Based on our experiences at\u00a0Cubeit.\u00a0Hiring is not easy.\u00a0Hiring for startups\u00a0even less so.\r\n\r\nYou don\u2019t have\u00a0time\u00a0or\u00a0money, and good people who can both\u00a0execute\u00a0and\u00a0fit\u00a0into the company are few and far between.\u00a0But shit needs to be done. And this is how we at Cubeit do it.\r\nWho handles hiring?\r\nThe best case scenario is hiring someone to look at hiring\u00a0(sorry I couldn\u2019t resist), but that is an unnecessary drag on resources (both time and money).\r\n\r\nThere are two other options:\r\n\r\n\tSomeone from the current team looks at the whole hiring pipeline until the available positions are filled: This is a shitty option. Hiring is an endlessly boring, often unproductive task. Nobody wants to do it, and forcing creative, driven people to do something they don\u2019t want to is less than ideal.\r\n\tSplit hiring according to roles: Marketing person looks at hiring for marketing. Android guy looks at hiring Android developers and so on. Distributes the work, but is still a drag on time. (This is what we are doing for now.)\r\n\r\nWhere do we hire from?\r\nAngel List (angel.co)\r\n\r\n\tIt\u2019s FREE!\r\n\tHas good quality candidates.\r\n\tProbability of conversion is higher since most people are actively looking.\r\n\tPeople on Angel List want to work for startups.\r\n\tAllows candidates to see salary ranges before starting the conversation.\r\n\r\nLinkedIn\r\n\r\n\tExpensive (we use the recruiter accounts to get in touch with prospective candidates.)\r\n\tCandidates are employed, and hence less open to discussing new opportunities.\r\n\tHit rate is very poor.\r\n\tFiltering is really good.\r\n\r\nConsultants\r\n\r\n\tGiven us the longest pipeline so far, but the quality of resumes received is heavily dependent on the quality of the consultant. (The people we work with were referred by a good friend over at Swiggy.)\r\n\tConsultants generally charge between 8\u201312% of the candidates CTC once hired, and provide a replacement if the employee leaves within 2 months of joining.\r\n\tThey help set up interviews\/coordinate meetings.\r\n\tBe warned that they are looking to make a commission, so they optimize for finding the candidate a job very quickly, and not for finding the best job for the candidate.\r\n\tAlso, as a recruiter, you have to be really fast because a candidate is talking to at least 10 companies at the same time.\r\n\r\nOther websites\r\n\r\n\tcom\u200a\u2014\u200alimited success so far. You have no control over the inbound pipeline, and time is lost in filtering through applications.\r\n\tIf you figure out how to filter correctly it does give you the largest talent pool.\r\n\tThese are people actively looking for jobs.\r\n\tThe poor quality of candidates and companies generally creates a poor hiring experience.\r\n\r\nReferrals\r\n\r\n\tWorks out to be really fast.\r\n\tLimited by how networked your current employees are.\r\n\tMost efficient way to expand teams initially (50% of our current team has been hired through referral)\r\n\r\nWhat positions do we hire for?\r\nUX Designers\r\n\r\n\tUX designers are probably the unicorns of the startup world. The world and their uncle wants a designer to join their startup. Unfortunately, supply is scarce.\r\n\tA lot of designers prefer to work freelance, which leaves the field mostly empty. It\u2019s very tough to get designers to join and you really need to sell the quality of work.\r\n\r\nAndroid Developers\r\n\r\n\tEverybody has an app, and if you\u2019re in India, chances are that you\u2019ll start off developing Android first. (And that\u2019s why there\u2019s a friend of yours who just posted on his Facebook wall \u201cAny Android developers out there?\u201d).\r\n\tHistorically developers haven\u2019t been working on Android; they mostly do backend stuff. The companies that do have large Android teams are fairly huge themselves, so getting people to switch is much tougher.\r\n\tDue to the very small talent pool, salaries tend to be a little inflated.\r\n\tTurning good Java Developers into Android developers seems to be the common wisdom.