HOWTO Foster an exceptional hiring system

Let’s face it, finding the right culture fit in a remote environment can be somewhat trickier than non-remote. To address some of the problems around hiring within a team that “works different,” we sat down with MeetEdgar (Edgar).

Edgar is a small social media management team who adopts remote working. Their brilliance is in their responsive and adaptive mindset around taking quick actions to address various issues that arise within their company.

Here we discuss 4 ways which you can improve current processes and practices around recruitment to foster an amazing hiring system and build a great company culture.

1.How to find the right culture fit

Finding the right people for your company sits at the top of any great culture. Traditionally, and even in many startups, organizations have one or two key players who call the shots when choosing their talent.

Edgar involves as many people in the hiring process as practical. As you may have read in their company highlight , with each position they’re hiring for, before they begin interviewing, they create a “hiring flow” that involves various team members at different stages of the process. “We might have one person doing tech interviews, one person doing culture interviews, and other team members doing pair programming or other skills tests. Each team member knows their role and the steps that came before/after their own.”

This multi-person recruiting process allows each team recruiter to analyze the “candidate’s skills and attributes from multiple angles and vastly different points of view.” Edgar’s approach has enabled them to discover things that may not have been possible with only having a single hiring manager.

2. How to attract the highly-skilled applicants

At Edgar, they ensure their job listings stand out and are representative of their culture and company, and appeal to the most skilled applicants. “We want it to be easy for people to know right away whether we’re a place they can be excited about.”

A problem they came up against early on was that many of their job openings were position-specific, which meant that sometimes they weren’t attracting people with a specific skill set or the attributes they had in mind. On other occasions they found that applicants expectations of the job didn’t align with Edgar at the interview.

“Sometimes we had to adjust the way we described the job itself, while sometimes we found it more beneficial to focus on the ideal candidate’s qualities.”

Ask these questions when creating job listings to ensure you develop a solid position and candidate description:
Are we saying the right things about the job which will appeal to that person?
Do we mention all of the nerdy details that a person passionate about this field would love to know about?
What type of technology or working environment would get that candidate SUPER pumped to work with you?
What aspects of the job have seemed to excite top candidates in the past?

A little awareness and understanding of what and who you’re looking for will dramatically influence the quality of your hiring process.

3. How to really get to know your applicants during the interview process

The applicant may already know a bit about you and your company. They might think they're prepared going in, but nerves can get the best of them. Sometimes these emotions make it hard to get a good feel of who the applicant truly is.

Edgar suggests implementing these various components to your interview process. Include:
A mix of structured interviews
Casual conversations with various team members, mostly via video calls.

Test projects: whereby you encourage and offer many opportunities for the applicant to pair up and work with various members of their team practically. In fact Edgar places great emphasis on the importance of test projects or pair programming because they want to “Give applicants the opportunity to actually show their relevant skills in the context of what they’d be hired for.”

Show genuine interest and make an effort to make applicants feel comfortable. Edgar feels that by creating an environment where people feel at ease, they receive stronger and more honest answers, so confidence is naturally present.

4. How to hire for companies who have grown and now need a bigger team

Don’t wait until your workload exceeds your current team to begin hiring.

Instead, start looking for someone long before you actually need them, so you don’t feel like you’re racing the clock.

Ensure you’re making the right hires. This is important when your existing team is already stretched because it takes great deal of time and energy up front.

Don’t ever hire out of desperation - fill gaps in coverage with contractors, specialists, or freelancers until you can find the right fit.

These practical steps to fine-tuning your hiring process are very simple and easily integrated into many cultures. It truly comes down to knowing what you want in an applicant, understanding your culture and communicating that with the world, so the right person gets drawn toward your job listing.

HighlightHOWTO Foster an exceptional hiring systemMeetEdgar (Edgar) is a “small team of hard-working nerds with gigantic hearts” who have a “huge soft spot for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and love getting to be a part of their success.”