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A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

Welcome to A-Players, where you will learn how to target, hire, retain, and train top performers for your team! In this podcast, Robin Choy hosts top startups execs who share their experience building and scaling their companies. A must-listen if you're building your own team or working for an in-house recruiting team.

"Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships".

Add me on LinkedIn to continue the conversation: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbchoy/!

Brought to you by HireSweet.

James Donovan, Talent Acquisition at Rokt. How to run a great discovery process with the hiring manager AND the candidate.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 130 views
  • 3 months ago
  • 33:31

Discovery is key in the recruiting process. A good discovery will save so much time later during the recruiting process, help you increase your closing rate and internal satisfaction. Discovery is two-fold: Job discovery (aka the intake meeting) and candidate discovery. In this episode, James shares his tips on how to run a proper discovery with both sides - he even goes further and shares the link to his actual intake meeting for everyone to read: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hIivRKWdAI2WZRApVb8mDjXCpGMZz87AVq4zI6arE0E/edit#heading=h.shjdhdtj8uzf I hope you will have as much fun listening to this discussion as we did recording it!

Lance Sapera, VP Talent Acquisition @ Talend. How to reach 10% of hires coming from nurtured candidates.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 86 views
  • 3 months ago
  • 30:37

I’m convinced that nurturing your past candidates to finally hire them is a powerful strategy. And Lance Sapera is as convinced as I am. He is so much in favor of past candidate nurturing, that his team made 48 nurtured hires the last year at @Talend. Here’s what you’ll discover in this episode: How to reach a target of 10% of hires coming from nurtured candidates Why they are incentivizing each recruiter with a day off for every nurture hire they get How 83% of candidates that don’t get a job at Talend said they were happy of the recruitment process. How to concretely nurture applicants on a daily basis. Thank you! :)

Larry Anderson, Senior Recruiter at connectRN. Improve conversion rates and candidates experience with a thorough preparation & debrief process

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 81 views
  • 3 months ago
  • 30:39

In this episode, I welcome Larry Anderson, Senior Recruiter at connect RN. Larry reveals to me how to greatly improve your conversion rate and candidate satisfaction as a recruiter, by organizing preparation calls and debriefing calls with candidates. Here’s what we talked about: 1/ Why organizing prep calls and debriefing calls helps improve conversion rates 2/ The 3 parts of a perfect prep call: logistics, process explanation, coaching. 3/ The question Larry tells candidates to ask the hiring manager to succeed in every interview. 4/ The key steps and questions of a good debriefing process

Mike “Batman” Cohen, CEO @Wayne Tech. How to retain your employee thanks to strong, unique and no bullshit company values.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 85 views
  • 4 months ago
  • 45:55

In this episode, we talk with Mike Cohen, CEO at Wayne Tech, about employee retention. And you’ll see that Mike is brutally honest. Mike talks a lot about it’s own company culture, and why he thinks that strong, unique, and no-bullshit values are the key to employee retention. Here are some of the topics Mike developed: -The Start-Stop-Continue rule -What Gen Z is seeking in its job -What does Church teach you about employee retention -Why employee hours is bullshit -Why being truly vulnerable is a game-changer Enjoy!

Nasser Oudjidane, CEO @Intrro. How to build an employee referral program.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 170 views
  • 4 months ago
  • 30:20

I get questions about employee referral programs all the time: -What’s a good target for our referral program? 15% of hires? 25%? 35%? 55%? -What should be the reward? If it’s money, how much? -How can I communicate with my team efficiently? So here's a podcast to finally answer those questions! Mostly people understand the value of hires coming from referral (they close faster, perform better and stay longer on average), but don’t know how to drive more referrals. I went on the hunt to find the best expert on the topic - found Nasser (who founded Intrro, a company focused on referral) and invited him to talk. Together we addressed: 1/ The 5 pillars of improving referrals: Building the culture, Setting the right incentives, Build the right process, Optimize and Track, Improve the candidate experience. 2/ A few market average numbers 3/ The concept of ELTV (Employee Lifetime Value) 4/ The “Recruiter Shakedown”, a recruiting technique used by Facebook and Google when new employees are onboarded, and when to execute it (after ~60 days) 5/ That most employee referral programs follow a Pareto rule: 20% of employees will make 80% of referrals. And how to empower “power-referrers” And sooo much more.

