Hiring in a hypergrowth company

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Hiring is taught. Hiring in the technology world is not different. Actually, maybe is even more difficult nowadays comparing with some other fields. Hiring the right people, in a tech hypergrowth company is even more difficult.

shallow focus photography of red and white for hire signage

I’ve been hiring persons for the software engineering field in a hypergrowth tech company for the last 3 years, including the COVID-19 pandemic time and, in this article, I’ll explain my journey and the lessons learned so far. Engage!

The Market Is Savage

Hiring people for software engineering and other jobs, like DevOps, it’s really, really (really) difficult. I find that many people already have a job they like. Asking a person to change their current job, it’s not an easy task. You, as a recruiter on duty, have to try to capt the attention of a potential candidate on the very first message you send her/him because, most probably, you will have just one single shot.

What I like to do is try to know about a bit the candidate I’m prowling, which is not an easy task, trying to understand her/his work interests. From there, I can try to find a spot that the candidate can find attractive. In my case, I’m not a professional recruiter, I can find time for the level of research.

I remember, back in the years, that finding a good job as a software engineer was not easy at all, and the life of the professional recruiters was easier. At that time, the DOTCOMs were raising up, and, more than software engineers, the companies needed “just people that know how to make a web page”. Old (not always good) times.

How do you convince somebody to change the job?

Money, perks, technological challenge. There are many different reasons because a person can change a job. Most of the time, people feel comfortable in the current company, and they are not willing to change. There is not a silver bullet. At the end of the day, what I used to do is to invest time to understand what a person is interested for and, if you are lucky, your company can offer something to that person in that direction… and better.

And let’s be honest, if you find a very good candidate, most probably you have the risk that another company could appear, at the same time, and offer to this candidate +30K over your budget. And you are f*cked.

The COVID-19 Situation Created A Breakpoint

man sitting facing monitor

Remote work“. Nowadays, when you reach a potential candidate, one of the first questions that this person will ask you is “what is the remote working policy your company offers?“.

Having a clear answer for this is key because it will save time, not only for this potential candidate but also for you. From my experience, after the COVID-19 situation, more people prefer the work from home mode, instead of going to the office. Here, it all depends on the policy your company has about remote work, and you, as a recruiter on duty, just have to transmit the message.

Cultural Fit And Hypergrowth

Each company has its own culture. Hire a candidate that actually fits the company’s culture is another key point. If you hire somebody that does not fit the company culture, the probability for that person to leave the company in less than 1 year is very high.

A tech company in hypergrowth mode is not suitable for everybody. You have to select people that are open to change and play really well on the uncertainty game. Roles and people grow and change very fast, and that noise could be something that could cause difficulties, instability, or even stress, to some people.

When you are hiring and you have a hint of doubt about a possible mismatch about company cultural fit or adaptation to a hypergrowth company, for the sake of everybody, it’s better to find another candidate.

Hiring From Internal Network Works

I’ve found that the internal network could help you to fill the open positions in your company. For example, on LinkedIn, you could find many people you worked with in the past, or from university time. You never know the situation of your fellows, if they are willing to change or not, so it’s worth it to ping them.

photo of outer space

Your internal network does not warrantee that you will fill in your open position. From my experience, the usage of the internal networks works at some point but, again, it’s not a silver bullet, so I do not recommend putting all your efforts searching over your internal network.

Final thoughts

The first final thought I want to share with all of you is that I’m still learning the skill of hiring people. I do not see a clear pattern or some process to follow up and reach the goal of fill in an open position.

It’s true that, nowadays, when a recruiter reaches you through LinkedIn for an open position for Software Engineering in a super nice company, most of the time you will not answer. But, if the same (or less formal) message is sent from a role-equal contact, you will, at least, read the message.

What works for you, most probably, will work with many other people. What made you change to another company last time? there you are.