“People are our greatest asset.” Many company founders say this, but how many actually mean it? I am fortunate to lead People Success at Aha! — where we strive to treat everyone with kindness and transparency. But I know that many companies do not do the same. Some even take a cold and impersonal approach to interviewing and hiring.
The hiring process at many organizations is lacking something essential — a human-centric approach.
We are fortunate at Aha! — many folks are interested in working with us. Every year we receive thousands of job applications. Applicants are attracted to our unique culture. We hire exceptional experts, give our all, and aim to cultivate joy. And our team is 100 percent distributed, working remotely so we can do our best from where we are happiest.
The volume of applications we receive is humbling. So much so that it is simply not possible to personally respond to each one. But the People Success team does personally review every application. There is no algorithm or bot that filters out resumes based on keywords or experience level. Although it is not easy to review thousands of applications each month, our team is committed to finding the best teammates to join Aha! — those who will contribute meaningfully and love the work.
Moving fast has allowed us to build a team of experts and set the entire organization up for success.
To keep pace, we follow the principles of The Responsive Method (TRM), our framework for personal and business success. TRM guides every interaction we have — with each other, with customers, and with prospective teammates. This framework is about more than responding quickly to requests. It is about taking a goal-first approach so that everyone understands where we are headed and why.
Here is how our People Success team puts curiosity, transparency, and kindness first when it comes to hiring:
The first step is to comprehend the “why” behind every open role — what the purpose is and how the job supports the overall company goals. We create a hiring plan every year, mapping our strategy and specific openings to the long-term needs of the business.
We create detailed personas for each role so we know exactly who to look for and what is needed to be successful. Since we strive to promote from within, hiring managers have typically done the job they are hiring for. This makes it easy to understand what kind of experience, skills, and traits will help someone thrive.
A real person reviews every single resume and cover letter. This allows us to look beyond keywords and see a full picture of who a candidate really is — what motivates them and how they can contribute to our team. Of course, work history is important but we try to look deeper at patterns of growth or added responsibility that show how they might grow in a new role.
Acting with urgency shows that we respect and value candidates’ time and our own. We strive to review all incoming applications in a timely manner. But more so, if there is a potential match we reach out quickly to schedule the first interview as fast as possible — typically within 48 hours.
Every applicant deserves careful consideration — this is the first step to building a world-class team and creating a lovable company.
Even though we cannot respond with detailed feedback to every single applicant, when we find candidates who have the right skills and experience, we move fast. We reach out and have a meaningful conversation. Every time I hear my fellow Aha!s express their gratitude for their newest teammates, I am reminded of why that urgency matters and why humans need to keep hiring humans.
How do you think companies can improve the hiring process?
Aha! is hiring now — see current openings.