Talents wins schemes, but teamwork wins championships. Welcome to eight players. But guess what? We'll tell you how to target, hire, retain and train top performers for your team.
Your best candidates, 90 percent of the time is people within your network. It's people who you are. One degree connection, a two degree connection away from. And one easy way to do that is basically to highlight to your 30 employees, your 50 employees, that the referrers that you have, the connections that you have within your company are the most important. Why? They are very often elite. People have heard about your company because they are referred by someone who works at your company.
I am. Robin shows you at Higher Suites and we are sourcing automation software that helps the tech companies hire the best talent at me. And follow me now on LinkedIn Qwant to keep an eye on this. So welcome to players today we're hosting Sagami. It was an extensive experience in recruiting, you worked at the different startups Gusto Neural Network and student leadership recruiting manager at Facebook. Thanks for joining us. Thanks a lot. Very happy to have you today.
Hi. Can you say a bit more about what you're doing today at Facebook? Sure.
So again, my name is Charles. I've been on Facebook for about 10 months now and working in leadership, recruiting, product, leadership, recruiting. So my goal is to lead a team that can hire basically anyone from a manager to a director all the way to a VP position manager is two hundred to three hundred folks on the team. The director is about 400 to 500. And then it'll be it's more than that. And we focus mostly on the engineering.
What I think will be most interesting to the audience today is both your experience with gusto and the NewLink. What I saw in LinkedIn is that you killed Gusto from 30 to six hundred employees in three years, right? Yeah. And even at some point I hired two hundred people in six months when the company had 50 employees. Is that right? That's correct.
So we I guess there were about 30 employees. I was the first recruiter there. My goal was basically to join a company at a serious stage with tons of growth opportunities and essentially scale the company. So I think what we focused mostly on was engineering for the first year and then the second year was customer support and sales. So we tapped into both like engineering product as well as the sales and customer support. And yeah, we grew from like 500 to 250 in two years ago.
And so because the goal of this book is to talk about the players and the performance. So my main question would be how would you make sure you can first a scale that fast and B, how would you scale that first while keeping a high bar in your in your hires and making sure that you're still hiring mostly players? Yeah, totally.
What you want to do is you basically my point of view on this is you want to standardize the way that you look for your top layer. So at a company that's like very small, 50 to 100 employees, one of the main thing that you want to do is identify in your company across all the departments that you have. You want to identify a top layer. So say you have an engineering, a top layer, you have a top tier on certain there on marketing.
And you sort of want to come with the attributes that define the top layer of your company today. So you have a shortlist of maybe eight to 10 folks who are representing, like the attributes of essentially why they are the best of the company. So it can be a story job agnostic's. So it's not related to the skill sets that they bring, the hard skill sets. So it's not related to the engineering, you said. So it's not related to the skill sets, it's related to the attributes that demonstrate at the company as a whole.
So it could be anything from mission first or idea or mentality or embrace changes. So those are like kind of like what I call the soft skills that make someone at your company a very successful hire. So the goal is you basically look at like a top eight, 10 performer, the company you identify what makes them successful outside from their core job, and you want to gather like kind of like four to five theme. So, again, like, are they the dormitory?
They're mission driven or are they smart? Are they embracing changes? And within those four or five buckets, you basically want to come up with a list of questions that you can ask for each of those attributes. And then you look at positive signal and negative signal. And I'm just going to talk about a personal experience that I've had a guest where I just risk getting the company at a very, very high cadence. And what we realize is we realized that basically the top performers were the top performers because of those attributes, the attributes that they had and gusto that made them like very successful.
They were very pro changes. They are very mission driven. They were doers. They were full stack people. They could do anything. They could wear many hats. And the reason why they were the top performers were actually not related to their skill sets on engineering success, on sense, but it was related to the skill set that they had that they demonstrated over the years. And. So my advice to you to find a top player at a small company is basically find the top attributes of a successful hire.
Your company come up with four themes, create a bank of questions with four themes, with positive and negative indicator, and train your folks to interview against such that these what would help you to define a top. Company and that way you kind of reinforce the culture of the company or reinforce what is important to the company, it's important that you have like four core attributes that people embody all the time and that you can see all the time and the company and you want to go against those attributes.
That is what helps you define the top layer of the company. The misconception is like you need to find the best engineer or someone who is like the top top engineer. You can hire the top, smartest, best engineer out of the best school. But if that person doesn't identify with your company values, your company core attributes, it's actually not going to be a top performer. So you want to be very mindful about finding people that embody your core attributes, your company.
This is unique to you, unique to your company, unique to your own values. And you interview against that and you train people to do that for you.
OK, so what you're saying is that someone can be a top performer in one company and another is performing another company. And there's no such thing as a players, but it's whether based on each company and what you're looking for in this company, right?