Mawulom Nenonene, Senior Talent and HR Advisor @Point. How to create intrinsic motivation in Talent Acquisition teams.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 120 views
  • 4 months ago
  • 29:44

Talent acquisition is hard: you get overwhelmed with tons of notifications, open hundreds of Chrome tabs, send dozen of outreach messages. And sometimes get no reply at the end of the day. That candidate who was sure a sure hire suddenly declines the job offer. You lose purpose. A purpose and intrinsic motivation are so important in recruiting - much more than targets and metrics. That's why a lot of Talent Acquisition Managers wonder: “how can I inspire my team, give them an inner sense of purpose, so they always stay positive and go the extra mile for the candidate and the team?” That's why we tried to answer this question with Mawulom Nenonene in this episode. We also talked about some other broader topics. Here are some points we discussed: 1/ Why recruiters should first aim to become strategic advisors to the hiring managers. 2/ When should you split between full-cycle recruiters and sources? 3/ What are the activity standards in recruiting teams? 4/ Why recruiters should do a 6 month-checking after the person was hired

Ginny Cheng, Global Head of Talent @Oura Ring. Supercharge your career as a recruiter.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 120 views
  • 4 months ago
  • 29:15

A lot of people enter the world of recruiting by accident, then develop a passion for it and go on to have exceptional careers as recruiters. This is the case of Ginny Cheng, who started her career in PR and marketing, then discovered recruiting at Microsoft, before ending up a few years later in charge of recruiting for the M&A team at Facebook. Today, Ginny is the Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Oura Ring, and does career coaching in her spare time. In this episode, Ginny tells us how she navigated her career as a recruiter, and shares her tips on how you can succeed in your career too.

Jeff Winter, Senior Director of Talent @Chime. How to build a recruiting team from 1 to 50 people.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 140 views
  • 4 months ago
  • 39:35

Chime is a leading fintech of 1,500+ people, they raised $2.3B in total funding since their seed round in 2013, 3.7M users, they’re now valued at $25Bn after Forbes. Huge. Jeff shares his first-hand experience from scaling the recruiting team to 50 people in 3 years, his learnings from 20 years working in recruiting, from the early days to running a recruitment agency, to Chime today. He covers how he built his team at Chime step by step, the importance of specializing sourcers vs recruiters, and the role of inbound.

Hung Lee, Recruiting Brainfood. Deals with politics in the workplace.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 140 views
  • 4 months ago
  • 27:34

Having Hung on my podcast was a dream come true. I'm a personal big fan of all his content, from Recruiting Brainfood to This Week in Recruiting. For our discussion together, we tried to address a topic that we felt was not enough covered in the HR world, almost a taboo: How to deal with politics at work. Should you take a stance as a company? Should you ban all discussions related to politics or social issues? We see that there is no easy solution - but we can take some inspiration from what companies have already tried: Coinbase, Gitlab etc.

Shannon Toomey, Senior Manager, Recruiting @Descript. How to be the first recruiter in a startup

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 130 views
  • 4 months ago
  • 38:22

For episode 6 of my podcast “A-players”, I received Shannon Toomey, who explained to me how to be a good first recruiter in a startup. Shannon was a Senior Tech Recruiter at Dropbox, and was also most recently the first recruiter at Descript, where she had to hire 50 people in 1 year. Here’s what we discussed (among many other things): -What are the 3 key questions to ask to be sure a candidate is a good fit? -Why you it’s not always efficient to use scorecards to assess candidates? -What are the advantages of being the first recruiter in a startup, and is it for everyone?

Emil Yeargin, VP talent @Gusto. How to do an effective capacity planning.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 140 views
  • 5 months ago
  • 30:13

Prior to being VP of Talent at Gusto, Emil was a recruiter in a recruitment agency, and an in-house recruiter for Zenefits, Okta or Lyft. And his mission today at Gusto is to grow the company from 1100 employees to 3000 in one year. So who better to talk about capacity planning and forecasting in recruitment than Emil! In this episode, we discussed (among other things): -how Gusto is able to recruit so many people without having any full-time sourcers -how to do your capacity planning when you don’t have an ATS or much data in-house. -how to recruit effectively across different locations

Jose Guardado, co-founder @Build Talent. How to reach a 92% closing rate.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 170 views
  • 5 months ago
  • 38:53

Closing candidates is an art & science. It’s one of the biggest-leverage activities in recruiting - get better at closing and everything else just falls into place. Less sourcing, less interviewing time, and better internal satisfaction. So I brought in the best expert on the topic I could find! Jose has been doing recruiting for 15 years, working for startups like Nebula, Edmodo, Dropcam, or large companies like Google and Cisco. Jose has also worked at Andreessen Horowitz (helping on recruiting executive talent) - one of the most prestigious VC firm in the world, and then coached Y Combinator founders. He knows his stuff. There’s one reason why I picked Jose to talk about closing: his impressive 92% closing rate at BuildTalent. See, that’s an agency dirty little secret: when a search firm works on a mandate, they’re only ~40% to actually find someone for the role (hence the reason why companies tend to use several agencies at the same time). Jose is at 92%. That’s twice the industry standard. In our discussion, Jose shares his closing techniques, his numbers, and his secret sauce.

