Feb 11, 2013

Recruiting, Millionaire Matchmaker-Style

Some of Siilcon Valley’s best and brightest shared hiring strategies at HireCamp in San Francisco. The war for talent in the world’s tech hub is fierce and is increasingly demanding out-of-the-box thinking and creativity.

You’ve probably heard of Box and their brilliant young CEO, Aaron Levie. If you haven’t, his Twitter account is a must-follow.

Enter HireCamp presenter  Kenny Mendes, Director of recruiting at Box and a Millionaire Matchmaker.

hring strategies

Let me explain. TV network Bravo has a popular show called The Millionaire Matchmaker. It’s essentially an exercise in matching rich guys with ladies who want to be with rich guys. Sound a bit like recruiting? You betcha.

Here’s what happened:

One of Box’s founders went on the show as one of the “rich guys.” Aside from the matchmaking, the national exposure for Box as a recruiting channel was exceptional.

“The Bravo show drove a lot of candidates,” says Mendes. “I was pretty surprised.”

One of those candidates was Allie Covarrubias, who joined the Box recruiting team. Describing herself as someone who embraces risk, Allie convinced Mendes and Levie to run sales recruiting event that mimicked the mixers from the popular matchmaking show.

“A lot of the marketing behind the event was word of mouth,” said Mendes. “We asked our employees to attend and invite peers they respected in the space.”

Box also invited candidates who applied previously and told them it was an open event and to bring friends who might be interested in learning about Box. Moreover, recruiters performing passive candidate outreach used the event to start conversations.

Instead of saying, “Do you want a job at Box?” the message was more like “We’re having a fun event and we’d love to have you come and get to know us.”

B-list actors were brought in to a swanky location. Candidates met with recruiters in a social setting that felt more like Happy Hour than an interview. They called it “Drink N Sync” – because Box helps you sync your files to the cloud.

During the event, attendees that caught the recruiting team’s attention were funneled into actual interviews. Mendes describes these follow ups as “an intimate setting, but not in the Millionaire Matchmaker sense.”

The smaller event – which Box dubbed OOBIES, or “out-of-the box interview experiences” had 5-8 candidates coming to the company. What followed were group interviews that “mimiced speed dating.”

For the first 30 minutes the candidates get to know one another. This was done to relieve interview stress. Then, the candidates were taken into a room where they each had their own table.

Company representatives sat down with the candidates in a round-robin format spending about 20 minutes with each candidate. In addition to being fun and viral, the strategy was embraced for its ability to simultaneously increase interview efficiency and quality in a high-volume hiring environment.

A differentiator? You bet. Buzzworthy? Uh-huh. Effective? The results speak for themselves.

Mendes estimates that close to a third of their sales rep hires have come from these events and the matchmaking-style interview process that followed. “It really helped us hire a lot of great reps in a short time frame without monopolizing our interviewers’ time.”

He added “It was definitely a bold move to try to hire this way, but we’re constantly experimenting with ways to make recruiting more efficient, and this experiment had a huge payout.”

HireCamp Presentation – Kenny Mendes, Box from JobScore

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