One of the “steps” we added as a casual step in our interview process is what my cofounder dubbed the “Anti-Sell Hiring Interview.”
At the very end of the process, before the candidate decides if they want to take the offer or not, instead of continuing to sell them on all the perks, growth opportunities, and fun they’ll have at our startup vs. the next, we instead warn them on what’s to come.
We tell them things like “we’re chaotic despite our best efforts”, “lots of shifting priorities and, hence, probably throwaway code” or “market trends and how that might negatively impact our trajectory.”
…And basically a couple reasons why this particular job will be hard or why the startup could possibly go under.
Why? We’re an early stage startup. A lot of this shifting and pivoting and maneuvering will happen whether we like it or not and we want to filter out for the people who understand this is the case and are still willing to whether the storm, alongside us. This, I believe, is especially true of the early, founding team.
If we don’t give them this spiel and it turns out they’re the wrong fit after really getting a sense of the chaos only after they join, it’s much more costly on our end to fix.
If they’re the right fit, they’ll accept the offer knowing what to expect because we already told them how chaotic everything was going to be. And guess what? Since happiness = expectation - reality, they’ll be net happier than if we didn’t warn them otherwise.
So far, it’s produced fantastic, right fit hires. Highly recommend.