On the same page: Our Hiring Training

People watching presentation
If there’s one thing all recruiters and hiring managers will agree on it’s the importance of being on the same page. It’s incredibly frustrating, messy, and time-consuming not being in sync with each other around best hiring practices. Naturally, the more people involved in the hiring process, the more diverse the opinions are about how to do it. To make this a much easier process we have designed new hiring training. Since our R&D department is manager-less, all of our engineers are involved with the hiring process. Making the challenge of ‘being in sync’ quite an ambitious goal.

The training feedback has been really positive, so it’s now time for us to share what we created with you. You can use this information as inspiration, or as a foundation for building your own training.

Why do we need new training?

Previously, we used to have ‘Hiring Manager Training’, which was focused mostly on the hard data and involved information about the labor market, legal boundaries for hiring, and practical interviewing skills. However, despite this training, we still often found ourselves with differing opinions on best hiring practices, what we look for in our candidates, and how to test that efficiently and fairly. 

Is being a good value fit more important than having hard skills?  

Is it better to hire quickly and see how people perform during a trial period, or should we take our time and carefully choose whom to hire? 

How will we collect feedback? 

Are we fans of practical tests or not?

These questions have been repeatedly discussed with various outcomes depending on who was discussing them. The recruitment team felt that we needed to carve out ‘Y Soft’s hiring best practice’. A couple of months ago, we implemented an ATS which introduced new ways of collaborating and thinking about hiring. We needed to create an opportunity for sharing best practices and we knew that if we want the people to use it then we can’t do it through written processes and policies.

Putting the training together

Putting the training curriculum together was tough and took many attempts. We started with identifying the general topics and subtopics, then moved on to the specific details. This was all checked and supported by our working group. We also carried out tons of research as we wanted this training to include external references and solid data. Using this information will help participants buy into the training and share their own experiences.

To create the materials, we worked simultaneously in a written document and a PowerPoint presentation. Although we had to try not to get too enthusiastic about the graphics and visuals before having solid content.

The result

We have ended up with a comprehensive set of resources covering hiring strategy and values (what matters for us in hiring), the hiring process (how we hire), our best practice, and practical exercises. Check them, use them, be inspired by them, question them, and check them again!
  • 2 PowerPoint Decks – one is officially branded, the other one is a bit more fun and both include speaker notes
  • Hiring Handbookthis pdf guide contains key information and important links to various policies, materials, and recourses related to hiring and is handed out to attendees
  • Speaker Notesa transcript for trainers. This contains a word-for-word overview of the training session including speaker notes, tips, and suggested session timings
  • Training videos – for those who are unable to attend live training we have videos available
The training takes one day and is divided into theory and practical sessions. We did two trial runs to test out the training before we started delivering it. One with the trainers and the second with HR. We collected a lot of feedback from these sessions which really helped and also filled in some missing details. We’re still collecting feedback after each session and below are some of the comments: 
“I really loved the deck, the jokes, and the authenticity. I’d like to have even more practical exercises, examples of great job descriptions, and interview structures.”

“I really appreciate the handbook and I enjoyed the interactive format. There was not much space for passive listening.”

“The training is cool in the time given but I’d like to have a follow-up session including R&D-specific case studies so we can discuss them.”

The intention is to offer this training to YSofters regularly. You can easily sign up for it using our training catalog. We will be working on our training videos to distribute to new team members or managers for when a newcomer needs to hit the ground running with hiring.

Tips & tricks

While it seems like a lot of work, we’d recommend working out detailed speaker notes. It’s probably the only way to keep the training consistent and partially trainer agnostic.

Include practical tasks and activities requiring active participation. This always helps to keep the attendees engaged.
Include external references and data to support what you’re trying to explain. Show all internal numbers to give attendees an idea of how hiring is going in your company, such as the average number of candidates applying per position, time to hire, cost of hire, and so on.
Finally, take your time putting the training together and delivering it. Hiring is an important topic and requires your attention. People in our organization have swathes of experience and you’ll need a lot of time to discuss it. While a whole day workshop may sound a lot, it’s definitely worth it. Participants keep requesting follow-up sessions!