All posts by Jasmine Williams

How to Ace Design Interview Challenges

How to Ace Design Interview Challenges

If you think all you need to ace your design interview is an eye-catching resume and a firm handshake, think again.

Nowadays, it’s pretty common for companies to pose design interview challenges to their candidates to assess their skills and problem-solving abilities. While it’s impossible to predict exactly what your interviewer will ask you to do, it still can’t hurt to be prepared by learning about some of the more typical questions.

Here’s a roundup of four job interview design challenges and the best ways to work through them.

Google elevator challenge

It’s a straightforward question with a far-from-simple answer: “How do you design an interface for a 1000-floor elevator?” This problem has stumped designers all over the world and there are even articles, diagrams and sketches from those who have attempted to solve it.

According to author and designer Svilen, the best way to approach this article is to avoid presumption. For instance, you might assume the elevator will be used by people but it could be used for transporting animals, cars, food, you name it.

Instead, he states that the correct response, to quote Isaac Asimov, is that, “there is, as yet, insufficient data for a meaningful answer.” Potential employers don’t necessarily want solutions right away – they want to see if you ask the right questions to learn more about the problem.

Facebook product/app critique

In this design interview challenge, your interviewer may ask you to critique a popular app or product in order to get your insight into what works and what doesn’t. Again, this challenge is simple in structure but much more complex beneath the surface.

In order to properly critique a product, you need to start by developing your “product intuition,” writes Julie Zhuo, VP of Product Design at Facebook. This involves understanding people’s desires and how they react to things.

From there, before you even open the app, think about how you learned about the app, how you would summarize its purpose and how popular it is. Then, after opening the app and playing with it, consider the ease of use, the feel of the app, and whether it delivered on your expectations.

Shopify metaphor question

At Shopify, hiring managers for design positions value a candidate’s use of metaphor over almost all other skills and work experience. While you might think this would be an attribute more suited for a content or copywriting job, many designers feel that “illustration is content” and some of the same principles apply.

For instance, in order to use metaphor effectively in product design, you need to make sure your approach is focused – choose one main visual to communicate your idea. Additionally, the metaphor needs to be something that will help the user better navigate the product. While this might sound intuitive, aligning your product’s goals with your own creative vision is often easier said than done.

WeWork metrocard system redesign

Many entry-level designers have well-honed artistic and technical abilities but often lack an understanding of the product thinking that helps companies produce truly amazing apps and interfaces. Fortunately, whiteboard exercises like the ones that WeWork uses with their candidates are a great way to refine this skill.

An example of one of these exercises is their NYC metrocard system challenge. In it, the company states that they need a system that allows daily users and visitors to access the metro, without a physical card. For a problem like this, the best approach is to “think in products, not in features.” Think about the specific user’s problems, the jobs to be done, the goals and the revenue before you dive headfirst into thinking of potential features.

Tackling the design test

Many designers often have a love-hate relationship with whiteboard tests. After all, it’s always nerve-wracking to have to solve a problem on the spot under a time constraint.

However, the main thing to remember is that these questions are supposed to be incredibly difficult to solve. The best way to approach any design interview challenge is to not make any assumptions. Ask questions to try and understand the problem and the potential users as much as possible.

As UX designer Braden Kowitz puts it, “The point of the design exercise is not whether someone can get the right answer; it’s to see how people think.” Design is only one part of the exercise – you need to think about the entire scenario and all the ways people could engage with the product before your marker hits the whiteboard.


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Conquer Rejection: 4 Steps To Take When You Don’t Get The Job

Conquer Rejection: 4 Steps To Take When You Don’t Get The Job

It’s the email nobody wants to get. It starts with “We regret to inform you….” and ends with you wondering what went wrong.

So, you didn’t get the job you really wanted… Now what should you do? First, realize that rejection is a part of life, especially if you’re on the job hunt. While your first instinct might be to delete that flashy company’s contact info and pretend like the interview never happened, that’s not the smartest move.

