Hiring is so competitive in Silicon Valley, $5 billion startup Stripe is interviewing and hiring entire teams at once

Patrick Collison
Stripe cofounder Patrick Collison. Flickr/ Web Summit

Hiring is so competitive in Silicon Valley, payments startup Stripe has offered to interview small teams of engineers at once, then hire them all if they make it through the screening process.

A blog post from engineering manager Avi Bryant explains that investors already place great emphasis on teams when they’re deciding which companies to fund. So why not do the same for engineers lower down in the hierarchy?

Between 2 and 5 engineers can apply at once, and they have to each have their own resume and explain how they know each other.

Here’s how the interviewing process will work:

Once you’ve applied, we’ll take you all through the hiring process together: we’ll make sure you hit the same stages of interviews at the same time, bring you all to the office on the same day, and try to design at least one interview problem that you can work on as a team. If we make an offer, we’ll make it to all of you, at the same time; you’d all be free to accept or decline individually, but of course we’d hope you’d all accept — and if you do, we’d work with all of you to find a place at Stripe where you can all start off working together.

This is similar in nature to the “acqui-hire, where tech companies buy entire small startups just for the staff — they discontinue any products and treat any intellectual property as negligible. 

But it raises a lot of interesting questions:

  • What if Stripe loves only one person on the team and really wants to hire them? Will it make an offer to the duds just to get the star?
  • How will this affect salary negotiations? Will Stripe be forced to offer everybody the same salary and — particularly important for a fast-growing startup recently valued at $5 billion — equity? What if one team member tries to negotiate outside the rest of the team?
  • What happens if one team member doesn’t work out? Will Stripe be able to fire one teammate and retain the rest of the team? 

Then, what about diversity? Investor Hunter Walked asked that very question, and cofounder Patrick Collison said he believes it would help:

 Stripe was not immediately available for comment.



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