For the final instalment of our guest blog month Darren Fell talks about how he recruits ‘Crunchy’ new staff
Recruitment is often seen as another of those painful business necessities. You need more staff, you advertise, you interview – it can all get very dull. Being an online accountant (featuring an ever-growing development and design team) we’ve applied an old adage loved by developers and accountants alike – garbage in, garbage out. That is, the results of your recruitment will only be as good as the efforts you put in.
We’ve acquired a lot of our technical staff through Wired Sussex (a handful of designers and a several developers), and the response is always excellent – the trick is deciding what to do with applicants once you have their details. Do you want to sit through a parade of similar interviews and arbitrarily pick your favourite based on that one event, or do you want to set them a challenge to prove they’re capable and – more importantly – they want to work for you?
At Crunch we take a somewhat more esoteric approach to recruitment than other digital firms. That’s not to say we’re not passionate about finding the very best people, but we find the traditional send-CV-have-interview-have-second-interview rigmarole a bit tiresome – and we’re sure most applicants do too.
Even though our company continues to grow (we’ve taken on around 15 new staff in just the last few months, most recently a new web developer), I’m still keen to interview every applicant personally. We look for an X-factor, a je ne sais quoi. We need to see if potential applicants are suitably “Crunchy”.
To make sure we’re attracting the right kind of people, we set our applicants challenges. For our latest round of hiring we’re challenging applicants to get a high score on our iPhone game to prove their mental prowess before we start the interview process.
Although it may sound like a bit of fun, these hiring practises help us find the most suitable people, and have some highly beneficial side-effects. Because we look for interesting people – not just pumped-up CVs – our office is chock full of talent beyond just number-crunching and coding. We have musicians, artists, photographers, writers and even an astrophysicist and trained hazardous materials handler in our midst.
This extensive talent pool means when it comes time to do things like have staff photos taken, we have the expertise in-house. It also makes for a much more eclectic and enjoyable atmosphere. Conventional wisdom would have it that if accountants and developers (two of the most stereotypically dull professions in the world) got together, it would be a recipe for a workplace so boring as to drive a person mad. However with a little effort to recruit the right people we’ve made our offices a lively, friendly, and above all interesting place to work.