How to Hire Your First Employees

People are the lifeblood of any company and as such – finding new people to join Lob is key to our success. Your first few hires at a startup are arguably some of the most important hires you can ever make. Crafting a thorough and robust process from finding talent to onboarding/offer is very important to us at Lob.

With that said – we wanted to share with you all a bit about our hiring process. There are four key stages throughout our hiring process that we would like to highlight.

1. Sourcing and finding talent

Early-on, we found our best candidates through our own personal network. The first 2 employees we hired were people that we have previously lived/worked with and knew that they would be in this for the long run. Additionally, we look for people who have had a pedigree of success. If you’re a developer, you should have personal projects or open source on Github that you can point to that showcase your skills.

After the first 2 hires, we found success posting jobs on heavily trafficked sites like Hacker News and AngelList. We found that these two in particular were very useful as they have the perfect audience both for our product (developer tool!) and potential new hires (developers!).

2. Interview

Once we find someone interesting, we get in touch to schedule a phone interview. During our interview we typically ask questions centered around how they would solve some of the challenges we have faced in the past and ones we are currently deal with at Lob. This way we can see how they would approach these problems compared to how we approached them and use this as a point of discussion and debate. For the first few hires it’s important to not only find smart people but people that have done this type of work before and know industry best practices. While we can teach people how to do things, we expect to bring in people that have solved similar complex problems before.

3. Trial run

The next step is bringing a candidate into the Lob office to work on a specific project together. We call this a trial run as it’s the best way for us to determine whether we enjoy working with the candidate and for us to get a real sense for how he or she thinks. The candidate is a participant in figuring out a timeline that works for them (sometimes a few hours over a few days, or some time over the weekend).

We are prepared with a project that is real work that is aligned very closely to what that person would be doing if we hired him/her. This gives us a chance to gauge productivity and culture fit. We go into the trial runs with every intention on hiring the person we spend time with. We’ve been able to spot problems during the run and also identify strengths that we missed during first-round interviews.

The trial runs also give candidates a good way to measure whether or not Lob is a good fit for them in terms of both work and culture. We want the whole experience to be as much of a chance for them to assess us as a company as it is for us to get to know them. It is our hope that candidates join the Lob team only if the fit is 100% mutual.

4. Offer

Finally if the trial run goes well – we make an offer! But it doesn’t just stop there, after we make an offer we make sure to work with the candidate to understand any concerns or questions they might have.

We have a very open transparency policy at Lob and make sure that every candidate has an understanding of exactly what they are getting into. As such, we make sure to let them know where we stand in terms of funding, cash, revenue, and other important metrics. It is crucial that the candidate feels very confident and comfortable that Lob is a place where they can take their careers to new heights. In terms of the actual offer, we recognize that every candidate has a different risk appetite and therefore requires a different salary and equity balance. We are willing to be flexible with our offers in this sense.

Did we mention we’re hiring?

We’re always on the hunt for new talent and actively hiring for various positions right now. If you or someone you know might be a good fit – don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at jobs@lob.com. We love it when people apply in creative ways (we’ve had candidates send us a API of themselves!) or point out specific things on Lob they want to work on to improve.