Kim Scott, Author @ Radical Candor. How to create a radically candid environment where A Players can thrive.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 870 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 30:30

Hiring is but the beginning - now you've built that team of A-Players, you need to create the perfect ecosystem for them to thrive. Learn how to get, give and encourage both praise and criticism, organize 1:1s, develop their careers. Kim Scott is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing your Humanity. She led AdSense, YouTube and Doubleclick teams at Google and worked with Sheryl Sandberg.  Hear from a management coach praised by top CEOs world-class tech companies (Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, etc.) - and enjoy our great season finale! More on Kim Scott and Radical Candor on www.radicalcandor.com.

Madhura Dudhgaonkar @Workday. Build A-Teams of Machine Learning Engineers.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 770 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 29:53

Madhura is Senior Director, Machine Learning at Workday and has a very specific view on recruiting: You shouldn't aim for A-Players but for A-Teams. Not necessarily rockstars, but people that work well together and complement each other. In this episode, she will tell us why this is particularly the case in Engineering & Machine Learning teams. How to hire for new roles (in this case - Machine Learning Engineers). How to write job descriptions and how to interview.  Lots of learning for anyone building a Data Science or Machine Learning team - that can be applied to all other teams as well! 

Jon Stross @Greenhouse. Recipes to climb the Hiring Maturity curve.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 1.3K views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 30:09

Jon Stross is co-founder at Greenhouse, a leading Applicant Tracking System that built a very interesting framework: the Hiring Maturity Curve. 4 stages (Chaotic, Inconsistent, Systematic, Strategic) that every company needs to complete before achieving recruiting greatness. Wherever you feel your company belongs, listen to Jon's battle-tested recipes and escape your current stage!

Sultan Murad Saidov @Beamery. How your recruiter and candidate experience will change next year.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 710 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 28:22

Sultan is co-founder at Beamery, which they launched in 2016, having started working on the problems and space in 2012 at the tail end of the financial crisis. Now in face of a new enormous crisis, the recruiting industry will adapt and evolve even faster. Sultan shares his vision on what will change in the next few months - not the next few decades. He covers DE&I initiatives, candidate personalization, privacy, nurturing of talent pools. 30 minutes to make sure your company won't miss the boat!  

Chris Slowe, CTO @Reddit. The story of Reddit and its founding engineer-turned-CTO.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 770 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 25:38

Chris' story is intertwined with Reddit's. From its early days in 2005 to its sale to Condé Nast Publications in 2006 to the come back of the founding team in 2016. Listen to how the early website operated by a 4-person shop turned into one of the most-visited websites in the world with 52M+ Daily active users (and growing!). His story is one of rapid scale in the engineering team, of building skills as an engineering manager and of becoming a better CTO. 

Rocki Howard, Chief Diversity Officer @ Smart Recruiters. 5 Things That May Be Preventing You from Hiring Diverse A-Players

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 690 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 29:07

Rocki knows the recruiting field in & out and she's now the Chief Diversity Officer at a leading Talent Acquisition Software. She has a very clear view on why to improve diversity in any organization (and numbers to back) and how to tactically operate that improvement. In this episode, she discussed with me the 5 main reasons that might be preventing companies from hiring top performers from diverse audiences: lack of commitment, their brand, the sourcing strategy, the hiring experience, and unconscious biases - and how to address those. Let's commit now!  Follow Rocki here on LinkedIn and add me on LinkedIn here! 

Madeline Mann @ Self-Made Millenial. Use LinkedIn beyond in mails and job postings.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 680 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 30:23

LinkedIn's the #1 tool in any recruiter toolkit - for a reason. Yet most of us are only scratching the surface and wondering how to dive deeper. In this episode, Madeline explains how to leverage LinkedIn to its maximum. How to start, when to post, what to post. 30 minutes of very actionable advice for you to start today building your brand on LinkedIn! Follow Madeline on LinkedIn on https://www.linkedin.com/in/madelinemann and on her website www.madelinemann.com!

Alex Bouaziz, CEO @ Deel. 1,000 new customers in 12 months for this payroll company for remote workers.

A-Players - The top startups' recipes to build teams of top performers

  • 750 views
  • almost 2 years ago
  • 26:48

Deel raised a total of $50M from tier-1 VCs in less than 18 months after inception to build a payroll company for distributed workers. This is their story, his view on hiring top performers, and his vision for the future of distributed work! Follow Alex here on LinkedIn! And let's connect and continue the conversation here on LinkedIn too!