Recruiters
June 17, 2020

How Recruiting Behaviors Differ: From Start-ups to the corporate scene

Startups might run the risk of tanking earlier on, which makes their recruiting process fundamentally different than bigger, established organizations. Here’s why.
Source: Pixabay

Start-up organizations have this sort of exciting buzz around them. Elon Musk founded his own startup and quite literally dropped out of a PhD program to work around the clock in 1995, eventually selling his company for 22 million in 1999 to a much bigger software company. There is a classic picture of Musk huddled over a computer in the heyday of this startup, lots of stacks of papers and notes surrounding him, wearing shorts and basically living out of the office.

There is some truth to what this picture of Musk represents for the start-up community. Having a very small team, informal working hours that often lead into weekends and blur the boundary between social and working life, and of course a non-existent HR team and little budgeting room to hire on people.

As such, hiring operations for startup-culture can be tricky, and non-traditional. So much about hiring for a startup has to do with the internal culture of the organization, having the right personality to deal with the slight dysfunction of how the whole operation is running, and being humble—able to understand that failure is part of the process and that resilience is needed for startup employees.

In essence, recruiting behaviors and trends for web developers and software developers in startup culture shares some of these commonalities. Startups, and their founders rely heavily on word-of-mouth connections, references, and that feeling that bringing someone onto the team who will be able to code past normal working hours and will be able to get along with a small group of people while the entire organization tries to scale.

For these initial recruiting practices, technical skills and Coding Language skills matter a lot, but timing is also extremely important when getting hired at a startup. That’s part of the whole magic and thrill of working in startup culture. Individuals get into the startup life because they applied exactly at the right time with the right of state of mind and met the requirements for hard/technical skills.

Bigger companies handle risk differently

In terms of thinking about the recruiting process in terms of risk and time, there are major differentiations between how startups hire and how more corporate, well-established organizations backed by lots of funding operate. One of these key features is time.

As I mentioned, the problem with startups is that these organizations are just trying to get off the ground. They are trying to catch a wave so they can finally afford their overhead costs. This means they need to hire relatively fast to grow their business, which means they have less time to deliberate and set up complex hiring processes.

Big corporations and well established ones can take their time. Take for example the hiring process for front end developers at the New York Times, a world renowned organization with hundreds of staff members spread across different geographies across the world.

Here’s a step by step process of what recruiting looks like for this role:

1.     First comes an online application internal to the New York Times website

2.     Then a Talent and Inclusion panel and a group of senior engineers review resumes once every week or two.

3.     If the hiring panel decides to move forward, a Senior Engineer will schedule a phone screening call with you or a Google Hangout

4.     If the conversation goes well and there is a mutual interest, a hiring manager will again reach out and send the candidate a coding exercise to complete.

5.     If the candidate passes the coding exercise, there is next a series of interviews that takes place, each 30-45 minutes long with two interviewees.

 

While this might seem to be a daunting and overwhelming process, this kind of recruiting and interviewing for large and established organizations is becoming the norm, not the exception. Again, this is because large organizations have the time and human capacity to take these recruitment processes to such lengths. In doing so, they minimize as much risk as possible to their overall operation.

TagsRecruitmentStart-upsOrganizations
Michael Robbins
Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

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RecruitersJune 17, 2020
How Recruiting Behaviors Differ: From Start-ups to the corporate scene
Startups might run the risk of tanking earlier on, which makes their recruiting process fundamentally different than bigger, established organizations. Here’s why.

Start-up organizations have this sort of exciting buzz around them. Elon Musk founded his own startup and quite literally dropped out of a PhD program to work around the clock in 1995, eventually selling his company for 22 million in 1999 to a much bigger software company. There is a classic picture of Musk huddled over a computer in the heyday of this startup, lots of stacks of papers and notes surrounding him, wearing shorts and basically living out of the office.

There is some truth to what this picture of Musk represents for the start-up community. Having a very small team, informal working hours that often lead into weekends and blur the boundary between social and working life, and of course a non-existent HR team and little budgeting room to hire on people.

As such, hiring operations for startup-culture can be tricky, and non-traditional. So much about hiring for a startup has to do with the internal culture of the organization, having the right personality to deal with the slight dysfunction of how the whole operation is running, and being humble—able to understand that failure is part of the process and that resilience is needed for startup employees.

In essence, recruiting behaviors and trends for web developers and software developers in startup culture shares some of these commonalities. Startups, and their founders rely heavily on word-of-mouth connections, references, and that feeling that bringing someone onto the team who will be able to code past normal working hours and will be able to get along with a small group of people while the entire organization tries to scale.

For these initial recruiting practices, technical skills and Coding Language skills matter a lot, but timing is also extremely important when getting hired at a startup. That’s part of the whole magic and thrill of working in startup culture. Individuals get into the startup life because they applied exactly at the right time with the right of state of mind and met the requirements for hard/technical skills.

Bigger companies handle risk differently

In terms of thinking about the recruiting process in terms of risk and time, there are major differentiations between how startups hire and how more corporate, well-established organizations backed by lots of funding operate. One of these key features is time.

As I mentioned, the problem with startups is that these organizations are just trying to get off the ground. They are trying to catch a wave so they can finally afford their overhead costs. This means they need to hire relatively fast to grow their business, which means they have less time to deliberate and set up complex hiring processes.

Big corporations and well established ones can take their time. Take for example the hiring process for front end developers at the New York Times, a world renowned organization with hundreds of staff members spread across different geographies across the world.

Here’s a step by step process of what recruiting looks like for this role:

1.     First comes an online application internal to the New York Times website

2.     Then a Talent and Inclusion panel and a group of senior engineers review resumes once every week or two.

3.     If the hiring panel decides to move forward, a Senior Engineer will schedule a phone screening call with you or a Google Hangout

4.     If the conversation goes well and there is a mutual interest, a hiring manager will again reach out and send the candidate a coding exercise to complete.

5.     If the candidate passes the coding exercise, there is next a series of interviews that takes place, each 30-45 minutes long with two interviewees.

 

While this might seem to be a daunting and overwhelming process, this kind of recruiting and interviewing for large and established organizations is becoming the norm, not the exception. Again, this is because large organizations have the time and human capacity to take these recruitment processes to such lengths. In doing so, they minimize as much risk as possible to their overall operation.

Recruitment
Start-ups
Organizations
About the author
Michael Robbins -Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

Related Articles