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Season 01, Episode 01

How To Hire: Setting Up Your Hiring Systems (Part 1)

with Sasha and Jake

About the Episode

Learn how to create V1 of your employer brand, the key systems to set up to hire at scale, and how to facilitate an incredible candidate experience! This video is part of our free, online 6-video crash course on “How to Hire At Your Startup” available on our YouTube channel.

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Full Transcript

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Sasha: (00:16)
Hello! Oh my goodness. Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to watch another episode of venture scaler. I’m Sasha and I’m Jake. And today we’re talking about the hiring systems that you’ll need to be successful in scaling your teams and a couple of other pieces to make sure that your team is successful in adding new team members. Yeah,

Jake: (00:35)
We’re talking about like the very beginning. So kind of setting the stage, maybe you’ve just raised a round, you got the green light to go out and hire your next set of employees. And where do you start? Like you might’ve just been using Google sheets or, you know, different spreadsheets don’t really have any systems in place haven’t really gone outside of your own personal network yet to hire anybody. So that’s a question we get a lot of time. It’s just, where do I start and how do I not mess this up?

Sasha: (01:05)
Yeah. All right. Let’s start with the first three things. The main key areas that we’ll discuss today, first employer brand second, the actual system, or the applicant tracking system that we would recommend that you implement at your organization and third candidate experience. So buckle up and prepare for a wild ride. Let’s dive right in to point number one, employer branding. First, let’s define what that is for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, which is what was me. When I started, I had no idea let’s hope for the best here. So I would liken it to how a customer perceives your brand. It’s how they see what your product does. It’s the reviews online? Is this something that they want to move forward with and have you be their provider it’s similar, but through the candidate lens, does your culture, um, seem authentic and like a place that someone would want to join?

Sasha: (01:54)
Do they want to leave their employment opportunity that they’re at right now and take a risk and come to work for you? Do you have a great growth path, great benefits, all of the pieces that make a really incredible employment experience and the need to be able to tell that narrative of whatever you have going on at your organization, how do you then tell the world how amazing you are? And so I like to use three different tools, Glassdoor angel list, and LinkedIn. Those are specifically focused for tech companies. If you’re not a tech company, um, Glassdoor and LinkedIn are still very relevant, let’s start with Glassdoor.

Jake: (02:27)
Yeah. So I think the most important part when you’re, we’re talking about employer brand is just like establishing it. So like right now you might probably unknown employees. Aren’t going to know exactly who you are. So you need to get a presence out there and take a more proactive approach. So that’s why we’re starting with glass door. It’s usually one of the first places a future employee or prospect is going to look at to understand who you are as a company. Uh, there are CEO ratings, there are different postings salaries for those jobs feedback from people who have been hired by the company, uh, feedback from people who’ve gone through the interview process, but didn’t accept the job. So it’s like a one-stop shop for employees to get the feedback. They need to see the reviews quote, unquote, on, on your company. So it’s a place that you can start and get your own profile set up. Right? So let’s walk through that just a little bit.

Sasha: (03:25)
There’s a piece of it that is filled out by the employer. So you, and so take that time to craft the narrative. Talk about your mission, vision values, the things that are really attractive to candidates that are taking a risk and joining an earlier stage business. Um, you can talk through all of your specific benefits, what you offer. You can even have the why you offer certain things and specifics around that. And then you have a team that hopefully already loves working there. And so you get to solicit feedback from them on what their experience has been as an employee and as a candidate to set the stage for those reviews, you can review you as a leader, um, and then moving forward, anyone that comes to your interview process, you can ask them to give feedback. And so you start to build out a pretty robust feedback form.

Sasha: (04:07)
That’s a transparent look for future employees, and that has been a key driver in past roles that I’ve been at or candidates will say, Hey, I saw you on Glassdoor. You had a 4.9 and a five. That’s huge for me. Tell me more about your culture. Tell me more about what it’s like to work there. And it’s does a lot of the work for you. So you, as the leader of the hiring manager or the people person don’t have to spend 10, 15 minutes with every candidate selling them on the culture, it does that on them.

Jake: (04:31)
Exactly. All right. So now the second place to get started once we have Glassdoor set up, is AngelList especially if you are a startup, a tech startup, this is going to be a great place to get started, but I see companies that are outside of tech and startups post there all the time. Um, one, because probably most importantly, it’s free, right? So AngelList, for those of you don’t know, it’s a portal that connects a lot of different people within like the startup ecosystem. Uh, there’s a huge audience of investors, uh, both angel and VCs. There’s a lot of different syndicates. They have their own funds that they run. So even if you’re not thinking about hiring, which I don’t know why you’re watching this a great place to, you know, at least create a brand and a presence for those future investors. But then the really cool part is that they have their own job boards and you can use their site as your own job board. And it’s free to list jobs and roles and things like that.

