Are you tired of hiring too slowly, making ineffective hires who either underperform or leave, as well as paying a fortune in unwanted recruitment agency fees due to an ineffective and inefficient hiring function?
In this short blog we will share six simple tactics to help Series A Founders and Heads of Talent to streamline your hiring process and efficiently identify top talent as you grow your company from Series A to B, and beyond.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that your hiring process should be designed to efficiently and effectively identify top talent. Talent is the lifeblood of any scaling startup, and the quality of your company will be highly dependent upon the quality of your talent. And the quality of your talent will be dependent upon the quality of your hiring processes.
With that in mind, here are six tactics you can use to streamline your process:
Clearly define the role and responsibilities
Before you start the hiring process, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what the role entails and what the candidate will be responsible for. This will help you attract the right candidates and ensure that you’re evaluating them based on the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job. Otherwise, you might end up with a software engineer who can make a mean latte, but can’t code their way out of a paper bag.
Whilst in the earlier stages of growth generalists can play an important role in covering all your bases, scaling startups soon need to transition to building teams of specialists, highly competent in their specific area of expertise – expertise you’ve determined you need, to help you meet predefined business objectives.
If you don’t know what job you want to get done…how can you hire the best person to do that job?
Set a consistent evaluation process
Establishing a consistent evaluation process will not only save you time, but it will also ensure that you’re making fair and unbiased hiring decisions. This can include using standardised interview questions and evaluating candidates based on a predefined set of criteria.
That way, you won’t accidentally hire someone just because they told a really funny joke during the interview.
There are many tools to help you create a consistent evaluation process, from pre-interview assessments to tools that minimise hiring bias; from video interview tools like Kandidate partner Willo, to full-suite hiring platforms like Kandidate partner Ashby.
In 2023 there are so many tools at your disposal to help you automate what you can’t eliminate, measure what matters, and help you scale your talent function with predictability…because you’ve established a consistent evaluation process.
Utilise employee referral programs
Employee referral programs can be an excellent way to find top talent, as employees are often able to provide insights into a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses that you might not be able to glean from a resume or interview. Plus, if your employee refers someone who turns out to be a total dud, at least you know who to blame (half joking here).
Referral programs help foster a culture where people only want to work with other ambitious, driven individuals. If you’re requesting referrals to the best colleagues your employees have worked with, you’re getting credible, warm access to top-tier candidates. In addition, it can also help save a significant sum in unwanted recruitment agency fees.
Utilise online resources
There are numerous online resources, such as job boards and recruiting websites, that can help you find qualified candidates. Be sure to leverage these resources to expand your pool of potential hires.
That being said, strictly limiting your candidate search to job boards and recruiting websites is a mistake that is costing you access to the top 1-10% of candidates you want to attract.
Social media, communities, and alternative niche job boards can help you build deeper talent pools when going wider isn’t an option.
Don’t be afraid to invest in a recruiter
If you’re struggling to find the right candidates, it might be worth investing in a recruiter. Recruiters have the resources and expertise to identify top talent and can save you a lot of time and effort in the hiring process. Just be sure to choose a recruiter who’s not also secretly trying to put candidates in process with you to multiple other companies.
FYI – this is common, and a large reason for candidate drop-off. Doesn’t it seem unjust that the very company you’re paying 20% of the salary in fees to, may also be the exact same service provider causing top candidates to pull out of your interview process, after so much time investment, to place them into another company?
There is a time to use recruiters, and a time to try alternative hiring methods, such as embedded sourcing partners or embedded talent partners. If you’re hiring 5+ roles and have a light TA function, it is likely an ESP or ETP will be a better way to go, in terms of reducing fees as well as hiring better talent whilst shortening your time-to-hire.
Keep your candidates informed
Communication is key in the hiring process. Be sure to keep candidates informed about the status of their application and provide timely feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. That way, they won’t be left in the dark wondering if they’re still in the running or if they should start pumping up their resume again.
That being said, as you increase the number of hires you’re making, it can become complex keeping all candidates informed…if you don’t have a communication SOP in place.
This is where systems and consistency comes in; if you have an established communication process to keep your candidates informed, this is going to significantly decrease candidate drop-off, but also keep those top-tier candidates engaged.
So much time and energy goes into sourcing candidates, and then running them through your hiring process, it is simply a waste to lose good candidates due to poor communication.
By following these six simple tactics, you can streamline your hiring process and more effectively identify top talent as you grow your company from Series A to B, and then Series B to beyond.