Absolutely. So, like I mean, you want to make the base right. And the base is like being very good at your core job. So saying like, if you want to hire someone and says you want to make sure that this person can meet the quota every month, you want to look at the historical track record of how good and how successful they've been. And then you can pressure test those folks against the core skills that they bring in each of the departments.
So that's fine. Like you can have people from the sales team to screen against like CEOs specific attributes. You can have people on engineering screening against engineering fundamentals and making sure that they check the box. But what actually will differentiate someone being very, very good at this job and then being a top performer? Your company is the second part. And the second part is almost what I call the talent attributes interview. And that's something that's a cross-functional. Right.
So like you don't want an engineer screening an engineer candidate on the talent attributes in Dalu, you would rather have someone from a different department actually doing that interview. And that's someone that's vetted by the CEO, someone that's vetted by like the head of his department and as someone that is known and the company to be a very top performer already and someone that you can trust to do that interview.
But you want to train them, right. So you want to basically ask your company what makes a successful hire company, what makes someone, like, really awesome, someone that we look up to and then identify those four buckets and have a list of questions ready for each of those buckets. And then you basically train those folks on how to interview against us.
Four attributes is a very precise example. Tough questions. So you said that agusto you will looking for people who could wear many hats. How do you train your team to assist?
Yeah, you take one. Actually, let's say the doer mentality and a company that you have, every employee will demonstrate that attributes. And the one question that you can ask, for example, for the dual mandate is tell me about a time someone criticize your work. How did you respond and what did you learn? And a positive indicator for that is like the person the candidate needs to be open to feedback needs to show interest in wanting to improve and getting better.
But if the candidate on the other side doesn't have any example to showcase about the feedback that they got one day and how to turn that into a positive thing and how they actually reacted positively towards it, or they will criticize somebody else on the team, or maybe they will blame or point finger at somebody else. That's sort of how you differentiate that negative indicator. And the positive indicator, positive indicator is someone turns that situation into very positive and wants to learn and also to like actually have an impact based on the feedback that they received.
You could have like basically another example on METION first. Right. Which would be Mission first. And one question that we used to ask and learning is, what have you done for all the team members that were not part of your own go? Right. So you basically want to screen for folks who can help others who are not only just targeting their own personal goals, but the goals of the company. So, I mean, this could be stupid, but like, if this is important, it's like like community where you stayed late at night or like you work an extra hour or like you went the extra mile to basically help your team to accomplish the goal that they had to do, because this will actually really help the team and really help the company.
And it's not necessarily going to help you today. So do you have any examples that you can showcase of any projects of times where you've had to have the team and not help yourself first? Right.
So what have you done that can be for the company versus you and then Leotis? Like, what is. Most important to your company and the issues that are most important to the company rather than like an individual and have the individual screen against that, and do you have any recommendation on the tool that people should use?
Should you use Google Sheets to do that assessment and share that with a team of specific software that you recommend? Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, at the beginning, if you're like hacking your way through, you can definitely use Google Sheet and have the list of attributes and the list of questions and need to get. So you could have almost everything in a deck where you could put the attributes on each deck. You basically write the attribute to write the question.
You write a negative and positive indicators. You could have that moving into a Google presentation. I think as you want to scan, you probably want to standardize that across every department. And the easiest way to do that would be to use it in its application tracking system, where literally the feedback card that you have for each interview already has like those four attributes that you want to screen against and you want to make sure that people can put those information within.
So standardize across the company. It's done the same way for every department, every position.
So you use that grid to assess everybody. And my next question would be, how do you get people inside the process? Do you have any specific recommendations on building the sourcing itself? Because now you have the agree, but you have to find people to take those those interviews. And the second part of the question is, how do you close those people know that you know that you have an A player because they score a person every each and every attribute that you selected.
How would you close them? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So let's talk about the topic for a second. I think one misconception that a lot of companies make is they want to see a very, very full funnel from the sourcing team, from the recurring theme or even from the hiring manager. And it's basically Brime candidate as many as possible. And then we filter down. And I think there is one tool that we tend to forget, which is a really heavily focusing on your best source of candidates and your best source of candidates 90 percent of the time is people within your network.
It's people who you are one degree connection, a two degree connection away from. And one easy way to do that is basically to highlight to your 30 employees, your 50 employees, that the referrals that you have, the connections that you have within your company are the most important. Why? They are very often leads people to have heard about your company because they are referred by someone who works at your company. They typically will have a longer tenure or a company because referrals tend to stay longer at the company.
It's a shorter time to hire, right. Because the party leaders, like the engineers, the sales folks, the marketing folks, they are going to spend less time interviewing because they are more qualified leads. It's better to talk to someone who knows about your company, has a connection to your company rather than someone that you call core. Right, that you call source. And it's a natural recruiter and fit to it has to find someone who is from your connection is going to be more likely to have someone who is a natural fit as opposed to like bringing someone who has never heard of your company.