Instead, here are some things you should do (and one thing you definitely shouldn’t) if you want to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

1. Stay Positive

It’s hard not to take professional rejection personally, but realize there are a ton of factors that go into hiring decisions. Maybe you had the right skills but weren’t the best culture fit. Perhaps they were planning to hire internally from the beginning. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important that you don’t let the experience bring you down.

Give yourself some time to bounce back—call a friend, go for a walk, order a pity pizza—do whatever it takes to process your emotions. Also remember that while not getting this job may create some challenges for you financially or in your career, the situation is not permanent and not the absolute worst case scenario. As the saying goes, this too shall pass.

2. Learn From The Experience

Once the initial sting has subsided, try to take a step back and reflect on the situation. Start with the job itself – was the company looking for people with a specific qualification? Does your previous experience align with the position? Try to identify any potential skills gaps and work to overcome them. For example, if you’re looking for a web development position, taking a course in UI/UX Design could help your resume stand out to potential employers.

If you made it to the interview stage, think about what you did well and what you could improve upon for next time. For instance, if there were any questions that gave you pause, write them down and prepare some answers just in case you come across them again.

Additionally, finding a candidate who fits in with the culture of an organization is becoming increasingly important – some companies even prioritize this factor over a candidate’s competence. Before your next interview, do a trial run with a brutally honest friend. They might spot some body language quirks or less-than-ideal answers that you didn’t even realize you had.

3. Ask For Feedback

Some employers might give you an indication as to why they passed on you. It’s possible that you even know exactly what that reason is without even having to ask. However, there are those times where you’re left scratching your head in disbelief.

In these situations, it can be helpful to seek clarification on their decision-making process, but there are a few things to consider before you send your request. Firstly, you shouldn’t ask for feedback if you did not meet with the hiring manager in person. Additionally, keep in mind that you may not get the candid response you’re hoping for due to legal concerns.

However, if you feel it is appropriate, the best way to ask for constructive criticism is to start with a thank you letter, letting them know that you appreciate them taking the time to meet with you. After you have expressed your gratitude, conclude your email with a request for feedback. Also, be sure to frame your questions in a positive way and be specific. Ask “Do you have any advice for how I could improve my interviewing style?” instead of “Why didn’t you hire me?”

4. Don’t Hold A Grudge

While it’s normal to feel some animosity toward a company after getting rejected, it’s crucial that you don’t let your hurt feelings cloud your judgment. Always be gracious and thank your interviewer for their time and wish them the best.

If you’re still interested in working for the company, ask them to keep you in mind for future openings and maybe even connect with them on LinkedIn. Staying in touch with the company can help ensure you’re top-of-mind when a new position opens up.

Turn Rejection Into Resilience

Once you’ve followed the above steps, remember not to dwell on the situation. It’s important to get back on the horse and continue applying to jobs and learning new skills. While rejection is often painful, it’s also a huge learning opportunity – it forces you to look inside yourself and identify areas for improvement, both professionally and personally. Plus, it’ll feel even more rewarding when the right job is offered to you.


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5 Resume Keywords to Borrow from Tech Leaders

5 Resume Keywords to Borrow from Tech Leaders

Writing a resume or cover letter for any job can be difficult, but applying to web development roles comes with its own set of challenges.

First, there’s the matter of translating all the technical jargon and complex terminology of your work into plain language that everybody on the hiring team can understand. Then there’s the issue of finding a balance between putting yourself in the best possible light, while also staying true to your experience and skillset.

Unfortunately, there is no real shortcut to putting together a quality application. However, to get some inspiration, we looked to some of the best and the brightest in the industry to see how they describe themselves.

Here are some keywords and phrases from industry pros that can help spice up your web developer resume or cover letter and stand out from the crowd.

“One-man team”

Working at a startup means you often have to wear many hats. As a result, if a founder is ready to expand their team, they want to ensure that whoever they bring on board has the same entrepreneurial spirit as they do, and would be excited to take on work that might fall outside of their job description.

If you’re a developer looking to work with a smaller company, using phrases like “one-man team” to describe yourself can certainly help attract the right kind of attention. In Tobias Ahlin’s case, his arsenal of skills includes programming, designing, and launching mobile applications – all useful skills in the startup space.

