Don’t let desperation blind you to what the person in front of you is really doing.

5. You’re not done until the new hire starts. Second thoughts happen. A good candidate will have other opportunities knocking at their door while you’re preparing for them to start. Don’t depend on HR – you keep in touch with the candidate. Send them press releases, call them to check up. Remind them that they are wanted. Set the stage for their first project. Mr. Candidate should be more excited to start day one than he was when he signed the offer letter. Otherwise you’ll lose him.

10 Word Bonus Point: Get off to a good start with a good orientation. Your new hire will need some structure to get them going. Orientation is the payoff – where you prove what your corporate culture really is.

Here’s the meme from Mike Cannon-Brookes:
Life Is A Hire Way: 5 Tips For Startup Hiring

1. Recruiting Is Marketing [editor’s note: YES YES YES!]
2. Trust Your Team
3. You Don’t Win With Money
4. Make Space For Smart People
5. Know When To Fold’em (at hire/no hire time)
Quickie Bonus Tip: No Keyword Hiring

Don MacAskill has tagged the meme at
How we hire at SmugMug:

1. Get the right people on the bus (and get the wrong people off).
2. Hire for passion first, talent second.
3. Passion for the job, not passion for the company.
4. Getting stuff done.
5. Embrace diversity.
Bonus: Hire your own customers.

Check these tips out!


Entry filed under: Corporate, The Art of Recruiting. Tags: , , .

REA: Etched Glass on a Low Rectangle REA: Best Career Web Site? (#1 of 4)

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My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.


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