How We Hire: Zype's Upfront and Transparent Hiring Philosophy

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This guest blog was written and originally published by Zype co-founder and CEO Ed Laczynski.  Zype is a cloud platform for video publishing and distribution, making it easy for anyone to build and make money from their own branded streaming destinations.  They were a winner of the SXSW 2015 Accelerator and are growing quickly in offices in New York City and Los Angeles. 


 
Talent is the lifeblood of any great endeavor. Teamwork is the glue that holds them together. You can see this across any successful organization.  A football team, an orchestra, an open-source project, a company.

At Zype, we believe it is incredibly important to be upfront about how we hire.

Being open about our talent discovery process,  the characteristics we look for, and the actual process from a candidates perspective will lead to great talent, foster great teamwork, and build an “A Team” that is a fit for our culture and results in a happy, healthy, and motivated team.

This guide is designed for everyone in the Zype talent ecosystem – employees, investors, potential candidates, and recruiters.  We invite you to review this information as part of your diligence and education on Zype.

Discovery

At Zype we like to discover talent three ways:

  • Referrals from current and former Zypesters, investors, advisors and customers  (employees are eligible for referral bonuses)
  • InterviewJet, Hired.com, AngelList, and Greenhouse for paid and unpaid talent search
  • Recruiters who focus on specific niches, like front-end engineering, or SaaS customer service, or sales. We never pay more than 20%, and require a 90 day guarantee.  We’ll always prefer the first two discovery methods, but understand the value of recruiters.

All discovery funnels through to our job board, which is hosted by Greenhouse and links in our hiring process.

After discovering great talent, either through our own search activity, applicants from the open web, or referrals from Zype or our recruiters, we immediately scan every candidate for the following characteristics.  We’ll ask for a resume at some point to make it easy for us to champion candidates internally, but a LinkedIn profile, and other web based examples of experience and quality of work are sufficient in the early stage.  We also sometimes do shorter term consulting and contract arrangements with potential hires with significant experience, to discover mutual fit through working together.

Screening for the Characteristics Zype is Looking For

We’ve found that these characteristics make for great long-term, happy, engaged, and successful hires at Zype that fit culturally and will ultimately lead us to building a great company that benefits our customers and investors.   The outline below shows the questions everyone at Zype is asking when considering new team members. Some of these may seem obvious, some may seem new or strange.   We’ve found that the combination of these characteristics really help us find people who are the best cultural fit for our team.

Fit for Role
Does the individual have experience in the role we are hiring?
Can they improve the company in this area, and immediately make a positive impact?

Fit for Core Values
Have they read and do they believe in our core values?
Have they demonstrated fit in their personal and professional lives in these values?

Hobbyists
Do they have a hobby?
Can they describe how that hobby has improved their personal well-being?

Curiosity
Do they want to learn new things?
Can they demonstrate how curiosity has helped them improve their professional lives?

Tough Cookies
Can they deal with the constant change and stress of a startup environment?
Can they demonstrate a tough moment in their lives and how they overcame it?

The  Zype Hiring Process & Stages

Applicant Review
All Zype team members have access to our applicant system available to them.  Based on the group (eg. Sales, Engineering), the application will be reviewed by a team member.  We do our best to notify candidates as soon as possible if they aren’t good fit.

Intro Hangout (15-20 minutes)
This  Google Hangout Video interview with a Zypester is designed to introduce the company, introduce the role and opportunity, have the candidate introduce themselves and why they would be a great fit for Zype, and establish fit on availability, salary and compensation, and overall interest on both sides.  The intro hangout could be with someone from the group that is hiring, a coordinator, or someone from another team.

Follow-up Hangout (20-30 minutes)
After the introduction, candidates that move on the process are scheduled with a second followup video interview with another Zype team member. This would typically be with a Zypester with the group that is hiring, or an executive.  A more in-depth review of the candidates work history, and a deeper dive into their knowledge of the company, the skills for the role, and overall cultural fit can be expected here.

In-Person Interview Loop (1-3 hours)
This live interview is typically conducted in one or two sessions at a Zype office.  Candidates will meet with team members from the group, from outside the group, and with an executive.  Examples of work, demonstration of excellence, and enthusiasm for the company and the role will be explored.

Testing (1-2 hours)
Depending on the role, we’ll present interactive, conference based, or offline testing. All engineering hires will be tested with online testing tools, and optional coding challenges. All sales hires will be asked to present their current product or offering to Zype to a broader team.

Reference Check
We always like to check a few references from peers or superiors prior to making an offer.

Final Review
We’ll review the candidate internally and make a final decision on an offer.  We are nice people, and we almost always make an offer to candidates that want one at this stage.

Offer
We’ll make an offer and get the candidate on board!

For more about Zype, visit www.zype.com! 

 

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