“I don’t do it all.”

While it might be a riskier move than presenting yourself as the ultimate all-in-one web development machine, being brutally honest about your shortcomings can also work to your advantage. Case in point: this job seeker’s “resume of failures” that was even more effective at getting callbacks than his regular version.

While you don’t need to go to such an extreme, you could use Dave Shea’s more subtle approach. On his professional website, he clearly states that while he does do a lot, he can’t be all things to all clients. While it’s certainly a bold technique, it also shows employers that you’re confident in your skills and can set clear expectations – two strong qualities to have in a web developer.

“Human side”

Sometimes, web developers can become disconnected from the people they’re developing for. To put it simply, a website is built for its end users, and their goals and needs matter more than yours.

This might seem like a basic point to make, but it’s pretty common for developers to lose sight of the big picture. Anyone can list off all of the programming languages they know, but by stating that you also understand the “human side of software development” a la Jeff Atwood, you’re telling potential employers that you are more than just a technician. They can trust you with the end users’ needs, which always leads to be a better product.

“Code with passion”

Employers want people with energy and drive; people who will actively contribute to the company, and not simply go through the motions. That’s why questions like “Why do you want to work here?” or “Why do you want to be a developer?” are so common in job interviews. Hiring managers want to know that you are sincerely interested in the job, and would be motivated to perform well if hired.

When developer Ben Taylor states that he “writes code with passion,” and “designs interactions with meaning,” he’s telling potential employers and clients not just what he does, but how he does them. It might seem small, but it’s not enough to be able to do the job – companies want to see how you set yourself apart from other candidates.

“Simple but innovative”

Good websites and applications shouldn’t be complicated. They should be purpose-driven and fulfill the specific need of your end users in the simplest way possible. At the same time, the final product should also be innovative and overcome challenges in an original way.

Adam Bard was the developer behind a pre-Bumble dating site where only women can browse profiles and send initial messages. By using those three words, ‘simple but innovative,’ to describe the project on his personal website, it shows employers that he has both the creativity to identify a problem and propose a solution, as well as a keen understanding that you don’t need to include a lot of technical bells and whistles to attract an audience to a website – it just needs to work.

Another example of this guiding principle at work? Adam’s “normal” and “nerd” site modes which present his portfolio in both plain language and tech-speak. Simple but innovative.

The Language You Use Matters

At the end of the day, it’s not about what you say but how you say it. While you might have all the skills necessary to succeed in a position, your choice of words can help you stand out and drive home to employers how you would fit into the company as a whole – and often that’s what matters the most.


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5 Skills to Power-Up Your Developer Resume

5 Skills to Power-Up Your Developer Resume

It’s hard to imagine a world where we don’t do everything via the internet. From ordering food to buying clothes to booking vacations, technology has taken over our lives in a huge way. Today, almost every single industry requires people who know who to code.

However, as the industry grows, and the number of web developers along with it, it’s only natural that the field is getting increasingly competitive. In order to stay relevant, developers have to move beyond the basics of JavaScript and HTML. Whether you’re looking to get your big break in the tech world or move up into a management position, adding one of the following skills to your toolbox can help set you apart from the crowd.

UI/UX Design

From an employer’s perspective, hiring a developer who can design is like scoring the ultimate 2-for-1 deal. However, there’s much more to gain from adding this skill to your arsenal than just making yourself a more attractive candidate.

Simply put, website and app users don’t interact with lines of code, they interact with design. By learning to design, you’ll gain a better understanding of the customer and be able to build more user-friendly products. Additionally, even if you don’t become a pro designer, learning more about concepts like wireframing and user flow can help you collaborate better with designers in the future.

You can start by taking an online course – for example, SitePoint has tons of design and UX courses, most of which can completed in under three hours.

Data Analytics

As companies find new ways to capture and store large amounts of information about their customers, products, and services, many of these same businesses are also left scrambling to figure out what to do with it. That’s why it’s no surprise that a recent study named data science as the technical skill with the biggest increase in demand in the last few years.

