Hiring at Events

If you are attending a conference as a representative of Human Made, this is a good opportunity to help the hiring team to meet its goals and to contribute to building the future Human Made team.

Current hiring aims:

  • we are not hiring very actively but are interested in speaking to people we might hire in the future
  • we are always interested in speaking to people from minority groups across all regions
  • we are interested in people with strong React skills, particularly with Gutenberg.

You can see the full hiring backlog on this Github Project, which should help you to get a sense of what we are looking for outside of Engineering Roles.
(Link only accessible to logged in readers with access)

How do I identify potential candidates?

There are a number of ways that you could find people who would potentially be a good fit for Human Made:

  • attending talks: if you see someone give a great talk and they’re freelancing or they say they are available for work, try catching up with them about what they are interested in and what their goals are.
  • hallway track: the hallway track is a chance to talk to people. Be open to talking to a broad range of people and try to get a sense of what they are interested in and what their current employment status is.

Talking to employees of our competitors

In general, we don’t try to poach employees from other companies in the WordPress ecosystem. So don’t go up to someone from 10up or Alley Interactive and ask them to quit their jobs to join us. However, if someone approaches you to ask for information about joining the company then it’s totally fine to continue the conversation and provide them with the information that they want.

Tips for talking to people

These are some tips for talking to people:

  • Be honest: talk about your own experience of the company. Talk about what you love about your job and be upfront about any challenges.
  • Don’t be pushy: if someone doesn’t seem interested, don’t press it. Plenty of people are happy in their jobs and don’t want to think about moving. If you are overly pushy, you may just put them off.
  • Be prepared to answer questions: if someone is interested in joining the company, they will undoubtedly come with lots of questions. See below for some common questions and answers.
  • Compare and contrast: When talking about work, discuss the different ways companies do things and the pros and cons you see in both ways. Invite them to share experiences of where they work and talk about the things that HM does differently, and why we do that.
  • Do not offer them a job: It is easy to get carried away with someone and think they would be a great fit for the company. It is really important to keep a grounded perspective as no one in the company has individual sign-off on hiring people. There is a balance between giving people the confidence to apply and making them think it is a sure bet. Nothing is guaranteed.
  • Share how you felt about applying to Human Made, what made you decide to apply and the experience you went through.
  • The answer “no idea” is totally valid: If someone asks you something you don’t know the answer to, be honest that you don’t know. It is probably in the handbook and if it’s not, you can ask in Slack for other people’s experiences or answers.

It is not always about today’s hiring needs: we want to be the first place people think of when they are ready to move, so it’s not always a case of encouraging them to apply now, but to apply when they are ready for a change.

What will people ask me?

Common questions asked by people interested in joining Human Made:

Am I good enough?

It’s hard to give an answer to this since you haven’t worked with the person, but encourage them to apply because if they don’t they will never know.

What do you like about working at Human Made?

You should answer this question from your own experience and tell the person what you like about HM.

What do you dislike about working at Human Made?

Again, this is one that you should answer from your own experience. It may help the person if you can talk about some of the challenges of remote work, such as time zones, isolation, and lack of boundaries between work & life.

What are Human Made’s benefits?

  • Competitive salary
  • Health Insurance (in countries without nationalized health. Details of HM’s contributions are in the handbook)
  • 401K/Pension
  • 35 days holiday
  • Up to one year paid paternity & maternity leave
  • Sickness & bereavement policies
  • Company-purchased laptop and phone
  • Company-purchased office equipment
  • Annual company retreat (2020 is in Greece)
  • Annual company team meetup
  • Training and Conference Allowance
  • Remote work allowance (up to £350 per month to cover co-working space, internet, other remote working costs)

What kind of work will I be doing?

You could answer this from your own experience. Or if you don’t have experience in the role you can tell them what you think and offer to connect them with someone doing that job (either at the event if someone is there, or after).

Is it as good as it looks from the outside?

Nothing inside the company is exactly how to appears on the outside. Our turnover is very low, which is a good sign. This is a good opportunity to talk about the things that you like, and some of the challenges.

Do you hire juniors?

Not currently. We’ve considered it in the past and have had internships in the past, but the reality is that there is currently no support system for junior developers. We want to make sure that we have an adequate support system in place before we start bringing on more junior engineers.

What is your approach to equality and diversity?

Human Made has a broad set of benefits to support people from a wide range of background. This includes encouraging people to take time off to deal with family issues, flexible working, providing nannies for breastfeeding mothers so they can attend work events, and paying for additional childcare or carers when parents/carers are away for work. We also have an equality policy and are an equal opportunities employer.

Is there any budget for co working spaces / laptops/ company equipment?

Yes. We pay for: laptop, phone, office equipment, and office/co-working space. All the details are in our handbook.

I’ve always worked in an office, how does the remote working work/ differ?

If you have worked in an office, talk about the differences. You could also talk about some of the tools that we use, like Slack and P2s, and our internal communication guidelines (things like turning notifications on and off)

What is your hiring process?

Our hiring process is outlined in the staff handbook, but in brief it comprises:

  • a text interview
  • a phone interview
  • a paid trial project (paid at 25 US dollars per hour for all trials)

If someone is unable to do a trial project we can investigate suitable alternatives.

What is the trial process?

Usually this involves joining a project, such as a client project or an internal project. It can take up to 40-60 hours and gives us a sense of how you work remotely, and gives you a taste of what it’s like to work at Human Made. Full details are in our handbook.

Why do you do trial projects?

We do trial projects to give the trialist the opportunity to see what it’s like to work at Human Made, and so that we can get a sense of how the person works. Remote work isn’t for everyone, and a trial allows people to see what it’s like to work at HM and to see if they like remote work, before giving up on other jobs or commitments. Trials don’t have to be done during the normal working week, but can be done at evenings and weekends.

How much holiday do you get?

35 days per annum (including public holidays).

How much open source time can I expect to get?

We don’t give OS time by default to everyone. We have five engineers who had dedicated OS time, and everyone else it is on a case-by-case basis.

What is the company Conference and Professional Development policy?

You have an allowance of £3000 to spend every two years.

Other questions that might come up:

  • How long have you worked there?
  • How many people are there at the company? (currently around 70)
  • Is X skill more important than Y skill?
  • I’ve got no WordPress experience, is there any internal support for training? 
  • What is the company parental leave policy? (Up to a year)
  • What is the salary range for X job?
  • What do you hate about your job?
  • What skills is Human Made looking for?
  • What kind of company support is there?