Make Job Descriptions More Inclusive

You can attract more diverse applicants if you avoid using male pronouns and stereotypically masculine words or attributes when outlining desired qualifications. Tools like Textio can help identify if language in job descriptions is potentially disqualifying.

Nurture Your Talent Pool With Drip Email Marketing

Most of the time we can only hire one person for a position. That means we may have to turn down some really talented people. Don’t let the work you did finding that talent go to waste. They can become a stable of potential employees ready to fill your next position.

One easy way to make this work is through drip email marketing. Once you’ve made … [ Read more ]

Assign New Employees an Early Win

Consider giving new recruits a small project they can accomplish during their first month on the job. Have them all spend five minutes presenting whatever it is they did at the next All Hands following their first day. It’s an opportunity to make immediate impact and introduce themselves to everyone in a positive light. It’ll also build camaraderie between folks who started within the same … [ Read more ]

Test Drive New Employees

Not sure if an employee can “hack” the startup environment? Try freelancing first or do what companies like Automattic do – figure it out by having potential employees do real (paid) tasks with the team before making it official.

Reverse Mentoring: Putting Personal Advantage to Collective Good Use

To address inequality of opportunity, we need to acknowledge and address the systemic advantages and disadvantages that people experience daily. For leaders, recognizing their advantage blindness can help to reduce the impact of bias and create a more level playing field for everyone. Being advantaged through race and gender come with a responsibility to do something about changing a system that unfairly disadvantages others.

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Use … [ Read more ]

Hire to Train

Here’s the good news: The new, bigger role of learning allows you to save money in hiring. When I launched my first company in 2008, one of my first hires was a CTO. I chose an experienced developer who was in huge demand and was an expensive hire.

I also hired an entry-level employee who demonstrated enormous potential and ambition, although he had only rudimentary development … [ Read more ]

Identifying the Ideal Employee

Claire Hughes Johnson, COO of Stripe, occasionally finds it helpful to plot members of the team on a Venn Diagram with three circles: People who are good at their work, people who are making great impact, and people who love what they do. The ideal employee fits into all three circles. Make a list of all the people who fall into this bucket. What other … [ Read more ]

Improve Your Hiring Process

In hiring, what most leaders do is they have a set of criteria, they evaluate a bunch of candidates through interviews and resumes and other information available, and then they make decisions based on their gut. You could actually turn that process into a much more scientific approach, where you lose none of your experience but you add a lot of data.

The way I would … [ Read more ]

Entry Interviews

Too often, managers don’t know enough about what work people enjoy. It spills out in exit interviews — a standard practice in every HR department to find out why talented people are leaving and what would have convinced them to stick around. But why wait until they’re on their way out the door? Instead, use entry interviews. In the first week on the job, managers … [ Read more ]

Open Salaries

Buffer has taken transparency to an extreme. The social-media management tool firm has adopted what it calls an “open salaries” system, publishing all of its salaries, as well as the standardized formulas with which those salaries were calculated: Salary = job type x seniority x experience + location. In other words, a salary is determined by a base pay based upon job type; plus, a … [ Read more ]

Listen to the New Hire’s “Outsider” Ideas

One important milestone during the first six months is to get your new hire’s perspective on your operation. It seems like an obvious thing to do, but getting information from someone less experienced can be annoying. They have all these ideas and they question everything: why you do what you do and why you do it the way you do it. So we fight it … [ Read more ]

Improve Your Interviewing Process

NerdWallet gives candidates the following materials to make their experience before and after company onsites better:

  • An interview day outline. NerdWallet sends every candidate an outline detailing their day at the office 48-hours before they arrive. It includes: the names and roles of the team members with whom they’ll meet, interview times and duration, and any activities they will be participating in throughout the day. The

[ Read more ]

Don’t Pre-screen Job Candidates, Use a Take-home Test Insead

For certain jobs, especially technical positions, replace pre-screening based on education and experience with a take-home test. This saves significant time and energy and allows you to engage with promising candidates faster.

But the most important reason not to pre-screen is that it removes a huge source of initial bias. Many incredibly talented candidates won’t have the education or experience recruiters are trained to look for. … [ Read more ]

The Power of Random Coffees

One of the biggest challenges in fast-growing companies is silos. Imaginary walls spring up between departments. Before you know it, the sales team and the engineering team, for instance, feel like two totally different companies. They’re not meshing socially and — just as worrying — they’re not collaborating or exchanging information on projects. This lack of coordination inevitably hurts the final product and the customer’s experience.

This is a huge … [ Read more ]

Whisper Courses

This reminds me of something our leadership-development team launched last year with behavioral nudging. We created what we call “whisper courses,” which were based on the premise that, as leaders, we have the best intentions yet get so busy and forget to do the many little things that matter so much. I recall us talking about how nice it would be to have this invisible … [ Read more ]

OKR: An Agile Goal-setting Process

High-performing managers create simple goals, make sure they are clear and transparent, and revisit them regularly. Google, for example, uses an agile goal-setting process called OKR (objectives and key results), which was originally developed at Intel. The process is simple and effective: Each individual (from CEO down) sets ambitious and measurable objectives (like “launch Gmail version X by year end”) and are asked to define … [ Read more ]

Communications and Messaging Guidance for Your Managers

I’m a big believer in teaching leaders to fish. That’s why we’ve rolled out a weekly(ish) email for leaders … that summarizes all the things they need to be thinking about in terms of managing and messaging to their team. We break it down into a few sections: things to know, things to do, things to share. It sounds simple, but let’s be real, leaders … [ Read more ]

Don’t Leave the Interviewing to the Bosses!

In every interview I’ve ever had with another company, I’ve met my potential boss and several peers. But rarely have I met anyone who would be working for me. Google turns this approach upside down. You’ll probably meet your prospective manager (where possible—for some large job groups like “software engineer” or “account strategist” there is no single hiring manager) and a peer, but more important … [ Read more ]

Onboarding Program for New Executives

Bank of America … has created an onboarding program for executives one to two levels below the C-suite. The program aims to ensure that the new executives understand role expectations, quickly develop a network among key stakeholders, build relationships with their team, and learn from other leaders what it takes to succeed, especially in their particular role. To achieve these objectives, the program must transfer … [ Read more ]

Recognize and Make the Most of Linchpin Roles

Not all roles are created equal. Many companies don’t take the trouble to understand which are their linchpin roles—as distinct from high-performing or high-potential people. These are roles that have a big influence on the customer experience or that provide critical support or coaching to employees who shape the customer’s response. Given scarce resources, targeting these roles can be an efficient way to raise employee … [ Read more ]