At Collectorz.com, we have multiple people doing customer support. Most of the first and second line support is handled by AJ and he’s doing a great job.
But we recently found out that AJ is even better at creating cool promotional videos for our software. Check out the vids he did for Movie Collector here.
We decided that AJ should spend more time creating videos and that we should start looking for an extra customer support employee.
However, Sytske and I are quite busy at the moment. We didn’t feel like going through heaps of applications and spending hours talking with applicants. So we made up some “hoops” that applicants would have to jump through. Nothing complicated, just to make sure they were able to read and follow some simple instructions. We also included a real customer question for them to answer.
Here’s a quote from our job description on Monsterboard (posted July 1st):
Upload your cover letter and updated CV (both in English) to Google Docs, in one document. Use “[Your Name] Wants The Job” as the document title.
Then share it with jobz at collectorz dot com.
Make sure to answer the following customer question in your cover letter:
“I have already added 1,723 DVDs to Movie Collector. Now I want to set the Purchase Store field of all entries to “Amazon”. I am not looking forward to editing each and every movie, one by one. Is there a quicker way?”
Here’s the results after six days: :
- We received 18 applications
- Fifteen of those were either sent by just hitting the Apply Directly button at Monsterboard or emailed to our jobz email address. None of those answered the support question. (Some of them didn’t even bother to write a cover letter)
- Only five applicants used Google Docs to share their application doc with us.
- Four of those had named their document right (“Johnny wants the job”)
- These four all answered the customer question, but only two had understood the reason for this assigment and had actually written a full response email, including a nice introduction:
“Dear Mr. Hoogerdijk,
Thank you for your e-mail today. I understand that you would like to modify the purchase store field for your DVD collection.”
and a friendly ending:
“If this does not answer your question, or you would like more detailed instructions, please let me know.
So we just invited those two for a job interview. We spoke with the first guy yesterday and he’s great. We’re talking to the second guy tomorrow.
I must have fallen short by answering the email in a “what would you do?” type response, rather than a “answer this mail directly”, as I definitely went the google docs route, and I did answer the support questions. Regardless, it was certainly an interesting approach to narrow down candidates, and perhaps the most fun way as well! I’m disappointed that I fell short but truly appreciate the unique way to get the result.
Best of luck!
I must say this is pretty nice way to save time. A week ago we waste a half a day for interviewing people who didn’t know anything about the Job they were applying to. This story is very inspiring and I think next time we will put more time to create an ad and have only good guys on interview 🙂