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Twitter’s (very ugly) EMEA headquarters in 2012. There was a smell of rotting animals under the floorboards.
I joined Twitter in early 2012 during a period of rapid growth. While the product was a global sensation, the company’s headcount and revenue outside the US were small and I was one of the executives hired to change that.
Later that year, in our EMEA headquarters, we encountered a similar hiring challenge to that faced by many startups at their Series A and B stage. Having built the team from 1 to 20, it was now time to hit the accelerator: 100 hires in a year with very limited resources (just one full-time recruiter).
The cultural DNA of a team is encoded in its early employees and I committed to interviewing the first 50 hires personally, no matter how senior or junior. That meant a lot of interviews. 473 in the first year, according to our much-hated ATS, Jobvite.
Hiring consumed at least 30% of my time. Some days were memorable…
…but most were a blur. Adam Ant on the left is Don O’Leary and the creepy priest is Michael Carney.
As I mentioned in a recent post about hiring from multinationals, our recruitment efforts relied on four channels:
Referrals were by far the most effective channel in terms of quantity, quality, cost, and time-to-hire. With a concerted push in one quarter, we made 13 referral hires off an employee base of 20.
In the hope that some of our techniques may work for you, here’s what we did:
If you adopt these practices, I suspect you’ll improve the effectiveness of your referrals drive. A couple of important caveats to bear in mind though: