#20 – Recruiting Primer – Part 3
In episode 20, the last of our trilogy on recruiting, we share advice to candidates, from ideas and processes on how to best be visible to recruiters, to how to get the job of your dreams. Also listen to our episodes 18 and 19, in which we share our core principles in recruiting and detailed advice to recruiters.
- Introduction (01:24 )
- Section 1 – How to get found (02:10 )
- Section 2 – How to get the first interview (04:08 )
- Section 3 – Interview questions (07:13 )
- Section 4 – How to get the offer (23:56 )
- Section 5 – Remote world (29:00 )
- Conclusion (39:59 )
- Bertrand Schmitt, Tech Entrepreneur, co-founder and Chairman at App Annie, @bschmitt
- Nuno Goncalves Pedro, Investor, co-Founder and Managing Partner of Strive Capital, @ngpedro
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Intro (01:24 )
Nuno: Welcome to episode 20. This episode, will conclude our trilogy on recruiting.
In episodes 18 and 19. We’ve discussed a variety of topics. We introduced the element of recruiting. We shared our own core principles around recruiting, and in the last episode, episode 19, we gave advice to recruiters.
Today, we will be discussing advice for candidates all the way from being found to how to be recruited in a changing remote world.
Bertrand: Let’s take the other side. Let’s think from a candidate perspective. What could be our advice for candidates. And obviously there is probably a lot of advice we can give.
Section 1 – How to get found (02:10 )
Nuno, do you want to start on maybe how to get found?
Nuno: Yes, and just to reframe this, this is not just based on third-party knowledge in the last decade, because both of us, have not been candidates, cetera, . I certainly have been reached out by a number of organizations. I’ve explored things beyond my own realm. And there’s obviously a lot of lessons learnt here that I think are still very fresh. The first piece is how do you get found, right? Who finds you and how do you make yourself visible in the market?
definitely LinkedIn, your profile needs to be clean. It needs to be clear and sharp about what you’re able to do or not. My LinkedIn profile is awful for that, just to be clear.
So please don’t look at my LinkedIn profile to get any great clues on that, having clarity in what you’ve done and what you’re an expert on and what are your achievements have been Turning your LinkedIn into a richer type of resume is very powerful. If you’re an engineer, Github Gitlab and other tools also convey a lot of these elements of being found in the market.
so that’s the beginning. It’s almost like your advertising systems and services that you want to be present on for recruiting
depending on the area you’re in. Obviously you should explore. Having some warm relationships with recruiters. And particularly as you get more senior and you moved to a middle level ranks or senior level ranks. knowing your recruiters and having them, having your mind. I believe that recruiters in Europe and Asia, I’ve shared this with many of my friends, external recruiters in Europe and Asia are less transactional than in the US and because of that, they normally keep warmer relationships with candidates through the years.
I certainly have warmer relationships. With some of the recruiters that I interacted with in Asia and in Europe and maybe in the us, this is again, a simplification obviously it varies very much with the recruiter and the individual, himself or herself. but definitely understand where the recruiters are, what’s being done, et cetera.
And then the final piece around being found is if you’re looking for a specific type of job, you need to find a job and you need to figure out the angle to it.
Section 2 – How to get first interview (04:08 )
Which maybe leads us a little bit to how to get through and get to that first interview and jumping through the hoops. But certainly there’s a lot of elements of being proactive, reaching out to companies. there’s a lot of amazing stories which are not just urban myths on. I remember Tristan Walker, I believe on how he got his gig. at I think it was at Foursquare early on and how he reached out to Dennis, and I always send him an email and said, I’m just fascinated by you guys. I’d like to join you. I hope I didn’t get the story wrong, but that’s for me. a really cool example. And so certainly if you’re coming out of an MBA, maybe if you’re a little bit more junior to mid-level, you can get away with a lot of this stuff. If you’re more senior navigating your network, pushing forward. Saying this role would be really interesting.
I’m in the market and being a little bit more forthcoming towards warm pieces of your network or warm nodes of your network. As I normally call it is a really good way to get through that first jump of resumes. into First interview.
