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[External] How to Hire Well
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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 interviewing process. We need to know our interviewing 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
Intake via Searchlight - the hiring team (HM + Kerry/Anna) defines the role we are hiring for (i.e its impact, required competencies, interview scorecards, interviewing plan, 30-60-90 day plan)
A successful 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.
Example Questions in an Intake:
Why are you hiring for this role? What do you want a new hire in this role to accomplish in their first 3 months?
What are the most important strengths for a top performer in this role?
Are there must-have technical skills to be successful in this role?
What working styles would you like to add to your team?
Innovative or Structured?
Conflict Forward or Conflict Preventative?
Results-Oriented or Supportive?
Customer-Oriented or Self-Oriented?
Attention to Detail or Vision-Oriented?
What kind of impact does this role have on the company, product or culture?
What milestones would this person achieve at 30/60/90 days?
Why would someone be interested in this position?
Up to 5 Ideal Profiles from LinkedIn
Create Hiring Plan ()
JD Approved by Kerry or Anna before we start Sourcing
Source - we ping our networks, run Sourcing Jams internally, and outbound
First round screen - screen for startup aptitude, mission alignment, high processing speed, logistical match
Second round screen - screen for technical aptitude
Case study - screen for on-the-job performance
References via Searchlight - screen with feedback from people who've worked with the candidate before
Team Values Interviews - screen for cultural values + Searchlight 360
Offer
Hired!
Onboarding - solidify 30-60-90 day plan, use Searchlight onboarding Guides
Post-Hire Pulse Checks via Searchlight - measure Quality of Hire, realign on expectations
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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