Last month we wrapped up another successful run at hiring. So successful, in fact, that for the first time ever, we ended up hiring two candidates. Why? Well for starters, we’re busy AF and there’s more than enough work to go around. We also attracted and met so many damn good marketers that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add an extra unicorn to our team. Frankly, out of the 202 applicants, more than two of them would have made great additions to our team. It was a tough decision, but we don’t feel too sorry for ourselves. It was a great problem to have.
We’ve built an incredible team over the years with ease. So are we just getting lucky? I don’t think so. We put a ton of thought, strategy, and effort into the way we approach hiring. Here are some of the key ingredients to our secret sauce and things we’ve learned along the way.
First, we humble ourselves
Sure, we’re the ones with the job to offer, but it’s always top of mind that our candidates are evaluating and interviewing us just as much as we are them. This process is ultimately about finding that elusive perfect fit for both sides. No one’s got the upper hand. No intimidation here.
Cultural fit over skillset. Full stop.
One of the most important lessons we’ve learned is that skills can be taught but cultural fit can’t. There’s no room at Stryve for a dog-eat-dog mentality. We don’t care how good you are at the work. If you’re willing to step on others to get ahead, it’s not going to work out for you here. It’s harder to train that mentality out of someone than it is to train someone on a new skill or platform. Give us a relentlessly curious, smart mind that plays fantastically with others and they’ll be running campaigns, wireframing websites, and writing chatbots in no time.
We make it a crash course experience of Stryve culture
I just stressed how important cultural fit is. But how do you confidently suss that out based on an application and a few conversations? This is something we’ve been working on for a decade, and I think we get better at it every time we hire. Our entire hiring process is now an experience in Stryve culture, from the language in the job posting to the way we interview. We want to see if they bite.
There’s no stuffy, formal language in our job postings. We have fun with it and we explicitly ask our candidates to as well. It’s easy to spot the difference between a generic fill-in-the-blanks type cover letter and one that was thoughtful and tailored to the job post.
The same goes for interviews. There’s no show. We crack jokes, go off on tangents, and let our real selves show. It’s a litmus test in fit (are they bantering along with us?) that also helps shake off the nerves so they can let go of their ‘interview persona’ and answer questions authentically.
Toss out the old script
We threw out the traditional script a long time ago. No Googleable question lists that result in well-rehearsed generic answers here, thanks! Instead, we worked backward thinking about what we needed to find out about our candidates. What’s going to indicate they’d succeed here? What questions would poke at those things the best? How can we ask this in a way that we get raw truth instead of what they think we want to hear?
It’s unconventional. But it works.
I can’t count the number of times a candidate has mentioned in closing or in their follow-up email that our hiring process was refreshing and unlike any they’d ever experienced. They seem to really appreciate the authenticity. I truly believe that the way we’ve reimagined it all has helped us get it right more often and let us build the remarkable team of digital marketing unicorns we have today.