An Open Letter to Talent Acquisition

Dear Talent Leaders,

Can we all just be real for a second here and admit something your CEO won’t.

Say it with me: Your job is the MOST important in the business.

Say it LOUDER: your job is the MOST IMPORTANT in the business.


Great products are built by great people, great deals are won by great people; people are the key to your company’s success. Your CEO loses sleep every night: Can we get to the next round of funding? Will we ever be the next unicorn? Is our product on track? Do I trust our CRO to meet their forecast?

And the answer is no. Not without the right PEOPLE in place.

We’ve all seen bad hires:

  • The ex-Fortune 100 executive who doesn’t know how to be scrappy and flexible while leading a Series A team
  • The cocky sales rep who crushes quota and verbally abuses the BDRs
  • The marketer who can nail down a process but doesn’t have punchy brand presence
  • The micromanager who rewrites their team's code and brings down morale when they don't give the team space to breathe

It’s not that these people are bad at everything, they just aren’t excellent at the couple of key tasks you need them to accomplish.

But how could you have known? It’s not like these traits were uncovered in the hiring process—or could they have been?

“We never know who is going to work out”
— Your Sales VP when they rush candidates through the cycle, desperate to get butts in seats

“You never source good candidates”
— your VP of Engineering when they drag their feet on a hiring decision

And while you know that your head of sales isn’t giving enough time to evaluate candidates, and your head of engineering is asking questions that have nothing to do with the ability to do the job itself—the team is looking at YOU to improve hiring.

So how do you do it?

Maybe you’ve done interview training before—how many new hiring managers have joined since then? How do you know that sticks?

Maybe you’re running a training program every 6 weeks and the team is slowly improving.

Maybe you even take the valuable time out of your day to sit in on each interview to see what exactly is happening.

If you’re reading this and nodding your head along, STOP. Your time is valuable! Remember: you have THE MOST IMPORTANT job in the company—YOU are the key to the business’s success. Don’t waste your time using outdated tactics that don’t give you the results that you need. Don’t let hiring managers treat you like an order-taker.

Earn a seat at the table by implementing a strategy that ensures your company hires the right people, every time.

Here’s how:

Step 1) Make others aware of the problem:
  • "Hey VP, I don’t want you to spend more time than you need to on interviewing, and the way our setup is today isn’t working.”
  • “Hey VP, I want you to be confident that the candidates you’re meeting are qualified and capable of getting the job done, and our current interview structure isn’t getting us those answers.”
Step 2) Propose a solution:
  • “How about instead, I record each interview and share the highlights with you via email so you don’t have to spend time preoccupied with interview preps/debriefs and so you can make quicker, better informed decisions on a hire?”
  • “To ensure we are aligned on qualified candidates, let’s define a very specific rubric with core competencies and questions that for sure will tell us if a candidate meets our criteria. Then, I can ask some of those questions earlier on and record and share the conversation highlights. So instead of a 30 minute interview you can let me know in 5 minutes if it’s worth your time to meet”
Step 3) Implement tools to automate this new process:
  • ATS (i.e. Greenhouse, Lever): - Sort applicants to quickly find potential candidates and track core competencies via a scorecard.
  • Scheduler (i.e. Calendly): No need to chase people down for time, use an app that tracks everyone’s calendars in one place and automatically adds a Zoom link.
  • Interview Intelligence (i.e. Pillar): Automatically record audio/video from interviews, transcribe the conversation, and use AI to capture highlights and track core competencies covered live on the Zoom.

By implementing a scalable strategy and tech stack, you will save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising and employee turnover in the long run. Be the hero you already are, and go earn that seat at the table!


Jessie (for the Pillar team!)

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