Developing Good Recruiting Practices

I have always thought that one of the most important aspects of my job is to hire and keep exceptional employees. I have a recruiting process that has worked well thus far, though a bit time consuming and with a long lead time from beginning of job search to hire. We recently brought in a recruiting expert who is trying to change that process.

To date, to hire someone on my team, I would get resumes from many sources (postings, recruiters, and connections). I would then have an initial 45-minite phone call with possible candidates. A lot of our work is done with customers remotely and I felt a phone call was a good way to vet out their phone-ability. There was then a 30-minute technical screen with a technical member of my team (also over the phone). And last a 2.5 hour on-site visit meeting with me, then the team, and then wrap-up with me. At each stage, of course, candidates were filtered out of the process because they did not “pass”.

I have been trying the new expert’s process lately. Which is she does the initial phone interview, and that includes some basic interview questions and the technical screen. She then sends a transcript of that to me. I then decide whether or not to bring them for an in-person interview, using input from my team. And that in-person interview is a one-hour meeting with the whole team. We should then make a hire / no-hire decision from there.

We have thus far done this for 4 weeks or so, and one candidate made it to the in-person interview (and we didn’t want to hire him). The recruiter’s philosophy is to make the right impression, you want to take as little of the candidate’s time as possible. That an hour in person is all you need to to know whether you want to hire the person, and why use more of your and more importantly their time to figure it out. I like the idea of having to do less, but I question whether we get a good enough feel for the candidate and whether they get a good enough feel for us.

Then I read the following posts by other experts: Ring Noshioka, Angela Baldonero. They actually agree with my philosophy – that a longer interview process is the way to vet the good candidates and to give them a better understanding of the company.

That was enough to help me resist our expert’s advice. But after talking to some of the folks on my team, I decided to condense the two phone interviews to one one-hour call, still conducted by me and a senior engineer. So, although the expert advice is not being fully followed, it has helped shape the process to make it more efficient.

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