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Hiring for Scale; 13 Hacks in 30 Minutes (Startup Grind Europe presentation)
Hiring for Scale
13 hacks in 30 minutes
Leela Srinivasan, CMO
Newsflash: hiring continues to be hard...
YoY Change in Talent Acquisition Spending Time to Fill (in Days)
Source: Bersin by Deloitte, 2015 Talent Acquisition Factbook@leelasrin @lever
… and we are still in a candidate-driven market
@leelasrin @lever Source: MRINetwork, May 2016
Why I’m here talking about hiring
Lever exists because our co-founders
recognized that hiring deserves better tools
I joined Lever because I am
obsessed with hiring
Blow up your job
Most job descriptions are a combo of
depressing and ridiculous.
Source: Twitter @_vicksolo via Buzzfeed
What will your new hire:
What will they actually do?
Interview like you
Instead of this... … try this
Inspiring role profile with
areas to delve into
Little to no guidance to
Evaluating whether their
skills and experience
raise the bar
Deciding if you’d enjoy
having a beer with a
Use technology to create a more consistent
process (e.g., Lever interview kits)
Get your candidates
Interviewing should not feel like this.
Simulate the work environment
“Put your candidates in the position that is most similar
to their actual working environment: at home and with
a computer, not in front of a white board doing coding
- Chris Shaw, Director of Talent at Meteor
the obvious places.
Hiring has changed quite a bit.
10 talent sources we like
1. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
2. AngelList - startup hires
3. GitHub, StackOverflow - developers
4. Dribbble - designers
5. Sourcing.io - engineers
6. Xing - select European talent
7. Conference speaker lists - all
8. App stores
10. Personal blogs
Don’t give up on top
prospects so easily.
Build relationships, don’t push jobs - and adjust
approach based on (non-)responses
Scenario 1: no
response to email
Scenario 2: timing
● Try them again (politely)
● And again (politely)
● If you prod politely, you
may guilt them into a
● You may also get a referral
● They decline: Find out why -
then follow up in the logical
timeframe (e.g., post-bonus
or vesting cliff)
● You fill the position: Tag the
candidate so you can find
them 3, 6, 9 months from
now when the next role
Make LinkedIn your
employer brand machine.
Make LinkedIn your
employer brand machine.
Employee connections on LinkedIn beat
Company Page followers by a mile
at least 45x@leelasrin @lever
Every profile matters!
“At Lever we really walk
the talk when it comes to
talent. We put a ton of
thought into how we hire
and onboard people, as
well as how we help them
grow in their careers
“I used to think being a woman
in tech meant simply accepting
and overcoming aggressive
workplaces… At Lever, I am
thrilled to be an integral piece of
a diverse, inclusive, engaged,
and impassioned team.”
Turn your newest hires
It is literally never too early to get
your people fired up.
“Call and coffee” your
Get to precious referrals, fast and in person
“Double down on any referred candidates. Don’t
take a ‘we’ll get to them if they’re qualified’
mentality. Call and coffee them.”
- Jer Langhans, co-founder, Paired Sourcing
Internally, talk about hiring.
Showcase hiring like you
showcase sales wins
Source jam in progress Slack erupts with each new hire
Get feedback from people
who didn’t make it.
Learn from everyone who goes through your
“We used to run NPS surveys among candidates that
we didn’t hire - and then ask follow-up questions to find
out how we could improve our candidate experience .”
- Kirsti Grant, CEO & Co-Founder, Populate;
former VP Talent, Vend
your heart out.
Do not under any circumstance
short-change reference checking
● Rely solely on references
provided by the candidate
● Let the reference drive the
● Expect the reference to
proactively raise negative
● Find other references who
are mutual connections
● Lead the call; probe for
exact details on the
● Find ways to frame
‘weakness’ questions to get
Recommended reading from Josh Hannah: bit.ly/reference-checking
to David Skok
Seed diversity & inclusion
early. Never let up.
D&I is really hard. But it’s even harder if you
ignore it until you’re a big company.
The “guys” jar The “no resume”
Invest in the tools
to do it right.
Spreadsheets can only get you so far
Get your whole team hiring
“With Lever in the hands of all
Mattermark employees, we've cut our
time to hire for open roles in half.
Everyone from our team is sourcing
candidates, referring friends, and
contributing to hiring discussions.
Hiring is now a team effort; I can train
new employees about how to use Lever
in two minutes. It's incredibly intuitive.
- Talent lead, Mattermark
“There is no way we would have been able
to scale hiring to the machine it’s become
without using Lever.”
- Head of Mobile, Lyft
“Lever has made it possible for us to manage
hundreds of active and passive candidates
while building that hiring culture. We're now
able to get to 'yes' quicker than ever before
for the most strategic hires.”
- Co-founder, Kinnek
Or as one London customer puts it:
- Talent Manager, Lost My Name
“Some recruiters are born with
Lever, some achieve Lever, and
some have Lever thrust upon
For many more hacks, see our resource library
Recorded webinars including:
● Hiring for stealth through
series C with Meteor
● Hiring for hypergrowth:
lessons from Lyft
● How to build a recruiting
machine with David Skok
Want more recruiting tips? Join us tomorrow night
“Clever Hacks: Hiring Tips and Tricks”
WeWork Aldgate Tower, 6:30-8:00pm, Thurs 16th Jun
Join over 1,000 customers on Lever!
Stop by our booth or sign up for a demo at: www.lever.co
#1 Blow up your job descriptions.
#2 Interview like you mean it.
#3 Get your candidates comfortable.
#4 Source beyond the obvious places.
#5 Don’t give up on top prospects so easily.
#6 Make LinkedIn your employer brand machine.
#7 Turn your newest hires into evangelists.
#8 “Call and coffee” your referrals.
#9 Internally, talk about hiring. All. The. Time.
#10 Get feedback from people who didn’t make it.
#11 Reference-check your heart out.
#12 Seed diversity & inclusion early. Never let up.
#13 Invest in the tools to do it right.