How to Open a New Job

This page outlines the steps a Hiring Manager takes to kick off a new search.

The interview lifecycle

Values and practices

  1. We want our hiring process to access all potential qualified candidates.
    • We proactively promote our open positions to many different groups, communities, and networks.
    • If we believe there is a talented set of individuals who are not applying to our team, we will initiate outbound efforts to reach them. We believe there is value in reaching out to candidates who are not directly connected to the social graph of our team today.
  2. We want our hiring process to be fair to all candidates.
    • We recognize that the way a job description is written can plan a key role in promoting positive, non-biased hiring efforts. In fact, countless studies have shown that certain demographics are less likely than others to apply if they don’t meet 100% of the outlined qualifications. Because of this, our job descriptions focus on the impact a candidate will make in the role versus a long list of requirements that have historically impeded underrepresented candidates from applying, resulting in a larger and more diverse candidate pool.
    • We ask a consistent set of questions to each candidate so that we can objectively measure performance across candidates.
    • We leverage BrightHire to record our interviews, ensuring there is an objective record of the interview that can be referenced when making a hiring decision.
    • All interviewers submit written feedback independently before being able to see feedback from other interviewers. Feedback may not be edited after submission.
    • We maintain a consistent hiring decision process for all candidates.
  3. Hiring managers own the hiring process for their team.
    • Hiring managers are encouraged to partner with their assigned recruiter to experiment to learn how to improve their hiring process.
    • The handbook is kept up-to-date with our learnings and current norms. If something is missing from the Handbook, please Slack #ask-hiring.

The Hiring Manager’s actions

The below actions must take place before we begin interviewing candidates.

Step 1: fill out the intake form

The Hiring Manager fills out this intake form. Responses are routed to our How to Open a New Job (Responses) form. This is required for all net new and backfill roles.

  • If you need help completing this form or getting a status update on your headcount request, please get in touch with your recruiting partner so they can help move this through the process.

Step 2: finance and exec approval

Finance approval is required for all new roles, whether backfills or net new.

If this role fits in the latest plan/budget, then it will likely be quickly approved. Finance maintains discretion, however, to ask questions and make a decision based on changes in business strategy and prioritization, department metrics or ratios, company and department performance, or other reasons. SLA: 3 days.

If this role exceeds or changes the latest plan/budget, then additional justification is required. The executive for the team must re-create their ideal org chart with support from People and Finance to set prioritization and timing of all desired roles. If the Hiring Manager or executive can find a place to pull budget from elsewhere in the company (with the respective department executive’s approval), then People and Finance team approvals are required, but the decision will be easier and quicker. SLA: 7 days.

If the Hiring Manager or executive can’t find a place to pull budget from, then People and Finance approval is required, given company-wide strategy and prioritization, potential impact, and company performance. The exec team will be notified about the additional role, spending associated with it, and any potential offseting cost cuts that finance will be applying (e.g. to travel or other company-wide line items), and they can propose alternatives. SLA: 14 days.

The Hiring Manager will continue onto next steps if approved. The headcount committee will inform the requester if their request is denied.

Step 3: create a job description & interview plan

If the role is approved, the Hiring Manager creates a job description & interview plan using this template. We recognize that this step is time consuming, yet it is a critical step in setting our search up for success. Creating a well-thought out job description and interview plan 1) ensures alignment between the Hiring Manager, the hiring team, and the Recruiter and 2) ensures that all candidates are receiving a fair and consistent interview experience. Creating a strong plan upfront is also proven to reduce time-to-fill, meaning that we will make a hire faster, on average.

  • Job description format: We write all job descriptions in an impact format. The way a job description is written can plan a key role in promoting positive equal opportunity efforts. Countless studies have shown that certain demographics are less likely than others to apply if they don’t meet 100% of the outlined qualifications. To that end, Sourcegraph’s job description format focuses on the impact a candidate will make in the role versus a long list of requirements that have historically impeded underrepresented candidates from applying, resulting in a larger and more diverse candidate pool. The goal of the job description is to focus on getting the candidate excited, while giving a clear representation on what we expect them to accomplish both in the short-term and longer-term. How will working at Sourcegraph benefit them in their career? Why is this the best job they’ll ever have?

  • Interview plan format: Creating a structured interview process is critical to our equal opportunity efforts. Research shows that structured interviews are up to twice as effective at predicting job performance than unstructured ones, and ultimately help us hire faster. Structuring interviews with a standardized set of questions also allows for a more fair and impartial way of assessing candidates, which helps remove unconscious biases. Before creating your interview plan, you may find it helpful to read about the types of interviews other Hiring Managers have leveraged in the past. When creating the interview questions, please keep in mind: all interview questions should be written in open ended format (the best way to ensure of this is to start every question with “Tell me…”), and to ensure all questions are legal, ask yourself “does this question relate to the candidate’s ability to do this job?” … if you can’t confidently say yes, it’s better to not ask it!

Once the Hiring Manager completes the above steps, the Recruiter takes the below actions:

The Recruiter’s actions


  • Please check this sheet to confirm headcount has been approved by the exec and Finance team.
  • If you are awaiting confirmation on a headcount request, please request a status update through the #finance-talent-collab Slack channel.
  • Make sure that the net new or backfill req is added to our headcount tracking sheet.

Step 1: the intake meeting

The Recruiter schedules a 30-minute intake meeting with the Hiring Manager and Recruiting Operations Specialist to kick off the search and review the responses to the intake form. The intake meeting is intended for the three of them to get on the same page about job requirements, the ideal candidate, and the proposed interview process. This is a necessary step to ensure initial alignment and set our search up for success.

