How we hired a team of 8 excellents web developers in 9 month

By Thomas Dupont

Blade is a scale-up company with a European and United-States presence. The core of the business is a cloud computer focused on gamers and nomad people (like me) who want a great computer everywhere.

Shadow, the cloud computer

I was hired by Blade mid 2017 to be their second web developer. The purpose was to create the sales website and the customer space. At the time there were 50 people working for Blade, now there are 220.

Starting from scratch and reaching a client base of 60 000 customers is a big challenge and of course we needed more people to help us, including for R&D projects and related products such as the new HIVE project.

We are based in Paris where hiring developers is highly competitive. We started with a step by step process which took around three to four weeks but this process length caused us to miss applicants.

We determined our process was very long and it didn’t reach its desired purpose. Good people get a lot of proposals and often choose the company with the fastest process.

We hire people who want to make the best things in the world.
Steve Jobs

Given this situation, we decided to change some key parts of the process and to be more efficient. The first is on the technical test: developers who come to us already have a job or have done internships and personal projects. We have to believe them about the skills they market to us, and this for three reasons:

  • For them, they are leaving a job for another, to start a new challenge. It is also a leap into unknown.
  • Recruitment won’t ever be an exact science, there is always a risk. In France there is a four month trial period for every new work contract.
  • It is hard to assess every aspect of a candidate (skill fit, motivation fit, cultural fit) but working as a true hiring team with teammates, HR and founders helped us improve the chances of success.

We want the best people and to give them the best candidate experience possible.

The new process now takes half a day and we know immediately if we are comfortable with the hire or not: First an HR interview, a dev interview (with technical assessment), meeting with a founder (yes, every hiring is so important to us that our founders meet with every potential hire!) then a decision and hire proposal.

it works!

We hired very nice and involved people in a small time-frame and what matters the most: they are here for the long run!

Thanks for reading, don’t hesitate to comment and share your point of view and your hiring experiments.