We’ve raised our Series A!

I’m really excited to announce that we raised a $10M Series A, led by the fine people at M13. This round of funding is a long time coming. I don’t know what the average company age is when successfully raising an A, but it took us 6 years to get here. It was a long and windy path, and for a little while, we almost died (more on that below), but we’re still here, and we’re so grateful and excited to finally have the resources to do what we’ve always wanted to do: fix hiring, for real. What does “fixing hiring” mean? We believe that the only way to really effect change, is to make …

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Hamtips, or why I still run the Technical Phone Screen as the Hiring Manager

“Hamtips” stands for “Hiring Manager Technical Phone Screen.” This combines two calls: the Technical Phone Screen (TPS), which is a coding exercise that usually happens before the onsite, and the HMS call, which is a call with the Hiring Manager. By combining these two steps you shorten the intro-to-offer by ~1 week and reduce candidate dropoff by 5-10%. It’s also a lot less work for recruiters playing scheduling battleship. Finally, Hiring Managers will, on average, be better at selling working at the company – it’s kind of their job.

How to write (actually) good job descriptions

The audience paradox

When you start writing a job description, the first question you should ask yourself is, Am I trying to attract the right people, or am I trying to keep the wrong people out? Then, once you answer it, write for that audience deliberately, because it’s really hard to write for both…

The 3 things that diversity hiring initiatives get wrong

I’ve been hiring engineers in some capacity for the past decade. Five years ago I founded interviewing.io, a technical recruiting marketplace that provides engineers with anonymous mock interviews and then fast-tracks top performers—regardless of who they are or how they look on paper—at top companies. We’ve hosted close to 100K technical interviews on our platform and have helped thousands of engineers find jobs. For the last year or so, we’ve also been running a Fellowship program specifically for engineers from underrepresented backgrounds. That’s all to say that even though I have developed some strong opinions about “diversity hiring” initiatives, my opinions are based not on anecdotes but on cold, hard data. And the data points …

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The technical interview practice gap, and how it keeps underrepresented groups out of software engineering

I’ve been hiring engineers in some capacity for the past decade, and five years ago I founded interviewing.io, a technical recruiting marketplace that provides engineers with anonymous mock interviews and then fast-tracks top performers—regardless of who they are or how they look on paper—at top companies. We’ve hosted close to 100K technical interviews on our platform and have helped thousands of engineers find jobs. Since last year, we’ve also been running a Fellowship program specifically for engineers from underrepresented backgrounds. All that is to say that even though I have strong opinions about “diversity hiring” initiatives, I’ve acquired them the honest way, through laboratory experience.

How do I know if I’m ready to interview at FAANG?

Recently, someone asked us how you know you’re ready to succeed in a Facebook/Amazon/Apple/Netflix/Google (FAANG) interview. It’s an interesting question, and one I’m sure many of you job seekers out there are wondering. Internally, we have our own beliefs, but we wanted to see if we could answer this question more objectively. So we set off on a journey to acquire data to try answering it.

Technical phone screen superforecasters

“The new VP wants us to double engineering’s headcount in the next six months. If we have a chance in hell to hit the hiring target, you seriously need to reconsider how fussy you’ve become.”

It’s never good to have a recruiter ask engineers to lower their hiring bar, but he had a point. It can take upwards of 100 engineering hours to hire a single candidate, and we had over 50 engineers to hire. Even with the majority of the team chipping in, engineers would often spend multiple hours a week in interviews. Folks began to complain about interview burnout. Also, fewer people were actually getting offers; the onsite pass rate had fallen by almost a third, from ~40% to under 30%. This meant we needed even more interviews for every hire. Visnu and I were early engineers bothered most by the state of our hiring process. We dug in. Within a few months, the onsite pass rate went back up, and interviewing burnout receded. We didn’t lower the hiring bar, though. There was a better way.

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