Stripe’s Former CTO on How to Get the Best Talent for Your Company
Hiring the right candidates for an organization is a challenging task. Greg Brockman, the founding engineer and former CTO at Stripe, a well-known engineering team in Silicon Valley, shares how the organization has been able to attract and hire the best software engineers through the years. Engineering recruitment can yield best talents if done correctly.
Here are the key takeaways:
Engineering Recruitment: Choose the right hiring channel
Stripe has four hiring channels. The first channel is Referrals. The organization has recruited some of its best talents through its referral system. Brockman says if you can tap the network of your first ten hires, you have broader chances of meeting some talented candidates. So get your engineers to list down the best people they’ve worked with and get them to work with you.
The other two channels are Inbound and Outbound. If you are looking to create a developer-focused product for the Outbound channel, you will have to look around you. Analyze the community and choose what’s best for your business. “Be sure to create stimulating events for this community as it will help you identify the most promising individuals,” he adds. The Inbound channel includes the people who try their luck by emailing you after going through your careers page.
The last channel is Recruiters. This channel sends a lot of people your way when you’re hiring. However, they’re not the “A+ talent” you’re seeking. And hence, Brockman says that one can have a hard time sourcing the right candidates through this channel.
Build a brand so that great people get convinced to join your company
When you’re marketing a product or service, you do it in such a way that makes people want to buy from you. The same goes for engineering recruitment. You will surely come across talented individuals who are already in demand in the market. The best way to get them to join your company is to build a brand that resonates with their aspirations. The right candidate should be confident that you are building something big, and they’ll be happy working with you.
Brockman also emphasizes transparency. A candidate will want to know about the company’s work culture, finances, and much more before joining. So, he suggests that employers should be as open as possible during the hiring process as it will help boost the candidate’s trust in their company.
Focus on distinguishing Great from Good
Hiring someone just because they have worked in Google previously does not guarantee a good fit for the job. Brockman reveals that Stripe has had a bad experience every time they’ve made assumptions about someone’s ability.
Hence, the organization prefers getting references from people they already know.
In addition to this, Stripe uses a collaborative hack project — prepared in advance to ensure that they’re well suited for someone’s interests and skill set.
Hire people, not just the skill-set
If you plan on hiring someone, don’t hire them just because they have the skill-set you need. Instead, analyze whether the person will fit into your company’s work culture. Stripe uses ‘The Sunday Test’ for this. If a person is in the office on a Sunday, will it restrict you from coming to the office and working with them? If the answer is yes, the candidate is not suitable for your company’s work culture.
Keep in mind that the first hire in any department is crucial for the success of your company. That person will be responsible for building a team and inspiring the members to work with them, explains Brockman.
Last but not least, he adds that recruiters should trust their instincts. If you think a person might not be the best candidate for the role you’re hiring, you, most probably, are correct.
To sum up, recruiting the best talent is all about using the channel that works best for you, learning to distinguish exceptional from good, building a brand so that the right people feel compelled to work with you, and trusting your gut. With these practices, you can ensure that you hire people that align with your organization as a whole. Brockman concludes that these practices may lengthen the whole hiring process at times, but, in the end, the results will be fruitful.
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