Hiring at Customer.io
Hiring checklist of things we're looking for
- Makers & Fixers
- Love what they do
- Good communicators
- Willing to help
- Creative problem solver
Makers & Fixers
We want everyone on the team to be makers & fixers. Basically, people who want to build things that move the company forward. Those things could be documentation, code, tests, UI & images etc... We want people who are fixers too. Fixers see something that's broken or can be improved and make it better.
Love what they do
Would they spend their time doing this work whether or not they were being paid? People can have all the talent the world but it's loving the work that keeps people going for the long-haul .
Would it bother them if there was a customer struggling with something in the app? Can they understand when someone gets frustrated or feels bad for not understanding how our product works? Are they willing to help out where needed to lighten the load for someone else on the team?
We're all remote. If someone can't use text to express themselves, we're probably not a fit. Are they likely to add fuel to a fire when a discussion gets heated? Or help the discussion to a useful conclusion?
Can they do their job most of the time on their own? It's ok to ask questions of course, but we want to hire people who can try to solve their own problems first before asking others.
Willing to help
Are they someone who goes out of their way to help others on the team. Are they willing to be a mentor and be mentored? Can they help others be more successful on the team?
Are they someone on whom you can depend to get something done? If they own a job in the company, do you know that it'll be done well? If they go away on vacation will the rest of the team be putting out their fires?
Creative Problem Solvers
Are they someone who can find creative ways to build/fix things? Are they someone who is going to surprise and delight the team with the way they've solved a problem?
Taking Risks When Hiring
Sometimes when we hire, we take a chance on someone. Almost everyone I know (myself included) needed someone to take a chance on them in order to get where they are today.
We don't want to take risks in too many areas. And we almost never want to take a risk on personality. In the past we've taken a risk hiring people with limited experience if they seem great in other areas.
If we're hiring someone with risks, we're up front with them about what the risks we see are and what our expectations are. Usually this involves a timeframe and some milestones to reach.
What happens when someone is struggling?
When someone isn't working out, it's my responsibility (Colin) to you and everyone else in the company to fix that situation as soon as possible. That usually starts with coaching that person and ends either with success, or letting the person go. When we let people go, we give 2 weeks severance.
The way we work is a double edged sword. For people with work experience who know their craft, it's really enjoyable, but for new people it can be a painful struggle.
How can we improve on hiring? Are there other things we should be looking for? Or things that aren't so important?