Bertrand: That’s a good point, I was smiling, when you talk about this person, that Foursquare, because I’ve heard similar stories with Uber for instance. I forgot who at Uber, but maybe employee number one who reach out directly to Travis and got the job reaching through Twitter and when you read the story, it’s pretty amazing outcome for both of them because it worked out very well. I think you should not hesitate to reach out directly to a CEO, depending on the position if it’s high level enough in the organization . The CEO usually will follow up and make sure that people are going to follow up inside the organization.
It has to be high enough, obviously. You cannot have every request from everyone, but I know myself I’m always careful when a candidate reach out.
Nuno: Basically I’ve seen a lot of people recently, , being a venture capitalist that reach out to me saying, Oh, this person, or you invest in this company, or I believe you have some connection to this company. And in many cases, they are senior people and they saw a position that’s super exciting to them.
They reach out, can you reach out to this person? What I always say is warm is better than cold. Warmer than less warm. And what I mean by that is if you’re going to ask for an intro, the two things you need to make sure is one that my connection, the person that you’re asking to make that connection.
Has a warm connection to the other side and you’re looking for the warmest possible collection. So if it’s a portfolio company that’s very warm. If it’s a VC and it’s not a portfolio company is less warm. So you have to assess a little bit the type of relationship. And the second piece is the relationship to yourself.
So if the person that’s in the middle, that’s making this intro, actually has never worked with you. they can’t vouch for you. If they have worked with you, then that’s a super-duper vouching piece. So it actually gets you ahead. So again, it’s gradient, it’s a little bit fuzzy logic.
It’s not a. Black or white piece, but do make sure that you have the right person to do that intro the right channel to do that intro. That is the warmest possible intro to the table because that gets you not only the first interview, but it gets you a lot of credibility throughout the process. Yes.
Bertrand: That’s a fair point. People ask for one reference and you barely know them, and what’s the point ? There’s no point.
Section 3 – Interview questions (07:13 )
We wanted to show a list of interview questions from First Round VC. Who had a very good list of some of the top interview questions. And obviously, that’s very useful for recruiters, but obviously candidates would want to prepare on that.
And maybe we can go into some sort of rapid fire mode to share some of the typical question, but also what people are really looking for ultimately, because behind a question, there is always, an angle about what you are expecting in term of: are you expecting something directly in the answer or are you looking for a thought process? Or are you looking for indirectly some proof points? But it’s not always as obvious as it looks when you hear the question. Do you want to start a few of the first ones?
Nuno: Yes. and I’ll share a few that align with some questions. I also ask. but I would say
the powerful element of all the questions we have here is normally they align with three core areas that you should be asking questions around. One is depth of knowledge and depth of what you’ve done in the past, which is has this person really done this.
What skills did they really have, et cetera. And if you look at some of the questions, there is hidden questions, they are open questions that show you that the second piece is value system. What values do you stand for? What is the type of decision-making and ethics that you have? How do you work with other people on your team, et cetera.
And then. The third piece of the puzzle is really around, how do you see yourself fitting into this? And it’s more than cultural or value based, it’s really the element of passion and why us, right? Why would you join us? and, I think very little time is spent actually on that.
It’s very interesting to me. So just highlighting some of the questions . I actually was smiling when I was seeing some of the questions. Some of them I’ve been asking for a long time, definitely the, how do you see yourself? in this case, it’s three years down the road. In my case, I asked, how do you see yourself?
Five years down the road? What sort of role will you be in? What skills will you have developed that you don’t have right now? There’s a lot of elements around that position yourself in the future, but they’ll also show what you have today. they show your aspirations, then they show how you will fit into the organization.
another question that I love asking is on talking about career. When I ask at the beginning, can you give me a little bit your career arch? I always ask, can you focus in particular on what led you to leave? The organization to go to another role. So I focus a lot on transitions tell you a lot about the person they tell you about their ambitions, what didn’t work out, what things they were looking for, how they make really significant decisions like joining another organization and what will make them leave in the end, will they stick around or not through thick and thin, et cetera.
