Here is what this post is about: Hiring is the said to be the #1 thing a startup CEO should do. I agree on this. In this post I’ll cover best practices for hiring your first few employees and address some issues related to China specifically.
Hiring is tough and exciting at the same time! It’s one of those things that are hard to tell if you made the right decision. If you made the wrong decision here, by the time you realised that it’s probably too late….
Here is how we do our hiring which so far proven to be very successful. My team is great and they give AppInChina.co it’s uniqueness and quality.
Here are 4 things you can do to successfully hire in China.
1. Write a professional and awesome job description
When I decided to do a hire I wrote a basic description, then I gave it to my friend Richard. Richard is a good friend and an amazing person. Oh, he is also a native English speaker which really helps when you need to have stuff written in proper english (and guess what?! It comes with a cool accent too!)
Richard was super helpful with rewriting the description and making it really professional. We didn’t agree on a couple of stuff that should be there but these were minor.
The most important thing is making your description appealing. You want to attract the best people which would WANT to come and work for and with you. These are the people you will be spending most of your day with and will share your successes and failures. So, to some extent they are your support team as well. So, it’s better getting someone with the right vibe for that.
2. distribute EVERYwhere!
The next thing I needed to do after writing the awesome job description is making people know about it. Richard (again!) was very helpful and sent the JD to his ~3200 mailing list of people (Update: The list has now 23000 people. send me a message if you’d like to do your hiring through this unique list), on top of that he listed it in many other places I hadn’t even thought about. In addition, I emailed every person I thought should know about it and can perhaps introduce someone relevant.
The next thing was to publish the JD on we chat (the Chinese whats app) and Richard even changed his profile pic to the JD!
I then started getting candidates resumes to my inbox realising I should choose the best ones. About half of them were irrelevant. People sometime don’t read the JD and just send their resume without going through the requirements.
What are the things you need to address in an interview. I’m certainly not a master on interviewing people and admit that it’s hard to asses a person just from meeting him for half an hour.
Still when I interview there are a few things that I go over.
A. Be Clear – explaining VERY clearly what the job is and what the candidate will do. On most cases we also give them an excise directly related to their work. Our best experience was with hiring our operation people and gave them hands on excise showing them what exactly they will do. Some the the candidates decided that this work is not for them which is actually….Great! We found this out very fast, and let them decide they don’t want to do it.
b. Visa status – Because in China the whole visa process is very complicated it’s important to know which visa the candidate has and how/if this align with what you can assist them in your startup.
c. Future plans – This is self explanatory, but still important to ask about. You want to see that the candidate is really here to stay (if everything goes well), especially if you are investing in issuing a working visa for him by your company.
d. Availability – Not all candidates that are looking for a job are ready to start ASAP. So ask about their availability. Perhaps, they plan to go on a short vacation first, perhaps they need to finish their semester, perhaps their family is coming for a visit. I’ve seen it all! All you need to do is asking about this.
e. Expected Salary – Setting expectations is why you ask about expected salary. It’s pretty straight forward asking about this. I’d recommend here that if your job description does not include how much is offered for the position, it’s better asking the candidate on the phone when having the initial conversation, even before the interview comes. That would save you a lot of time.
Look for as many references as possible on the candidate. I admit, we are not diligent enough about this, but I had some candidates which I wasn’t sure about , so speaking with a reference about them really helped making the decision.
One general remark here and VERY important one
New candidates coming to your company are looking for a nice work environment. This role in your company might be the one that they dreamt of. They tell about that to their friends and family , and are looking for their next career opportunity.
My point is that be a mench . Start your meeting with them on time, smile, and give them all the time they need to ask all their questions in the interview.
On interviews that I don’t personally do , I at least try to join for a few minutes introducing myself. We had candidates saying they really appreciated the fact that the CEO of the company joined and it let them feel good. Treat them the way you would want to be treated.
Now over to you
What is special about your hiring process? What mistakes you’ve done and what are the things that helped you get the best candidates? share it in the comments with everybody. I’d really want to know.
Image credit by 1418 Friday Joke