Hiring Hacks: An Inside Look into Coinbase's Recruiting Approach


There are many incredible companies out there, which means recruiting talented engineers just became a whole lot tougher.

Aurora Harshner, Recruiting Manager at Coinbase, understands this hurdle and provides a glimpse into the recruiting approach Coinbase takes to ensure they not only hire the best engineers, but they hire engineers that are a long-term fit with the company culture.

Coinbase’s Approach to Recruiting


At Coinbase, education is a key initiative they focus on upfront. It is in the best interest of the company to educate all employees on how to recruit and explain what interviewing really looks like. This is especially important for companies scaling. Conducting focused interviews, educating employees, and identifying the characteristics and qualities to look for will help you hire the best people.

Even during an interview, Coinbase is educating each interviewer; they call it the “5 minute sync.” Once an interview has been conducted, the next person assigned to that interview will meet with the past interviewer for five minutes and share the points that should be further addressed. This approach eliminates any follow-up meetings. This tactic also provides a great candidate experience. Each interview the candidate experiences is thoughtful and non-repetitive.

Work Trial

To ensure that Coinbase and the candidate are a match, Coinbase offers a work trial opportunity. A candidate takes a week of PTO to come and work with Coinbase. Knowing that this may or may not be the job for them still allows for the candidate to see what the culture and work experience is like. This also eliminates any mis-hires, the candidate now can focus on the types of problems they will solve and if they would like to be there long term.

Coinbase’s Technical Recruiting Strategies

Last year, 50% of Coinbase’s hires came from referrals. That’s not always the case for companies. A helpful way for companies to see more referrals come in is to tie recruiting into employee performance. Have recruiting be a company-wide initiative. In reality, everyone has the same goal: to build out a successful team. Be transparent and make it known that effort from each department is necessary to meet that goal. For those that contributed, reward them in some special way.

Coinbase’s Unique Ways of Attracting Talent

The Reddit & HackerRank Quiz

To attract the talent Coinbase was looking for, they went straight to the source and created a Reddit & HackerRank quiz. Aurora explained, for any engineer that successfully completed the test would in turn get an in person interview at Coinbase. This unique incentive attracted many engineers, exposed Coinbase to a wider target and made their company more widely known. In return, they were able to make their hires.

It’s often a challenging thing to do, but it’s important to take a step back and look at the people you have at hand. Who are the amazing thought leaders at your company? To attract additional talent, Coinbase leverages their resources and has its engineers go out in the community to talk at events and meetups to engage with other like-minded individuals. Aurora shares if you start marketing them, people will see the type of people that your company has and they in turn will want to work for you.

Want to take a further look inside Coinbase? Hear Aurora for yourself in our Hiring Hacks webinar.

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