As we’re growing really fast, one of our biggest challenges is balancing having the right number of the right people on board and not over-hiring ahead of client demand. And as word about us has gotten out, the volume of resumes and inquiries we’re receiving has become greater than we can keep up with on a daily basis.
Since many of those inquiring are smart enough to ask how best to get our attention, I thought I’d save a some email repetition by publishing a quick guide on how to get hired at Speakeasy. This is not an exclusive list, but the more of these you can check off, the better:
- Know us: Out of our first twenty people, fifteen had worked with someone on the team before, either on a day job or a nonprofit board. That meant hiring known quantities who could come in and catch no-look passes on their first day. The bad news is that if you’re not in the universe of folks we already know, this is a long game. The good news is that our networks of people who fit the specific job we’re hiring for at any given time are only so big. A good way to get in the door if you don’t know us is to work as a freelancer or an intern. Failing that, referrals from mutual friends go a long way, as does good experience with our parent companies, Slingshot and The Dallas Morning News.
- Follow the process: Despite the advice on how to stand out that I’ll give below, you might be forgotten if you’re not in our resume bank. And the way to get in is to apply to one or more of the positions on our jobs page. That also means filling out as many fields as possible, especially giving a good answer to the “What makes you unique” question. (Hint: If your answer isn’t good, we generally don’t even look at your resume.)
- Be respectful of our time: We’re super-busy serving our clients and run lean so there aren’t people dedicated to vetting your resume when we don’t need to fill a position today. While persistence is good, hitting us up continually or pushing for a drop-in suggests that it’s about you getting hired versus our team getting the resource it needs. Being too pushy for a meeting can send a promising candidate to the back of the line.
- But be appropriately persistent: Find creative ways to keep us from forgetting you. And if you don’t get hired when you initially interview, don’t be a stranger. We’ve found the talent pool in Dallas / Fort Worth to be strong enough that every hire is a tough call among a lot of great candidates. Sometimes the decision has as much to do with the personality mix on a given team or with a certain client as the on-paper resume.
- Be entrepreneurial: We’ve got a bias towards entrepreneurs. That’s partly because we serve several entrepreneurial clients. It’s also because a lot of us are entrepreneurs who know that the startup mindset leads to a creative and holistic view of the business that benefits both Speakeasy and its clients. You don’t have to own your own business to be an entrepreneur (although it helps) – you can be an entrepreneur inside your company, in nonprofit work or even in how you’ve built your own personal brand. We also have a bias towards people who have passions outside of work, so actors, artists, musicians and activists are always welcome.
- Be social: We’re a content marketing and social media company. Show us that you’re active by blogging and participating in social networks in a way that would make sense for our clients. Follow us (company and individuals) on Twitter and Facebook. Be so fascinating on your social channels that we have to follow your every post. Learn our culture and figure out how to participate in it. (Hint: We’ve had super-qualified people who didn’t get hired because the team didn’t feel like they were a cultural fit. That’s not a value judgment. You can be awesome and not be the puzzle piece we seek.)
- Be creative: When I interviewed for my first job out of college, at a local magazine company, I created a single copy of a special edition company magazine dated a year in the future and detailing all the great things that had happened at the company because of my hire. I snuck it into the Sunday newspaper of the hiring manager. What could you do that would get our attention?
- Ask smart questions: We can read your resume, LinkedIn, social channels, etc. and learn a lot about you. So while we will certainly have questions for you, we’re much more interested in what the questions you ask can tell us about you.
- Add value: So you meet the qualifications for a position? Congrats! But what else can you bring that will make us better and our clients more successful? You’re a writer, but you have tech skills? Awesome. You have ideas on how to market us as well as our clients? You have good clients to bring with you? Any of those would make you a better hire.
- Be patient: We keep listings for key positions up all the time, because we often need to hire on short notice. We want to have a deep bench ready to go as our workload increases. We’re on track to nearly double our staff this year, but that doesn’t mean we’ll do it this month.
- Be awesome: Hopefully, that’s self explanatory.
Post Author: Mike Orren.