To get different results, we need to do things differently. But it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel – small, thoughtful changes, we believe, are enough to bring about better results. And we found a way to apply this principle also to our hiring process.
In parallel, if you’re one of those brave souls willing to take a shot at joining the Mädness, here’s an insider view:
Step 1: Information Gathering
Immediately a crucial step because finding the right people can’t start off with just a designation and a salary range. It’s much much more than that! Apart from a Job Description (normally broad strokes at this stage), The Hiring Manager needs a clear understanding of the context the role will be operating in, what its function is within the team, what sort of issues (if any) the role may be trying to resolve and other surrounding circumstances that the team might otherwise not consider necessary information.
Finding all these out could either be done in an sit-down briefing or spending time with the team of which the role is part.
Step 2: The Search
Beginning a search from scratch can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if the role is specialized and not always easy to figure out where to start looking.
At Mäd, however, we always have a default place to look first: our catch-all email (firstname.lastname@example.org) encouraging any interested parties to send in their CV’s, work samples and a brief introduction on why they would like to #workwithmad. Not only is it a good starting point, but we have found some interesting profiles that we would love to have on-board. We’ve also received a fair bit of spam – in this day and age, who doesn’t?
The next place we sift through are our Facebook messages where we get a healthy amount of inquiries. Similarly, we get lucky finds and interesting bits and, every now and then, some kooky ones too. It keeps things interesting.
On occasion, we put out job ads and see what we find in ‘hello’ and Messenger. If that doesn’t turn up any promising profiles, then we take outward measures and actively search in LinkedIn, relevant Facebook groups and, yes, even Instagram. Talent can be anywhere!
Outward measures, are not exclusive to the Hiring Manager, however. On the contrary, it’s a collaborative effort: anyone in the team and everyone in the agency is encouraged to look through their own personal and professional networks.
Once we have identified high potentials, we reach out and set schedules. The next step, we believe, is where the small, thoughtful change makes the most impact.
Step 3: The Chats
At Mäd, we don’t hold ‘interviews’. Instead, we invite potential profiles in for a chat – either in person or via Skype. And because 3 is a magic number, we like doing 3 rounds.
In the first round, the candidate chats with their potential Teammates and the Department Head. This is to give the candidate a foretaste of the actual dynamic that they will experience if they become part of the gang. In such a setting, the conversation can go in any direction and can be used to gauge how well the candidate can hold their footing in such a loosely-defined context. It usually also helps make it less intimidating, and sometimes, very much fun. Generally, this stage is used to assess skill level, job know-how, group dynamic and personality.
If the candidate clears that, they go on to have a chat with the Hiring Manager in the second round. Just as casual as the previous round, but a tad more personal because of its one-on-one nature, this session is to dig deeper into work style, cultural fit, motivations, professional history and other intangibles. It’s also the first layer of a ‘further reading’ of the candidate if they have what it takes to be a potential Mäd Hatter.
To help what we ‘read’ of the candidate, we have also started to ask for character references – which, for some, is highly unorthodox practice. We’re aiming to make it fairly common. In due time.
If they have what it takes and rate quite highly from both rounds, they then get to have a chat with our founder. He is the ‘last read’ and gives either the thumbs up or down.
If the candidate gets a thumbs up – it’s not yet over! We’ve added an extra layer like Google’s Two-Factor Authentication for added measure.
Step 4: The Clincher Round
Now that we’ve heard the talk, we want to see if they can walk their talk.
So we’ve thrown in the **Test brief **into the mix!
Depending on the role and requirement, the candidate will be given either a hypothetical brief or an actual project (a simpler version) to work on. Details and process will vary.
Once the candidate clears Test Brief Stage and sufficient references have been checked, only then will the Offer Letter (package details + start date) be sent out.
The reason we’re putting in more stages is to ensure that we hire the right kind of people who will do amazing and awesome things with us, will contribute to a Great Customer Experience and drive the Growth we have set out to achieve.
And that, we think, is well worth the small, thoughtful change.