Staff Recruiting

Staff Recruiting

In order to continually increase what we offer to customers we need to continually source, assess, hire, and onboard new staff members with high standards. The below outlines the process for recruiting new staff into the company in relation to opening a new role, the interview flow, and the offer process.

How to open a new role

Hiring Managers should confirm with their team's MLT that the new headcount requisition has been approved.

Hiring plans are created twice a year, and reviewed every quarter. Hiring Managers and department leads can request additional headcount by completing an Issue/Solution Proposal and sharing with Ian Tien and Aneal Vallurupalli.

Role description

Once you have confirmation that your new headcount has been approved, you’re ready to begin the recruitment process. Complete the Job Description portion and share with your Recruiter, who will schedule a Recruiter Intake Session to review the remainder of the intake template.

Your Recruiter is assigned based on the role and team. This may differ depending on Recruiting Team bandwidth, and will be communicated on a case-by-case basis.

  • Technical individual contributor roles - Teresa Novoa

  • All others - Natalie Jew

Role leveling

You can view the current v1 Job Levels here.

Note: HR is also working with MLT to build v2 which will help provide additional clarity. If you are unsure about how to use or assign a level to a new job requisition, your Recruiter can help you walk through this as part of the Recruiter Intake Session.

Recruiter Intake Session

Your Recruiter will schedule an Intake Session after you’ve completed your Job Description. During this call, your Recruiter will work with you to ensure alignment on the level, ideal candidate profile, the interview process, and next steps.

Ideal Candidate Profile (ICP)

The ICP should be a clear list of key skills, experiences, and/or mindsets that the Hiring Manager believes represent the Ideal Candidate. The Hiring Manager will be asked to stack-rank the ICP list and use "P0" to indicate "must-haves" and "P1" to indicate "nice-to-have" the ideal skills, experiences, and mindsets.

The ICP will be used to align the sourcing, interview panel focus areas, and onboarding goals for this new role. For example, here’s an ICP for a Lead Customer Journey Engineer. The list below reflects the top skills and experience to source for candidates, the area of focus for the interview panel, and what the eventual new hire's onboarding goals will be based on.

  • P0: 2+ years of experience leading a team of engineers.

  • P1: Experience as an Engineer or a Lead for a team doing front-end/UI/UX work in JavaScript, React, etc.

Changing the ICP

The ICP is also a helpful indicator of talent pools. If a role is not gaining enough candidate pipeline or the candidate fit is off, the ICP enables Hiring Managers to efficiently determine appropriate tradeoffs as it relates to the "P0" or "P1" skills, experience, and mindsets.

For example, a Recruiter may find that we have filtered multiple candidates who do not have a specific "P0" skill. As a result, a Hiring Manager may determine that it may be worth deprioritizing a specific qualification from "P0" to "P1" in order to widen the candidate pool. If an ICP is ever changed, the Recruiter will ensure that the hiring team is aligned to the change.

Pre-Interview Screening

Hiring Managers will review the Pre-Interview Screening process during the Recruiter Intake Session.

Resume screen

Hiring Managers will review resumes and tag their Recruiter in Lever to indicate interest in a candidate. Hiring Managers can review candidates that are in the Shortlist or New Lead stage.

The Recruiter will also archive candidates that are located in countries/regions we are not able to hire or do not match the location target of the role.

Post-application candidate questions (optional)

This is an optional step, but is highly recommended to improve candidate and job match ahead of any reach out. Hiring Managers can create a set of questions that every candidate will be asked to complete either as part of the application process or before the Recruiter Intake Screen.

Recruiter Screen (optional)

Hiring Managers can customize the questions asked during the Recruiter Screen or they may decide to remove this stage and handle the first screen themselves. The purpose of this screen is to:

  • Have one main point of contact throughout the interview process.

  • Collect compensation requirements and verify country/region of residence.

  • Provide the candidate with more information on: Mattermost, the role, the recruiting process, and to understand the candidate’s: timeline, role/career aspirations, assess interest, compensation expectations, and answer questions.

  • Hiring Managers can also request the Recruiter to ask specific questions as part of the Recruiter Screen. Hiring Managers can decide the set of questions during the Recruiter Intake Session.

Pre-meet scores (optional)

During the selection process and prior to meeting candidates, Hiring Managers face two big challenges:

  • High volume: Too many applications and resumes potentially qualified for the job description.

  • Not enough clarity: It's easy to miss amazing talent that doesn't have a well-written resume (a lot of top talent doesn't need to look for jobs, they just get referred by people who worked with them before).