As a web developer, learning how to work with large sets of data and use it to generate insights and validate ideas can be invaluable to your career. However, data science is an enormous field that can take years to master.

You can learn the basics with tools like Dataquest, which focuses on practicing your skills and building a portfolio. If you’re looking to learn more advanced data science concepts, this in-depth guide offers a variety of learning paths. On a budget? MIT offers courses on data mining, free of charge.

Mobile Development

We’re not just talking about making responsive websites and smartphone apps. With mobile technology use rising at an incredible rate, and its scope expanding beyond the realm of smartphones and tablets to include platforms like Smart TVs and IoT-enabled devices, web developers need to upgrade their skills in order to remain competitive.

For instance, many are calling Progressive Web Apps the “new Responsive Web Design,” as they offer the end user a more mobile-optimized, app-like experience, instead of simply changing the layout of a website to fit different screen sizes. Additionally, incorporating beacons into app development allows businesses to collect in-store data and use hyperlocal marketing to better engage its customers.

Fortunately, Google offers some great overviews about many of these new mobile development trends.

Writing

So you can write code, but can you write… period? You might not think that your writing matters as much as your technical skills, but communication is an important part of any workplace. Writing plays an essential role whether you’re communicating with team members and clients, creating an online portfolio to showcase your work, or updating your resume.

For a quick fix, apps like Grammarly can act like a second pair of eyes on your work, highlighting both common and complex grammatical errors in your writing. If you want to really grow as a writer, taking an online course in business writing or web content writing can help you fine tune your skills with lessons and tips that can be easily applied to a professional setting.

Project Management

No matter where you are in your career, knowing how to manage a web development project from beginning to end can be extremely helpful. Since most companies use the Agile method, learning the ins and outs of being a Scrum Master would be more useful than general project management training.

To get a solid grasp on the fundamentals, this Agile Project Management course is a good place to start. Once you understand the basics, beginner and advanced scrum courses will give you the tools you need to solve problems using the Agile method and fine tune your leadership style so you can better manage your team.

Web Development 3.0?

Before you start panicking, we are not suggesting that every web developer needs to have every skill in order to get a job. Web development is still a highly attractive and lucrative field. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 27% growth in available Web Developer jobs from 2014 to 2024.

However, if you have an interest in any one of the above areas, it certainly can’t hurt to explore it further and diversify your skillset.


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5 Lessons You Learn When You Work Remote

5 Lessons You Learn When You Work Remote

When you tell people you work from home you often get a mixed bag of reactions. Some people would love to ditch their daily commute and the rigid structure of office life for the comfort of their couch, while others bristle at the idea of being holed up at home all day.

Of course, just like any other type of work, no remote job is the same and depending on your employer, your experience can vary drastically. But one thing that everyone would likely agree on is that remote work teaches you a lot about yourself.

For instance, because you tend to have more flexibility with a remote job, you can customize your work life in a way that can help you maximize your productivity, and most importantly, your happiness. Below are five things every remote worker needs to learn about themselves to be the most effective remote employee.

Which workspaces works for them

Maybe you prefer working from your bed or perhaps your dining room table. Maybe you’re someone who needs absolute quiet or someone who works best with a little background noise.

Fortunately, when you work from home, you have the ability to test out different work environments to see what works for you. For example, most days I work from my favourite spot on my couch, but I also have a desk and chair for the times I really need to focus. When I get a bit stir crazy, I’ll take my laptop to a nearby coffee shop.

Remember: working from home doesn’t mean you can’t leave your house. As long as you have your computer and a decent Wi-Fi connection, the world is your oyster.

How to structure the ideal workday

Depending on your employer, your work flexibility may extend beyond your physical location to the actual hours you work. Some companies are more results-oriented, meaning you’ll be able to work whenever you want as long as you’re meeting regular goals and deadlines.

I’ve also been fortunate to work at companies where I was able to start earlier or end later as long as my hours overlapped with the rest of my coworkers. If you’re an early bird or a night owl, being able to test out different schedules is great for maximizing productivity.

