How Order Desk Does Hiring Differently

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Looking for a job is a job. Many of us who’ve found ourselves in the job market aren’t there because we want to be. We’re tired. We’re stressed. We’re burnt out. And then we paint on a smile and write cover letters about how nothing in the world would make us happier than working for the company we’re applying to. Really? Nothing?

Our hiring team has all been on the other side of that desk, wearing our Sunday best, hoping to make a good impression on a company. As a remote company with people distributed globally, we don’t have the luxury of getting that face time in and meeting someone during the application process. So, over years of trial and iteration, we’ve crafted an intentional vetting process that in many ways might not follow traditional hiring conventions. Seeing something we’re not used to can be jarring, so let’s talk about it!

The Anonymous Ones

The first round is our introduction to you. Job applications often require sharing personal and vulnerable information, which can be especially taxing with strangers over the internet. So, to create a respectful and trusting environment, we automatically anonymize the first round of our applications.

This also helps us eliminate unconscious bias, ensuring that our decisions are based solely on our applicants’ thoughtful, hand-crafted responses, not preconceived notions about their identity. We want to create an environment of safety and openness to ensure that we’re learning things that a cover letter and resume might not be able to cover concisely. Each person who applies has a story, and those stories help us get a better understanding of the unique and genuine personality behind every anonymous application.

Truth Starts Peeking Through

“What are your weaknesses?” ”I care too much.”

We’ve all seen questions like this. They’re structured to help hiring teams learn whether or not an applicant is humble. Rather than reading the same answer to a tired question over and over, we’ve opted for a more unique way to get to know people.

For example, questions you may experience within our hiring process are:

  • Do you prefer a more or less defined process?
  • When at work, what do you find most motivating? What stresses you out?
  • What skills or experiences do you feel you still need to develop to reach your career goals?

One might assume that there’s a right or wrong answer to these. However, we use these questions to understand key factors in the onboarding process, like their preferred learning style, troubleshooting methods, and collaboration tactics. We’d like to believe that someone typically has a more robust description of themselves than “I work too hard.”

From there, we determine whether or not the submitted responses align with the applied-for role. There’s no such thing as a perfect match, but for everyone’s sake, they must be a pretty close fit. It wouldn’t be fair to ask a candidate to struggle through processes that are difficult or counterproductive to their default approaches. We expect and anticipate growth, but not at the expense of mental health.

It’s our responsibility to find the right fit, both for you and Order Desk, and we genuinely care about your success and happiness in your role. By being yourself and telling us about yourself and not what you think we’d want to hear, we know that we’ll be reviewing the absolute best representation of yourself, which, down the road, will help contribute to a harmonious and productive working environment for everyone.

They’re A Lot Like Me And You

Whether we receive 40, 400, or 4,000 applications, we’re reading them ALL! It’s true: we’ve received over 4,000 applications for one open role before. At the time this was written, it was 4525 to be exact.

Many hiring teams rely on software called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to track candidates who apply for a job. This software can be configured to automatically scan applications and discard those that don’t meet certain criteria. In our experience, this approach removes the human connection of learning about people and causes companies to overlook talented individuals. If someone’s application doesn’t include specific keywords that the ATS is looking for, it can inadvertently disadvantage or disqualify candidates who might have actually been a good fit.

As AI becomes more accessible to the public, we’ve seen responses to our questions improve dramatically. So dramatic, in fact, that many of the responses that we get are pretty similar. Or, in our case, exactly identical. AI assistants are great for brainstorming and creating outlines, but for now, it hasn’t quite cracked authentic human individuality.

Because of this, we’ve learned to disqualify candidates who outwardly use AI to fill in all their responses. We’re looking to hire humans. ChatGPT can’t kick back by the pool on a company retreat to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with us (yet).

To that point, we also make sure that we’re giving a fair shot to everyone who applies. Our hiring team varies in size depending on the role we’re looking to fill, but it’s rarely more than four people. Applying for jobs takes so much time and energy, and we try our best to honor that by giving you the same attention to detail and respect in return. 4,525 applications are a lot to manually sift through, but from our perspective, that’s 4,525 people whose lives would be positively affected by the job they applied for. And if you’re wondering how a maximum of four people go through that many applications by hand, the answer is simple: coffee. So much coffee.

I Don’t Wanna Be Anonymous Anymore

While it’s undeniably important for someone to have the exact technical skills a role needs, we tend to prioritize the motivation behind the application. We invest that manual time and effort into identifying people who do possess some of the necessary skills but also demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for the role and our organizational goals. Skills can be taught.

We look for people who not only can perform the job but also want to because they enjoy the work that they do. We’re excited by individuals who show a proactive attitude and a genuine interest in contributing to our overall mission of making the often nebulous ecommerce space more accessible. We want to create a team of folks who are not only capable but are also deeply invested in and fulfilled by their work. We find that we do our best work when we also enjoy it!

Our hiring process is more than just a series of steps—it’s a reflection of our commitment to fostering a culture of authenticity, fairness, and genuine connection. Our approach, from anonymizing applications to avoiding automated systems, is all about putting you, the people, first. We believe that every individual is just that—unique—and deserves a chance to shine, free from the constraints of more traditional hiring practices.

If this resonates with you, either as a job seeker or a hiring manager, please share this to continue the conversation around companies adopting a more human-centric approach to hiring. Both job hunting and hiring can be daunting in their own ways, but neither need to lack human connection and authenticity.

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Working At Order Desk

How Order Desk Does Hiring Differently

Looking for a job is a job. Many of us who’ve found ourselves in the job market aren’t there because we want to be. We’re tired. We’re stressed. We’re burnt out. And then we paint on a smile and write

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