And then I ask some questions that are a little bit more. around, how do you see yourself around value system? Obviously you need to be a bit cautious and not going too much into the personal lives of people. because that is private and it should belong to them. but things like, for example, I think question 16.
Tell me about a time you strongly disagree with your manager. What did you do to convince them or her what ultimately happened? So it shows not only thought process, but it shows values, right? this person, felt that they add to dissent and have a different view. There was a person I used to work with that asked this question that I thought it was super off-putting somehow worked for him, which was when you wake up every morning, what do you see in the mirror? I was like, that’s a really nasty question.
It’s like whatever. And fortunately enough this guy actually ended up being my partner, back in the day, he was actually my bosses boss back in very early in my career. Fortunately, he didn’t ask me that question because I would be like, what the hell? so there’s a lot of elements, About, how do you work? do you need a lot of time by yourself versus do you actually work well in open environment with a lot of people around you How do interact with your colleagues? Give me an example of how you do that.
Again, drilling down into questions, is very powerful. I feel there’s a lot of great questions here. How about you? Some good questions that you liked?
Bertrand: So there are some questions I’ve been using again and again. Some questions I’m like, “Oh, that’s interesting. I should try this one.”
Let me tell you some of my favorites here.
First I always like to ask questions around where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years. 3 years I’m not so sure, but 5 to 10, for me it’s key to better understand candidates, where they want to go next and, what’s their mindset, and does it align or not align with what you’re hoping for in term of career ladders that you can propose to the candidate?
Transitions, I totally agree. For me it’s critical to understand all the critical transition points from companies to companies, or changing countries or whatever. So understanding transition is critical, no question.
Questions around what motivates you in your work, I think is quite important. To understand why are truly people waking up or staying up, at night? What motivates you in your work is a pretty big one.
I like one of the questions around, how do you separate someone who is great in a role versus someone who is outstanding? I think that’s an interesting question. I might have asked some flavor of that.
Asking questions on candidates. How did they prepare for this interview? Is a good
Nuno: I have this really good element, which is, always if you are a manager and if you’re hiring for a manager position, asking questions around recruiting of people, retaining people,
firing people is very powerful and you can almost do it sequentially.
one good question that was asked once and the drill down was amazing.
I really enjoyed it. was. : I’m sure you’ve had people that you’ve hired that didn’t work out. Give me an example that you think is very clear and also share with me why you didn’t think it worked out. And then they’re like, could you have done something different to make it work out for the person?
Or could you figure something out during the recruiting process? [or if you’d gone back to it, what would you have done differently in the recruiting process? And then what happened? Did you fire the person? How did you fire the person? What was the element and process that you fired the person under?
What happened to the person after? you can literally spend literally 10 to 15 minutes and this will give you a really clear understanding just around recruiting and firing for a manager, right? You spend 10-15 minutes and you get a really good understanding of how that person functions in terms of recruiting and firing and how they think through that process and how they evolve over time, et cetera.
Bertrand: One question I love to ask is for candidates to share with me some tough experience, tough times in their lives, it can be professional, or if they want to share something personal, that’s fine. But that’s something I love to hear about sometimes maybe especially in the Bay people who never had any tough times in their life, or at least that’s what they tell you that is probably surprising and difficult to believe, but who knows?
For me first it’s clear that you need to be able to share with me some tough times, not just once, but two, three times-different situation, different contexts. And you share with me, how you went through it, what you learnt, and we always end up having some tough times at work, and you want to understand how these people are going to be able to get through that or actually to lead us through that, and to get stronger in a way, through that and how thick of a skin they have. So for me, that’s pretty critical.
And after that, you have different type of questions. You have different flavors of this question: How did you manage not just tough times but something different? Might be, how much did you disagreed with your manager, or with your boss?
So that’s one of the questions that First Round is raising. I think that’s good to talk about disagreement, but what was the closing? How did you convince him or her that you were right? What ultimately happened? And ultimately, maybe you were not right. That type of question for me pretty important.
