You’ve found an open position on the Smile website that matches your next career move — we can’t wait to meet! One of the ways we’ve managed to build a close-knit, geographically diverse team over the past 15+ years is by hiring with care. We are very proud of our hiring process for two reasons: it’s personalized and transparent. Not only is every resume that comes in reviewed by a real-life human, we also make sure candidates know what to expect.
In the interest of starting with honesty and transparency, the following should give you an idea of what to expect over the coming weeks in our hiring process, and show you how we operate, our approach and our values.
Why do we hire the way we do?
Hiring is about finding a good match for all involved. After all, we’re looking at a long partnership together.
We’ve been through several hiring process iterations over the years. We’re always looking to improve.
The hiring process is designed around the reality of remote work while being as collaborative as possible. There are no all day in-person meetings or interviews.
Think of a successful remote project: ideas start out asynchronously shared in messages and written plans, teammates review in their own time, then everyone gets together in the same meeting to discuss. Several key skills are on display: clear written communication, managing your time, and having impactful, well prepared meetings. Through both written communication, projects, meetings and interviews, you’ll discover more about Smile as a company, and determine if we’re the best fit for your next career move, while we figure out if you’re the best fit for our open role.
What’s important to us?
We’re looking for teammates who:
- Align with Smile’s Values
- Meet the experience and skills needed to do the work
- Can work remotely effectively
Our Hiring Process
Stage 1. Apply!
Short, sweet, and simple, you send in the minimum we need to know who you are and see if you’re in the range of fit for the role’s skill and experience requirements. That’s why the application consists of:
- Resume: so we can get a better idea of your experience and background
- Pronouns: so we can respect your identity
- An optional cover letter: in case you want to provide additional details
- Which of Smile tools you’ve used (if any): this doesn’t disqualify you — we just want to know!
Our lead recruiter, Marcie, looks over your resume with some input from our hiring managers, and reaches out to let you know if you’re a match or not.
Stage 2. Questionnaires and Research
Once we see your resume matches the skills we’re looking for, we want to get to know you better! We’ll send over a questionnaire so you can fill in some more details for us. This step mirrors our asynchronous workstyle: you can complete it at a time that works for you. We usually ask that you return it within 7 days. You’re probably busy at work during the week, so that gives you a weekend, as well.
With all this information we get our recruiters and hiring managers together and figure out who makes the most sense to meet with.
Stage 3. Work Experience Interview
It’s time to talk! Much like our work style, we follow up our asynchronous work with video meetings. Video meetings with the camera on, and decent sound and lighting, lead to better connections. You’ll get one-on-one time to talk our recruiter through relevant work experiences and skills and ask a couple questions.
Stage 4. The “Meet Your Peers” Reverse Interview
Now it’s your turn to interview us. Bring all your questions! This is your chance to learn about us from someone who knows what it’s like, a future teammate, or someone who’s done your role before. Company culture, role expectations, teamwork and communication, what the manager is really like, ask what you need to feel comfortable that Smile’s the place you want to be.
Once you’ve done this interview, you should know if you want to continue with us. If at any time it’s not a match, it’s ok to let us know, then focus your attention on a company you like better. Applying is quite a time investment. One of the goals with our hiring process is to make the best use of everyone’s time as we can.
Stage 5. Project
The next step is for you to complete a project that shows off your skills and thought process. We’ll have a panel review it, grade it, then go over it with you in the following interview.
In the interest of being fair, and avoiding bias, we set up our internal team to grade anonymous projects. Side note: This is why we ask you not to put your name in the project, our recruiter, Marcie, just has to remove it 😭.
In the years we’ve been doing hiring projects, we’ve found it’s the closest we can get to working together before actually working together, and the most accurate indicator of your future success here. You write up a project, your teammates review, then we discuss. Same process as any other work project. But unlike normal work projects, we don’t use this for anything other than assessing your skills.
Just like other parts of the process, you do the project on your own time, typically with a 7 day window. We know you’re busy, so this hopefully takes you less than 4 hours.
Stage 6. Values interview
Our values are an integral part of culture, and one of the most important things we look for when hiring. Let’s be clear: we’re not looking specifically for a “culture” fit, because we’re always looking to add to our culture with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. We’re looking for someone who aligns with our values and will bring them to every aspect of their position.
What are Smile’s Values?
- Passion for Customer
Learn more about the “how and why” of these values in our values blog post. We’ll also cover them in the interview.
If you haven’t met your manager yet, you will here, as well as other members of the team. You can expect behavioral-style interview questions throughout this conversation. If you’d like to brush up, check out the STAR and CARL interview response methods. We’ll also have a quick chat about your experience with the project and any outstanding questions.
Stage 7. Offer and Onboarding
Congratulations! When both sides align, we’ll send an offer. When you accept, we can all celebrate, and start the new hire onboarding. We have more information on onboarding in our post, What to Expect in Your First 30 Days at Smile.
If you have any questions about our hiring process, please reach out to us!
If you’d like to see what jobs we currently have available, please view our Jobs page.
Cheers! Marcie Arvelo Lead Recruiter at Smile Passions: Great candidate experiences, traveling, documentaries She/Her