Recruiting - A Continued Adventure at Energy Circle
Saying that we’re selective in our hiring process is perhaps an overused statement, we realize. Who isn’t selective when building their team? But with the influx of resumes we received throughout 2015 and into this year, we quickly learned we needed to work even harder to improve our process to screen candidates effectively. Most importantly, we needed to be efficient. The hunt for strong talent has been an interesting and fruitful one; we’ve talked about our adventures in hiring in the past. In the last 6 months, I noticed a number of less-than-ideal trends I think are worth sharing.
If you’ll pardon a sports analogy: Think of your interview as your “and one” free throw. Preparation should allow this moment to feel pretty natural. And I get it, you have one shot. That can feel like a lot of pressure. But you’ll certainly step up to that line with more confidence and swagger if you’re well practiced, right?
Now, our process is a bit more forgiving than that, but you see where I’m headed with this? Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you shoot free throws at your interview, but I’d like you to be transparent if you’ve
A) Never played hoops (or done digital marketing), but you’re hungry to learn, or
B) Swished the last 10 shots and can hit the next 10 in a row with your eyes closed
Be more Larry Bird, less Chris “Birdman” Andersen. Consider this approach:
Know the company you are sitting in front of, and be prepared to explain what YOU think it is that company does.
The skills you’ve outlined on your resume needs to match your actual skill set in real life. Be honest! I honor speaking with conviction, but I’m interested in your story. How’d you get here? Craft your story and practice it.
Take a moment before answering questions. Breathe. Think. Speak. Repeat.
I want to learn about how you can apply your specific skill set to THIS position. Don’t just rattle off a list of responsibilities at your current job--tell us a story about the moment you realized you could utilize efficiencies you learned from your summer job waiting tables to an account management role. Elaborate on the “why” and highlight relevant achievements through your career.
Don’t Donald Trump us! If I ask a specific question, there’s a reason for it. I want to hear how you’ll answer it. You’re allowed to be honest if you don’t know the answer or aren’t sure how to answer. If the question is not clear, ask us to phrase it differently. That’s fair game; however, if you consistently change the subject and dodge the question we’ll notice. Don’t be a question dodger.
Avoid buzzword overuse, seriously. You’ve read a few decent blogs about content marketing and local SEO. Tread lightly if you’re just throwing the words out there because we’re going to needle you for more information. If you only know that the word “strategy” sounds good out in the open air but have no idea how to practically apply it, we’re gonna call you on it. That’s fair, right?
Care about the company culture. I assume you’re looking for a new opportunity that will give you a career boost. But beyond the thrill of landing a new gig, it needs to be the right fit, right? Probe us for info about the company culture, read up on our site, creep on the team.
Honestly explain what is important to you in a growing company culture. Think about what you need to know to get up to speed, and ask for it. Do you need to be around passionate, interesting people all day? How much training do you require? Do you need a standing treadmill desk to be productive?
“Do you have any questions for us?” YES, always! Come prepared with 2-3 questions. Even if the one question you had on deck was already answered, ask it in a different way or make up a new one, but never utter the words, “Nope, I think you’ve covered everything, thanks.” You’re interviewing with a company you may potentially spend a great deal of time at -- don’t you have a million questions?
Actually read our core principles. I’m continually surprised by how many people miss them or take a stab in the dark trying to guess them. But DUDE, when I ask you about which of our core principles you most deeply resonate with and you reply with “a dog friendly office,” I have to think you didn’t do your research. Yes we’re dog friendly, and some of us have embarrassing dog voices we use when speaking to our muttly crew, but “dog-friendly” is not one of our core principles. Read up.
Follow up. No seriously, I can’t stress how incredibly important this is. I’ve walked away from so many great interviews, very excited to continue the conversation in the near future. Then, I don’t hear a peep. Hello? I will tell you this, I’m NOT going to follow up with you, so please do your due diligence and follow up!
So, you get the job and day one you show up ready to rock? I’d argue the best thing you can possibly do when starting a new job is to become a great, active listener. Training is an ongoing process, and at a place as agile as Energy Circle, we’re always learning.