So it's really important to emphasize that your best source of candidates are most likely to be referred to candidate.
And then you can have like a pretty easy plan to action. This is not rocket science, but like a few things that I would advise is for every new hire that you bring into the company on day one, you literally ask them to bring you five or four hours before they leave the office on day one. Give me the top five people that you've ever worked with in your past and previous company. And let's dump those referrals into a spreadsheet and let's have them in there forever.
So on day one, you already want to highlight to your teammates that the most important thing that they need to do is to help you with references, to help you with top of fun. And then on day 30, they usually say that, like, the employees are like the happiest if they're like two to three months. So maybe like on day 60, you want to have, like, either a recruiter or a saucer coordinator or someone from your recruiting team to download the connection of the new hires.
So you sit with them for half an hour and they don't know the connections on LinkedIn. And basically what you want to do, you want to map out all the connections that you have from your employees and your employees with a job that you have open at your company. Right. And then you could come up with literally a list of like each let's say each new employee has twenty three thousand connection. You can create a list of qualified lead who know about your company and we know about your connection that you can have a list of like 40 to 50 qualified leads that you can eat up.
Pretty fast, and you can have an action plan about who is supposed to reach out first, why you mentioned in the email. By when do you want to reach out to? And then what's the second thing I should look like? But Daddy is going to be a very short list of qualified leads that potentially could be one that could be one hire.
And then another thing that you could do is you could do people branding so that people, again, people have like a honeymoon phase after three months. So one recommendation that you could have is like write a review on Glassdoor, welcome to the Jungle. Like any platform, basically they can help you to generate people branding. And you want to do that. Not after the first day and after the second day, not after a year. You want to basically do that after two to three months because that's the honeymoon phase.
And then they can generate a lot of like traction from writing positive reviews. Another thing that you could do that people tend to forget is people think about referrers as a very short term kind of action, but referrers, you need to be built over and over time. Right. So one very simple thing that you could do is you can build like a unicorn and a unicorn is basically anyone in your company who is impressed by someone should dump their name, their profile, their LinkedIn profile into a unique car wreck.
And that's for their recruiting team to come back and to basically every six months kind of recycle and look what you have on that list. And I bet you that you will find someone on that list that after six months will be will become a higher because you might not need this person today, but in six months, you actually may be open to opening up a new wreck. And there will be someone from the unicorn that that's in there. And then the last thing that I would tell you that you could do with referrers and that's the most powerful thing that I would advise anyone who is from zero to hundred to do because we don't do it is when you reject the candidate, right?
You reject 10, nine candidates out of 10 most of the time when you reject the candidate, ask and the rejection phone call for reference to that candidate. So the candidate has gone through the whole interview process, right? They've gone through the first phone call. They get interviews, they came on site, and then you get on the phone and you tell the candidate, hey, sorry, we did not pick you. You can highlight a few reasons.
I leave it up to you to describe what it is. But then you ask the candidate like, hey, do you know someone that would be a good fit for that position as you reject them? And that's how you're going to find the most powerful rationale, because even as a person rejected, we still send you referrals your way and they know exactly what you're looking for because they went through the interview process was interesting with that.
Is that you if you know that in the end of the interview process, you'll ask for referrals to the person, then you'll make sure that the experience is not and that they really enjoyed the process. Absolutely. Which is Klutch candidate experience is Klutch never Nagler candidate experience because you always bite you in the end if you don't do it right. But on the other side can actually really augment your recruiting engine, because if you provide an amazing experience, people would want to talk in a very positive way about the integrity of your company.
And if you can provide that experience and rejecting them and they can send you referrers, those are like the best referrals you can get.
And I wouldn't expect a lot of a lot of companies would get referrals from the question at the end of the process. But if you do get referrals, then it means you had a hell of an interview process. And the people. Exactly. That's a good way to the process. Yeah. I can tell you from my personal experience, like we were looking for a head of design, but I guess so. And we interviewed basically like, I don't know, twenty folks that came on for a head of design.
We were looking for a manager of manager of maybe 50 designers. And the way we got this person to come and join us was through someone that we had declined. And it was a head wide. Like I'm actually connected to the design community. I know someone that would be the perfect fit for the job that I just interviewed for. And I'm going to make an intro and we ended up hiring her. And then it was done that for so many weeks after.
And so and we got tons of good. Twenty five. The candidates were coming doing that.
What people often say about referrals and also maybe about using preexistent traits in your company to assess future employees, it really limits diversity. And again, we talked about that. You told me how you increased diversity in Gusto's engineering team. So I'm sure that's a top of mind concern for you. But how do you make sure that you can combine the same time diversity and refl powered sourcing engine?
