Notes on hiring (Startups)

  1. Verbal interviews are optimal for gauging the applicant’s personal culture and communication skills.
  2. Applicant should be the one who does most of the talking.
  3. Gold flags for us includes a well-maintained blog, personal projects, teaching experience, volunteerism, leadership experience and demonstrated passion in the field.
  4. Some examples of demonstrated passion include giving talks in conference/meetups, contributing to an open source project, the type of content shared in their social media accounts, the type of extra-curricular activities in school and the likes.
  5. Red flags include predominantly negative social media postings, absence of career related social media postings, unwillingness to expand on answers in interview.
  6. PAID audition work is best to measure how fast they work and the code quality. Can be done remotely or on premise.
  7. For the Audition – a 1 multi-dimensional task for 5-7 days should be enough to assess.
  8. For the Audition task, it should have an accompanying list of criteria such as how early they finished it, how many lines of code, etc.
  9. Multi-person interviews seems like a waste of time. Both interviewers and interviewees behave differently if there are other people in the conversation. May work better if the interview is rigorously structured and not conducted in an informal style.
  10. Universities or schools ingrain specific culture into their graduates. It would be less wasteful to avoid students from schools that consistently underperform.
  11. School culture change so revisit observations after an interval of 3-4 years.
  12. Make your onboarding process spot-on (tightly working) early as this affects retention pervasively.
  13. The onboarder getting invested on the onboardee has team rapport benefits as well as improves the onboarder’s mentoring skills.
  14. Perhaps a monetary bonus if the onboardee last more than 6 months can be beneficial.
  15. Make the auditioning, probationary, permanent differences in perks clearly delineated so as to provide a motivational framework and normal career progression