10/09/13

HOW TO: Hire for Brand Fit

Hiring is tough. Period. And when you're still trying to figure out your brand AND managing personalities, it can be even tougher.

Over the life of Sisarina, I've made many mistakes. As an ex-recruiter, I thought hiring wouldn't be one of my mistakes but I was more than wrong. I didn't have a plan, I didn't know what I was looking for, and I took everything at face value. Now I know - that's NOT how you hire. 

Three years ago, we implemented a hiring process that fits our brand and works well to find the right people. Here's how it works:

Our Hiring Process

  1. Realize need & define role
  2. Define job requirements & write them down
  3. Post job description on your site with specifics that isn't boring
  4. Post specific instructions for applying & be sure to have form on site with upload capabilities
  5. Review only applicants who followed instructions
  6. Set up 10min phone interviews with all interesting applicants (we call these "miniviews")
  7. Set up 30min in-person interview with those chosen from Step 6
  8. Set up 30-60min final in-person interviews with best applicants
  9. Offer job
  10. Send thank you notes to the rest

Our Specific Instructions (see #4 above)

Whatever you do, PLEASE do not send us a cover letter & resume. We're not a traditional company and would fall asleep reading your traditional stuff. This won't take much time but if you really want the job, take the 15 minutes and send us:

  • the reason why you are perfect for the job
  • the experience you have pertaining to the job
  • what you offer our office vibe
  • what your super power is (not the secret ones - we don't have clearance for that)

The more creative, the better. Video, imagery, and written are all acceptable. If video, upload a text document with a link to your YouTube or Vimeo video.
If you send us a cover letter and/or resume, we'll snicker behind your back. Just don't.

Sadly, we get a lot of resumes still, but it helps us weed out those who don't bother following directions. Check out our whole application page here.

Our Recent Success
Using this process to find an Admin this summer, we hired Rachel Avallone. A fresh college grad with a penchant for design, she quickly moved up the ranks of Sisarina to Project Assistant (in just 6 weeks!) and we were in need of an Admin again. 

With an even more specific job description and my need for a personal assistant, we created a video playing off of The Perfect Nanny song from Mary Poppins. Katie, Rachel, Camie, and I sang the lyrics Katie, our Operations Overlord, wrote and called it The Perfect Admin. (Watch ridiculous video)

The response was tremendous! With 26 applications (6 were resumes), 19 10-minute interviews, 9 30-minute in-person interviews and 3 final interviews, we found Sinead! And the decision-making was not easy as many of the applicants would have been a fantastic fit for the job. In the end, it came down to brand fit and being able to walk in as the Sisarina brand. (Say hi to Sinead {@srabasca} & Rachel {@rachelavallone}, our latest Sisarina gals.)

Always Send Thank You Notes
This goes both ways. If you're applying for a job, ALWAYS send a thank you note/email for the company offering you an interview. If you're interviewing a candidate, give them the decency to send them a thank you note/email for taking the time to come in to meet you. Letting someone know they didn't get the job helps them stop wondering. Both parties wish the other did more thank you writing. Do it and stand out!

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What's your hiring process?