Prompting applicants to submit their details across mediums, makes it clear to us whether or not they can communicate to us effectively in a remote space.
What they do know is: how you answer the questions, and what you’ve said, and can show, about your work.
Well, here’s how we do it.
When we make calls at Convert, we default to using video. So in the application, you really have put yourself out there. You don’t have to be super comfortable, you can be really nervous—those won’t count against you. But you have to be able to sit in front of the camera, and answer the question.
Video: Create a unique video for us with you as the “star”! Teach us something we probably don’t know, or tell us something that you find interesting, in less than 2 minutes.
Simple? You’d think…

Fit your application, to your work style.

That’s it.
No one is free of bias. And we’re trying to build a company where we value people who forge their own path, who learn and self-educate—it’d be to our disadvantage to give someone extra credit for going to an impressive sounding school, or working for an impressive sounding company.
Fit, here, comes first. Culture is as important as qualifications. There’s an opportunity to upload a portfolio, or link to your work and experience—but it’s not the focus.
You have to follow directions… I get applications submitted in a spreadsheet. If you don’t follow directions on a question, I make that question “red.” For video, audio, and written—if you get one red square—the application is flushed.

A lot of applicant data.
Morgan Legge, HR Champion @ Convert

Folks who will work well here, have to communicate well across these platforms. It’s so essential, it’s become an integral part of our application process.

At Convert—we’ve come up with our own strategies for communicating across time zones, cultures, and WiFi speeds. They involve a weird mix of slack channels, calls, videos, gifs, and asana tags.
We assume that you’ve read the job description and that you can do the work.

There’s no waiting room, no handshakes, no suits or ties. No sitting across from each other nervously at a long table. No face-to-face interaction to help you gauge: “this person will work well with the team.”
Morgan Legge, HR Champion @ Convert

But the format isn’t so much to determine “can you follow orders.” Converters have to be self-driven, after all. It’s about whether you can work with us, without working near us.
Below that: a video explanation of endocrine disruptors. And then an explanation of how video compresses for streaming.

Ask the right questions:

Until the last round of interviews, Convert anonymizes applicant data.
That means, no one sees your university. Or that impressive company that you worked for and namedrop. No one sees where you’re located, or even what timezone that is. No knows whether you’re male, or female, or from the US or Kenya or Bangladesh.
If you’re too shy to submit a video, how will you adjust to having all your meetings, your presentations, your calls—over webcam?
Unless we hear otherwise, we assume you’ll get the work done. You raise the flag. You tell us that your drowning. That’s something you need to be able to communicate, during and after the application process
When we say “tell us how you messed up”—we want to hear that too. We want to know what you took from your mistakes. We don’t want humblebrags like: “sometimes I’m too punctual” or “I just work too hard.”
Audio: Talk to us! Record yourself with audio only and tell us about a time you messed up at a previous job. How did you deal with it? What did you learn?
How do you hire someone you’ve never really met?

We call Round 1 a “get to know you” process—and we mean it.And that’s consistent with the culture at Convert.This is true if you’re applying for a job in marketing, or a job in dev, or a job in customer service.
Morgan Legge, HR Champion @ Convert

Besides–if you look at an application process like this, one that’s unique, and you think “interesting” and not “ugh, groan”—you’re probably already a better fit for our team.
Written: Write to us! What’s the best job you’ve ever had. What made it awesome?
Turns out—these were videos from applicants. And they were fun to watch. But more importantly—they were a thorough, intentional piece of our application process. And they went a long way into sussing out not just “can you do the work?”—”but can you work with us?”

Fight your own biases.

So when we say “teach us something” or “tell us what you find interesting” we want to learn something—we don’t want you to elaborate on your qualifications.
To pass Round 1:
A week or so into working at Convert, I saw a video pop up in slack. It was someone explaining how to brew “a perfect cup of coffee.”
Linkedin Profiles, Github pages, websites, written responses—they’re all passed to decision makers with the nonessential details, blacked out.
Here are the questions applicants answer to move through round 1 of our hiring process:
If you can do the work, if you have the skills, you get a fair shake.

And we also want to know what about work excites you—to see if you’ll be as excited to work with us.No matter what role you’re applying for at Convert—you go through Round 1: a written, audio, and video based “get to know” you portion.
Morgan Legge, HR Champion @ Convert

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