Ilma from MailerLite

Ilma6 min readRemote cultureOctober 17, 2016

7 steps to find the right people

7 steps to find the right people

I get asked a frequent question: How do we find and hire new employees at MailerLite?

We don’t have an HR department. So we try to make the hiring process as efficient as possible.

Here are 7 simple steps that we use:

Step 1. Be visible

Want to attract talent? Show how fun your team is. Post your happy team photos on your website and on social media. Do that consistently. Keep your company in the forefront of potential employees’ minds. Position your company as a dream company.

We use Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to show our daily life at MailerLite. It helps a great deal when we decide to hire a new person. Facebook and Instagram are the only channels that we use to post a job ad.

Step 2. Be transparent about the values

We constantly say that we embrace remote work and spend money on experiences, not things. Like, having workation two times a year.

I’ve written a separate post about MailerLite’s values. We want our potential employee to know our company values before applying for the job. Company values help in making decisions. If someone loves PHP, but doesn’t care about email marketing, it’s not a right fit for us.

We learned it the hard way that the smartest and most qualified people are not always the best choice. Through trials and errors, we discovered that hiring for culture, not qualifications, is the way to go. So it’s better to be transparent about the values as early as possible.

Step 3. Make your employees brand ambassadors

According to research from Horizons Workforce Consulting, working for a Dream Company was actually more important to employees than having a dream job. Employees who work for dream companies are 11 times more likely to stay at their company than those in dream jobs, have 41% more job satisfaction, and are 3.5 times more likely to say that their job inspires them.

And if they do say that… you have the best brand ambassadors.

We are super proud and happy when we see photos like the one above in social media.

Needless to say, it helps to spread the word about MailerLite as the dream company.

Step 4. Stand out with your job ad

Hiring for a remote job gives us access to all the talented people around the world. Remote work is a buzzword nowadays. But it’s still a challenge to find a remote job. This is why you have a huge opportunity if you hire remotely.

40% of America’s workforce will be working remotely by 2020. That’s only 4 years away… Now is a perfect time to start learning how to manage remote teams.

Step 5. Filter the candidates

What kind of traits separate the great candidates from the average? Just one.

The most important trait in deciding to hire someone is the strong desire to work at your company.

That’s the best possible filter for the candidates. If they are really willing to work in your company, they will be happy to put forth some efforts.

Instead of sending resumes, we asked candidates to create a newsletter to apply for a job.

Do people apply? Oh yes! And quite often they say that they applied because we asked for a newsletter and it was more fun than updating a resume.

Moreover, this is how we get to know the information that we are really interested in. Like, what inspires them, why they want to work at MailerLite, etc.

Finally, they get to try our product. Even if they won’t be hired, they will know how easy it is to use MailerLite and maybe recommend the product to others.

Step 6. 10 min may be enough to know someone. Ask the right questions.

After reading the newsletters, we invite candidates to have a Skype call. This 10-15 minute call is enough to find out if the person is fit for our team.

I love to ask open-ended questions that don’t have right answers. Like:

  • “Tell me about your day yesterday.”
  • “What is the project that you are most proud of?”
  • “How would your best friend describe you?”
  • “If I come to your town, what would you show me?”

Although there are no right answers to the questions, you get to know the priorities and values. Someone brags about how much he/she worked yesterday. Someone talks about a hobby that he/she loves. Someone starts complaining about their life.

And this is exactly what you want to know about the person before hiring, right?

Step 7. May the best one(s) win

How do you select the best candidate?

We used to make a mistake. We used to hire the second best. Why?

  • “Maybe the best one is too qualified for the job.”
  • “He/she might get bored here easily.”

If someone applied for the job, they are interested in it. Always hire the best one. You can’t predict the future or their thoughts. So don’t try to do that.

Often we have more than one candidate that would be awesome for our company. And then… we hire several of them. Since we don’t have an HR department, this is how we avoid more work in the future.

How do you hire? What tactics do you use to select the best candidate? Share with us in the comments.

Ilma Nausedaite

Hi, I’m Ilma, CMO at MailerLite. I love seeing our customers succeed. When they win, we win (like being named one of the top 5 fastest growing SaaS companies). Email is my passion, although I took a rather unusual path. Before MailerLite, I worked in finance and art, which turned out to be the perfect mix for marketing.