EMBiz: How to Create a Kick-Ass Company Culture

Laurel Mintz

Hi guys, Laurel Mintz here from Elevate My Brand. We’re going to be putting together a series on How to Create Kick Ass Company Culture. Now, the first step to that is obviously hiring the right team, so we’re going to be giving you some little inside tips on how to do that for your company.  

So here at Elevate, the first level of what we do is obviously making sure that the person is actually qualified for the role. We actually really like the platform Indeed for that because it helps us to filter through the right candidates. Once we’ve got the top, let’s call it 5-7 candidates, someone on the Elevate team will do the first level of interview, making sure that, that person is in fact qualified, asking them a little bit more drilled down questions, but in that process we like to ask some interesting and more dynamic questions because as a small team, it’s really important that the people we hire really vibe with us. So, we ask kind of silly questions, and feel free to steal these, but questions like: “What’s your favorite word?” I can’t tell you how many people we asked that question to and just like went blank, total blank slate, because it’s not a question a lot of people ask.

I also love this question, and I think this actually comes from the McKinsey or Bain interview school of thought, but a question like “How many elephants are in the United States? What a question like that gets to is how that person actually processes questions and issues within the context of their job, so if someone says, “oh, I don’t know 53 elephants”, then you kind of understand that they are not really thinking through that process in a really dynamic way.  It’s important on a small team that you see how someone can actually problem solve in a really, interesting and unique way. Obviously, we all know that you’re just going to go ahead and google the answer to that, but in an interview process it’s the reaction that they have to an off the wall question and just getting a sense of how they would deal with a problem in that regard.

Once they’ve gotten through that level, then they actually come to me. And when they come to me, by the time they get to me, it’s more about vibe and really making sure that they’re really a great fit here and for me it’s really just open-ended questions. At the end of the day if someone is a great fit with your company, they have to start working with you and you’ll get a better sense of it in that actual process, but in the interview, you can sit and just have a very causal conversation, get a sense of who they are as a human, what values are really important to them. So, as you guys have heard in prior videos, corporate culture, or company culture, for us, really involves play, fun, family. Those are core values that are really important to us. So, if those are the core values of the people that we’re interviewing, we know that at least we have a really great baseline that we can then really vibe on and work within the team.

So that’s how we really do our first round of interviews and how we pick the right people for our team. It’s really about sitting down, taking the time, making sure there are levels of interviews, so that by the time you make a hiring decision, you know that it’s going to be a great vibe for your team. And that’s how we create great company culture here at Elevate and stay tuned for more.  

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