Doodling through an interview

Have you ever asked a candidate to write you a haiku? A social media agency looking for passion and personality asks their candidates to write poems and draw pictures before interviews.

Doodling through an interview
One New York new media agency has found a creative way to get to know applicants – they ask for a poem or picture.

At Carrot Creative you won’t find many suits, but you will find a lot of productive, engaged staff. That’s thanks to a hiring attitude that puts as much emphasis on fit as it does on experience. So when they ask you to create something with magnetic poetry, or to draw them a picture they’re really asking you to share a bit of your personality.

“What we’re looking for is people to use this opportunity to show us their personality, their creativity, even if you’re on the business team you can still create a great piece of magnetic poetry,” director of people and culture Alexis Lamster said. “We have no interest in hiring someone who will be here for a year, put in their time and then leave for another agency. We’re looking to bring people into our company who are excited to hang out together on the weekend. We really have a strong community in our office and we hope to only build and strengthen that community as we grow.”

Skill and experience is still important, especially in design roles that require specific knowledge and abilities. However, Lamster is more likely to interview someone who can show they know about Carrot and support its values, than someone with the exact right skills, but no passion.

They also target job listings to the area that’s relevant – posting accounts executive listings to sites such as Mashable, while design positions are listed on Dribble. “We’re trying to be seen by the right audience that’s going to be interested in those types of positions.”

Many employers talk about fit and culture, but when it comes to filling a position they’re still more focused on getting the specific experience required, rather than looking for the right personality fit.

“The difference is that at Carrot we are jointly focused on experience and talent as well as community and cultural fit,” Lamster said. “It’s about knowing you’re going to come into the office at 9am and you’re going to bust your ass, you’re going to be incredibly driven and motivated but at the end of the day you can grab a beer with everyone.

There’s a focus on showing employees the company cares, from the Welcome Committee for new hires (including outings for ice cream and meetings with all department heads) to helping colleagues move, and ensuring they get assignments they’re interested in. Coworkers even hosted each other during Hurricane Sandy, and the company arranged town cars for those stuck where public transport was not running.

“Coming into work and enjoying work and the people you work with is going to make every day fun and easy and something you want to be a part of.”

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up-to-date with the world of HR. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from HRD New Zealand.

Recent articles & video

Alec Baldwin cut-out used to protest employee pay

Worker spikes colleagues with LSD because they’re ‘too uptight’

After Disney-Fox merger, thousands brace for massive job cuts

Conducting reference checks: What you need to know

Most Read Articles

Are employees on maternity leave entitled to accrue leave?

Is your workplace culture toxic?

How can HR build resilience in the workplace?