The Thrill of the Hunt: How to Find Talent for Your Company

TalentIn a world that is constantly changing, it’s essential to always stay one step ahead of the game, or else be beaten by competitors. To stay ahead takes resources, though, and ones that aren’t quite so easy to come by, like people.

No matter how advanced your technology is, the amount of money you have, or the sweet digs you’ve outfitted your office with, people still remain the driving force of any company. An organization can’t excel with average, run-of-the-mill folks who just coast by though–it takes talented people to drive it there.

Boston has no shortage of talent, as we’ve discussed previously, yet they’re not just waiting for the world to come to them. “The most talented people aren’t looking for a job. In most cases they already have one. Talented people might not be looking for a job, but they are always looking for a good opportunity,” says Steve MacLaughlin, the Director of Internet Solutions at Blackbaud.

How can a company sift through all the dirt to find those diamonds in the rough, then? Marie Burns, recruiting manager over at provided us the answer at her Intelligent.lyclass on Wednesday night. She showed students the process to use, questions to ask, and how to train your team to interview. Read on to become a star recruiter for your company as well.

The Jobs Owner

The first step in the hiring process is to determine who will be the Jobs Owner. The Jobs Owner will be the person who makes the ultimate decision as to whether or not to hire someone and will oversee all aspects of the hiring process.

This person MUST be a key stakeholder in the company, or a decision maker for the role. They should be held accountable for all items for the specific job throughout the entire hiring process as well as all communication to candidates. You have to set expectations that THEY own the job. By setting a person as the Jobs Owner, you’ll alleviate the confusion of having the multiple roles spread across various people by having one central person to go to.


Stay organized by creating a schedule. Use this quick rule of thumb in order to break down your time effectively:

  • Take 30 minutes – 2 hours a day per job you own.
  • 45 minutes – 1 hour to review resumes
  • 15 minutes  to evaluate and document
  • 30 minutes to schedule
  • However long you need to screen and interview

Of course you can always delegate responsibilities to other people, but make sure the Jobs Owner does the screening.

The Rapid Recruiting Process

You must optimize your time with candidates and keep up with today’s market! Don’t waste your time or theirs–the process should take no longer than 2 weeks and is optimally 1-1.5 weeks. Define what your company’s process will be, and make sure everyone knows it.

There should be no more than 4 interviews in your process, including a phone screening. Every candidate should go through a phone interview to initially screen them. Immediately after the phone interview, give them an assignment to assess their skills. This assessment should be something that relates to your company and should provide immediate results of whether or not the candidate has the skills required. If they do not pass the skills assessment, they should NOT make it to the next round of interviews, which is the in-person interview to test cultural fit. If the candidate is not a cultural fit, they should not make it to the second round of interviewing, if there is one.

After the interviewing process, discuss as a team who to hire. Don’t drag this process out–companies lose talented candidates all the time because they don’t move fast enough and the candidate receives another offer.

Segmenting Your Interviews

Now that you’ve got the process down, it’s time to move into the actual interview. All too often, interviewers don’t know what to ask and leave feeling like they don’t know enough about the candidate to make a solid decision. Solve the problem by having the Jobs Owner delegate specific roles to the interviewers. Each member of the interview team should assess different skill sets related to the job, answers to behavioral questions, and the candidate’s cultural fit. These roles should be set before anyone ever gets on the phone with the candidate.

The key to an effective and expedient hiring process lies in organization and clearly defined roles. Make sure that everyone is on board and to follow your schedule and you’ll be on your way to securing the talent your company needs.

For more great lessons, check out the other guides on the blog, or visit our class page.

Talent in Boston – Why We’re Leading the World

“Talent is critical to Boston’s economic future, and to the future of metropolitan regions around the world,” reports The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (@bostonchamber), who released its new Global Talent Index on Tuesday, ranking 30 cities nationally and internationally across three metrics to determine the world leader in talent. Based on the academic performance of universities, the number of degree holders, and the number of patents coming out of each city, the scores were averaged together to produce an objective measure of talent.

“Of all the factors driving economic growth, none is more important than talent,” said Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Chamber.So who topped the list? None other than our hometown of Boston, of course. Rounding out the top five are London, Beijing, San Francisco, and Paris.The results come as no surprise to us at, as it just reinforces a point that we’ve always felt to be true, anyway: Boston is one of the best places in the world for an entrepreneur to build a startup. We truly have a world class set of innovators, educators, and earthshakers here in our city on a hill, underpinned and reinforced by our universities, companies, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem that thrives here.

There’s never been a more exciting time to be in Boston with the biomedical and high technology scenes flourishing and the Innovation District on the South Boston Waterfront just starting to take off. And just up the Red Line in Cambridge, Kendall Square calls itself home to many startups itself. It’s easy for anyone who visits to see what makes this city special.

“Startups are practically stringing themselves along the Red Line. They’re finding cheap space around Alewife. They’re moving into empty offices in downtown Boston. Probably the biggest cluster outside of Kendall Square is the Seaport District,” says Curt Nickisch in an article on WBUR.

And Kendall Square has been attracting some big-name companies recently too. In this article on his blog Innovation Economy on, Scott Kirsner talks about Amazon and Staples scouting out spaces in the neighborhood, the #1 and #2 online retailers respectively. They’ll be joining other well-known giants in the area like Microsoft and Google, not to mention Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

While we’ve achieved the title as the world leader in talent, it doesn’t mean we can become passive, though. Interestingly, Boston doesn’t take first place in any of the three metrics alone, and only once these three scores are averaged together do we reach number one, illustrating the space we all have to grow.

The community that calls Boston home is one of our most important assets, and its the reason we exist. Its our mission here at to become a community hub for these entrepreneurs and business professionals. We draw upon the talented individuals available right at our fingertips and make them available to teach all those with the desire to learn and giving them access to the skills they need to win.

Check out the full report available for download on the Chamber’s website here.