Asking question about your best boss or your worst boss, is an interesting one because you would be able to share your value statement in a way of what you feel is important or not important in a boss or what is dangerous.
What part of the company culture that you like, you enjoy, you expect, are you hoping for when you join us? I think that’s a very important question. You want to understand what are the key pieces for a candidate when they are joining a company. And actually there is this interesting discussion in Silicon Valley, right now with the CEO of Coinbase who raise that question about mission driven. Are you mission driven? Are you focused on the mission of the company? Or are you not? And that’s really, I believe as a CEO, a very, very fair question.
I think that there are a lot of stuff you can do and achieve and change the world through a company, and at the same time there are some other stuff that’s more I believe your private life and your private goals, and you should follow them. It doesn’t mean the company has to follow them or should be following them.
I think another question that is key is to share how you handle and address mistakes. Everyone has done mistakes. And this question is pretty important because sometimes I see candidates who have done nothing wrong and that’s not a good sign.
Nuno: We want to hire those.
Bertrand: So you have to be prepared for this question as a candidate, that’s a critical typical one, and again that’s life, but if you share something that is not a mistake at all or is so small, it doesn’t matter, that’s probably bad. Because you have probably done worse than that. do I think this part is key on what we want to understand is, what have you learnt from that.
Nuno: I would just say from the perspective of this, there’s also a core element that needs to come beforehand,
which is the candidate does need to prepare and preparing has certain. Different levels to it. The first level is the level of understanding the company that you’re talking to, the type of position, more or less what the job description looks like, I’ll come back to that in a second.
The person that you’re talking to check their LinkedIn, at least if you can check out some of the stuff they’ve published, if they have videos, if they’ve talked, if they’ve done something else, understand what they’re doing, because that allows you to empathize and to actually create a little bit of proximity, just to start the conversation I’m not talking about. name dropping of, Oh, we both know this person or whatever, but just understand where the person is coming from. And so in some ways that is also a skill that you need to have before the conversation starts. The chit-chat early piece of the conversation. That preparation is not a static thing. It’s not you prepare a lot for your first call. , maybe you don’t prepare a lot for your first call. You have a little bit of a high level understanding. But as you move through the process, you need to prepare more and more. You need to understand the organization more and more. You need to understand the rule more and more. The other thing you need to actually think through before going into the conversation is what questions do I still have?
And some of these questions might be difficult questions like, questions around something you heard about the company. That’s not so positive. It might be. Questions around, what moves that person to be in that organization. It might be around what are they actually looking for? What are the complexities of the role day one? again, prep. As you move along, prep more, the final element is sometimes candidates. For some reason, they shy away from asking information early on. And what I mean by that for example, even in senior hires, Internal recruiters, Google, Facebook, Amazon, all these guys. Normally when they reach out to a senior to potential senior candidate, then they’re doing it outbound.
The person might not be in the market. They don’t tell you what they’re looking for. they won’t right? They say, okay, to talk there, maybe a couple of positions that might be interesting, but at least we get to know each other. The reason for that is they want to have a healthy top of funnel and they want to pitch you on the organization and have you on the database as a more qualified lead.
So they’re doing actually a sales job, But they normally always have one role in mind. And because of that, you should ask them, look, understand that you want to have a broad conversation. But maybe you do have one specific role in mind. Would you mind sharing the job description for that role? I do understand you want to have a broader conversation, but would you mind sharing that job description in advance because that preps you.
You are at this game of saying maybe the job description is not very exciting so this role is not very exciting so I’m going to pitch myself as something else or you are going to adapt your pitch to fit that job description.
So that it’s a little bit more conducive to that. Otherwise you’re in the dark, there’s a huge asymmetry of information. When the recruiter reaches out to you and has that first call.
Bertrand: That’s a fair point. In agreement there, I do not a great experience dealing with the best corporates, but from what I’m hearing is that you’re 100% on point.
