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Excitement & hiring

Excitement & hiring


Surprisingly, the most difficult conversation I have with senior or lead designers all around is about hiring. Not hiring as a generic topic but specifically the strategy to hire that will work in mid-to-long term. Let me paint a relatable picture.

There's an opening in the team for hiring. This opening could be because someone left, was asked to leave, or new work scope came up. Now, this becomes someone's responsibility. The responsibility includes:

  1. Putting out a job description

  2. Vetting applicants

  3. Reaching out to network in the ecosystem or friends for recommendations

  4. Setting up the first few rounds of interviews

  5. Figuring out how to interview, panel, rounds etc.

  6. Closing the role with good confidence

  7. Get them started on the project they were hired for

It's fairly easy to put these steps together when you're the one hiring. Think why should a potential candidate be excited about this role? Why should they apply? Why should they pick you vs. any other company out there? Why should they go through the grill of multiple interviews? And finally, why should they finally join you?

Unfortunately, most don't think about these questions and end up with poor quality of applicants, less number of applicants or folks who are just browsing and not interested. This is more common than one would think.

As a result, things get messy. Enough time had been spent in the above process so desperation kicks in. One becomes either too reluctant to hire or desperate to hire. Desperation makes them lower the bar of quality and let anyone just good enough come in. Only to realise months later that it was a wrong decision.

Solution is simpler actually. In the long run, of course.

  • If you want to hire, understand that role yourself in-and-out. Become interested.

  • Dig your well before you're thirsty. Start looking for folks in the ecosystem even when you're not hiring. You should never run out of potential candidates.

  • Keep talking about the work you're doing. Even if you feel it's basic or trivial. If you don't talk about your work, you can't expect anyone else to.

  • Talking about your work signals excitement, passion, care. If you don't get excited about the work, how do you expect someone else to?

  • Talking about the work can take any shape and form. Do it on a medium of your choice — Instagram, Twitter, Company blog, Telegram or Whatsapp group, or Friday evening house parties.

  • Be the person known for staying excited about your work.

  • That's mostly what directly or indirectly starts attracting talent.

  • People see the passion, the excitement over time and want to work with an individual or a philosophy with which something gets built.

  • The easy and most common reaction to hiring block situations are, "let's reach out to more folks now and we can write or evangelise about our work later since it's not going to bring in any impact now anyway". It's also the worst thing one can do in the short term.

  • Always, gun for the long term solution. Talk about your work with pride. Brag about it.

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