#15 How EntryLevel is hiring and why we're doing it this way.

A quick insight on how we've designed our recruitment process to be transparent but also to hire for the skills we're looking for.

Hi everyone!

We just hit 100 subscribers with barely any sharing on my part. Thinking about doing a small giveaway as a thank you to the community. (Books, NFTs or otherwise - if you have ideas let me know)

This week I want to explain how EntryLevel is doing recruitment for our next 2 hires. If you’re interested, I’m hiring a Head of Design and Program Manager → LINK.

Phase 1: Initial Application

We request an initial application which is 1 paragraph of who you are and why you're excited about the role + resume/portfolio.

We don't require a proper resume, we want to see some evidence of why you're a fit. This could be a resume, a slideshow or a portfolio. We aim to do this on a rolling basis however, we may take 2 weeks from the original job posting to start sending callbacks or rejections. In the case of rejections, we will do our best to give some feedback (you're welcome to ask us to elaborate if we aren't clear)

The reason for this phase is to do quick filters on those who are objectively not a good fit based on criteria such as little effort on application (spam applications), timezones not lining up well etc.

Phase 2: Initial Callbacks

If you're selected to proceed, you will receive a quick 5-10 minute call from someone on our team explaining the role a little bit more and seeing if this is something you're excited to explore. We want to ensure that our applicants know what our company is, how the role works and also so they understand that this is an early-stage startup with a few people that has a different vibe than a large company (we think it's better!)

What we’ve noticed is that a lot of people apply for jobs but realise we’re not Google. Despite being well funded and (in my opinion) more exciting, some people prefer a larger team (which is totally fine!) We want to set expectations upfront so that neither party wastes time on an application that was never going to succeed.

Phase 3: Take Home Assessment

We believe it's extremely important to have our candidates do some sort of take-home assessment to understand if they would be a good fit for the company. This varies from role to role but this could take anywhere from 30 to 60 min to complete. Whilst this seems like a lot of work for a role, you're joining a team and going to be spending a lot of your time with us. We want to make sure you're a good fit and in return, you know what kind of work you'd be doing in our company. The assessment allows a two-way information transfer. We understand your work, and you understand how we work.

When we assess Take-Home Assessments, we remove all identifying information about the candidate and we have at least 2 team members score them independently.

This is a really important part for us. I’ve designed these assessments with 3 parts per role. They cover 3 essential roles that they would be doing in the actual job. We have made it EXTREMELY clear that candidates own the IP of this task and we will not be using it. If by some chance we love the work and don’t hire them, we will request to buy this off them.

This task helps us evaluate if the candidate can actually do the job and not just talk about it. On the other side, they will get a better understanding of what they would be doing in the role. It’s 30-60 minutes to decide what they will spend a significant portion of the week on for a long time.

Phase 4: Interviews

This could be 1 or 2 interviews with the CEO and one other relevant team member that you would be working with closely. This interview will be more about your soft skills and also for us to explain how we operate. It's a chance to see if you could see yourself working with us. If you're in this stage of the interview, we believe that you have the right skills for the role and we're now selecting a candidate who has the best fit (soft skills, work ethic) and best work as a total score.

We’ve kept this one a little vague in terms of how many meetings they will have. Usually, it will be 2 calls separately as we feel that having a 2 on 1 dynamic doesn’t provide a good way to have a proper conversation. This is why we separate the calls into two 1on1s for the most part. Though, it’s not unusual for them to just have 1 call.

Phase 5: Offer!

After this, we will make an offer to join our team. We may delay rejections to make sure our first pick accepts but this will be by a few days maximum.

After this, we go straight into the offer. There are a few hoops but we’ve tried to make it clear and not create several barriers and exams. 1 Take Home Assessment & 2 Interviews.

That’s it. That’s our process for the next 2 hires. It may not be what we stick to over time but for now, we’ll try it out. I’m not a recruiting or hiring mastermind - I’m merely doing what I think will produce the best results. Over time, we will learn and adapt. If you have any thoughts or feedback would love to hear them!

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Till Next Time,

Ajay