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Three Strategies for Interviewing Candidates – Startup Recruiting Guide

Recruiting new employees is one of the most pivotal moments in an early startup’s lifecycle. Time and resources are scarce, so finding qualified candidates quickly becomes a top priority. For any startup leader, it’s necessary to take ownership of the recruiting and hiring duties, at least for the first few hires, as they are going to set the tone and define the culture of your company for years to come.

The recruiting process can be time consuming and expensive. Harvard Business Review reports that bad hiring decisions result in high employee turnover rates. Plus, the estimated cost of replacing a salaried employee is close to $7,000 dollars. The interview process is a good way to weed out candidates that may look good on paper but don’t have the skills or personality to fit in with your company. Here are a few tips to help you interview and hire candidates:

  • Review samples of a candidate’s past work and/or have them bring it in and walk you through it. This could be a personal portfolio, blog, website, or code repository. You want to test that they can articulate the process of building on an idea and how they worked through challenges they came across.
  • Host a group interview and have candidates work on projects in teams. This helps you identify which candidates work well with others and are not afraid to be outspoken when needed. You can also get a glimpse of candidates with great work ethic.
  • Present a problem that your company is currently facing and have the candidate work out a plausible solution on a whiteboard. Whiteboard challenges are a great way to test the candidate’s skills, ability to think on their feet, and their ability to communicate effectively. If the role is a bit more technical, an individual timed hackathon is a great option to consider.

We know that building out your team can be challenging and time-consuming. That’s why, we built Smartly, where you can efficiently browse and connect with high caliber candidates for your open positions. Also, in our previous post we covered some great options for choosing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for your startup, you can find that here.

Sign up or head back to Smartly Talent to browse our candidates today! And, while we are in beta, your first hire is free.

Head Back to Smartly Talent


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