Let’s not bury the lede here: we’re hiring a lot of roles, and would love to see you apply! We’re looking for great communicators, folks with a growth mindset, and of course, relevant experience (which varies depending on the role). We’re working on improving our hiring diversity, trying out different job boards and services in an effort to expand our culture and improve the parts of the web that we build by representing more of the real world.
I work for the Happiness division, as the director of Happiness Experience. I lead the folks who do the hiring for Happiness as well as the folks who are working to improve the entire experience of Happiness Engineers, soup to nuts, from the first day of applying, through the last day with Happiness. That includes growth opportunities, leadership development, and performance expectations that are clear and consistent for everyone. We are hiring Happiness Engineers, so if a strong customer-centric ethos and genuine WordPress curiosity sounds like you, please apply!
In an effort to demystify our hiring process (which is fairly unique), we’ve added some guidance to our site about what to expect during a trial. In Happiness, our process is fairly straightforward: we review applications, and only advance or decline folks after two reviews (neither reviewer sees the other review). For the folks we advance, we offer a pre-interview challenge. It’s a fun little project for candidates to get a feel for the type of work that they might be expected to do, and give them a chance to evaluate their comfort level with that work. The results give us another data point on their overall skillset, and we will either advance to decline at this point as well. Next is an interview. We do all our interviews in Happiness via Slack; we don’t ask people to dress up, clean up their room, find a quiet environment, get a sitter for their kids, or deal with the stress of speaking to someone on the spot. We conduct our interviews as a typed conversation; you can think of it as a text exchange with a friend (though perhaps somewhat more professional, depending on your friend group 🙂). After the interview, we either advance or decline again. For the folks we advance, we ask them to complete some questions in a “take home test” as if they are already a Happiness Engineer. Yet another data point, and gives us another chance to evaluate their written communication (communication is truly a top skill that we screen for; it must be excellent). From that point, folks are advanced to a trial. Happiness trials run for 4-5 weeks, during which time the candidate gets training, a buddy, a trial lead, and a chance to work alongside our full-time Happiness Engineers. They get a true taste of the role, and can determine if the work is something they’re comfortable doing. Our buddies give near-daily feedback, and trial leads give weekly feedback; we keep the feedback loop very tight so everyone is on the same page the entire time. Assuming the trial is successful (most are, because our application process is rigorous), we send the trial to HR to discuss a full-time offer.
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One response to “Working at Automattic”
This is quite an insightful write up of the process, thank you Zandy for sharing it here. 🙂
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