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Recruiting Superstars – EMPAUA’s Approach


Elena Lange - June 18, 2018 - 0 comments

I remember my recruiting process when I was applying to EMPAUA about a year ago and it went like this:

I was invited over to have an informal chat about EMPAUA and what opportunities might come up in working for that company. A chat with one of the founders and a spontaneous interview with 6 people asking random questions military-tribune-style later, I found myself in the middle of the recruiting process and neither I nor the rest of the interviewers knew exactly how we got there. In the end I was offered to take on several roles relating to people and culture which I accepted, but this also motivated me to start a new project to improve the recruitment process at EMPAUA straight away. Since then, we have hired 10 new people or I should say, 10 amazing new people, which has helped us develop a proof of concept for recruitment. In this post, I would like to share our recruitment process which ensures that we continue to hire Superstars at EMPAUA.

What are the Superstar qualities are we looking for?

EMPAUA achieves its purpose by running our business as a self-managed Salesforce consultancy and because of this, we do look for people who have previously heard about Salesforce as a platform-solution for business processes… However, personal qualities are much more important for us than experience. That’s why we focus on values, passion for technology, inspiration and an entrepreneurial spirit in a person.
Why is culture more important for us than skills? The reason for this is tied to the vision of our company; our goal is not to become the biggest Salesforce implementation partner in the world. We see EMPAUA as an academy and an ecosystem where talented and driven individuals can discover their full potential. We would love to see EMPAUA employees leading exciting new projects within the company or even become founders of new EMPAUA-Ventures in the future. We already have an example of this with WeFox, now a widely successful company that started as one of the first incorporated EMPAUA-Ventures.

What does the Superstar process look like?

First check

If we find an interesting profile, the role of recruiter will set up a short call to ask a few initial questions. These questions are about things such as the motivation for change, previous experience and salary expectations. We also talk about how we run EMPAUA with Holacracy and the concept of being a Teal company. The first call is a really good first indicator and gives us an  initial image of the candidate.

Teal one-pager

The next step is the “one-pager”. The candidate receives additional information about Holacracy and the Teal concept and is asked to write one page about literally anything that comes to mind diving into this new concept of work. For us it’s really important to understand what the candidate’s perception of this new knowledge is. Can we see resonance or a boost in curiosity? Some people have had really creative ideas; for example one candidate compared the Holacracy circle structure to the structure of a family and explained how the roles would be energized by each of the family members. This was an interesting and great metaphor as we also see EMPAUA as a family. As well as this, it is a strong sign for us if someone is eager to understand our style of working and is committed to our values.

Discovery Day

If the candidate impresses us with her/his thoughts on the new ways of work and purpose-driven businesses, the role of recruiter will invite them for the “Discovery Day” at the EMPAUA office. This day was created for mainly two reasons: for us to get to know the candidate in detail and engage in discussions on several levels (both professional and personal), but also for the candidate to experience the company in a real scenario and not in a laboratory situation.

During the day the candidate will have several interviews with team members and depending on the role will also do a case study or a coding test. Our team members who interview the candidate are part of the “Recruiting Panel” at EMPAUA so after the Discovery Day every member of the panel gives feedback about the cultural fit, role fit, skill fit and the salary expectations. We try to be as transparent as possible and that is why afterwards, the final feedback is sent directly to the applicant. The Discovery Day is a great way for both sides to find out if the future collaboration will be successful, as well as giving the candidate the chance to ask questions and check how we interact as a team.

Salary Proposal

The salary proposal penultimate step before signing the contract. The candidate will disclose her/his expectations and which roles he/she would like to energize when starting with us. The time commitment of a candidate towards EMPAUA,  the amount of responsibility she/he will take on and several other factors can affect the size of salary that the candidate proposes. At EMPAUA everyone decides on the salary that they feel comfortable with. We are a self-managed company, so why should someone other than the candidate dictate the size of the salary? If the candidate has some trouble coming up with a proposal, then the role of recruiter will disclose a salary range of team members with a similar set of roles.  This helps candidates find the right salary for starting with EMPAUA, keeping in mind that they can revisit this decision anytime and choose to raise or lower their salary.

Objection round

The candidate’s salary and role proposal will be sent to every panel member. The panel members then have the chance to object and comment on the proposal. If there are no objections, the candidate is approved and the contract is prepared! Everyone is happy 🙂

Conclusion

We know that our Superstar process is quite a lot of work for both the candidate and for the people involved at EMPAUA, BUT it is absolutely worth it putting this effort into a relationship from the start. We also make sure that people who join EMPAUA will be happy working with us. It is much more expensive and frustrating to go through a quick recruitment process, and then both parties find out too late that expectations are not met. 

As with everything, there is always room for improvement and we would be more than happy to get to know best practices of other companies! We would also love to hear the experiences of candidates who have gone through interesting recruitment processes in the past. Leave a comment below or write me a message to elena.lange@empaua.com if you would like to share something OR apply to EMPAUA 🙂

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