How Our Recruitment Process Works: Finding Talented Team Players to Join Sophilabs

Adriana Campoy and Victoria Burghi
April 26, 2019

We believe that finding brilliant new additions to our team is essential to our success. We've developed an agile and effective screening process that helps us identify qualified candidates who are as passionate as we are about delivering high-quality, client-focused services. In this post we'll discuss the different phases of our recruitment process and explain our reasoning behind them in order to be transparent about how we run things here at sophilabs.

An Overview

Our recruitment process lasts approximately four weeks. After an applicant has submitted their resume and cover letter, a successful recruitment process will have the following structure:

  • Week 1: Phone Screening Interview (approx. 15 minutes)

  • Week 2: Video Interview (approx. one hour)

  • Week 3: On-Site Interview (approx. two hours. NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we currently conduct the final interview as another video call.)

  • Week 4: Job Offer (made via email)

For more information about available positions, potential applicants can check out this page.

What We Expect From Applicants

We hope applicants take the time to find out about us and who we are. We're proud of our values and purpose, and we're happy to answer questions about how we work. Any recruitment process works best when the candidate and the employer have a genuine, mutual interest in working together, so take a moment to picture yourself on the job. Can you see yourself thriving within our company culture? We also expect applicants to put their best foot forward by respecting our recruitment process and complying with each phase in a professional manner.

What Applicants Can Expect From Us

We practice a fair, non-discriminatory recruitment process that evaluates all candidates by the same criteria. We focus on candidates' skills and do not consider gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, or socioeconomic status. We have a diverse hiring committee that includes women and men of different ages and backgrounds.

Applicants can also expect us to keep them informed throughout the recruitment process so that they are aware of what the next steps are. We assign a member of the hiring committee to each candidate to accompany them throughout the process and be the candidate's go-to person if they have any questions or concerns. Every email they receive from us will include links to learn more about us and the recruitment process. We want applicants to feel seen and valued, so we will always communicate our final decision regardless of whether it is an offer or a rejection.

The First Phase: The Phone Screening

If the skills and qualifications on an applicant's resume fit the job requirements, we'll reach out to them to schedule a phone interview. We always make this initial contact via email, so we recommend that candidates keep a close eye on their inbox after submitting an application. In this email, the hiring committee member who has been assigned to the candidate will introduce themselves and send the candidate a link so they may choose the time they are available for the phone interview. If the candidate later finds that they need to reschedule the interview, this is not a problem as long as they notify us in advance.

The phone screening interview typically lasts about fifteen minutes.
The phone screening interview typically lasts about fifteen minutes.

The purpose of the phone screening interview is to get a more complete picture of the candidate. It usually lasts about fifteen minutes. We may ask the candidate to fill in any gaps in their resume, clarify possible points of confusion, or provide more details on their skills, past experience, or future plans with respect to their studies. We may also ask the candidate about their salary expectations. We'll provide the candidate with more information about our company and the available position. The phone screening is also an opportunity for the candidate to ask us questions about the job or our company. If the candidate passes the phone screening, they will continue to the next part of the recruitment process.

Recruiter Tip: Treat the phone screening with the same seriousness as an on-site interview.

Candidates should make sure they are in a quiet, indoor space when they answer our call. We suggest sitting somewhere with no distractions; lying down or eating during the call will leave a negative first impression. In this phase, we look for candidates who are punctual, attentive, and possess good communication skills and a high level of professionalism.

The Second Phase: The Video Interview

The next phase is an interview via video conference. If the candidate has reached this phase, they will receive another email with a link to select their interview time. The interview will take place over Google Meet and lasts about an hour. The purpose of the video interview is to get a more in-depth picture of the candidate's technical abilities and cultural fit. The candidate will be interviewed by two sophilabers, a technical recruiter as well as a recruiter from our People team.

The interview will begin with the technical component. The technical recruiter may ask questions to test the candidate's knowledge, set an exercise for the candidate to complete, or ask them to solve a problem. In addition to allowing us to see the candidate's skills in action, this part of the interview enables us to evaluate their reasoning capabilities. How the candidate handles the technical challenge is just as critical as whether they are able to solve the problem in the time given.