Maybe some other typical questions to go through, I think we have a few more where they probably resonate with us. I think one piece is showing as a candidate self awareness about your strengths and weakness, your likes and dislikes. I think that for me is key and personally, I don’t mind sharing some some stuff I am strong, some other stuff weak, some other stuff I liked, some other stuff I don’t like. And I think it’s better for everyone because you want people to have that good sense, and yes, people might change. People might improve, but at the same time, as we know, there is probably a lot more, you can do by leveraging your strengths rather than trying to correct your weakness. I think you definitely need to round yourself off because there is no choice, you cannot be all squared and painful to deal with on some topic or incompetent on some topic, but once that level of roundness done , you really need to leverage your strengths. So, being self-aware, you are self aware, asking questions around that, that will illustrate that more. Being ready to answer that, I think is pretty critical in the process.
Nuno: One final hack I would share is, don’t forget you’re talking to another person. And as it is normally the case people are also very passionate about themselves And there is nothing wrong with having the interviewer spend a lot of time talking about him or herself Actually in pitching to you, they’re in sales mode themselves, the opposite is not true.
So if you’re doing all the talking. It probably means a couple of things. One is that maybe you’re being a little bit too defensive and verbose on your answers. And at some point in time, you’re going off the deep end. So you’re not being sharp in answering them. So being sharp in answering them, not one word, but like sharp and being clear on the answer.
Because if the answer wasn’t clear or it didn’t really address the question, normally the interview will push back and ask again or reframe the question. But at the same time also create space for the interviewer to intervene and share their own views, et cetera, even beyond the Q&A at the end. And I’ve seen some really aggressive interviewers, certainly. in my past experience, I’d say maybe some of the interviews I had way back when at Google, some interviews I had at Amazon where they’re very thoughtful about really focusing a significant part of the interview on you and therefore really asking questions and not sharing much of themselves except for their own intro.
And then they reserve time at the end to really share and do the Q&A But in general, most interviewers actually want to step in and they actually want to share more. And if they do let them talk, . this is the ultimate hack, an interview where I’m sure I’ve done really well as a candidate throughout my career is an interview where the interviewer ended up doing most of the talking because either they were selling to me or they felt nice about sharing their own experiences or they didn’t feel they needed to probe dramatically onto my experience.
Again, not a bad thing.
Bertrand: In agreement, and maybe one last piece I like to understand is the ability of candidates to learn . What I mean here is in our life, It’s not just what we learn in school, in grad school and in MBA. It’s what you learn not just on the job, but also, for your personal interest. Testing candidates for what they have learnt recently, past few months, past few years, and not just learnt casually, but what are some topics that you have really dug deeply to better yourself? Again, might be for personal reason, might be for professional reason. That for me is interesting because I believe that you need to have some traits around always learning and because the world is changing too fast and you need to be proactive in learning about some of the latest.
Let’s take engineering, it may be learning the latest in term of AI. It may be learning the latest in term of a framework build apps. Is it Flutter the new thing? Have you dug into it, for instance? So I think that part is critical to show an ability to constantly learn and research because for so many positions you would be in that situation where you have to discover new stuff. Or at the very least you have to be aware about what’s the latest in order to make the right decision.
Section 4 – How to get the offer (23:56 )
Nuno: So maybe moving to how to close it, how to get the offer, how to really get to the last stage. If you’re a candidate. At a certain point in the process, not early on, normally, not on a first caller first interview, but certainly as you move forward through a couple of interviews, it is very fair to just ask, how does it work, the process? what are the different steps to this? how would you make a call?
and rarely this question is asked now in some organizations may be a little bit more nascent organizations. That process is sometimes a little bit unclear, . in larger organizations, the process is normally pretty clear early on, right?
At least. From in terms of steps, maybe not in terms of number of interviews or exactly who’s going to interview you, but certainly in terms of steps. So having that understanding and being clear about it is important. And then once you’re getting to a point where you’re getting close to the close, so to speak, how do you really make sure that you’re in touch with either the recruiters managing the overall process and your touch point into the organization or to the hiring manager in other cases?
