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How to Hire Well

💡 "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" - Aristotle
"Moby Dick was written by one person. Adding another person wouldn't necessarily have made Moby Dick better. It might not even have helped it be written faster" - Ivan, founder @ Notion
In other words: We will accomplish greater things as a team. But keep the quality bar high.

Principles

Hiring is not just about closing the offer, it’s about setting the new hire up for success. We aim for a Quality of Hire >= 8
We have Impact Descriptions rather than job descriptions
Our compensation structure is currently 60-75th percentile cash, 60-75th percentile equity.
Adjust the percentiles as needed, but it’s important to have one.
We are transparent about our selection process. We need to know our selection process before we start sourcing candidates.
We don’t have levels and titles. Avoiding bureaucracy and title polities will help us go fast. We will promote or hire our first VP at Series B.
We use equitable & inclusive sourcing and hiring best practices.
There is a good chance that despite our very best efforts to hire and onboard well, we will need to part ways with our new hire. Once someone joins, however, it is normal to become invested in their success and not see warning signs that it’s not a good match. This is why it is especially important to use the success criteria and 30-60-90 plan you defined before you make the hire to objectively assess your new hire. If it is not the right match, it is best to part ways early for the good of everyone. You can learn more about .

ABC: Always be Closing

Write a few bullet points on why someone should join you and your company.
Example:
Searchlight is creating a new category in people tech by making hiring objective, data-driven and measurable. Both companies and candidates win when we find better matches.
It's the perfect time to join: Freshly funded by top-tier investors like Founders Fund, Accel, and YC.
Fast-growing team tackling a $150B market with a category-defining product.
77 NPS with customers like Zapier, Udemy, and Coda.
Women-led and mission-driven company; founders are Forbes 30U30 with backgrounds from Stanford, Uber, Google, and McKinsey.
Opportunity for meaningful ownership, leadership, and autonomy on a <20 person team

Your Culture Scorecard

Culture Alignment is one of the biggest predictors of performance and retention at your company.

Our Process

Stage
What
Who
How
Canvas
1
Job Setup (
)
A successful Job Setup (aka Intake) is one of the highest predictors of a successful hires. Deciding the attributes of a successful employees and their 30-60-90 day plan is a forcing function for you to know what the right hire looks like, so you can hire fast and set them up for success.
Hiring Manager, Recruiter
Searchlight
Open
2
Create Hiring Plan () and Impact Description ()
Design how you will engage and assess for the right person for the job
Hiring Manager, Recruiter
Open
3
Source
Build a pipeline of great candidates either inbound or outbound
Hiring Manager, Recruiter
We ping our networks, run Sourcing Jams internally, and outbound via Gem. If you use LinkedIn, run to make finding candidates easier.
Open
4
Initial Screen
Screen Application based on initial Criteria into 1-4
Recruiter
Open
5
Candidate Review
Review candidates after Initial Screen
Hiring Manager, Recruiter
Open
6
First Call
Screen for startup aptitude, mission alignment, high processing speed, logistical match
Recruiter
Open
7
2nd Round Interviews
Screen for technical aptitude
Hiring Manager
Open
8
Final Round Interviews
Assess against criteria (hard skills, soft skills, and culture). Recommend including a case study.
Hiring Team
Open
9
References
Another way of assessing the candidate against the criteria, and validate information in interviews
Searchlight
Open
10
Debrief
Open
11
Offer
Give the offer and reasons why you believe it’s the right match
Hiring Manager
Open
12
Hired 🎉
Open
13
Onboarding
Solidify 30-60-90 day plan, use Searchlight onboarding Guides
Open
14
Post-Hire Pulse Checks
Measure Quality of Hire, intervene if necessary, learn how to hire better next time
Hiring Manager, New Hire
Searchlight
Open
There are no rows in this table

Tech Stack

- our overall quality of hire platform that manages Intake, Scorecards, References, Onboarding Guides, and Post-Hire Reviews
- our ATS
- our sourcing tool
- for compensation benchmarks (free account)

Other Resources

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