Hiring doesn't have to be hard, but it DOES have to be thoughtful.
Don't hire someone unless you are 100% on them. Get there by unlocking the POWER OF CHOICE and implementing easy, low-cost hacks to hire right.
By learning the tools of the recruiter, like how to source, you unlock the Power of Choice. Choice ultimately solves all of the hiring problems you will face during the first years of your company. You need to do some things that a recruiter does to unlock the Power of Choice.
I'm here to teach you - the hiring manager or founders or executive - the secrets to hiring and unlock the Power of Choice.
Building the right team is the biggest thing you will do as a manager. I'm here to give you a practical guide on how to do that when you don't have the luxury of a recruiter on staff.
I wrote this because there isn't a definitive guide on how to hire written for the operator. Everything is inside-baseball recruiter talk. When Hiring managers don't have recruiting support, they need to execute on the minimal, most effective pieces to get hiring done right in as low time as possible.
Being the manager has its advantages. You can move fast, make decisions, and sell all in one unit. Recruiters can't do that. Advantage = You.
Recruiters spend their whole work day learning and improving how they hire, including how to best bring in talent and unlock the Power of Choice. Advantage = Recruiters. You can't afford to do that, so I distilled what they have learned into a simple guide focused on the stuff you can actually do in the time you have.
I wish I had this guide when I got my first big-kid job. Here is what I did wrong:
1. Didn't know what I was looking for. Wrote terrible job descriptions.
2. Other people on my team didn't know what I was hiring for. I wasted everyone's time.
3. I didn't know how to find the right people. I didn't have any pipeline, so I never unlocked the Power of Choice.
4. The great people I did meet, I didn't hire all of them. I failed to build the best team.
5. I didn't do reference checks. I paid for that months later when someone I hired didn't work out and I had to manage them out, which sucks.
That's just a sample! And I was a former recruiter. I knew what I was up against and I still made so many mistakes because I just didn't know how to recruit for my own team. I didn't have a guide to recruiting written for me, the operator. That's this guide.
That's the secret. I spoke with a big time VP of Engineering and I asked them what their secret was to being so successful at so many different high growth companies: Team. That was it. That's what separates player-coaches from true managers or leaders: Hiring. This individual spent 80%+ of their time hiring. They were ruthless about it and took matters into their own hands even when there was a recruiting team. They spent a ton of time doing what was necessary. My goal is to get you those same results while continuing to execute. That's what you need to do and what I can give you.
If you hire the best team you can and things will become easier. I promise you that.But conversely, make some bad hires, and you are in micromanage and manage-out hell for weeks to months. That will kill your ability to execute and the overall output of your team.
Save time now by hiring the best people you can and avoid those people that just wont work out. The Power of Choice can eliminate hiring mistakes and bring in talent that you didn't know existed and that you didn't even know you needed.
There is a solution. Internal Recruiters have been plying this trade for 10 years now. There is a reason why every successful company has invested heavily in recruiting teams. That may not be you right now, and if thats the case, or if you want to just up your game as a hiring manager, Bootstrap Talent if your guide to the best team.
We had a lot of problems with engineering recruitment, and Trent came in and got us hiring.
We had a lot of random searches at Atomic and I specifically remember Trent working on a Marketing search using performance marketing. He helped us a lot across many different companies.
I've worked in recruiting since 2009. Actually, probably before that. I use to sling internships back in college. So like 2002. All entirely on the services side: I never had a team of my own. Or at least, never a big team with full time employees.
So here I am in 2013. My partner and I just sold our agency to Hired for a salary and a bunch of equity. We had been consulting for them for a few months and it was clear there was product market fit. It was too good to pass up.
Fast forward two months, and we are hiring like crazy. We have a talent team to build, a sales team and a few other odds and ends. Problem is, despite now 5-10 years (depending on how you look at it) of finding people jobs, I had no idea how to actually hire my own team.
Sure, I could source my face off. I could get people on the phone and extol the virtues of working at Hired. Hired was a pretty attractive pitch. But how would I know this is the right person for my team? Well, thats just not something you actually learn plying the agency recruitment trade. It was something I had to learn on the job while the job was moving at breakneck speed.
Fast forward again; we continued to grow. We hired some folks despite having a very loose and arbitrary process. Im sure we passed on some game changing folks and I know we made some sub-optimal hires. I was at a party hosted by Hired and I met a VC fellow who handed me a book he had just finished called Who: The A Method for Hiring.
This was a game changer for us. This was a game changer for me. We now had a tool.
See, back in the day I was wearing a lot of hats. I was like admining the Google Account, while building Salesforce dashboards, going on sales meetings, etc. It was a heady time. I didn't have the luxury to develop my own hiring process from first principles. I just needed something, someone else had thought deeply about and apply it.
And thats what we did. We just applied the Who process lock-stock. No modifications. Pretty soon every office at Hired had a copy of the book and every manager had read it. Without a recruiter in-house to spoon feed us how to hire, we needed this.
Who is a great resource and I would say required reading for anyone looking to build a team, but it is flawed, at least for my use case above. "The Who" process is recruiting inside-baseball. It's focused on proving to you, the reader who ostensibly knows how to recruit people somewhat already, why it's a good process. Because of that focus, you get a process and data about that process but without wider context. Ultimately, Who isn't geared toward the hiring manager.
With that in mind, I am writing my own book, called Bootstrap Talent. This is not a methodically researched elevation of the recruitment trade. It is not a new way of doing things. What it is: A simple guide on how to recruit, for the hiring manager or founder with too much on their plates. It is a guide told practically and tactically with just enough high level philosophy so you know why things are the way they are. I've included a lot of stories and anecdotes to make the process come alive enough for you to know how it should fit in your organization. Bootstrap is explicitly for the non-recruiter.
I'm looking to launch Bootstrap this summer and one of the benefits will be access to a community of hiring managers and recruitment professionals. I'm opening up this community today, for free. Anyone who signs up now, will get access to the community and early bird discounts when Bootstrap is published.
I know I needed this back in 2013. Tell your friends.
VP of Operations at Triplebyte. Founded an agency in my 20's, sold it to Hired and became employee 5. Recruited for Atomic (VC), Credit Sesame and MakerSights. Helped the founders of recruitment tech startups Shift.org, Terminal and Beacon in the early days.