This is where we share our process and best practices on recruiting activitiesGreenhouse SetupJob Description GuideResume Review TipsHow to Conduct an InterviewSample Interview Question BankChecking Candidate ReferencesCompensation & BenefitsPositioning Equity (Stock Options) to a CandidateCEO SearchExecutive RecruitingRecruiting Practice Reference MaterialsHiring Considerations
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.
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.
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].
The Hiring Manager and recruiting team will:
- Create a job description
- 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 Greenhouse application tracking system
Candidates generally have three rounds of interviews (with case-by-case exceptions) due to the nature of the role.
- Initial Conversation with Recruiting: In this initial conversation, we want 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.
- Interview with the Hiring Manager: In this second conversation, we 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.
- Final Round of Interviews: In the final round, the candidate meets with additional team members as appropriate.
- Team Debrief: The interview team has an internal discussion concerning the candidate and determines whether we move forward with the hiring process.
- Reference Checks: We request that candidates provide three references before making an offer. NOTE: Four references are required for manager roles. Candidates should provide managerial references, if possible. This helps us 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 us learn how to best support their success in this role. We would like to connect with a current or former colleague in each of the following areas:
- The candidate’s direct (or former) supervisor - Someone who is familiar with their work
- A peer in the same role as the candidate - Someone who did similar work
- A cross-functional partner or customer - Someone who was a consumer of the candidate’s work
- if the candidate is applying for a management position, include someone the candidate supervised
NOTE: We may 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.
- Recruiter or Hiring Manager will propose in the people operations Slack channel a recommendation for salary and equity compensation based on industry benchmarks for equity and for salaried compensation. Any hires with options as part of their compensation package and/or with a salary above the defined threshold for management NEED approval from OCV (see Board Approval) prior to moving forward with a verbal offer.
- 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.
- The Head of Talent Acquisition can provide approval for option grants that represent 0.25% and lower of the company’s fully diluted equity.
- 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 our applicant tracking system.
- The General Partner will approve option grants that represent 2.0% of the company’s fully diluted equity and above.
- Verbal Offer: Once we complete the reference checks (with satisfactory results) and have approvals in Slack, we move forward with an offer. Any renegotiation around what is approved would restart the approval checks.
- Formal Offer: Once the offer is approved, the People Operations Team sends the offer letter to the candidate. NOTE: All offers are contingent upon successfully passing a background check and approvals.
- The details of a preliminary offer will be added to applicant tracking system by the Recruiter or Hiring Manager and routed for approvals by OCV COO, Head of Talent Acquisition and the company Founder.
- Onboarding: The People Operations team sends an invitation from the payroll system to the candidate’s email to initiate account creation. NOTE: A minimum of one week is required to onboard most new hires. This may be extended depending upon circumstances (such as local requirements and shipping computer hardware), confirm timing with People Operations before committing to a start date with the candidate.
- 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.
- OCV will ensure the 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.
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, we’re looking for team members who help us accelerate growth and accomplish the impossible.
Some of the questions we’d consider during the interview process:
- As the Hiring Manager, would you want to be in the trenches with this candidate?
- Would you want to spend a lot of time together and work through conflicts?
- We’re in a rowing race, aimed to win, are they paddling in the same direction as the rest of the team?
- Are they a team player or put their self-interest first?
- Would you see yourself starting a company with this person in the future?
- Are they entrepreneurial? Driven with big goals and self-motivated?
- Would you see them doing something amazing in four to six years?