Like all startups, we take pride in our engineering recruitment process. At the start of 2015 we devised a process which helped us double the team size over a few months.
Before I talk about the actual process I want to provide some of the context that went into shaping our process.
I am an avid podcast listener and The Feel Podcast had just begun broadcasting. It’s a podcast hosted by Andy Kelk and its very first episode covered topics around culture and recruitment. One of the points, made by various leaders interviewed in this episode, that really resonated with me was hiring for cultural fit over and above technical fit. This point alone really shaped our recruitment process.
You might be thinking, what does it mean to hire for culture first? It means in the very first meeting
- we look for people who are interested in what we do
- do they care about our product, our mission?
- are they self motivated and invest in their own growth
- do they attend meetups, do they read blogs etc
- attitude over IQ… almost always!
I also look to understand the candidate’s motivations in seeking a position on our team, what they are passionate about, have they done any research about our company, do they use our app, can they critique it or suggest an improvement etc.
This is what we refer to as a cultural fit. If this first round goes well then we move into the technical phase of the interview process.
To decide this part I got the team, at this stage we were 4 devs, together and put the following proposition to them
“ When we hire a new engineer you will be most impacted by that hire, so this your chance to ensure we hire the best possible person”
If the tech team says no to a candidate I do not override them….. ever! I have not broken that rule yet.
After much debate and drafts we landed on the following process
- A take home test. We have a version that matches the candidates skill set. i.e.: One for Mobile Engineer, One for Frontend Engineer, One for Full Stack Engineer and One for Platform Engineer
- A 2 hour whiteboard based, interactive session with two of people from the team that you would most closely work with. Here we test various different aspects of your skill set and work through a problem or two.
For both the above steps we are looking to understand how you think, how you break a problem down, what questions you ask etc etc.
In addition, for the take home test here is what I email candidates
To submit your response
Feel free to use either a public or private repository on Bitbucket or github.
Either share this repository with firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a link.
For bonus points, deploy the application to Heroku or AWS and send us a URL
For super bonus points, have your unit tests running using a CI tool such as Travis and status displayed in the README file in your repository.
If a candidate gets through these two gates/steps we move into the final round.
At this stage all our engineers meet one or both our founders. This is a stage I know the least about for obvious reasons. If they both say yes we will make an offer.
To this date, I am proud to say, we have only had one candidate accept an offer and then reject it at a later date.
We are looking to hire more platform engineers, A players, who want to join our team and take this platform to the next level. If you are a platform developer who has built and scaled APIs then send us an email on email@example.com and we can chat.
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