Jodi Jefferson

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HireCamp: InHouse Recruiter Unconference

Last week I attended HireCamp, the recruiter UnConference of the year. Dan Arkind, CEO of Jobscore hosted a terrific lineup of lightning talks and unconference sessions where recruiting execs from some of NYC tech companies gathered to exchange strategies. I was stoked to make new connections, share my input with others, and learn from my peers. I can’t wait to impliment many of the tips I learned at Yext. Here’s a summary of my takeaways from the day!

Employee Referrals

  • Reward the behavior of referring, recognize the effort publically

  • Have a visual to celebrate and recognize referrals

  • Create a sustainable, fun referral program

  • Referrals = Better hires > Faster

  • Don’t make the team think! Recruiter to comb staff networks and list who you want to recruit

  • Talk about recruiting in every all hands meeting – Talk, Clap, celebrate, tell stories about referrals and new hires

  • Referrals are people your staff can vouch for, that they’ve worked with, for, or learned from

  • Leads are people they know, and they can explain the context of the relationship

  • “It’s OUR job, not my job” Have a team mentality around recruiting

  • Turn employees into salespeople, get them excited about selling the opportunity

  • Build the story - How employees can sell the company and tell a great story

  • Get staff involved in the hunting process

  • Who are the best people you’ve ever worked with?

  • Empower the person that knows the referral to teach US how to court them

  • Repeatable stories, sound bites, scale and repeat

  • Teach staff to sell themselves! “Why would your network want to work with you?”

  • Reach out to leads and network and ask for advice on a hard problem the engineering team is trying to solve. Then engage and ask to grab coffee, invite the CTO

Recruitment Marketing

  • Showcase company talent and engineering challenges in blogs, and video for social distribution

  • Video interviews – interview the team and CTO, post online and on website/blog

  • Events – Invite great people

  • Open source projects

  • Descriptive job specs that sell the company, challenges and opportunity

  • Best days to post job descriptions are Monday and Tuesday morning and early afternoon

  • Record our engineers speaking at meetups and events

  • Record brown bag sessions and use as content

  • Have a simple blog schedule, and make it easy to showcase engineering team

  • Find out who your most vocal team members and sign them up to speak at conferences. Have your engineers sell the company

  • Turn Interviewees into advocates

Working with CEO’s / Hiring Managers

  • Are your managers committed to hiring?

  • Understand long term plans and how the open reqs fit

  • Will the current manager be their manager in 3 - 6 months?

  • Will team dynamics be changing?

  • Keep CEO involved as long as it doesn’t slow down the process

  • Hiring managers and recruiters have to make prospects feel wanted

  • Go above and beyond to recruit top talent

  • Send personal emails and gift baskets from CEO

Recruiting Candidates

  • Top talent drives value of the company – human capital evaluated on engagement, turnover, and diversity

  • Hire people with huge potential – Think about their careers in 10 years. I am setting them up to scale their careers in a powerful direction

  • Understand challenges and problems the team is trying to solve and how new hires can contribute

  • There are unquantifiable aspects of recruiting

  • We want the best, not what’s available

  • Email out candidate surveys after every interview to allow hiring managers to improve based on candidate feedback, and improve candidate experience

  • Interview training - shadow and reverse shadow. Hiring managers sit in on interviews while training


  • Staff must like their manager, manager must make staff feel like part of the mission

  • Keep a list of top talent at company and check in constantly

  • Tight manager  - employee relationships

  • When a company is evaluated their people are looked at  - make sure staff looks good and careers are being nurtured

  • Make sure staff is inspired to do their best work

  • Have faith in the vision of future and product

You must be serious about recruiting if you’ve made it to the end of this post! There’s a lot that goes into team building and making recruiting part of your company culture. I’ve curated great tips for recruiting from Hirecamp, now I’d love to hear from you! How does your company reward and recognizes employee referrals?

Bubble To Burst And Back, But Better

It makes perfect sense that at 11pm the night before I leave for my first trip to SXSWi 2012 I set up my Tumblr blog. I’ve spent the last two years embarking on a journey back into the NYC tech scene at the same time I became a single working mother. The last time I battled the war for talent was 1999 - 2001, the original dot-com start up era. I’m 11 years wiser, have a wealth ambition, inspiration, ideas and motivation to impact peoples lives, support local entrepreneurs and help businesses evolve. I’m not a social media wiz or claiming to be a blogger. Entrepreneurship is in my blood. I’m a leader and a connector juggling two businesses, two kids, amazing clients that value human capital and talented people looking for the best places to work.

The open source movement, meetups, accelerators and co-working spaces weren’t prevalent back in 99. Maybe if they were the bubble wouldn’t have burst? There most definitely is a talent war going on today, but there’s also a sense community on the battlefield that’s bringing people together. Not to get all Dalai Lama on you, but I suppose the obstacles in my life were really my path after all! I’m stoked to be back back in the game. 

From hiring and building teams in my own businesses, reading countless resumes and conducting hundreds of interviews, it’s clear why people take a job and why they exit. A company needs a good strategy to recruit and retain people, a job application process worthy of the people they really want to hire, a culture that makes team members love coming to work every day, innovative teams, a rewards and recognition program that brings employees together but doesn’t entitle them and more.

Just trying to tell my story, share my knowledge and inspire someone along the way. Inspire me back. No frequency of blog posts and rants guaranteed.