How do you make sure that you understand whether you’re still in contention or not? If you move forward or not? Obviously you can’t be too pushy. You can’t act desperate. You can’t, be like, okay, I did my last interview yesterday. The next day I’m asking did I get the job.
But there are certainly ways to manage that process and it’s better to get a clear no than not get any answer at all. so in my perspective, you also need to manage that. So maybe a couple of weeks in there’s no answer you probe, .
one final aspect. You also can push to close through different mechanisms. For example, again, if it’s a more nascent organization or if it’s a smaller organization, for example, VC firms are very small. Is there something you can propose to the table? If you’re feeling there’s a little bit of doubt still, but they clearly like you as a candidate. Could you propose something like, for example, could I participate in a team meeting?
Could I participate in a meeting or a call that gives me a bit of perspective on the organization, but also allows me to share that within the boundaries, obviously this shouldn’t be like a partner meeting at a VC firm or whatever, but. It could be, for example, a startup is pitching in the case of VC as a good example. and Sometimes you can propose that to the organization. You could say, would that be a good way for us to move forward? I remember way back when, when I went to McKinsey, I unfortunately didn’t go, to a venture capital firm who was trying to hire me on the East coast to be a principal.
And. As part of their process, they were asking me at the end, “would you be willing to spend some time with us on the ground? And I said, Oh, of course. And could I actually attend a couple of pitch meetings? And they’re like, Oh, I think so. Sure. And I ended up attending two pitch meetings with them and it was great because I could be in the room, see how they acted.
I could ask the questions myself. there was no issue with VCs really? Cause you can always say this person’s an advisor or whatever. You don’t need to go into a lot of details. and for me, it was a really edifying experience. And I do feel they only made me the offer after that they were like, okay, this guy can fit. he has a similar value system. He’s really smart, but he’s not an asshole. He has a similar tenure and tone to us.
and it’s very funny because I remember on one of the startups I actually said you should invest in this company, obviously subject to due diligence of that startup but it seems like a really interesting thing. And they were super negative about the company.
As I said, in the end, I ended up at McKinsey. I didn’t take that offer. but a year and a half later, I met the CEO of that company. and this VC firm did not invest in them. And they actually were an eight X return, from the valuation that these guys could have invested in a year and a half before they sold to another company.
So I’m like, okay, cool.
So again, you can try different things. You can really push the envelope. if you feel there’s a little bit of doubt without being negative, but really showing passion, showing that you want to be involved in the team see how it works.
Bertrand: I believe that it’s totally fair to ask even relatively early on what is the process? What is the timeline and not everything might be super precise yet, but hopefully there’re some clear steps in the process else there is, there is also, should be relatively clear. And I think it’s very far from, fair ask for the candidate. The other piece is that, at the end or step by step what happens if you have multiple offers, as a candidate and timing might be a problem. So, I think here you have to be transparent relatively early on in some ways around what are your opportunities on timing? Because the last thing you want is to be going through a lot of steps in your process, and then suddenly say, by the way I need an answer tomorrow or by the next day, that would not be seen super well, by that company.
And you never know, it’s a small world, you want to be careful and be proactive early on if you have a timing issue, because then potentially company could accelerate their own process to make sure they align with your process, but don’t play games. Companies might be willing to adjust, accelerate, but at some point they might know if it was just a game, and it’s always a big risk
to take So be somewhat transparent but don’t over do it
Section 5 – Remote world (29:00 )
And maybe to our final topic, which I know is a topic you like a lot, which is what happens in a remote world. What happens in a world that is becoming increasingly virtual, which is the world we’re riding right now because of COVID in a world where a lot of interactions can’t be in person. , what changes for recruiters? What changes for candidates?
Bertrand: And also to be clear, the current world is not a normal one. It’s not the world is a safe place and you decide to work remotely. It’s a world where it’s not safe to travel. It’s not even safe to meet some of your family members. It’s not safe to send your kids at school. It’s a very special world. So our view of what’s happening in the remote world these days might be tainted by a very special situation that is not 100% representative of a normal, remote situation.