Because of this, we offer Hiring Managers a framework for summarizing a potential candidate's background ahead of meeting them (i.e. a "pre-meet score"), which can be completed by recruiters, by candidate screeners, or by the candidate themselves.

There are multiple pre-meet scores:

  • Company pre-meet score: A score to help identify candidates that may have advantages in succeeding in our culture or in advantages to the company in increasing our ability to connect with underrepresented talent pools (international experience, different gender identities, educational backgrounds, etc.)

  • Department pre-meet score: Each department may have its own criteria used in recruiting screens to provide an additional pre-meet score in addition to the company pre-meet score.

Company pre-meet score

Company pre-meet scores are as follows:

Community experience

  • Open source businesses (+1): Worked in company on the Commercial Open Source Company Index or some experience in open source in general.

  • Open source contributor (+2): Has a GitHub or GitLab account and contributed to open source projects.

  • Mattermost contributor (+10): Has made a contribution to the Mattermost open source project or open source code integrating with our software.

  • Customer, partner or user (+3): Works for a customer, partner or company that uses Mattermost software.

Industry experience

  • DevOps workflow experience (+3): Practitioner of DevOps or worked in vendor of DevOps tools.

  • Hyper-growth business (+1): Worked in a company growing 2x to 3.5x year-over-year for at least two years.

  • Unified communications experience (+1): Worked at a company sponsoring Enterprise Connect conference or worked on product associated with the space (Slack, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Workspaces, WebEx Teams, Cisco Jabber, Chime, Facebook Workplace, Yammer, Jive, SharePoint, Lync, Skype for Business, etc.).

  • Mobile security (+1): Worked with Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions or at companies like AirWatch, Mobile Iron, Good Technologies/Blackberry Dynamics, etc.

  • On-prem or hybrid software (+1): Helped customers be successful on infrastructure that they alone control.

  • Enterprise software experience (+1): Worked in business with 50%+ revenue coming from customers with over 10,000 employees.

  • Social or mobile messaging or games experience (+3): Experience in social networking, social games, mobile games, or mobile messaging with understanding of online collaboration in consumer/prosumer space. Our consumer/prosumer DNA from being a video game company before we were an enterprise software company is a competitive advantage for us vs. other enterprise software companies.

Workstyle

  • Former YC founder (+1)

  • Success working from home, at least 2 years (+2)

  • Success working in Slack, HipChat, Discord or similar IRC-based messenger (+2)

  • Used Mattermost at work (+3)

  • Technical undergraduate degree (+1)

Perspective

  • Does not current reside in San Francisco Bay Area (+3)

  • Worked outside the U.S. for at least 2 years as an adult (+2)

  • Gender identity other than male (+3)

  • Lack of any university or college education (+3): For someone to be highly successful in technology without a formal education is rare and team members will this profile can help us expand into new talent pools.

Interview process

Interview panels and the order of interviewers is determined by the Hiring Manager during the Recruiter Intake Session. Ahead of the first interview for a new requisition, the Recruiter will send the Interview Team a summary of the Interview Plan, including each interviewer's focus area(s). Hiring Manager will also indicate the Interview Mid-Point which will also drive the Mid-Interview Syncs.

For the purpose of a positive candidate experience and efficient use of mana, it's recommended that there be no more than four non-Hiring Manager and non-MLT interviewers. Ultimately, the Hiring Manager will decide how many interviewers are needed.

Interview Panel process

As part of the Recruiter Intake Session, the Recruiter also works with the Hiring Manager to define the scope and focus area(s) for each interviewer using the ICP. Ahead of the first candidate interview, the Recruiter posts an update in the Recruiting Updates Channel and tags the Interview Panel.

The update includes the scope and focus area(s) for each interviewer. To promote high standards hiring, if more than two interviewers are not a Strong Yes ahead of the Mid-Interview Sync, the candidate will not move forward.

Interview Panel SLAs

In order to expedite the recruiting process for each candidate, please follow the feedback timeline:

  1. Interviewers should submit their 1-4 rating in Lever within 1 hour of the interview completion.

  2. Interviews should submit their full summary feedback within 24 hours of the interview.

Tips on sharing candidate feedback

  • Required: Lever’s 1 - 4 rating on the candidate. See rating definitions here.

  • Required: Experience-to-team rating. See definitions here.

  • Clearly state your opinion on how this candidate ranks compared to other candidates interviewed as it relates to your focus area. This should be objective and simple. For example: "Strong Yes for SRE, but not quite as technical in Kubernetes as John Doe."

