If you did hire this way then you’d be like Automattic, the billion dollar company behind WordPress.com and helping fuel the WordPress publishing ecosystem. Automattic has been hiring like this since Matt Mullenweg founded the company and they’ve been very successful at hiring this way. I pinged Matt Mullenweg to ask more about how this hiring process is going and he said they hired 139 people last year alone and going strong with a dozen open positions right now.
Business Insider doesn’t go into a lot of detail on the why Automattic started hiring this way or why they keep doing it, but I can tell you:
- Low turn over
- High employee engagement
- Tapping into the best talent the world has to offer
Slack communicating in writing is essential to fitting in. It makes sense then that Automattic’s email, chat, and blogging interviewing process works so well for them. The interview actually matches how they really work, a lot different from how we typically interview people isn’t it? Automattic’s check for the soft skills is based in the soft skills that you need to communicate effectively without seeing someone. What about other jobs? How would an email interview work for other positions?
Even if you aren’t a completely distributed team and you don’t rely on online tools over face to face meetings, making email, chat, and writing exercises a key part of the interview process would weed out people who can’t express themselves in words. With more and more communication done over email (and IM and forums and chat), if you hire someone who can’t wield words well, you’re in trouble. That first 30 minute phone interview could start with emails or chat where recruiters ask questions that take thought and time to answer. Perfect for email, not so great for the phone. Based on the answers emailed back, the first phone interview can get straight down to the brass tacks of how well the person fits and their qualifications.
Step 5: Give candidates written exercises to complete.I really like the written exercise (or coding test) as part of the interview process, but I also think you won’t get people’s best work if you ask them to do it for free. This is why the paid project idea is so brilliant. You don’t have to pay a lot of money and I wouldn’t have someone do a project on a time sensitive or mission critical task, but something like a competitive assessment or small coding excercise would be good. Putting money on the table puts responsibility on both the company and the candidate to take it seriously. Everyone has skin in the game and gets to get a little peek behind the curtain at the other.
Every marketer needs to be a strong writer. All marketing jobs involve content creation, so the candidate should be able to create high quality content with ease. This stage of the hiring process is the perfect time to test someone’s writing skills by assigning a written exercise. This step won’t suck up much of your time, and it can be really helpful in determining the candidate’s interest in the roll.
When designing a written exercise, think about real life scenarios — your own work, or that of team members with similar roles, can be a great source for ideas. Here are a few examples I’ve used before:
- Blog post. Ask the candidate to write a blog post for a specific topic, or have them come up with their own topic based on certain buyer persona for your business.
- Mock case study. Provide notes from a customer interview and ask the candidate to write up a mock case study.
- Landing page optimization. Create a worksheet with that includes organic traffic numbers and submission rates for a number of landing pages. Ask the candidate which they would optimize if they only had the time to do two, and why. You could also provide sample landing pages and ask for suggested edits.
- Competitive battlecard. Ask the candidate to create a one-page summary comparing one of your products or services to a competitor’s.
From: Hubspot Marketing blog: How to Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes: A Step-by-Step Guide for Recruiting Top Talent
And that’s the question recruiters and hiring managers need to start asking themselves:
How important is it that the person be another butt in a chair in a cubicle?
When we stop and think about how more and more companies are evolving these days, it’s natural to wonder…how many people need to be in the office?
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