But definitely we are in a special pandemic remote world these days. So what is changing? But what is changing first is that some companies have highlighted that they won’t go back to physical meetings, to the office before mid of 2021. To be frank, I think it might be actually optimistic at this stage, mid 2021. We will see.
I hope, certainly hope to be wrong on this one, but more important some companies have already started, and when I say some companies, some of the biggest in the world, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Dropbox, Zillow , Coinbase have highlighted that in some cases they are moving to a remote first world, even post pandemic, post-COVID, or they are moving to a 50/50 in the next few years. So my point is that it’s not just right now what’s happening, but what’s going to happen going forward.
And I think it’s creating new opportunities because it might mean that you are going to be able to work remotely for great companies that you might never have been able to work for. Before you want to work for Google you have to move to the Bay, or you have to move to one of their global locations, and if you live somewhere else too bad. So I think it’s creating some new opportunities that were not there before on both sides. Candidates who can join great companies wherever they are and companies that can reach out to great candidates, wherever they
Nuno: Absolutely. And, I think there’s some elements of being remote that are not necessarily new. A lot of the early conversations.
that happened with companies in some cases could happen over a call. And in some ways, now we’ve moved to, it’s not just a call, it’s a video call. so that, I think hasn’t really changed that dramatically. The meeting in person is both through of recruiters, hiring managers, but also of candidates, which missing that interaction with the person and with a work environment and the building, et cetera, is a huge handicap in my opinion, there’s ways to solve for that certainly if it’s. Down to two candidates and it’s a significant position. I don’t see a reason why the hiring manager wouldn’t find a way of meeting both of those candidates in person, socially distance with masks, et cetera.
If they happen to be in the same location, obviously if they’re full remote, then that’s a very different conversation and discussion.
I think the onus on selling the culture of the company, the onus on selling, the team and the role. Is much higher. It’s more difficult also to do it. So finding intelligent ways of doing it, getting people in on a zoom video call with a whole team, which might not be the natural thing to do. there’s a lot of things you can do around it. So there’s a couple of hacks that I think will change the way, companies interact with their candidates. But in some ways, also candidates have a little bit of an easier way certainly early on to get in front of potential recruiters, . Because, they can shoot a bunch of emails they can reach out to on LinkedIn. It’s gone also very digital, the whole process. , so the process becomes with a lower bar. The thing you should be aware of. We’ve talked about this in the past, also with startups is because it’s easier to send in your resume or to get in front of a recruiter or potentially even a hiring manager early on in the process it also means that it’s because it is easier there’s a higher level of noise. So they’re seeing more candidates and they’re seeing more people. And obviously the world has had a lot of layoffs as well. So there’s even more people in the market looking for jobs. And so how do you stand out. What message do you write?
How do you reach out to people? Going back to the point we were making earlier around warmer intros versus colder intros, et cetera, becomes really important. So from a candidate standpoint, I would say one of the big shifts is you need to hack your way through your network or through mechanisms of getting in front of people.
Otherwise you’ll normally be below the noise level that all said a lot of it. I think at some point we’ll go back to a new normal in some ways, there are still elements of meeting in person that are still going on for certain hiring. So the world has changed. some of it, I think will change maybe forever other pieces.
will go back to what we had before.
Bertrand: I’m in agreement with that, again this is not a normal situation, even by remote work standards. One question that has been raised quite a bit this past few months, is remote work, does it mean remote pay? Does it mean that you have a different pay based on where you are based and usually true. If you are a global company working in many countries, many regions, you adjust the pay to the local situation, the level of competitiveness in that environment.
So the big question is more: is your level of talent is specific relative to location? To a city? To a country? To a region ? To the world? If you’re a world expert, wherever you are based, you are going to command a world expert type of package. If you are a regional expert, if you are a local expert, that’s not the same. Then you will be more subject to some level of local pay. There might be a difference between the cash and the stock. You might adjust more the cash part, but keeps the level of upside and incentive more shared on a global basis. I’ve seen that done. Again with the caveat that not every region value stocks the same way, but if you believe your candidates value similarly, that might be something very rational to do.