  • Feedback on the specific skill/focus area assigned, with examples to help contextualize your rating.

  • Potential blindspots or brown M&Ms that may require either a future interviewer to ask about or the Hiring Manager to cover during a reference check.

Mid-Interview Sync

Ahead of the MLT and AA interviews, the Recruiter may schedule a live Mid-Interview Sync to align on intent to move forward and any ICP criteria that need additional assessment. Otherwise, the Recruiter will complete the Mid-Interview Template ahead of the MLT and AA Interviews.

Recruiting may follow up with the Interview Panel if the Interview Rating or Experience-to-team rating is incomplete or if additional context is needed.

If there are multiple candidates in the pipe, the Recruiter may ask the Interview Panel to rank the candidate pool. This exercise helps clear any potential blindspots or confusion around role expectations. It also allows the Recruiting team to prioritize the highest ranking candidates to complete the interview process, as appropriate.

As Appropriate Interviews (AAs)

To ensure the quality bar and culture of Mattermost is strong and rising, an "As Appropriate" interview is required with a senior, tenured Mattermost staff member for any candidate before an offer can be extended.

Typically the AA is the last person on the interview loop and scheduled in advance and cancelled if the candidate doesn't get through the loop - i.e. an AA interview should not slow down the interview process.

The following list of people are approved as As Appropriate interviewers:

  • Ian Tien, CEO and co-founder

  • Corey Hulen, CTO and co-founder

Each AA interviewer should have at least 3 reserved slots per week available for AA interviews, ideally in different timezone ranges, providing capacity for 12 new hires per month per AA.

Checklist for As Appropriate Interview

24 hours before an AA interview, the candidate's Lever profile should include:

Logistics

  • The Mid-Interview Sync will be pre-scheduled to occur after the last Mid-Interviewer completes.

  • If there are multiple candidates for the same role, the sync may be scheduled after all candidates have gone through the last mid-interviewer.

  • If you are an interviewer and cannot make the scheduled sync, please make sure to submit complete feedback in Lever ahead of the scheduled sync.

Interview project

Candidates may be asked to complete a take-home project as part of the interview process. Hiring Managers will indicate this need during the Recruiting Intake Session. Hiring Managers can create their own project or reach out to Recruiting for sample projects.

All take-home projects should list the expected amount of time to complete. This provides candidates with expectation clarity. The Hiring Manager will indicate which stage of the recruiting process a take-home will be given. The process for this stage will be standard for all roles:

  1. Hiring Manager or Recruiter will inform the candidate of the take-home project details and ask the candidate to complete either:

    • CLA if the take-home project is a Community ticket.

    • NDA if the above doesn’t apply.

  2. Hiring Manager or Recruiter will send the candidate the take-home project instructions through Lever.

  3. Upon completion, the Hiring Manager or Recruiter will complete the Interview Project Gift Card Form which will notify the People Team to send a Thank You gift to the candidate for completing the project.

Offer stage

Reference checks

WIP

Offer Approval Process

Once reference checks are complete and an offer is ready to be made, the Recruiter enters the offer information in Lever for approval.

The order of approval will follow:

  1. HR Director

  2. MLT member

  3. VP of Finance and Operations

  4. CEO

After offer approval, the Recruiter, Team MLT member, or AA Interviewer will extend a verbal offer to the candidate. Upon verbal acceptance, the Director of HR will send the offer letter.

Extending an offer

Recruiting will typically extend an offer, unless otherwise determined by the MLT member or Hiring Manager. Exceptions may be made if the Team MLT member or AA Interviewer prefers to extend the offer.

Sending an offer and notifying internal teams

This process will be managed by HR.

  1. Once an offer is approved, the Recruiter will select the appropriate offer template based on candidates’s residence country/region and send for signatures.

  2. Upon full execution of a new staff contract, the Recruiter will mark the candidate as Hired in Lever and export the profile to BambooHR.

  3. Once exported to BambooHR, an automatic New Starter Notification will be sent to the Hiring Team to kick-off the onboarding process.

Pre-onboarding process

New colleagues will receive pre-onboarding instructions from the People team. Hiring Managers will also receive a request to indicate new systems for their new direct report.

  • The Recruiter will share the ICP with HR as part of the Offer Request.

  • Hiring Managers should review the role ICP with the new hire during Onboarding to help align them to the role’s focus areas and help contextualize their priorities as they ramp-up with the team and their new peers.