How Many Candidates Should You Interview?

How Many Candidates Should You Interview?

Short answer: As many as it takes.Long answer: Typically you should expect to talk to 7-10 candidates, make 2 paper offers, and have 1 accepted. Having a recruiting culture that’s focused on speed and efficiency makes a massive impact on your success.

If you’re able to go from meeting someone to presenting them with a firm offer within 7 business days, you’re going to be better than 90% of companies out there. Apple/Amazon/Google/VMWare and SalesFORCE are able to pay higher salaries than you, but they can’t possibly compete against a 7-day end-to-end hiring cycle.

Being slow & indecisive, creating artificial scarcity (rejecting someone because they don’t have experience with THE particular JavaScript framework that you happen to use), or trying to hire people for significantly below market rates are all enemies of success.

More relevant reading: What if Cars Were Rented Like We Hire ProgrammersIn my personal opinion, the first one or two engineers that you hire should probably be the most experienced you can find. They will be making critical architectural decisions that will be incredibly complex and expensive to unravel in the future. You need to get it right, and being penny wise and pound foolish does not make sense.

Addendum: These guidelines are for run of the mill individual contributor positions… VP or Director-level hires, or positions requiring very specialized knowledge will be different.

 

Screen shot 2013-11-08 at 3.32.59 PM