Start with a hiring plan, not a job description

Janessa Lantz
5 min readJan 12, 2020


One of the most valuable lessons I took away from my time at HubSpot is how to run a good hiring process. I’m at a ~16 person startup now and I no longer have the recruiting support I had at HubSpot, but for my first hire (it’s for an events manager role if you’re interested ❤️) , I tried take some of the things I learned at HubSpot and apply them to the early-stage startup environment.

I wanted to walk through the early stages of that process (the hiring plan) in case it’s valuable for others out there.

Why you need a hiring plan

First, hiring doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’re going to need to bring people into the process and they’re going to need to understand why you’re hiring for a role and how to contribute. And good collaboration always begins with a plan.

Second, a hiring plan is your first line of defense in removing bias from the hiring process. By being clear about your intentions for this role and creating guidelines throughout the process, you can begin to correct for bias the bias that creeps into less structured processes.

Third, a hiring plan helps you to move fast. You’re competing for talent with companies that are far more well known then you and can probably offer more money. But offering a great candidate experience goes far in showing what it’s like working for your company. And what candidates what is speed and clear communication.

So, what should that plan include?

Why you’re hiring for this role

This is something everyone will ask about, including the candidate. Take the time to put a thoughtful answer together for this.


I’m a big fan of limiting this to three. It brings focus to the hiring process that you lose when your list gets too long. Keep in mind, long lists of requirements often act as a deterrent to underrepresented groups. Focus here will make it easier for you to write a concise job description down the road.


This is where you can start writing out your dream list :)

Sourcing flow