You might also find that you need regular breaks or that exercising at lunch helps reset your brain for the afternoon grind. Experimenting with how you structure your day in big and small ways will uncover the best patterns for focus.

The awkward balance between home and work

One of the biggest misconceptions about remote workers is that they tend to slack off and work less than their office counterparts. In most cases, it’s the opposite. With less separation between work and home life, it can be harder to know when to clock out. After all, what’s the harm in answering one more email? It’s not like you have a train to catch or traffic to beat.

When you don’t have the built-in structure of a nine-to-five, it’s up to you figure out how to best plan out your day. Personally, I find scheduling an evening workout or going for a lunchtime walk are good ways to break up my day so I don’t get overwhelmed.

Others might prefer putting a physical barrier between the home and office. Shared workspaces are becoming more popular for this reason, as they give you a guaranteed workspace with the community and professionalism of a traditional office combined with flexible rental options that suit your needs and budget.

The best communication style

When you have to rely on technology to talk to your coworkers, you really learn the importance of communication skills. For example, it can be hard to read tone through text so clarity is key to avoid getting stuck in a never-ending email chain or worse, a conflict with a colleague. Additionally, you might find that because your coworkers can’t actually see you working, they might not understand when they’re disturbing you.

Case in point: I had one coworker who had a habit of Skype calling without warning every time she had something to tell me. Not only were these calls extremely disruptive to my work flow, most times the subject matter wasn’t that urgent and the information could’ve easily been conveyed in an email or Slack message.

While a quick conversation cleared up the matter, it’s easy to see how remote work comes with its own set of unique challenges. Most jobs require strong communication skills, but working remotely calls for another level of awareness since you don’t have the option of a face-to-face chat to clear up any issues or misunderstandings.

A good way to get ahead of situations like this is to set expectations. For instance, if you know that you’re somebody who’s easily distracted by emails and notifications, you can block off certain times of day to check your inbox or Slack. This way, your coworkers know the best times to reach you and when to expect a response from you.

How to handle being alone (a lot)

Unless you happen to live with a fellow remote worker, chances are you will be by yourself most days. If you’re an introvert like me, this might not bother you so much. However, this might be a major downside to remote work for an extrovert.

Still, like I stated at the outset, every remote job is different. Some places embrace near constant communication with teams via Slack, Skype, or good-old-fashioned phone calls. In these scenarios, employees won’t feel that lonely because they’re always connected.

On the other hand, if your remote work situation requires less collaboration among team members, working from a coffee shop or a co-working space, or arranging meetups with other people working remotely can give you the human interaction you need to stay sane.

Remote work is a journey of self-discovery

Remote work typically offers employees a lot flexibility, which can be a huge benefit, but it’s up to you to use it wisely.

Take the opportunity to experiment with different work styles–you’ll never know what works best for you until you try it.


Find your next remote job at Authentic Jobs.

6 Steps to Take to Reduce Bias in Hiring

6 Steps to Take to Reduce Bias in Hiring

It’s no secret that many tech startups tend to struggle with diversity.

A quick scroll through the “Meet the Team” section of most young companies will often reveal a bunch of smiling, similar looking male faces, with maybe a few women, people of colour, and/or differently abled people here and there.

A big reason for this is unconscious bias, or the idea that our cultural experience can affect our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Even founders with the best of intentions regarding diversity and inclusion can still fall victim to it.

Countless studies show that bias affects hiring a lot. For instance, if you’re a woman, or have an ethnic sounding name, or wear a religious headscarf, there is academic evidence that shows you will likely have a harder time getting an interview than a caucasian male counterpart.

And this doesn’t just make life tougher for minority job seekers. Companies are also missing out on the benefits of a more diverse team. A 2016 report covering data from 680 founders and tech company executives found that 81 percent of respondents reported “enhanced creativity and innovation” as a result of a diverse workforce.

So how can a startup reduce bias in their recruitment efforts? Experts say that the best approach could be taking the bias out of the hiring process, rather than out of the person. Here are a few tips you can try.

