The MindSpring Method: How to Find and Hire Top Talent for Your Teamby MindSpring Marcus on November 30, 2020 in MindSpring Marcus
Marcus here. How’s everyone doing lately? I know it’s been a little while since we last caught up and it feels like so much has happened in the world since then. Between the Presidential election (S.O. to Kamala – first black, female VP!), a second wave of COVID-19, and the recent/upcoming holidays, I’ve been pretty overwhelmed to say the least.
So, a quick refresh for all of you feeling as exhausted and forgetful as I am…
Last month (was that really only a month ago?), Michael introduced me to the MindSpring team, and I learned all about the benefits of partnering with a staffing firm. Those benefits included access to an expanded pool of candidates, the ability to hire quickly, and the option to test out talent with temporary and temp-to-hire opportunities.
Since then, although the days have turned cold here in Chicago, the hiring process for the contract tech professionals my team needs has been heating up.
A few weeks ago, I met (virtually, of course) with my dedicated MindSpring Engagement Manager, Delaney. She’s been helping me through the different stages of the hiring process and sharing MindSpring’s best practices for screening, interviewing, and hiring candidates.
Delaney is great at keeping things real and she’s taught me a lot about the hiring process I never knew. I’m guessing you might be able to use these suggestions, too. Let’s break down the process and talk about what you can do to make sure you’re hiring top talent for your team.
Step 1: Screening
The first thing Delaney and I did when we met on Zoom was to review job descriptions for the positions I am looking to fill. I thought the descriptions were already in good shape, but Delaney had lots of questions for me. Apparently, there’s more that goes into filling a role than how many years’ experience someone has and their technical skills. Delaney helped me explore the details and insights that would help her team find the right fit.
Here’s a few of the questions she asked to clarify what I was looking for and what each position required:
- Why is the position open and how long has it been open? If the role has been open for a while, what has made it a challenge to fill?
- What education, experience, and skills are required? What skills are a must-have versus a nice-to-have?
- What kind of professional will fit in at the company? What defines the company values, workplace culture, and employee experience?
- What excites people about the role, the team, and the organization as a whole? Why would a candidate want this job?
Delaney and I also discussed the target start date for each position and the hourly rate the jobs offer. While we agreed on the start dates, Delaney told me straight up that the hourly pay rate I wanted to offer was too low. She walked me through the market rates for similar positions with some example candidates and explained that offering compensation below that level would seriously impact my ability to hire quality talent.
After cleaning up the job descriptions with me, Delaney got to work. She strategically sourced candidates I wouldn’t have had access to or the time to find on my own through direct recruiting, carefully placed job postings to target the right audience, and referrals.
When she came back to me with a list of potential candidates to review, I was surprised by how on-point they all were. On top of that, MindSpring provided insightful bios for every candidate, so I was able to learn important details about each person not listed on their resumes. We talked through the pipeline and, with Delaney’s help, I narrowed down the list to my top choices and we moved on to the next stage in the hiring process.
Step 2: Interviewing
Now that we had our list of candidates to interview, the next step was to decide what interview process would work best. All of the candidates Delaney provided had already been double screened by MindSpring (yup, double screened) to make sure they’re a great fit for the open positions on my team. That meant my interviews could skip some of the basics and get right into the important questions I had for each candidate. The only issue was that I’ve never had to conduct interviews before, so I didn’t know where to start.
Lucky for me, Delaney was there to help me prepare and get organized. She also helped me put together a clear timeline to present my bosses by working back from the target start date for each job. Based on the start date, Delaney showed me how to figure out what day I’d need the candidates to accept or decline by (giving them a day or so to review the offer), by what date I’d need to make the offer, how much time I’d need to put the final offers together, and how long the interviews would likely take. With all of those details and dates laid out, we set a start date for the interviews a few weeks ago. Assuming everything goes according to plan, I’ll have offers out in the next week and new team members onboarding early next month.
We’re part way through the interviews now and things have been going great so far. Delaney debriefs with me after each interview to find out how it went with the candidates. She’s also been using my feedback to continue searching for other candidates, refining the candidate pool as she goes. Between the candidates I’m interviewing, and the few new additions Delaney sent me, I’ve got some great tech talent to choose from.
Step 3: Hiring
The final stage of the process is actually hiring the candidates and, while I haven’t made it this far in the process quite yet, hiring candidates is the part I’m most excited about. According to Delaney, after interviews are complete and I’ve selected the candidates I want to hire, the next step is the job offer. MindSpring helps with this process by facilitating both verbal and official offers, ensuring everything goes smoothly. They also take care of reference and background checks and any skills testing the jobs require.
Once an offer is accepted, the candidate will be hired by MindSpring. This means they take care of the candidate’s benefits, payroll, taxes, and workers comp. When the candidate has completed the hiring process with MindSpring, they’ll be ready to begin their contract job as part of my team. The contracts are all 3 months to start, but if things go well, I’ll have the opportunity to extend or even convert the candidates to full-time employees working directly for my company.
I’ve actually got a candidate interview scheduled for today, and I better go prepare. With MindSpring by my side helping at each step of the hiring process, I’m confident I’ll find the tech talent I’m looking for. Check back soon for hiring updates and to hear how things are going with the newest additions to my team!
Struggling to find and hire top talent for your team? MindSpring is ready to help! Contact us to get started today.