Dan Pupius, Medium's Head of Engineering and co-founder of startup Range, shares how he built a recruiting system with an anti-fragile hiring process by applying well-known mechanics of product development.
Applying Product Development to Hiring
- A hiring system has two key components: the process itself and the resulting team.
- Founders should have:
- Strong intention to build their teams as amazingly as their products,
- A clear and compelling vision for what their team looks like and what they can achieve,
- Development principles that shape how you achieve your vision,
- Tactics that are testable and changeable,
- Meaningful measurement and metrics,
- Organized iteration with strong feedback loops and consequent developments,
- Designated decision-making regarding hires,
- User-centricity always in mind,
- Automation potential to make your process repeatable and scalable.
- Remember to document the system you devise and make it central and shareable.
- Create a comprehensive definition of the type of person who will succeed at your company specifically.
- Consider your team as a single, coherent product.
- Identify people's strengths and weaknesses to allow for complements in the workplace and extend overall capabilities.
- Choose a metric to indicate your company's progress toward your goal such as retention or offer-acceptance rate.
- Decide on the guidelines that you want to be applied to every candidate.
- At Range, these guidelines include:
- All judgements must be tied to observable evidence,
- Agree on the data that you will not be looking at,
- Provide candidates with several success modes,
- Keep team composition top of mind,
- The hiring manager is the decision making authority.
- How you choose to set up your recruiting and interview process depends on your own vision and principles.
- Three phases to consider are assess, validate, and sell.
- Before beginning, consider creating a chart that lists all the attributes and skills you are looking for along with grades and comments.
- The validate phase is the most important one to get right.
- Stick with behavioral interviewing and send your rubric to candidates so they know how they will be evaluated.
- Set up shadowing to calibrate new interviewers quickly.
- Retention is a key metric, but the more immediate measurement to track is candidate experience.
- Each week ensure your hiring managers review these analytics and hypothesize what is going on and how to make things better.
- Prioritize following up with candidates to get their feedback and improve your own interviewing and hiring process.
- To optimize iteration, try batching feedback into themes and approaching it in sprints.
- Ultimately, aim to maximize learning per unit time.