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Thought Leadership

10 Rapidfire Tips from Former Netflix Talent Exec at Greenhouse OPEN

Written By Mina Feuerhaken | April 12, 2018

Mina Feuerhaken leads recruiting at HackerRank, a skills-based technical assessment platform empowering over 1,000 companies across industries. She’s fascinated by career choices people make, as well as the companies they join. Her passion lies in finding the best fit on both ends and building a smooth process in between.

Greenhouse OPEN kicked off on a snowy spring day in New York. Over 1,000 talent acquisition professionals from 10 different countries gathered at the grand Chelsea Pier overlooking the water and the city. The largest company in attendance was Google with about 20+ employees.

Power, Not Empowerment by Patty MacCord

The keynote speaker was none other than the infamous author of “The Netflix Culture Deck” Patty McCord, former Netflix Talent Chief. Patty’s animated talk highlighted a rapidfire of many unconventional remarks around HR and recruiting. Here are 10 additional pieces of wisdom of MacCord, which concisely summarize effective tactics and reminders to improve your hiring!

1. Team is not family.

“You can fire your co-worker but you can’t fire your family.” I personally like this approach in building high-performing teams; though there are positive nuances common to both teams and families as well. Like always supporting one another. However, there should be a clear distinction between how you treat your coworkers, and your family members.

2. Your company serves customers, not coworkers

Our number one goal: Delight our customers day in day out—not our co-workers. You should be able to clearly identify who you are serving in your job and delight them all the time! For me, as the head of recruiting at HackerRank, my candidates are my absolute customers.

3. Focus on your top people

In order to create a better culture, look to your own people. Go to your top five high performing employees, and ask them what makes them happy. Focus on those items. Ultimately, you don’t need to look far to find why your company is good at some things and why you need to improve in other areas. Always start simple!

4. Go deep in what you’re hiring for

Have a strong understanding of each job you are trying to fill: First, consider what problem you are trying to solve with each job. It’s important to know your business and the teams you are supporting very well. One way to do this is to sit next to people who are doing the job of the people you are looking to hire, and learn from them firsthand. At HackerRank we have come up with a job approval process that forces hiring managers and recruiters to go deep on why they need a hire. This requires extra work on the front end, however, it pays off tremendously in the long run.

5. Hold managers accountable

It’s not the recruiter’s job to hire great people – it is the responsibility of management. It should be each manager’s first priority to hire and manage their team. That’s why they are called “hiring managers.”

I truly believe that as a recruiter, you are the partner to your hiring managers and you’re there to advise and support them. But they are the ultimate decision makers for their team. They need to be willing to put in the effort to create a successful team.

6. Positivity goes a long way

CEOs always want to do disaster planning, but they must be reminded to be more positive. Have more open, honest conversations, and give more kudos.

This reminded me of the “law of attraction.” Focusing on positive thoughts can bring positive experiences into the workplace.

7. Boost equal pay

Lately, there has been a lot of talk around transformation and gender equality. At most companies HR, finance, and marketing are majority women. In fact, we own pay! We are the ones that need to speak up about equal pay. This was quite eye opening to me. We have the power to fix this and it is our responsibility to have more open conversations around equal pay.

8. Grow women leaders

You want women leaders at your company? The first place to look for your powerful women leaders is right in front of you at your own company. You don’t know what some of your co-workers might be capable of or interested in. Start the search from within your company and open the door to those conversations.

9. #WeToo

It’s not just #metoo, it’s #wetoo. It’s up to us to create happy, healthy workplaces. The #metoo movement has been a hot topic this past year and I can’t help but to be compassionate to the horrible cases of workplace sexual misconduct all around us. However, we have a responsibility to fix this and we need to speak up and share those stories.

10. Compensation is market-based

If you want to know your worth go and interview. Market-based pay structures take into consideration both skill and market conditions in your specific area. Interviewing is the best way to get an idea of how much your skills are in demand and what their worth is.

Thanks to Greenhouse for hosting a great event, filled with not only fascinating insight but also beautifully decorated food, swanky gift bags, and plenty of staff to help attendees with anything they needed from product help to conference help. The icing on the cake was a hosted networking event at NYC hotspot The Standard. I left the event and New York energized and ready to own success. I am already looking forward to next year’s conference!

HackerRank and EY blog post on Optimizing Hiring

Optimizing for Excellence: EY’s Modern Approaches to Streamlining Hiring Processes