Create a framework for recruiting for a high-growth early stage startup with 10-20 employees.

Based on the excerpts from Matt Mochary's work, a recruiting framework for a high-growth early-stage startup with 10-20 employees involves several key components, from defining the mission and methodology to the interview process, decision-making, and legal considerations. Here's a concise framework that encapsulates these elements:


  • Objective: Hire only A players who fit the company culture and can accomplish the job that needs to be done.


  1. Scorecard: Define clear outcomes and competencies for the role.

    • Mission: Describe the business problem and solution.
    • Outcomes: List measurable achievements with deadlines.
    • Competencies: Define behaviors necessary for success.
    • Alignment: Ensure the scorecard aligns with company and department roadmaps.
  2. Source: Proactively source candidates even before there's an opening.

  3. Select: Use structured interviews to assess candidates against the scorecard.

  4. Sell: Actively sell the role and the company to the candidate throughout the process.

Interview Process

  1. Top-Grading Interview: Collect references and understand the candidate's job history.
  2. Focused Interview: Involve team members to assess specific outcomes and competencies.
  3. Decision Meeting: Review written comments and rate candidates against the scorecard.

Decision Making

  • Use a Skill-Will Bull's Eye to rate candidates on their ability and desire to meet scorecard outcomes and competencies.
  • Beware of red flags such as lack of past failures, exaggeration, and poor references.

Selling to the Candidate

  • Address candidate's concerns about Fit, Family, Freedom, Fun, and Fortune.
  • Maintain frequent communication from the offer to the first 100 days on the job.


  1. Announce the system to the company.
  2. Train hiring managers and interviewers.
  3. Set up the schedule and process in the ATS system.
  4. Include sourcing in everyone's quarterly objectives (e.g., OKRs).

Legal Considerations

  • Avoid discrimination and ensure fairness and relevance in the hiring process.
  • Use non-discriminatory language and avoid illegal questions.

Additional Notes

  • Efficiency: Minimize time with candidates you won't hire and maximize time with those you will.
  • Speed: A quick process from interview to offer can improve acceptance rates.
  • Spouse: Address any concerns of the candidate's spouse to alleviate fears.
  • Compensation: Offer a balance of cash and equity based on market compensation and living expenses.

For a startup with 10-20 employees, it's critical to be efficient and streamlined in the recruiting process to prevent it from halting other functions. The focus should be on hiring A players who not only have the skills but also align with the company culture and are excited about the company's mission. Implementing a structured and consistent recruiting process, as outlined above, can help the startup scale effectively while maintaining a strong team dynamic.