NZ Herald Small Business: A question of culture

Read Here

WOOP Team - Thomas Kamil and Kristen

NZ Herald Small Business: A question of culture

By Caitlin Sykes, Small Business editor of the NZ Herald

Thomas Dietz, Woop

What’s the hiring situation at Woop?

We started six months ago and I’m putting about a third of my time into making sure we recruit the right people and nurturing staff. Our efficiency comes down to the team. We’ve established a strong recruitment process and that has helped attract some A-players.

Talk me through your recruitment process.

The first thing is we do is work with the team to define any role we’re recruiting for. We dig right down into how we would describe this person once they’re in their job, and we work in groups with the management committee to define their competencies and, even more importantly, what their values would be.

Once we’ve defined clear scorecards for those, we go through a few steps to screen the candidates. But we try to make the process a bit different and attractive. That’s our first filter because we’re looking for people who are creative, original thinkers.

The next step involves a 20-minute phone interview to further screen candidates where we ask them to tell us about their personality. When we do interviews we have precise questions to test their values and skills. For a marketing role for example, we’ll put the candidate in a real meeting with the marketing team to see how they contribute, respond to specific problems and express ideas.

One of our values is a passion for what we do, so before we confirm any candidate we also make sure they’re real foodies by asking them to give us a list of ingredients, which we’ll buy them, and then we ask them to cook a recipe for us.

Before offering employment we invite the candidate to spend a couple of hours in the office to talk with each team member. On the one hand we want the candidate to be very comfortable with the team and know there’s a fit and on the other, we want to make sure the candidate fits well in the environment and with the team.

I ask my team to reveal any doubts during this process so we can dig into them, and if there’s something we’re really not sure of, my experience is it’s safer not to recruit the person. It’s better to spend a bit more time in the recruitment process rather than having to make some hard decisions later.

And the last thing we do is check references – one chosen by the candidate and one chosen by us.

So the primary focus is to find candidates who are the right cultural fit with the values of your organisation?

Definitely. You work really hard in a startup and you often find more problems than rewards, so we need people on board who are 150 per cent committed to what we’re doing.

Read Here