How we work has changed in the last two years – and changed forever. At my company BNZSA, we are fully remote, and the office is now a place where teams only come together to check-in with one another periodically – and then with very strict rules.
While this has forced us all to reappraise how, where and even, when we work, it has brought freedom and opportunity. BNZSA is a global sales lead generation provider for many of the world’s largest B2B IT companies. Despite being physically dispersed, we are in a period of hypergrowth, and for instance, recorded 344 percent growth in Q3 2021 compared to the same period last year.
To serve this level of growth and maintain outstanding campaign delivery, we need more and more people so we’re increasing headcount at an astonishing rate. This year alone we’ve taken on 215 new people.
So, imagine the challenge I face as head of recruitment to maintain that momentum.
I could follow the lead of many other companies to streamline recruitment. I could appoint an agency and let their head-hunters do all the work. I could also rely on the myriad AI-based HR software solutions to vet candidates digitally.
But neither of these feel right to me, and don’t fit with BNZSA’s ethos of hypercare for our people, and to be a place where anyone can flourish regardless of their background. We hire for aptitude and potential. To illustrate my point, read this below from our founder and CEO Brahim Samhoud.
“When I started BNZSA I wanted to create something with respect for our various cultures. I don’t care about your background, if you’re highly motivated and you want to be successful, then this is the place for you. I don’t care if you’ve been to Harvard or whatever you’ve done in the past – your gender, religion, ethnic background, sexuality or age. It doesn’t matter to me. I want to give our people the opportunity to be rock stars. There are so many people in the world who have ability but are never given the opportunity to shine.”
How a candidate might fit is not a tick-box exercise. If that was the case, we wouldn’t have electrical engineers from Canada, or people with degrees in Chinese, or ex-tennis pros on the team. They simply wouldn’t get past the first hurdle in the majority of hiring environments.
So, if ‘people first’ is a core value of BNZSA, our recruitment must be personal. You can only see a person’s spark, true personality and sense their potential face-to-face. Also, when we’re assembling a team comprising 45 nationalities and counting, we must be sensitive to cultural differences. And in the remote world, all this must be done via Skype.
But we’re conscious that even today, many people might be uncomfortable or unfamiliar with a face-to-face job interview from their computer. They might be quite an introverted person (or very extrovert), and they could be self-conscious about their language abilities. There are many factors that could influence a candidate’s failure or success. And we want everyone to succeed if at all possible.
That’s why we’ve put together a short check list for interviewees to help them prepare. It might seem an obvious thing to do, but I truly doubt that many companies make such efforts to put people at ease and guide them to be their best for a first interview. Here’s the set of simple preparation suggestions that we send to every candidate.
- Take time to set up your space. Have a clean, uncluttered background, and check your lighting so it’s falling on you, not behind you.
- Make sure to do an internet-speed test so technical lags don’t break the flow of your conversation.
- Master the platform you’ll be using for your interview.
- Rehearse before you go live. Monitor your pace, use hand gestures and sit with an upright and open posture.
- Ask questions about the team and the culture.
- Do research beforehand to see if you have any common interests or experiences with your interviewer.
We also provide links to videos that provide insights into the company, its culture, the job and some conditions.
In short, we go the extra mile – another BNZSA core value (along with highest quality and change the industry) – to help candidates be as prepared as they can be before we speak.
This means that we’re able to hire and on-board at the tremendous rate we’re doing, giving people the best possible opportunity to succeed and be part of something very special. At BNZSA the sky really is the limit for career growth – but it always begins with a high quality first touch.