Sasha: (05:29)
Totally. And Glassdoor, AngelList and LinkedIn are all free. I’m assuming that you’re trying not to spend a ton of money attracting candidates right now, want to get the people in the door first, start generating more revenue. Then you can spend more money,

Jake: (05:43)
Right? But it’s another place where you can show, like who’s working at your company, who the founders were any information about like funding rounds, who invested in your company more like a deeper dive into your product and what you’re building, um, the mission again, which is like something that should be everywhere that you’re posting these things. Cause that’s like the one thing that can really set you apart, but then when we’ll get into the applicant tracking pieces of this later, but it is a free place to post jobs and to get candidates inbound. So a nice place to set up a profile and to have another, you know, SEO link on a search bar when someone’s looking for your company,

Sasha: (06:24)
Right? And the same with LinkedIn, LinkedIn, you can set up your employer profile, have all of your employees, add your brand to their LinkedIn profile. And so you start to build a story across these different platforms. So when a candidate searches for your brand or your business, they immediately see great ratings on Glassdoor. They see your profile on AngelList and they see your LinkedIn profile and they’re seeing what you’re putting out there. And, and you’re basically trying to tell a story and sell them on your business before they even apply.

Jake: (06:53)
Yeah. And then LinkedIn, especially, you’re going to get folks who might not even know about your company, but someone that works at your company right now is in their network. And they look in, and it’s like, what’s this company, what are you, where are you working? It sounds really cool on your LinkedIn page. And they dig in and that’s how they discover you. Uh, I’ve had a lot of people who I ended up hiring in the future just because they found me on LinkedIn and they wanted to talk to me about the company and my experience at it. So it’s a way to turn your entire team into like yeah. Recruiters. Yeah, exactly. All right. So employer brand, talked through that and we talked through like the three easy places to own your message and start building that presence. So that’s like number one, establish who you are and put it out there. So you’re visible to future candidates.

Sasha: (07:49)
And once you’ve established who you are, it starts to it’s time to start actually recruiting. And you can do that manually. You can do it by posting to individual job boards, blasting it to your LinkedIn network, managing this all in email and through a Google sheet. That’s all possible.

Jake: (08:04)
We’re really successful with that. I see some companies right now, they’re doing a great job of using Twitter or LinkedIn. Um, but it really only takes you so far,

Sasha: (08:13)
Right? And if you need to grow the team by 10 to 20 people in a year, I would say it’s almost impossible to provide a great experience that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out and make candidates want to pull their hair out. Um, if you don’t have a system to have it all in one place. So I highly recommend getting an applicant tracking system, or ATS and all I’ll recommend a variety of that kind of range on the price point side and functionality, Workable, Breezy HR, Zoho, Lever, Greenhouse, Job Vite. There’s more just Google ATS. There’s a ton of options out there. I personally use lever and I like it because as, um, as the first person hired to the people team and the one typically doing a lot of the candidate sourcing, because you don’t have the employer brand to attract the inbound candidates. Um, it’s important for me to have the Chrome extension that allows for easy sourcing on LinkedIn and transfer into my system for management. So, but that’s a little bit more expensive, but there are other platforms I think, workable and breezy HR too, that you can pay per posting. So it starts substantially less expensive and scales up as you need to hire more and more folks. But I think having a one-stop shop for your candidate management, just like you have a CRM for customer management is super important.

Jake: (09:32)
It’s a great point. Like you, you get to a certain stage and you’re not, you might still be using Google Sheets for, for leads and prospects and future customers. But at some point it makes sense to, you know what I mean? Maybe we should invest a little bit into Salesforce or HubSpot or something like that to manage everything and keep it all in one place, because it’s going to give us time back. We’re going to make it so much. It’s going to make the process simpler. We’re going to know where everyone is in the flow. And that’s exactly what an ATS does. What an applicant tracking system does. It creates the sales pipeline for your candidates, for your people.

