The Truth About Your Next Hire

door lock

Checking references is a normal part of the hiring process.  Although they are meaningful, it is unlikely that a candidate is going to give you a set of references that don’t speak highly about their performance.  So, you ultimately need the inside scoop, right?

Since every hire at a startup is critical, it is very helpful to get one or two backdoor references to further validate the person’s performance and potential fit for your company.

Here are three tips on identifying sources to provide you with that critical, final vote of confidence that you are truly making the right hire.

1. Look inside your own company

This is the obvious one.  As you are reading a resume, you should pick up on the companies where the candidate worked in the past and be able to recognize if there is any cross over with current employees.

2. LinkedIn is your friend

Hopefully, you have been doing a great job at building out your network on LinkedIn because there are two ways that you can use LinkedIn to identify potential backdoor references.

First, look up the candidate on LinkedIn.  If they are a second degree connection, you will see “shared connections,” which is the contact between the two of you.  Hopefully, the mutual connection is a former co-worker, but if not, perhaps he/she has previously dealt with that person in some professional capacity.

Second, if you are a LinkedIn Premium account holder, there is a great feature called Reference Search.  This feature allows you to find coworkers by doing a search via company name and years they were employed there.  The search results will give you everyone in your network who overlapped during the same period of time.

3. Founders typically help founders

If the candidate previously worked at company, where the founder was involved in the hiring process or potentially worked directly with the candidate… don’t be shy.  Reach out directly to the founder and introduce yourself.  Let him/her know your intentions about talking about the performance of a past employee.  Since they understand the entrepreneurial journey and the critical importance of every hire being a star performer, it is likely that they will respond to your request and give you the inside scoop.

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Testimonials prev next

“Dissero has been a valuable partner in sourcing several key senior members for our marketing, sales, and product teams.  They’re very effective at understanding our needs and culture, and they make the interview process efficient by sending us highly qualified candidates.  They also provide helpful assistance throughout the process of closing candidates and ensuring a successful transition into the business.”

Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder & CEO
Care.com

“Dissero empowered us to recruit high quality critical hires without taking too much time away from running our business. Their services are invaluable for any start-up going through a hyper growth phase.”

Hayley Barna, Co-Founder
Birchbox

After spinning our wheels for months on a few key Product searches, we engaged Dissero.  Eric and Keith did an excellent job delivering high-quality, interested candidates who fit our requirements and our culture.  We have worked with many agencies; Dissero is top-of-the-heap when it comes to delivering results efficiently.  They’ll be our first call next time we have a tough search.

Matt Zisow, COO
CustomMade

“Dissero is an exceptional recruiting partner which operates with the highest level of integrity and values.  WordStream relies on Dissero for filling many of our most critical and strategic roles including a recent successful search for a VP of Product.  Without fail, every candidate we see has been well vetted and meets the core requirements of the role, and most importantly is a great culture fit for our company.”

Ralph Folz, CEO
WordStream

“Keith and Eric possess a focus that is unmatched in the Boston tech community for product and marketing focused hires. We worked with their team to fulfill a very specific product profile that quite frankly would be difficult to find in our ecosystem. They helped us nab the most exemplary candidate that exists. Period. We are so pumped now to have not only a new, totally kick-ass co-worker alongside us, but an awesome talent finding duo in Keith and Eric. We plan on working with them for years to come for our recruiting needs. These guys rock and they make me very proud.”

Ryan Durkin, COO
Dailybreak
Quotes from the Blogosphere prev next

“People and Product are the two most important things a company has.”

Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures
Blog: AVC

“Startups don’t succeed with people who deliver at a minimum acceptable level. “

Eric Paley, Founder Collective
Blog: Anything's Possible

“It’s all about the team – The first 25 hires at a startup are CRITICAL! They will set your culture. They will be the reason you reach (or fail to reach) your milestones. They will be responsible for hiring everyone else.”

Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital
Blog: Redeye VC

“The difference between an A team and an A+ team is the difference between a million in revenue and a billion in revenue.”

Paul English - Founder & CTO, Kayak
Quote from an OnStartups.com blog post

“On one hand, of course, you’re joining a startup for the upside.  Not just financial upside, but also the upside of making an impact in an organization, working in small teams with other exceptional people, involvement with cutting-edge technology, and working with other motivated people.”

David Beisel, NextView Ventures
Blog: GenuineVC