The candidate will be interviewed by both a technical and a soft skills recruiter.
The candidate will be interviewed by both a technical and a soft skills recruiter.

Next, the recruiter from our People team will interview the candidate about their soft skills. This part aims to determine whether the candidate shares our company values. At sophilabs we consider cultural fit equally important to technical competence. In the soft skills part of the interview, we want to find out more about how the candidate adapts to challenges, prioritizes and completes their work, and collaborates as part of a team. As with the phone screening, the candidate will also have the opportunity to ask us any questions about our company or what their role would be. If the candidate passes the video interview stage, they'll be invited to continue to the last part of the recruitment process.

Recruiter Tip: Demonstrate attention to detail.

We recommend that candidates do the interview in a quiet place with a stable internet connection and a plain, tidy background like a blank wall. We again look for great communication skills and consistent professionalism in this interview.

The Final Phase: The On-Site Interview

If the candidate's technical and soft skills match the job requirements, they'll have the opportunity to come to our office for a final interview. (NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently conducting final interviews remotely rather than at one of our office locations.) As with the previous two interviews, the candidate will be contacted via email and sent a link to select their interview time. The focus of this interview is primarily technical; however, we also aim to gain a deeper understanding of the candidate's cultural fit.

During the on-site interview, the candidate will have the opportunity to meet more members of our team, who will conduct different parts of the interview. The interview will begin with an evaluation of the candidate's coding skills, usually led by one of our senior engineers. We're interested in seeing how the candidate tackles a problem and in assessing their reasoning and critical thinking skills. At our Montevideo office, this evaluation is followed by an English language assessment. This comprises of both an oral and written assessment which are evaluated by our Communication Facilitator.

The on-site interview is a great opportunity for the candidate to get to know us as well.
The on-site interview is a great opportunity for the candidate to get to know us as well.

This assessment is followed by a test of the candidate's facility with different technologies, which they'll complete on a computer provided by sophilabs. Afterwards a technical recruiter will interview them further. The candidate will have the opportunity to meet sophilabs' COO, who can provide details from a technical perspective on sophilabs as a company and what it's like to work as part of our team. The candidate will once again have the chance to ask any questions they may have about the position or how we work. The interview will conclude with a brief tour of our building so the candidate can get to know our office and how our space fosters community and teamwork.

Recruiter Tip: Take the opportunity to get to know us better.

We recommend that candidates take advantage of the on-site interview to become more familiar with us so they can be sure they are actively choosing sophilabs as a place where they would love to work. We hope candidates can imagine themselves as part of the team, collaborating with the various sophilabers they meet throughout their interview. While it's a good idea for candidates to prepare questions to ask us in advance, we also hope candidates demonstrate their interest by asking us questions as they come up.

Either Way, We'll Be In Touch

After the onsite interview, we decide whether we are going to make a job offer, which requires a "yes" from every sophilaber involved in the recruitment process. Offers are made via email, and the candidate is allowed five days to deliberate before the offer expires. In accordance with our anti-discrimination policy, the pay we offer a candidate has no basis in gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Pay is based on the value a candidate's work will contribute to sophilabs and the amount of training necessary to bring them up to speed.

We will always communicate our final decision even if we decide not to hire the candidate, as we feel it's highly disrespectful to leave a candidate in the dark. At sophilabs it's important to us that candidates feel appreciated throughout the recruitment process.

Join us!

Can you picture yourself as part of the sophilabs team? Submit an application! No matter your level of experience, if you send us your resume, we will consider it.

We're looking for more sophilabers to join our team!
We're looking for more sophilabers to join our team!

Be sure to also take advantage of our resources:

We're proud of our recruitment process and strive to be transparent about the way we work. We believe our process helps us find talented team players who share our company values and our passion for client-focused services.

"How Our Recruitment Process Works: Finding Talented Team Players to Join Sophilabs" by Adriana Campoy and Victoria Burghi is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photos by Victoria Burghi.

Categorized under people & culture.

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