So you need a new team member and you're not sure where to start. No need to reinvent the wheel here! Lots of companies have been where you are. We've identified a somewhat universal hiring structure that lots of companies use.
This will guide you from the moment you decide to hire someone up until your new team member's first day at your company. You can update and improve this process over time so that it fits your company and your vision around hiring. Either way, this is a great place to start 🏁.
Decide what you're looking for
So you need someone new to join your team. This can be for a number of reasons. You just landed a new client, you're starting a new company, you've scored an investment (congrats!) or someone in your team is leaving and they'll need to be replaced. Whatever the reason, it's important to articulate who it is you're looking for.
So start out by answering the following questions and documenting your answers:
- What are the tasks someone in this role will perform?
- What skills do they need to do those tasks?
- What would you like someone in this role to be able to accomplish in 3 months, 6 months and a year?
- What sort of (industry) knowledge should someone in the role have?
- What skills, experience and perspectives are missing from your current team that could be useful to have at your company?
Create and publish your job post
- Job description: Write a job description based on the answers you gave to the questions above. Explain what the job entails (About the job), the skills the candidate should have (About the candidate), what your company does and what its ambitions are (About the company). Have a look here for more tips on how to write a great and inclusive job description. If you're suffering from writers block, check out these job description templates to help you along.
- Job post: When putting together your job post, be sure to show what it's like working at your company. Keep in mind that for many people choosing to apply somewhere is often an emotional choice. The impression they get about the culture of your company is what's going to win them over. So get creative and add fun photos of the team and your office. Add a Spotify playlist of music your team likes. Add a video of a team member describing the role. Do your best to describe the culture of the company beyond overused cliches. You can hit the ground running by using Homerun's job post templates that you can customize and publish in minutes.
- Application: Decide how you want candidates to apply. We suggest using a Homerun apply form so that you can easily compare candidates and also to avoid losing CVs and email exchanges in a bottomless email inbox. Have a look at what makes a good apply form here.
Once you've published your job post, it's not a given that the right candidates will see it, especially if your company hasn't made a name for itself yet. So you may have to put in some work to get the message out:
- Ask your team and network if they know anyone who might be interested in the role.
- Share the job post on your social media (both your business's and your personal accounts).
- Share your job post on relevant job boards.
- Get creative and brainstorm about where your ideal candidates hang out on the internet and post there! Maybe Reddit? GitHub? Any Slack or Discord communities?
- For more tips on how to reach candidates have a look at this Guide to Attracting Talent.
So the applications have started rolling in. Great! It's time to decide which candidates you'll move forward with. Take the time to go through each application and see how well they match up with what you're looking for as you've documented at the beginning of your hiring process. Be sure to try and avoid bias as much as possible in this step. To find out how to go about this have a look at the four types of hiring bias and how to avoid them.
Challenge yourself to take a critical look at the candidates you're enthusiastic about. How diverse is this group? Do you have a lot in common with them? Are there candidates you're not sure about that you could give the benefit of the doubt to anyway?
Once you've decided who you want to invite for an interview, let the other candidates know you won't be moving forward with their application. Be sure to thank them and take some time to offer some personal feedback. This is always appreciated and will make it so that even the candidates you reject will have nice things to say about your company.
You'll be evaluating candidates throughout these interviews so use the step above as you go along. Most companies have three rounds of interviewing. There's often some waiting involved on the side of the candidates so be sure to keep them up to date on the status of their application. This makes all the difference for the candidate experience.
- Phone screen: 15 min call with 1 team member
This call is to make sure expectations for the role are aligned (on both sides). Therefore the most important question to ask the candidate here is: What are you expecting from this role? Also allow plenty of room for the candidate to ask questions. If you both seem to be on the same page, invite them to the next interview. If not, inform them you won't be moving forward with them and why.
- Interview on Skills: 1 hour interview with 2 team members
During this interview you can ask the candidate to present past work or talk about their previous experience. This helps you assess the candidates' skills. You can use something like a score card to evaluate more objectively and more easily compare answers between candidates. Have a look here to find out how to make a score card. After the interview, inform the candidate about the outcome and the next steps. Keep in mind that the further along a candidate gets in your hiring process the more personal feedback you should give if you reject them.
- Interview on Value: 1 hour interview with 2 team members
Here you ask the candidate about their motivation and intentions. This helps you assess if candidates' values fit with your company's. Make sure there's plenty of time for the candidate to ask questions and allow them to share anything they think you should know about them. You can take this time to really get to know your candidate, their hobbies and what their working style is. And don't forget to show the candidate why your company is a great place to work. Show them the office (if you're not remote) and introduce them to some of your team.
Rounding out the hiring process
- Offer: Once you've decided who will be joining your team it's time to make them an offer. You can send an offer letter that includes the salary, job description, perks and start date. The candidate may want to negotiate on some of these things so be prepared for that. Once you've both agreed and signed, then it's time to set up their contract.
- Close the job: When all is done, you close the job post on your career page and you notify any candidates that are still in the pipeline that they didn't make it with a personal email or phone call.
- Follow up: Maybe some people helped you find your new hire. It's good practice to go back and thank the people who referred your job post to their friends or contributed in some way to finding this new team member.
- Celebrate: You did it! You've found a new team member and that's a big accomplishment. Take a moment with your team to acknowledge that.
This article is a summarized version of our Guide to creating your first hiring process. So if you're ready to dive a little deeper and step up your hiring, be sure to check that out.