Smart Hiring
By Robert Mao on 05/02/2018

Smart Hiring

Brought to you by Robert Mao

Smart Hiring

How to hire smart?

  • Principles

    • Bad hire == Big loss, a wrong hire is the most expensive mistake. A big empty office will usually cost much less, don't hire just for fill the office
    • A team hire A team, B team hire C team... We should never lower the hiring bar even if we badly need hands
    • All principles can be revised
  • HR Compliance

    • No questions or decisions should be made based on discrimination of gender, age, disability etc.
    • Make sure the hiring process will improve our public image and trust

Hiring Process

  • Principles

    • Every candidate need interviews
    • Every engineering role need to pass basic coding test (management positions included)
    • The whole team should participate in the hiring process (screening, code review, interviewing)


  1. Screen
  2. Zoom Intro Call
  3. Code / Task test (homework)
  4. Video/Screen Sharing interview (multi-round)
  5. On site interview (optional)
  6. Offer discussion
  7. Making offer

Coding Test for Engineers

  • My typical coding questions:

    • implement atoi()
    • count bits from bytes
  • Need more coding questions
  • Need better coding test tool (using email and meeting schedule tool is not efficient and sometimes time wasting)
  • Need better code review process

Video/Onsite interview for Engineers

  • Coding skills

    • Coding on whiteboard (on-site)
    • Coding on own computer (Video)
  • Design skills

    • System architect
    • Problem solving
  • Knowledge & Experiences


  1. Screen (Must provide design portfolio)
  2. Video/Screen Sharing interview (multi-round)
  3. On site interview (optional)
  4. Offer discussion
  5. Making offer

Ranking the interview

  • Strong Hire

    • You really wish to work with this candidate
  • Hire
  • Can't Decide

    • Incomplete interview, so you can't make decision after this interview. Don't use this if you simply feel not sure. (Not sure == No hire)
  • No Hire
  • Strong No Hire

    • You may want to leave the company if this candidate get hired.

Use the tools (RecruiterBox)

  • Use RecruiterBox to define the interview flow
  • Tracking every resume from other source in the RecruiterBox (even those we Decide no a fit)
  • Tracking conversation, comments, review feedback in the RecruiterBox (Make everyone on same picture, for future reference)
  • Use email templates (make sure the action are quick and easy)

Referral and Bonus

  • Every internal referral will get guaranteed interview

    • HR should make sure, any candidate come from internal referral get a serious interview
    • HR should tell clearly to people who made the referral the status, hiring decision and reason
  • If you referred someone

    • Make sure you know the person well and believe this will be a good hire. (You are the screener) Don't make referral just for a friend of friend.
    • Forward CV is NOT a referral, feel free to forward CV for FoAF
  • Every successful referral (Hired and remain in position after 3 months) will get referral bonus (Cash or Token, subject to change by position and office location)

    • Hiring manager (and all line managers) for s position will not get referral bonus
    • Executive level will not get referral bonus in any occasion

Whenever in doubt == No hire

"Borderline" == No hire