Sasha: (10:06)
Yeah. And Jake already stole 0.1, but it’s easy pipeline management all in one place. The second is time saving like I said, you can do it by yourself without a system at first, but when you’re hiring 10 people, it’s really time consuming to manage all of your different systems and the different job boards individually. It’s nice to consolidate all in one place. And lastly, it’s the ability to have a system post to multiple job boards for you rather, rather than having to manage those one off individually. So depending on the system you use, they will be able to post to a couple or maybe 30 to 40 I’ve used systems before like Recruiter Box. They did an incredible job developing partnerships with all sorts of job boards. And they posted, I think it was like 40 or 50. It was incredible. Um, I use lever right now. They only post to Glassdoor and LinkedIn because their thesis is those will drive the highest quality candidates. So they go quality over quantity, but it completely depends on the vertical you’re in and what kind of candidates you need to attract and where they’ll be hanging out in different watering holes.

Jake: (11:06)
Oh, of course. I’ve used a bunch of those different systems used Workable, used Zoho before. That’s actually like the nice thing is as soon as you post the job, I’ll be talking to my team like, hey, let’s get this role up. And we post the job description. It’s like on the website automatically goes out to those job boards. And over the weekend I got to come back and say, Oh, Hey, there’s people in the pipeline. I can start interviewing people. So it just takes, it just removes an entire step. So going back to like saving time, keeping everything in one place, it that’s like one of the big benefits. I think just the other piece, like my, my product project ops mind, it just, you talked about it before, but it just, it creates a flow. So you can just take all of that out of your head and out of separate spreadsheets and off of different people’s plates. And it’s just all in one place. So a lot like, uh, like a Kanban board, you get to move people from stage to stage like initial interview, to like the screening to a hiring manager interview to the exercise. You’re going to run with them. So just keeps everything in one place and streamlines that entire process helps you track all of your applicants in a system.

Sasha: (12:22)
Uh, okay. So we wrapped up 0.1 0.2 finally, under 0.3, which is around candidate experience. And it’s very similar. I’ll keep referencing the customer experience and how you’re trying to mirror those experiences on the candidate side. But companies invest so much time and human capital into building a really incredible customer experience from their first touch, the sale. Once they’ve closed sharing their implementation goes smoothly. You should run a very similar process for your pipeline as well, ensuring that there’s proper thought out communication. There’s a clear process. You know, who’s doing what, there’s a clear timeline, and you’re communicating that all to the candidate as well. So everyone’s on the same page.

Jake: (13:06)
Yeah. I think transparency is paramount in this process. So like keeping that metaphor alive, you run the risk of churning your applicants. If you have a poor experience through that, through that entire process, I think like anybody watching this video, you probably had a bad hiring experience. You had like a ballet with someone or a recruiter ghosted you for two weeks. You send in, you put in your resume and you never heard anything back other than like a single automated email. Um, it was like a lot of different things that can go wrong in that process. And you don’t want that experience to break down and ruin your chance of landing your dream employee like that, that, that perfect candidate for the job. So going back, I think transparency is key. It’s just understanding what are all the steps of the process and where am I in that process?

Jake: (14:00)
What should I expect as a candidate? So like personally, I love when recruiters and talking to them and working with them are able to outline, Hey, so we’re having this initial talk, you’re going to be talking to this person. If we move forward, you’re going to be doing this exercise. We’ll talk to these three people. And then the final stage will be a talk conversation with the CEO, and then we’ll make a decision to make an offer, like to that detail. And I go through that process when I’m talking to candidates, I outline every single step, just so they know and try to set like, and this’ll probably happen next week and expect something by Thursday and that type of thing. So, you know, you don’t like, feel like you’re getting ghosted through the process. Totally.

Sasha: (14:41)
Yeah. Yeah. Well, pretty simple. None of this is life changing, but as you begin to set up your systems and think about hiring, I would just keep those in mind, employer brand set up your Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and AngelList accounts, uh, get an ATS again. You can have some that the first postings free, or you can pay per posting. If you’re hiring 15 roles at a time, it might make sense to buy in bulk and not have to pay on a per posting basis. Um, and then design your candidate experience and be really thoughtful about what that feels like for the candidate and keep that customer analogy in mind as you design what that experience looks like for everyone interested in joining your team.

Jake: (15:22)
Awesome. So thank you for joining us in this video. I hope this helped lay the right foundation on, you know, the things that you need to get set up in the beginning. Really, so you don’t mess this up, but that you also just set up a really great experience for every candidate and set yourself up for success as well.

Sasha: (15:41)
I’m Jake, I’m Sasha, and thanks again for tuning in to watch Venture Scaler.

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