Rewrite your job descriptions

Without even realizing it, you could be turning off applicants with your choice of words. Research shows that masculine adjectives like “competitive,” “determined,” and “dominant,” may signal to women that they would not fit in that type of work environment. Conversely, words like “collaborative” and “cooperative” could be more attractive. Additionally, words like “up and coming” or “fresh,” may imply a preference for younger candidates.

Fortunately, there are software programs that highlight gendered language so you can either replace them with more neutral words or try to create a balance between adjectives. For example, recruiters at Vodafone use the application Textio to take out industry jargon and help bias-proof their processes.

Widen your recruitment pool

Many employers tend to have a recruitment “comfort zone” from which they rarely stray, hiring from the same schools or relying on recommendations from friends and coworkers. While these methods aren’t ineffective, it could lead to getting the same kind of people during each hiring round.

Instead, try posting on a new job site, attending job fairs at a variety of schools, or going to meetups for women who code. You could even do what FinTech company Addepar does and recruit outside your industry. “In many cases, as long as a candidate shares your vision and core values, you can likely teach them job-specific skills and processes,” Addepar CMO Barbara Holzapfel told Fast Company.

Try nameless resume reviews

What’s in a name? A lot, apparently. In one study, applicants with names like Carrie and Kristen received fifty percent more callback interviews than those with names like Keisha and Tamika. Another recent paper found that an applicant with a Turkish name wearing a headscarf had to send 4.5 times as many applications as an applicant with a white name to receive the same number of callbacks for interviews.

A simple way to address this kind of implicit bias is to remove names and any other identifying information from job applications before your team evaluates them. This way, you’re focused on the candidate’s qualifications and talents, not the demographic characteristics that can lead to harmful stereotyping.

Of course, if you don’t want to do this yourself, there are programs that can help. For example, Plum can help you screen applicants with its pre-employment assessment. After applicants take the survey, it uses an algorithm to assign respondents a Match Score based on criteria you define, which saves you time and helps reduce bias.

Standardize interviews

Interviews are a key component of any hiring process, but they are not always a good predictor of future performance. The blame is usually on unstructured interviews and lack of defined questions. Therefore, making your interviews more structured and asking each candidate the same set of questions can help address this problem.

Of course, sticking to a script can feel a little awkward, and an interviewer’s energy or how they respond to a candidate can affect their performance. In this case, using video interview software like Spark Hire or HireVue for early-round interviews can help. Since the interviews are recorded and use standard questions, you can easily compare candidates and share them with your team to get feedback.

Test your applicants

Getting your candidates to do some kind of work sample test can be a great indicator of future job performance. Plus, since you’re evaluating the candidate’s applied skills and not just their experience or education like you would with a resume, it can also help reduce unconscious bias in your judgment. For example, web-based app Zapier has potential candidates prepare a “short lightning talk” on a topic of their choice, which they present to the whole team.

However, you need to be careful with the type of evaluations you use. For example, whiteboard coding tests have been publicly maligned by programmers and developers for being “demoralizing” and an “unrealistic test of actual ability.” Additionally, since preparing for these types of tests can take weeks, it can put people who don’t have the time to re-memorize lines of code at a disadvantage, further contributing to the diversity problem.

As one coding instructor aptly stated, “If you’re busy working and raising kids, you want to spend as much of your scarce time as possible learning to code — not performing rote memorization that won’t matter once you start your job.” A better way to test coding skills would be to use an app like Codility to assign tasks or simply allow your applicants to complete a challenge within 24 hours, like a take-home exam.

Hire by committee

Diversifying your team starts with your hiring team itself. With many startups, big hiring decisions are made by the founders. After all, with such a small team, who else would do it? However, as your team begins to grow beyond the initial founding members, so should your hiring committee.

For example, ZestFinance has no hiring manager. All decisions are made by committee, and a designated team also evaluates candidates on culture fit. “This way, many people with diverse perspectives are involved in hiring decisions, and all employees rally around a new [team member] to make them feel comfortable and enable them to succeed,” ZestFinance CEO Douglas Merrill told Fast Company.

