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Why we recorded 200 Loom videos to hire one teammate

Earlier this week, we announced a big win for Loom and for our customers – Joshua Goldenberg has joined as Loom’s Head of Design. 🎉

Joshua joins us after long tenures as Head of Design at both Slack and Palantir. In addition to being a fantastic leader and craftsman, Joshua shares our desire to build a high-impact and mission-driven company. We could not be more excited to call him a “Loommate.”

Along the way, we’ve realized recruiting top talent is hard. Recruiting leadership talent is even harder. Especially for small, fast-growing teams that much of the world has yet to know of… exactly like us.

So, over the last 6 months, we recorded over 200 personalized Loom videos for our Design Manager candidates alone. And that’s just a small part of it.

At Loom, every hiring decision is a product of a concerted team effort we call: The Loom Hiring Machine. Here are the 5 choices we made to continuously hire people more talented than ourselves, from start to finish. And why it’s worth the effort, every time.

1. If hiring is a priority, treat it like one.

During our company-wide offsite in January, we thought broadly about the future of Loom and our highest priority initiatives. Our goal was to double our team from 15 to 30+ by the end of the year. Yet, we feared hiring would get thrown into the backlog and lost among the day-to-day of building for and supporting our customers.

Our answer was simple: let’s treat hiring like any other project. Establish a project owner and team, set clear goals early-on, document decisions often, and run effective meetings. Two of which are worth calling out:

Project owner. We assigned a team member to be the project leader, or the “Req Owner” as we say, for each specific role we were trying to fill. He or she was held directly responsible for ensuring both progress on filling the role and that candidates have a good end-to-end experience.

Effective meetings. We held standup meetings 3 times per week, each with a clear agenda set beforehand, with status updates, discussion items, and action items. The Project Owner would follow up on action items, to ensure everyone was clear on their responsibilities and timelines.

Design Manager project document
The Design Manager project document with goals, meeting agendas, and resources.

2. Keep the team aligned on hiring principles.

What do we value most when hiring new Loommates? Sit-in on any hiring meeting at Loom, and you’re likely to hear one of these: Create magical moments. Value authenticity. Hire hungry, humble and smart folks.

We established hiring principles that reflect the kind of compounding ethos we want for our culture, with the same effort and contemplation we put to our product and design principles. These principles continuously guide our hiring conversations.

Loom's hiring principles
Loom’s first Hiring Principles

3. Give candidates the personalized attention they deserve.

Cold outreach from recruiters typically creates a poor candidate experience. The best candidates receive multiple emails per week with what seem to be all canned messages. When you approach sourcing as a numbers game, you fill your top-of-funnel with as many leads as possible and cross your fingers for responses from people eager to get out of their jobs.

So we did the opposite. For each of the 200+ Design Manager leads we contacted, we recorded a personalized Loom video introducing the company, how we found them, what we like about their background, and what we’re looking for in a design leader.

Yes, all 200, recorded manually, personally, one at a time. As you might imagine — it was a lot of work. But we consistently received feedback that candidates loved the Loom video being part of the experience.

Some even went as far as saying it was the best email they’ve ever received.

Candidate feedback comments

4. Lead with transparency.

Far too often, employers give visibility only into the immediate next step in the interview process. Staying true to our core company values, we decided to share with candidates upfront the end-to-end interview process itself, as well as what to expect within each interview.

Leaning even further, we wanted to be completely transparent in advance, about what exactly we were looking to gauge in our final-round interviews — giving candidates a better chance to both prepare presentations and guide conversations in productive ways.

Interview process diagram
We shared an overview of our interview process via Whimsical with candidates after step 2

5. Set clear criteria for interviews and follow through.

We sought to avoid seat-of-the-pants hiring in favor of a thoughtful and intentional process. We listed the most important strengths we wanted to see, by categories, then indicated at which stage of the interview we would assess them. This gave us a clear rubric for assessment and minimized confusion across our team.

Design manager scorecard
Comprehensive Design Manager scorecard

This made all the difference — Interviewees noticed the level of thoughtfulness, intentionality, and attention to detail we built into our process. Not only did they become more interested in Loom as an opportunity, but they also said they were impressed by the experience itself (even compared to prestigious and high-budget companies like Airbnb and Google). ‍‍

Why are we sharing this?

Because recruiting and hiring are hard. Landing Joshua and all of our new Loommates this year has been the outcome of a dedicated team committed to improving the way we recruit and hire. We hope sharing our learnings will help you and your team. ‍

If you haven’t yet checked out Loom, try recording your screen and give it a try. And if you’re interested in joining us on our mission to bring the magic of quick videos to all 1.2 billion knowledge workers — check our careers page or send me a note: ‍

A very special thanks to Sol Lee for her help writing this post.


Aug 26, 2019

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