“What’s your favorite thing about working at MailChimp?”
I’m coming up on 8 years here, and it’s still a tough question to answer. I’ve given lengthy monologues about my great co-workers. I’ve gone on and on about our commitment to experimentation and the ways we embrace and learn from failure. I’ve even rambled about all the cool stuff we do in our local community. But throughout all those answers, I’ve always found a common thread in my response: the importance of the people involved.
Starting in Tech Support, I grew into a manager role. To keep up with our growth, I spent a lot of my time focused on hiring. Eventually, when our talent team was formed, I realized that’s where I should be spending my time. I’ve been a recruiter ever since. Our team has grown from 2 to 11 people in 5 years, and I’ve been lucky to recruit alongside them.
Our candidates come from all over, everyone from Glassdoor enthusiasts to former users. From “I ate some of those crushed potato chips” (,FailChips!) to the ubiquitous “Mail…Kimp?” reference. And they all want to know why I enjoy working here.
We work to build a community at MailChimp that supports and welcomes everyone. We experiment to ensure new ideas are a common part of our culture, all while highlighting our unique perspectives. We democratize technology to help our customers grow. I’ve been able to take these inspirations and apply them to our candidate experience.
Applying for a job isn’t always easy. You can feel vulnerable, anxious, and even intimidated at times. I’ve heard this from folks who got the job, and those who didn’t. As a recruiting team, we do everything we can to reduce this discomfort.
One of our most powerful tools is our candidate survey. It’s sent to every person that we bring into the office for an interview, and responses are anonymous. It asks a variety of questions about the hiring process using the Likert scale combined with free form text fields. We use the overall percentages to see trends and set goals, and the text fields provide details about each individual’s experience. Capturing these positive trends or areas of opportunity in the moment allows us to adjust quickly to continue optimizing the candidate experience.
We work closely with hiring managers to create job postings, which helps ensure we end up with a role description that accurately communicates the available position. From there, we review the language used in the posting to make sure it’s inclusive of and inviting to a diverse audience. We use Greenhouse as our applicant tracking system.
One of my favorite features is the ability to fully customize messaging we send to candidates. By writing our own messaging, we get to speak directly to candidates’ questions and concerns, and we do so in our own voice.
The in-office visit is another opportunity for us to focus on the candidate. We love to introduce out-of-towners to Atlanta and the neighborhoods surrounding our office. It’s a chance to show off our great city and get to know candidates better. Some even use this as a jumpstart for scouting neighborhoods if they’re relocating. Once we get to the office, it’s time for a tour, which is a great chance to get a feel for what the environment is like while also highlighting some of my favorite spots.
If all goes well in the interviews, it’s time to make an offer. This is both an exciting time and a very important one. As recruiters, we partner with hiring managers and candidates to ensure we highlight the value the candidate is bringing to the team. We believe in and practice equal pay, and current salary is not part of our discussion.
Unfortunately, we can’t offer a job to everyone we bring into the office for an interview. In those cases, we start with empathy and provide as much insight as possible about the decision. And we consistently revisit candidates when new roles open up. This long-term view and focus on building relationships is one of my favorite parts of how we approach recruiting at MailChimp. And the result is that it’s not uncommon for one department’s previous candidate to get hired on a different team in the future.
All told, 93% of candidates who take our survey say their interviewing experience was a positive one. We’re proud of this, but we’re always looking at ways to improve it. It’s in our DNA as MailChimp employees to listen hard and change fast. We seek feedback, make changes, and iterate. More importantly, we never forget about the human on the other end and how we can best serve them. I guess you could say that’s another one of my favorite things about working at MailChimp.
Speaking of working at MailChimp, we’re hiring!