Yeah, I think you want to balance this out with, like a restaurant as one source of candidate and then other avenues to generate a fund. So you don't necessarily the is going to be like one very good source of hiring. But you. Compare that with other avenues like blogs, people branding company PR, sourcing candidates and setting targets at the top of funnel for the folks that diversity groups that you want to target to. So that's like one bucket.
The second bucket that you want to do is you want to ensure that your questions are not biased. So you want to train your interview to make sure that they remove the bias from the interviews. And there's a quick, simple training to do, but questions to ask and question that you cannot ask is pretty fair. There is a tricks that you could do. You can remove the resumes when they come on site, for example, so you can keep the resume for the first screens and then you can remove the resume when they go on site to remove biases.
So you can pair reference with like a bunch of other forums. Like referrers is not the only solution that can help you to get your hires, but you can compare that with other forms of fun and to help you get there. One thing that we did, a gusto that was very efficient is like we actually called out on our blog the diversity composition of our team. Today, we say, OK, we have like X percent in underrepresented minority for this book at X percent for this other category, X percent for this category.
Here is where we want to be in six months, and this is the target. And then we kept reporting against the target. And the cool thing about publishing this on our blog is they made us accountable for what we say we going to do. And we had plenty of revolts against those metrics and that simple thing to actually coding out, doing a status update like today. This is where we stand. This is where we want to be. And this is a process that we do every week or every month or every quarter.
That is what moved the needle because everybody was on the same page. Everybody knew what we were aiming for. And when it's everybody is the hiring managers, they're referring to the sea level. And everybody was accountable for achieving those goals.
So we start to see funnel, where you have the beginning of, of the funnel, referrals, blogs, sourcing, personal brand events, etc. Then you have this assessment process where you try to determine the common traits and the as a new company. And then let's talk about the last part in the closing. Do you have any specific advice on that? Yeah, yeah.
So the closing starts at the beginning and I cannot emphasize that enough. It is not about extending the offer and then closing and extending the offer. If you stop closing by the time you extend an offer, it's too late. Closing isn't just sending the offer and then working on the candidate to try to get that candidate to accept the offer. The closing starts at the very, very beginning. One thing that we did agusto is throughout the interview followed from the first phone call to the technical phone call to the hallmark to the onsite.
At every stage we had a recruiter basically asking the candidate from one to 10, how likely are you to join Gustl? And then you can even ask this question. Being from one to 10 composited, how likely are you to join Gustl? And the candidate might start on like, you know what, I'm pretty passive. I'm at a two and you're OK. You're going to let me let me ask you, like, why would put you at a four or five.
Like what on the things is your commute. Is it career trajectory is a growth, whatever it is. And then you assess this one throughout the interview process and you make sure that your hiring manager is the interviewers are always in touch with the things that would make the candidate take the job offer. And you can always ask this question composited because it's really not always about competence. There's so many other things, so many other factors that you have to take into consideration.
But the one thing that I will highlight the most is that do not wait until you extend an offer to ask the candidate like what it would take for the candidate to join, because that's already too late. You need to be always removing those roadblocks before they even come on site. So by the time they go on site, they already pretty much bought in. And then there's tons of things that people do after when they extend the offer, like inviting the candidate again, doing so cause, you know, meeting with like other folks in the company.
That's great. You should do that. I encourage you to do that. But I also encourage you to think about closing much from from the first email that you send out.
Colton, that's great. I like the question. And ideally, you want to see that number increase interview after interview until they're almost at eight or nine before expanding the offer. Exactly. And there's almost no point to bring a candidate on site if they're like in a three. Right. Like you want to bring in when they're already at a six or seven.
It feels weird to put the countryside, though. Do you talk about the company in the process or do you wait until the. How'd you do that?
Yeah, the reason why I said the composite is because, you know, that's always what people assume. It's going to be the main thing, but it's not. And you also want to put the candidate in a position where, like comp is not the only thing on their mind. But my general advice is like be very familiar with the common. To expect that they would want that you can afford to pay by the time they go on site, like you should know, you should have a rough idea where the cop needs to be for Kennedy by the time they come on site so that you're prepared and there should not be any shock or any roadblocks.
And you're like you have the right tools in your toolbox to close the candidate. Like by the time you come on site, there should be a very good knowledge of what the country looks like for the candidate. OK, thanks a lot.
Charles has been 30 minutes. I know you have other things in your day. Thanks a lot. It's very, very actionable, a very precise feedback. And we addressed it on an entire hiring pipeline with specific advice at every step. So thanks a lot. You're welcome. And we'll probably ask you to come back later because I feel there's so much more we can talk about. And I would love to. Thanks, Charles.
I'm going to take care of it, I guess. But thanks for listing that book until the end. If you're still with us, it's probably that you enjoy the players pay players is brought to you by myself and higher suites. Well, building a sourcing automation software. And we already helped 900 tech companies hire the best times to know more about us.
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