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This is a counterpart to my talk at Rail Girls London 7 and blog post on recruitment from the candidate side. I’m writing the notes down so I don’t forget them next time I’m in the same situation.

Last year I found myself running recruitment for the development team. It was very much a learning process. Having only helped out in a few interviews in the past. My biggest takeaway, even to do an average job requires a good deal of work. I still have a huge amount to learn.

Be a place people want to work

I don’t mean ping pong, table football, beer on Fridays or free food. They are all in the nice to have column. Decent equipment, comfortable chairs, a decent desk and a good team count for way more.

Building software is very much a team sport. Hiring people who can work together is so important. Especially with a small team and/or an early stage company. You are not only building the product but building the culture of the company. Avoid any rock stars. No one gets special treatment or be too important to fire.

People have lives and commitments outside of work. Team events in the evening may prevent some groups from attending. Make them feel awkward declining the invitation. Parents will need to arrange child care. Not everyone likes going to noisy bars or pubs. Having events at lunch or in the daytime is a better option. Being able to say no should always be an option.

How to you go about defining the role you need to fill?

Spend time working on your job spec and adverts. Presenting the job in clear sections are a good start. Be careful with how you word your advert. Do the work to avoid unconscious bias. Guides and tools exist to help you. Don’t have different grades of job title. different companies have the boundaries in different places.

Don’t insist on a GitHub profile, they are not a replacement for a CV. Not everyone has the time or inclination to work on software outside their job.

Finding people

Our experience of the big job listing sites was too much noise, hardly any signal. A waste of time. LinkedIn and Stack Overflow, both were more useful, as was the Hacker News Who’s hiring thread.

By far the best was members of the team attending meetups and events. The more you engage with the community, the more people you get approaching you.

Keeping the pipeline flowing

One person be responsible for recruitment was helpful. They take care of the details and housekeeping. Making sure others are reviewing CV’s, are around when the candidate comes in for an interview.

A single person handle all the communication with a candidate. Made the experience more consistent. Saving time on handover.

Switching to use a tool to manage our pipeline made everyone job simpler and cut down on the amount of time spent. A generic CRM is a start but a specific tool for recruitment was better. We used Workable.

For scheduling interviews we used Calendly. Allowing the candidate to choice their own time for an interview. This cut out most of the back and forth, trying to find a time that worked for everyone.