Recruiting for OCV Companies

This is where we share our process and best practices on recruiting activities
Greenhouse Setup
Open a new Job in Greenhouse
Job Description Guide
Resume Review Tips
How to Conduct an Interview
Sample Interview Question Bank
Checking Candidate References
Compensation & Benefits
Positioning Equity (Stock Options) to a Candidate
CEO Search
Executive Recruiting
Recruiting Practice Reference Materials
Hiring Considerations

Recruiting Process

At OCV, we strive to provide a great candidate experience in our recruiting process. Here are general guidelines on how we recruit at OCV and our portfolio companies.

Outbound recruiting

Recruiting is no longer posting a job vacancy and waiting for applicants to come in. To build a great company, you need to approach talents and do your very best to convince them to join your company.
Outbound recruiting is critical because it allows companies to proactively search for and reach out to potential candidates who may not be actively looking for a job. This expands the candidate pool beyond those who have applied to the job posting and can lead to finding highly qualified candidates who may not have otherwise been considered. Additionally, outbound recruiting can help companies build relationships with potential candidates and establish a pipeline of talent for future hiring needs.
OCV companies are expected to leverage external recruiters and internal networks for outbound recruiting.

Benchmark candidates

A benchmark candidate is a candidate who represents the ideal qualifications, experience, and skillset for a particular role. They are used as a reference point for evaluating other candidates and determining how well they match the requirements of the role.
At OCV, we define a benchmark candidate as someone who has already advanced beyond the role you’re hiring for today. We look into their career progression history to identify qualities, skillsets, background, etc. in order to source similar talents like the benchmark candidate from a specific time period (20XX - 20YY).
[Example to come].

Job posting

The Hiring Manager will:
  • Establish the interview team and plan (stages and interviewer order)
  • Customize role-specific questions
  • Post the job to various job boards (for example, LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor) via the application tracking system

General interview process

Candidates generally have three rounds of interviews (with case-by-case exceptions) due to the nature of the role.
  1. Initial Conversation with Recruiting (if using a recruiter): In this initial conversation, get to know more about the candidate as a person and their interest in this role. The candidate should be prepared to discuss logistics such as location, availability to start a new role, and their preferred range of compensation.
  1. Interview with the Hiring Manager: In this second conversation, evaluate the candidate’s skills, experience, and work history. The interviewer will also discuss more details concerning the project and the team. NOTE: For Engineering Roles: The interviewing team may ask the candidate to do a project as part of the hiring process.
  1. Final Round of Interviews: In the final round, the candidate meets with additional team members as appropriate.
  1. Team Debrief: The interview team has an internal discussion concerning the candidate and determines whether to move forward with the hiring process.
  1. Reference Checks: Suggest that candidates provide three references before making an offer. NOTE: Four references are suggested for manager roles. Candidates should provide managerial references, if possible. This helps you learn more about their areas for improvement and how to harness their strengths. In addition to assessing fit and gaining context on the individual, it also helps you learn how to best support their success in this role. It is recommended to connect with a current or former colleague in each of the following areas:
    1. The candidate’s direct (or former) supervisor - Someone who is familiar with their work
    2. A peer in the same role as the candidate - Someone who did similar work
    3. A cross-functional partner or customer - Someone who was a consumer of the candidate’s work
    4. if the candidate is applying for a management position, include someone the candidate supervised
    5. NOTE: It is ok to ask for references prior to the Final Round.
      Backdoor Reference Checks” - Reaching out to network connections who may know the candidate is great way to get valuable feedback during the recruiting process. NOTE: Prior to pursuing a “Backdoor Reference Check,” ask the candidate if there is anyone they prefer to exclude.
  1. Any hires with options as part of their compensation package NEED approval from OCV (see Board Approval) prior to moving forward with a verbal offer. Select equity compensation based on industry benchmarks for equity .
    1. The details of a preliminary offer will be added to applicant tracking system by the Hiring Manager and routed for equity approvals.
    2. The Business Operations team can provide additional context on the status of the company’s capitalization table including the company’s total share count, employee options pool, reserved options, any or to be issued grants from previous hires, and the company’s remaining hiring targets.
    3. The Head of Talent Acquisition can provide approval for option grants that represent 0.25% and lower of the company’s fully diluted equity.
    4. The COO will approve option grants that represent 0.25% of the company’s fully diluted equity and above and provide visibility to our General Partner through the applicant tracking system.
    5. The General Partner will approve option grants that represent 2.0% of the company’s fully diluted equity and above.
  1. Verbal Offer: Once the reference checks are completed (with satisfactory results) and equity is approved move forward with an offer. Any renegotiation around what is approved would restart the approval checks.
  1. Formal Offer: Company founder sends the offer letter to the candidate with Docusign .
    1. Founders only: Follow this process to generate an offer
  1. NOTE: All offers are contingent upon successfully passing a background check and approvals.
  1. Onboarding: Add the new hire to the EOR. NOTE: A minimum of one week is required to onboard most new hires. Confirm timing with the EOR before committing to a start date with the candidate. Founders only: follow this process.
  1. Equity grants will be tracked by OCV. On a quarterly basis, founders will review with the Business Operations team the tracked information for accuracy (especially the employees actual start date) to generate associated legal paperwork.
  1. OCV will ensure the equity information is accurate and aligned with what is approved and submit the information to the legal team for preparation of associated paperwork who will relay that paperwork to employees.

Looking for the right fit

Venture capital and early-stage startup life isn’t suitable for everyone for a variety of reasons (sometimes, it’s a function of timing). In addition to prerequisite skill sets and experience, look for team members who help accelerate growth and accomplish the impossible.
Some questions to consider during the interview process:
  1. As the Hiring Manager, would you want to be in the trenches with this candidate?
    1. Would you want to spend a lot of time together and work through conflicts?
  1. You’re in a rowing race, aimed to win, are they paddling in the same direction as the rest of the team?
    1. Are they a team player or put their self-interest first?
  1. Would you see yourself starting a company with this person in the future?
    1. Are they entrepreneurial? Driven with big goals and self-motivated?
  1. Would you see them doing something amazing in four to six years?