Recruiting with Optimism

Analisa Ortiz, Former Recruiter

Article Categories: #News & Culture, #Recruiting

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Without a crystal ball to predict the future of hiring, our recruiting team is focusing on what we can control. And we’re letting who we are guide us as we adapt to changes in our industry and the job market.

Recruiting and hiring in 2022 is different than it was a few years ago. The pandemic, a shift to remote work, and social unrest have prompted significant changes to what people want and expect from their jobs. There’s also volatility in the tech industry – huge waves of funding and growth alongside headlines of mass layoffs. The result is a difficult terrain for job seekers and employers alike to navigate.

On the hiring side, we are seeing a huge volume of applicants, not only from folks seeking a fresh start, but from folks who have moved through multiple pandemic jobs, looking for a job that clicks. We’re facing a more competitive job market than we’ve seen in the past with candidates often negotiating multiple offers at a time. More candidates want to work reduced hours or be considered for a contract, or both, rather than commit to a standard 40 hour work week. We’re experiencing more candidate “noise” than we used to, as well, where a high volume of applicants come in via “one click” platforms. It’s hard to tell if they know anything about Viget or the role when they apply.

It’s hard to predict what’s a short-term trend versus a permanent change. Rather than theorize about the “future of work” or how the tech industry is changing, we want to focus on how we’re changing. We need to meet candidates where they are, in the midst of the unprecedented job search landscape, and adjust our approach to be effective and efficient. For the first time in Viget’s history, we have three recruiters: Lexie, Katie, and me. We each answered a question to showcase what we’re doing and learning in our work. I hope these insights are helpful to other recruiters or to job seekers.

What are Viget’s priorities in terms of the candidate experience?

Fostering an effective and — if I do say so myself — delightful candidate experience is hugely important to everyone at Viget. After all, most Viget employees experience their first touchpoints with their managers and peers (and in many cases, future friends) during their interview process. As recruiters, we are responsible for crafting that experience. Thus, we especially take this to heart. To help ensure that applying to Viget is a positive experience, we prioritize: communicating clearly and transparently, balancing efficiency with thoroughness, and most importantly, being human.

Some examples of how you can expect these priorities to come into play during your application process:

  • For any interview, we’ll proactively let you know who you’ll meet with, over what medium, and what the goals of the conversation will be (i.e., every interview has a point).

  • Your application will be read by a real-life human being — one of the folks contributing to this article — we don’t use automated tools to pare down our applicant list.

  • We’ll encourage you to ask for what you need, whether it’s shifting from a phone call to video so you can leverage captions or moving an interview when you’ve got a sick kiddo at home.

The goal of our interview process is not to make candidates jump through a bunch of extraneous hoops – nobody has time for that! We want to, as quickly as possible, get a sense of a candidate’s full self in order to make an informed decision. It’s also a two-way street: we want you to have a real opportunity to get to know us, too!

- Lexie Garcia

What does collaboration look like on the recruiting team lately?

Collaboration is crucial to the recruiting team - it’s what allows us to move quickly, innovate, and respond to the needs of our candidates and the teams we support. Our team is distributed, so we have a number of tools and processes in place to help us do that. We start each week with a team standup through Google Meet, where we provide updates on our recruiting priorities, identify emerging trends, and brainstorm ideas for process improvements. Throughout the week, we also leverage our team’s Slack channel - sharing interesting articles or industry news, asking for advice, and celebrating one another’s successes. Shared documentation in Notion, the Google Workspace, and our applicant tracking system also helps us stay on track and keep one another informed.

None of this would be possible without our culture of support. Asking for help isn’t just allowed - it’s encouraged. Whether it’s pinging a colleague to ask “how would you handle this?”, or getting a teammate to put eyes on an article rough draft, or even pinch-hitting on interviews when life gets unpredictable…we have one another’s backs.

- Katie Kinniburgh

What ways are we expanding Viget’s recruitment process?

I’m third and newest member of the Recruitment team. Adding to our team was a huge commitment Viget made to our strategic growth. With a larger recruiting team we can operate with a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. It’s exciting to think about all of the ways we can engage potential candidates instead of just posting a job and hoping the right people happen to find it. We can be creative about how we source candidates and intentional about utilizing our resources and networks.

The extra bandwidth also gives us more of our most important resource, time. Alongside responding to each application, we can also focus on building long-term relationships with those candidates and learning the intricate needs of our teams from the hiring managers. Our business development team is bringing exciting projects all the time, so being able to focus on all of these at once helps us easily adapt when things need to change. And the fact that I get to do this with an amazing team of recruiters is just the cherry on top!

- Analisa Ortiz

You’ve heard it from the source, folks. As we’ve showcased, we’re staying true to our culture and values while we embrace change. We’re increasing our recruiting capacity and evolving our approach as we adjust to an industry in flux. Feeling proud of what we’ve built makes us optimistic as we look to what’s ahead.

As a digital agency, Viget builds custom sites and products for a huge range of clients. Everyone at Viget takes pride in doing great work, being great teammates, and building cool stuff for the web. The recruiting team takes extra pride in bringing together the talented people who do the work. Check out our open jobs and get in touch if you’d like to join us.

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