Course Syllabus


  • How to increase quality and volume of recruiting funnel

  • How to think about hiring quality and making more accurate hiring decisions

  • How to build better evaluation mechanisms - more effective interviews, take-home assignments, references, etc.

  • How to close candidates much more effectively

  • How to think about equity compensation, and what founders can do to make equity as desirable and employee-friendly as possible

  • How to think about building a strong recruiting function in-house, from hiring your first recruiter/head of recruiting to scaling the function

  • How to make meaningful progress on DEI goals - building more diverse pipelines, setting up interview processes that minimize bias


  • Live instruction from Kenny Mendes over Zoom

  • The course will take place over three weeks. It will be Monday/Wednesday from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM Pacific, with the first session on November 1st.

  • Optional/supplementary sessions may happen outside scheduled hours and will be recorded for people who cannot attend

  • There will be suggested pre-reads to help with learning and context-setting

  • Participants will be provided templates and resources that they’re encouraged to use in their companies

  • Students will be able to engage with other participants from all cohorts in the private Slack community

Curriculum Overview

Hiring Quality

  • What does it mean to make a great hire?

  • Why are incentives around hiring quality broken?

  • Why no role deserves a shortcut here.

People Analytics

  • Digging into the people science to understand drivers of success. Talking through some of the more counterintuitive findings so that we can properly craft interview processes that help take advantage of these learnings.

The Basics - Systems, Tools, Process

  • Tooling 101 - what kind of tooling/systems do you need at minimum?

  • What are the elements of high-functioning recruiting flows?

Recruiting Data

  • Data + Analytics

  • Quantitative + Qualitative data

  • What data should you be looking at?

  • What are standard rates throughout the funnel?

Pipeline Generation

  • What are the different ways to attract pipeline into your funnel?

  • What are healthy ratios, ex. referrals, agency, etc.?

  • How can you drive more visibility into the world about attracting candidates?

  • What are ways to attract candidates from underrepresented backgrounds?


  • Learn how to source efficiently and effectively.

  • Break down everything from tools, templates, and best practices

  • Avoid common sourcing mistakes that massively eat into ROI.


  • Understand what candidates are consciously and subconsciously looking for, and how to craft your pitch to hit all the key points.

  • Moving your startup from being mildly-interesting to the candidate to their top-ranked prospective job

  • Shadow a real-life example of how I pitch Coda

  • Recruiting pitch audit framework to teach your entire team to pitch as effectively as the best pitcher.


  • Break down why most people struggle to make accurate hiring decisions

  • How to screen profiles and resumes to minimize the chance of wasting your team’s time while also uncovering hidden gems.

  • How to collect as much of the right data and properly discount ineffective signals

  • Kenny’s favorite interview questions

  • The best way to use references

  • How to get the most out of candidate take-home assignments


  • How to properly communicate the value of your offer so candidates understand how to value equity rather than treating it like a lottery ticket.

  • As founders, how to set up your equity structures to be very employee friendly and drive up close rates

  • Negotiation strategies and closing best practices

  • How to teach candidates to focus their attention on factors that matter versus superficial elements that often distract most people.

About the Instructor

Kenny Mendes

Kenny Mendes currently leads People, Finance, and Operations at Coda. As one of Coda’s earliest employees, he helped the company grow from a private beta to a product used by more than 25,000 teams globally. Coda was recently valued at $1.4 billion and is scaling quickly.  Prior to Coda, Kenny led recruiting at Box, where he joined as the first person in recruiting and grew the company from 40 to 1,200. Kenny started his career in recruiting at Riviera Partners, an executive search firm focused on building the technology teams of many top startups. He is an active angel investor and advisor.