\r\n\r\nGrowth Engineer\r\n\r\n\tMost successful startups have\u00a0engineered\u00a0growth, so this is an essential member in any consumer product team. The growth engineer is responsible for all data driven user growth. Typically he\/she would create and optimize signup and referral flows, look at data to figure out dropoffs, give inputs to the product team on what to fix and so on.\r\n\tFor any consumer startup, this position is cross functional, encompassing aspects of marketing, product, and engineering.\r\n\tThe ideal candidate can dabble in content, design, and code, and MUST be able to do at least two of these three things really well.\r\n\r\nWhat are our cutoff parameters?\r\nGraduate School\u200a\u2014\u200aIITs, BITS, IIMs, NID\/Srishti\/IIT Design School (for designers)\r\n\r\n\tI might get a bit of stick here. The main argument I am anticipating is that of discrimination against candidates not from these schools. I will explain why we (and a lot of other companies) do this.\r\n\tHiring is time consuming. (A startup should ideally spend at least 40% more time than larger companies during the interview process). At this stage of the company we want to make sure we get the right person on board, which means multiple conversations need to take place. It is only pragmatic that we prune the number of candidates at the earliest possible stage\u200a\u2014\u200aa filter on graduate school is a good proxy. (However, we welcome inbound inquiries from people who express an interest to work with us and show the right balance of talent and hustle.)\r\n\r\nExperience\r\n\r\n\tWe have an upper bar on experience, not a lower bar. We prefer people who don\u2019t know a lot but demonstrate a capacity to experiment and learn extremely quickly. Given their age, such people would also fit easily into the team\u2019s culture.\r\n\r\nWhat is our process?\r\nPhone screening\r\n\r\n\tThis is a quick 15 minute call to understand the candidate\u2019s motivation to join us. At this stage we are looking for signals to reject the candidate, so this is an additional filtering step. Highest rejection is because people lied on their resume or very obviously have very limited or no experience about the skills they claim to possess.\r\n\tWe also test the quality of questions candidates ask us. Ours is a difficult product to understand and that proxies as a basic IQ test.\r\n\r\nTechnical interview\r\n\r\n\tFace to face if candidate is in Bangalore or telephonic if candidate is remote.\r\n\tThe objective here is to test the candidate\u2019s technical ability.\r\n\r\nOne day assignment\r\n\r\n\tThe next step for the candidate is spending a day at our office to complete a task we assign. For us this is the most important step.\r\n\tThe task is almost always a real world problem (we have more than enough of those, sigh), and the candidate is judged on implementation (has shit gotten done) first and foremost.\r\n\tThis is also a chance for the whole team to get to know the candidate better.\r\n\r\nThe process is long, but we feel it is essential to maintain the right level of talent in our team. We expect that every person who joins us is able to teach us something we don\u2019t already know.\r\nWhat are the problems we face?\r\nFlipkart\r\n\r\n\tMore often than not, a candidate we interview and like is snapped up by the funded big boys of the startup space (Flipkart is a representative example). They can offer more money, a stable job, andsome\u00a0interesting profiles. Honestly, we can\u2019t compete.\r\n\r\nStrict requirements -> Shorter Pipeline -> Longer Timelines to hire\r\n\r\n\tWe haven\u2019t found a way around this yet, apart from trying to get more consultants to send us resumes.\r\n\r\nMoney\r\n\r\n\tPeople want all the money in the world just because we are a startup. Startups don\u2019t pay more money than more established companies.\r\n\tStartups compensate employees for the lower than market salaries with equity. (PS: we emphasise on our employees getting rich through equity and not salaries, we throw \u201ccrore rupee parties\u201d which is when the valuation of the company goes above a number which results in an employee becomes a crorepati.)\r\n\r\nSo that\u2019s how we at Cubeit do things, as of today at least. A central tenet of how we work here is experimentation, and we\u2019re always looking for ways to optimize. We could have a completely different process in two months (shrug) if this doesn\u2019t work.