Every intake meeting should be recorded via BrightHire by inviting and/or including #brighthire anywhere in the body of the invite when scheduling the meeting, then by clicking the green “Interview with BrightHire” option at the top of the invite when joining the meeting.

Example topics to cover during intake meeting:

  • Job title
  • Reason for opening
  • Job level
  • Number of openings
  • Time zone/location restrictions
  • Ideal start date
  • Ideal candidate profile
  • 3 LinkedIn examples
  • Alternative titles
  • Required software/tools
  • Ideal companies
  • Screening questions
  • Selling points
  • Any additional information
  • Job description
  • Potential qualifying questions that we can utilize on our job application to automatically reject inbound applicants that don’t meet our minimum requirements

Prior to the intake call, the Recruiter sends the Hiring Manager the following message to ensure everyone is prepared for the call:

Hi hiring manager! As we prepare for our intake call scheduled for Date & Time, I wanted to provide you with a list of topics we will be covering. This will help us utilize our 30 minutes efficiently and ensure that we have all the necessary information to kick off the search successfully. Prior to our call, please fill out this form. In addition to reviewing these answers, here are some additional questions we will discuss:

  • (If this is a backfill) What wasn’t working with __?
  • Walk me through the reason for this position / why this role is important on the team / how does this role impact the business overall?
  • What will this person be working on day to day?
  • Short-term goals: where can this person make an immediate impact? What are some projects they’ll be working on?
  • Walk me through your ideal profile & background. When you look at a profile/resume, what do you want to see & will impress you?
  • Top 3 things you’re looking for?
  • Start-up vs large company experience?
  • Ideal companies?

Lastly, we will finalize the interview process and confirm who will be on the interview panel. If you have any questions or need clarification on any of the points above, please let me know. Thank you for your prep work ahead of time. Looking forward to kicking this role off!

Step 2: Greenhouse

The Recruiter opens the job in Greenhouse by clicking “Add” at the top, then “Create a Job”:

  • Copy the existing “Template” job.
  • Input all required fields into “Job Info”, including the correct cost center, division, and Radford code. The compensation can be confirmed in Assemble. You can read more on how to view our internal compensation bands here.
    • Note: Please include the job level (e.g. M3, IC4, etc.) in the title of the internal job name that appears in Greenhouse.
      • Example: Product Designer (IC4)
    • Note: Please put the top of band for the finance budget.
    • Note: The cost center and division can be found on the How to open a new job responses. Please reach out to #team-people-and-talent if you are unsure of how to fill them in.
  • Input all required fields for the “Hiring team”, “Job kickoff”, “Scorecard”, “Interview plan”, “Job Post” and “Email notifications”.
    • Make sure to build out the interview plan by adding behavioral-based, structured questions (found in the interview plan) directly into each interview stage. Each section should include the interviewers and interview duration.
    • All interview stages should use the standard interview titles, found here. When adding interview steps, you must follow the following format: ‘Type of Interview’ [Duration]. For example: Hiring Manager Screen [45 min]. It is not acceptable to add any notes or other identifying information in the title of the interview as this will skew our calibration data.
  • Turn on Slack notifications for the role.

Step 3: review with People Partner

  • The Recruiter will review the job description, hiring plan, and interview panel with the team’s People Partner. The People Partner is responsible for flagging any areas of concern prior to moving on to next steps.

Step 4: post the job

The Recruiter posts the job to our Careers page. If you would like it posted in other locations, please ask your Recruiter or send a Slack message to #ask-hiring. You can see a list of other job boards we are considering here.

  • The recruiter follows these instructions before posting a role to any given job board in order to track the source of applicants and help measure the job board’s return on investment.

Step 5: Slack kick-off process

The Recruiter creates a Slack channel with the Interview Team and starts the Slack kick-off process:

  1. Create a new channel Slack channel named: “team-hiring_position_recruiter-name”
  • Example: “ops-hiring_handbook-product-manager_recruiter-kelsey”
  1. Invite the entire interview panel plus VP Talent, Recruiting Coordinator & People Partner to the channel
  2. Tag VP, People & Talent to make the channel private
  3. Once private, send kick off note using the below template:

Hi team! We are excited to kick off our [hyperlink job description] opening and I appreciate all of you participating in the interview process. I thought it would be helpful to create a Slack channel to stay aligned as we begin interviewing candidates!

As a next step, please:

  1. Review the below interview process and qualifications
  2. Please share this post to social media to help drive applicants to the role
  3. Please review these pages in the handbook:
    1. Interview training
    2. The interview process
    3. Feedback definitions
  4. Please review our Guide to Using BrightHire and ensure you download the BrightHire Chrome extension.

Interview process / hiring team:

At a high level, here is an overview of what we’re looking for in this hire. @hiringmanager, please add any additional insight that will be helpful for the hiring team to keep in mind as they interview candidates!

  • Why is this position open:
  • The ideal candidate:
  • Level:
  • Deal breakers:
  • Selling points:
  • Target start date:

Step 6: post to #announce-people-talent-team

The Recruiter posts an announcement about the new role in #announce-people-talent-team. Example below:

Hi team! We’re excited to announce that we’re kicking off a new search on the [department name] team. Please help us find candidates by spreading the word to your network and sending any referrals! And as always, we welcome internal applicants, too! If you’re interested, talk to your Manager and follow these steps in the Handbook.

  • Hiring Manager: @Hiring Manager name
  • Role: role title, hyperlinked to job description
  • What we’re looking for: ask Hiring Manager to write a brief exciting description

Step 7: recruit!

The Recruiter begins generating a candidate pool by reviewing applications in Greenhouse and Sourcing passive candidates via LinkedIn Recruiter. Once eligible candidates are identified, they are moved to the interview stage