Nuno: This will become definitely a much more complex issue for HR operations, people that need to deal with payroll and benefits, et cetera, because they need to figure out, how do I pay this person? And this person lives
in Bali because they do take a remote pay, but I still need to figure out, how does this work? So certainly I’m being a bit facetious, but the complexity on the ops side might actually. Might actually increase. and maybe we end up on an interesting note, which is around work itself and this notion of recruiting and how does it all come together? We’ve been in a world where you have a full-time job.
Normally you have a full-time job, one at a time. maybe some people will have to get away with a couple of part-time jobs, but. The norm is you have a full-time job most of the time. And the gig economy has obviously brought us the freelancing economy as well, which has people that do different things different times.
You’re a driver for Uber and for Lyft. And you might also do some stuff for TaskRabbit but there’s, I think something more profound happening. and I know Bertrand you have a very strong view on this as well, and there’s some great services right now in the market that are. Really the fuel to a lot of the revolution that we’re seeing, but certainly we’re seeing a lot more even white collar jobs becoming sort of partial time jobs, freelancing jobs, where I consult with companies or pod-like jobs, where I bring my pod to the table.
I’ve two or three people that I work with and we work on two or three engagements at the same time, or we do roles that are actually interim. Roles for a company, but we do them in parallel. And that world I think is fascinating to me. I do think the world is changing and we’re going to have a much more flexible work environment where it’s not one person, one full-time job.
It might be one person, even a very high cooly qualified person, one person, several jobs at the same time.
Bertrand: I agree, I think we have not solved, for all of this situation to be frank. The fact that you’re working for multiple companies at once, there might be confidentiality involved, competition involved. So I think there are some constraints. Definitely what’s interesting for me is that it started with the gig economy, as you said, with blue collar work, a new marketplace approach.
And I see this approach moving to white collar work as well, for sure. And different models have evolved. we have the Upwork approach, where you bid typically for a project. You might be a freelancer yourself. You might be a small agency, a small development house.
Or you have some other approach the TopTal approach where you are focused one hundred percent on one specific mission, one specific company might be three months, six months, you’re paid more by the day, by the week, by the month, but you’re still freelance, because you want the because you want the ability to work remote. And what’s interesting with that model of TopTal for instance is that they will do the vetting first, they will vet candidates in depth. If I pick engineering candidates for instance, they would vet them, the same way that you would get vetted trying to get an engineering job at Google.
And, so it means is that, you will have much more certified candidates. Not just based on the previous ratings from some random other clients, but based on a very detailed approach to recruiting, to recruit specific type of talent in engineering, or in sales, or others. And I’m quite a big believer of that. I believe a lot of the work that is being done to recruit candidates, can really be in a way shared across companies. Some similar approach on how you evaluate the technical side of the ability of a specific candidate in sales, in engineering, is actually what is shared by the industry.
So, Why we do that all over again all the time with candidates, and I think a Toptal approach helps solve for that. You might have cultural issues. You might have communication issues. You might have industry experience that you maybe missing, but there is a lot of common technical skill evaluation that is critical to be done, and that can be done once and for all in some ways, by some companies like TopTal or some other approach like a Triplebytes, for instance, that is doing that, not for financiers, but for regular hires.
So yes, I’m pretty excited by all the new options that are happening. And I think especially for startups, you should think carefully about your business model and your approach to be more efficient, that’s a way to beat your competition, who might be bigger, slower, and not ready to adapt to this type of new opportunities or new way to work.
Conclusion (39:59 )
Nuno: In summary, the recruiting space hasn’t changed that dramatically, although it has certainly changed certain pieces with tools, with the environment of more distributed teams and remote teams, but the future of work, does surely. Look different with the podification of work, the gig economy with the sharing of my time and my expertise, across opportunities.
Bertrand: Indeed. Thank you Nuno
Nuno: Thank you Bertrand.