I think everyone can relate to the fact that hiring processes, as a candidate, can sometimes be intimidating and nerve wracking. This is why we’ve made it a priority to provide frequent communication, feedback, and a clear vision of what the hiring process will entail. If we want candidates to be open and allow us to get to know them, shouldn’t it be the same for the company? 

During my interview process with Breathe Life, I really appreciated how after the very first call, I knew exactly what the next steps would be should I continue in the process. I really appreciated this because I had gone through many different hiring processes and felt blindsided by the next steps. This left me feeling a little insecure and unsure about moving forward! 

When I joined Breathe Life, it was clear that this was a company that did things a little differently, there was definitely no cloak of secrecy. Breathe Life has a set of five values that they really live and “breathe” and we bring these values into our hiring process. “We are one team”, we celebrate diversity, individuality, and everyone’s contributions. “We are accountable”, we trust each other, and take responsibility for our work. “We push our limits”, we pursue excellence and take pride in our work and never get comfortable. “We are proactive”, we are empowered to take risks. “We like to have fun”, We thrive off our teammates and love to laugh and joke around. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. These are all embedded into the steps of our hiring process, what we evaluate, and how we approach meeting new potential team members. This is seen through the main things we look for when interviewing someone. Our focus during our hiring process is to; assess a candidate’s fit for the role, see that it matches their ambitions and career goals, confirm that we can offer them something that will motivate and challenge them and verify that they’re a good cultural fit.

The process itself can move quite quickly, but we don’t want to sacrifice quality in order to have someone start sooner. I like to think that we hire slowly but in a quick way. There are several steps to our process where candidates meet a variety of team members, are given the opportunity to showcase their skills, and are evaluated to ensure that they are a strong cultural fit, especially when it relates to our values. But once a candidate is in this process, it moves along fairly quickly, we don’t believe in wasting their time and if they’re a great fit then we want them on our team ASAP. 

So what exactly does our hiring process consist of? 

First step is a screening call with our People team

During this call, we’re trying to assess two different things:

  1. Are they a good cultural fit within our team? 
  2. Do their skills and experience align with the role and responsibilities?

Let’s start with culture fit. It’s increasingly important as we scale that the people we hire are a good fit culturally. We have a truly wonderful team of people, and in order to protect this, having others join who our team members will get along with and enjoy working with is super important. We don’t define culture fit as one personality type, or one background – it’s not about making sure everyone is identical. We want the make-up of our team to reflect the world we live in and the customers that we serve. There is incredible value in having people from different educational backgrounds, different ages, races, genders, and diverse professional experiences. This is what helps us thrive, grow and challenge each other as a team. For us, culture fit is truly about the values people hold as they join our team. It’s important that everyone likes to have fun, are team players, approachable, has humility, and wants to learn from their colleagues and wants to teach them as well.

After we’ve assessed someone’s culture fit, we’re also looking to see if the person we’re talking with has the right experience and skills for the role. We take the time to understand what their previous roles entailed, if they have experiences or skills that directly relate, what their educational background is, etc. This is super important because, not only do we want someone with the right skills, but we want to make sure that we’re not wasting anyone’s time if there is no alignment. We don’t want to move anyone forward to the next interview step if it’s clear that they aren’t a good fit for a specific role.

Next up comes the testing interview.

This is where a candidate will be asked to complete a case study, code challenge, or face-to-face exercise depending on the role they’re applying to. We always tell candidates that the purpose of this kind of “test” is never to trick them or purposely give them something impossible to complete. Our goal is to give them the opportunity to showcase their skills and experience and to understand how they approach problems, structure their thoughts, and how they develop solutions. The test or challenge will always be related to the role the candidate is applying for and we make sure to draft them for each new role we hire for. We’ll never ask someone to complete something that in no way relates to the job they are interviewing for. This phase helps us determine what we can expect from the candidate as an employee and team member.

After the testing stage, we move onto a team interview

Depending on the role the candidate is interviewing for, this is usually done with the person they would be reporting directly to. However, it could also be with a combination of a hiring manager, a future teammate, or even someone from our c-level team.. In this interview, we want to ensure the candidate gets to meet a few different members of the team so they can get a feel for who we are and if they’d like to work with us. During this phase, we’ll dig a little deeper into their skills and experiences and really explore what the role entails, and also go through some of the work they put into the testing stage!. We want to ensure that their past skills, education, or experience align and that the role matches their professional ambitions and will be motivating for them. It’s so important that people feel challenged and like they have room to grow and perform at a high-level. 

The final interview phase is where the candidate will meet with one of our C-level team members

This is an important part of the process. Ian, JN, Seb, Patrick and Carlos all see the importance of being involved in the hiring process for our new team members. This is not because they believe they are the only people who can make a decision to hire someone, but this is because they place a lot of importance in ensuring that everyone who joins the team will be a great fit. They also care about getting the opportunity to meet and interact with potential new hires. We’re a close-knit team, and even as we continue to grow, we want everyone to have a relationship with everyone in the company. 

As a final note, I think it’s important to state that we always do our best to follow-up. We know how frustrating it can be to apply for a job and not hear back, especially after you’ve been in the interview process. That’s just not us. Even if a candidate doesn’t make it onto the next interview phase, they will hear from us because we respect them and their time. And if a candidate didn’t get selected to move forward in the process, we always try our best to provide them with feedback as to why. The further someone was in the process, the more detailed we aim to be. We do this not only because we know it’s valuable to candidates but also because we want to retain those relationships. Sometimes a candidate wasn’t a good fit at the time because of their skills or the stage we were at as a company but maybe 6 – 12 months down the line that will change. 

Pretty straight forward isn’t it? There are no tricks or secrets, we just want to evaluate potential candidates and make sure that both parties agree that there is a good fit before moving forward. We’ve got a lot of roles that we’re hiring for right now so reach out and maybe we’ll get to work together!