Category: How to Hire

Contacting Candidates

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The first point of contact is an important step in the recruitment process. Here’s what we’ve learned about making that initial introduction: Consider carefully who makes the first approach. Generally, candidates prefer to hear from CEOs, team leadership, and people who share their craft.2 Don’t use people’s work email addresses unless you absolutely have to. Personal…

By Matt Buckland

Reading a CV

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The are two important things to realise about CVs. Firstly they’re for screening out, not for making final decisions. It’s important not to make assumptions as to candidate fit based purely on their CV. Secondly, it’s important to realise that the CV represents how a candidate wants to present themselves to you as an employer. It’s not just a document listing…

By Matt Buckland

Hiring for Culture

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Culture isn’t about beer, ping-pong tables or t-shirts, as a rough rule if you can buy it in a shop it’s isn’t your “culture”. ‘Culture fit’ is unique to each startup, and is based on how the candidate’s personal values and behaviours align with the company’s values. It’s crucial that you determine what your values are…

By Matt Buckland

Creating a Great Recruitment Process

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Before you start interviewing candidates for an open role, you should map out what questions will need to be asked and how you’ll structure the interviews to get those questions answered. Each interview you carry out should have a distinct purpose and focus. It’s crucial that your interviewers are briefed on what their session should cover, and understand the role…

By Matt Buckland

What makes a good Developer?

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How do you know if a developer is good? Answer: you have to watch them code. (Whiteboard or laptop is fine; your choice.) Decide as a team how much syntax matters, and remain consistent. For coding questions, try to find those that have multiple correct answers with varying levels of optimisation. These questions help you get a feel for his…

By Matt Buckland

What makes a good Sales Person?

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For many reasons, hiring a sales person is different to hiring a developer. Since sales is an external-facing role, you have to think about whether or not you’d want this candidate to represent your company. Does she make eye contact with you? How are her interpersonal and communication skills? Where’s her confidence level? All of these things speak to a level of gravitas.…

By Matt Buckland

Making the Hiring decision

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It’s important to decide how you feel about a candidate immediately after the interview. Speed is crucial because details and hiring decision accuracy get lost as time goes by. Think about what went well, what went less well and if there are any questions that were left unanswered. You should aim to have strong beliefs, lightly…

By Matt Buckland

Closing the Candidate

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So the interviews went well, and you want to hire this candidate. To figure out the compensation package to offer, look at: Your runway, budget and hiring plan. Some of our portfolio companies have found candidates that have a broad enough skill set to effectively cover two planned hires. Level compared to current employees Level of risk…

By Matt Buckland

Employment Contracts

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As soon as someone has accepted a job offer from you, a contract exists between the two parties. The terms and conditions of employment can be agreed in more detail at a later stage in a more detailed document that we define here as “written employment terms”. (It could equally be called a “service agreement” or an…

By Matt Buckland