Reducing bias, one step at a time

Shifting the needle to improve diversity and inclusion in startups won’t happen overnight. In fact, research shows that the majority of founders understand the importance of diversity, yet rarely reflect it in their ranks or have practices and policies in place to improve the situation.

But as you can see from the above suggestions, a few small changes in your hiring process can lead to big wins for your company and minority applicants alike.


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Screening Applicants the Modern Way

Screening Applicants the Modern Way

There are few joys greater than offering an amazing job to the right candidate.

Unfortunately, getting to that point can be incredibly time consuming. Managers and recruiters can spend hours sorting through cookie-cutter resumes and interviewing so-so applicants before finally finding someone who appears to be the perfect match.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to technology, there are lots of new methods to help hiring professionals pre-screen applicants so they can save time and energy for the strongest candidates.

Here are a few ideas to help modernize your hiring process.

1. Text Messaging

Struggling to get applicants to pick up the phone? Texting could be the solution.

More employers are trying out texting apps to screen candidates in early-stage interviews, according to The Wall Street Journal. Restaurant booking service OpenTable and staffing firm Aegis are both using a messaging app called Canvas for text-based job interviews.

This strategy could especially help hiring managers targeting younger applicants. Only 12% of Millennials prefer to use phones for business communications and 45% are more inclined to text, chat online, or use email, according to research.

Companies looking to stand out while attracting younger candidates might consider meeting them on their terms. Plus, texting can speed up the pre-screen process—why spend 20 minutes on a phone call when you can send a quick text whenever it fits into your day? It’s a win-win for both sides.

2. Social Media

Screening someone through their social accounts isn’t new. In fact, 70% of employers admitted to using social media to learn more about applicants before hiring them, according to a CareerBuilder study.

By now, any candidate with self awareness will have strong privacy settings and hold off on posting inappropriate pictures for all to see. That means recruiters need to change up how they analyze the information that’s available to them on someone’s social profile.

For example, hiring managers can read beyond pure content and think about a candidate’s tone. Are their posts overwhelmingly negative or angry? Do they respond to other people or just shout into the abyss? Either case could make or break a candidate.

Keep in mind that social media isn’t just a tool to cut applicants from the shortlist; it can also support a candidate’s job qualifications. Looking into who people follow on social media can tell you a lot about a candidate’s ambitions and interests. If they follow organizations or personalities with similar values to your company’s, that could be an indicator of a good cultural fit.

3. Video Applications

Not to be mistaken for a video interview, this is usually a short video submitted alongside a traditional application where a candidate may answer questions posed by the employer. It’s still a relatively new screening method, but it’s becoming increasingly popular, especially for companies hiring creative or client-facing roles.

The benefits of this approach are numerous. For one, a video allows recruiters to get a better sense of someone’s personality compared to the traditional resume-and-cover-letter combo. It’s also a great way to filter out the less enthusiastic or tech savvy applicants.

Anybody can upload a few documents and hit submit, but taking the time to film a video shows dedication and passion. While this screening tactic may result in less applications overall, the ones that are submitted are usually of much higher quality, which saves time and resources in the long run.

4. Talent Communities

While this is more of a long-term strategy, creating a professional talent community for your company can be a helpful way to recruit quality applicants and build your employer brand at the same time.

But what is a talent community exactly? They can take many forms—a Facebook group for former volunteers, a Slack community or LinkedIn forum for professionals in your industry—but they all aim to build connections with external audiences.

Companies that take the time to build talent communities have a ready group of familiar faces that can be approached the next time they need to fill a role. However, in order for it to be successful, it’s important to create a space that is mutually beneficial for your community as well as your company. It should be a thriving place for industry discussions and networking, not the social media version of a job board.

The Right Tools Save You Time

At the end of the day, all the technology in the world can’t replace the keen eye of hiring manager or experienced recruiter. But tools like texting apps, social media, video applications, and talent communities can speed up the hiring process by turning a mountain of resumes into a much more manageable molehill.


Let Authentic Jobs bring you your next great hire.