I sat down with Jade to find out how she landed her role here at Applied and how her time here has been so far...
What do you do at Applied?
Head of Account Management.
And what did you do before joining Applied ?
Most of my career was in sales and sales management in the digital advertising space. I left that, trained as a yoga teacher and studied Positive Psychology before joining a start up working on Employee Happiness Measurement.
So quite the variety and definitely different from what we do at Applied. What's been your favourite project/piece of work or epiphany at Applied?
I’ve really enjoyed viewing adoption of the platform from the point of view of a hiring manager. I hired a lot in previous roles and know the time pressures managers are under (we’re usually hiring because our workload is crazy!).
What we ask of hiring managers, in terms of changing really well-established ways of hiring (and their own role within that process), can initially feel quite daunting. There can be an understandable resistance, even when you are fully onboard with diversity and inclusion goals.
So, when we demonstrate the amount of time saved at later stages of the process (i.e. the time you will spend interviewing your shortlisted candidates will now be consistently high quality, retention of your hires goes up, time to ramp up goes down) we are able to build trust with this key group of users. They realise that the initial time spent getting to grips with a new process is more than worth the effort and once they leap, they never go back!
You work part time and are an all around rockstar at work - what's been your experience transitioning into a part time role? What is your advice for jobseekers who want to work part time but haven't made the leap yet?
I worked part time prior to joining Applied as I was also studying and running a yoga business. I do feel there are not nearly enough role models of senior people working flexibly and there’s common perceptions that hold us back e.g. you can only really ask for flexible working if you’re a parent or to be a manager you have to work 5 days. I strongly believe part time workers bring huge efficiency to businesses, particularly start-ups that need to grow with limited resources.
When I applied to work with Applied, the role I went for wasn’t explicitly marked as a flexible role but due to the fact the process was blind, I felt confident applying and figured ‘I’ll cross that bridge if I get to it.’ It turns out I did reach that bridge and my manager and the whole team were really open to me joining part time (and remotely, as I was based in Scotland and our HQ is in London!). It was such a huge endorsement of the culture and the fact that we really practice what we preach when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
My advice to job seekers would be to look for and apply to roles that you’re excited by even if they don’t state they are flexible roles. No business has gotten through the last year without embracing some form of flex so the fear that it won’t work has mostly gone. If you’re passionate about the role and can demonstrate the key skills, all good employers are going to rather have a portion of you than a worse match just because 9-5 x 5 suits them better.
That's so true that in the last year employers have had to adapt (quite quickly) in how they work. It sounds like you have some specific ideas with this - what's your vision for the future of work?
As an evolution of a more flexible workforce, I really hope to see more roles compensated based on results and impact rather than their time spent at work. This immediately means those that can’t or won’t work the traditional 9-5 x 5 have a lot more opportunities open to them. At the end of the day, if someone can come in and achieve on 4 days what another does on 5, why not pay them the same. They’re actually going to cost the business less in many areas.
Related to that, I also envisage more people having multiple sources of income, or portfolio careers. For the Covid Generations, we’re going to remember seeing entire industries wiped out overnight and it feels like a financially prudent move to spread the risk in that way. As more and more organisations move away from CVs as a shortlisting tool, I also see a lot more people leaving careers they no longer love (but have been forced to stick with because that’s all their CV would open to them).
Taking on a 2nd, part time role or repurposing some working time to study something new seems a lot more attainable if flexible working patterns were the norm rather than the exception. It’s exciting from a global happiness point of view!
I can't wait for people to be free of having to use CVs. There is so much more to being hired than what is most often on there. What part of hiring do you like the most?
Hearing prospective employees talk about why they want to work here. It always makes me so proud to be a part of this team and reminds me of my own feelings of giddiness when I was in the hiring process for Applied myself 🙂
So, on the other side of that, what is your least favourite bit about hiring?
Because we have such a great way of shortlisting candidates, it’s not unusual to interview 5 or 6 people and genuinely feel every one of them could do the role exceptionally well and add something unique. The hardest thing is having to turn down someone that’s super talented and passionate about our mission.
Sometimes we pigeon hole biases as something that other people have that we don't - but we definitely do! What bias are you most likely to succumb to?
Affinity bias. Specifically noticing other Scottish accents so blind reviews of written answers keep me in check.
On the topic of blind reviews - What is your favourite sift question?
Although it’s not a true scenario-based question, I really do love the simplicity of ‘Why do you want to work here?’ I love that we can review the answers to that question completely out of context from any of the skill-based assessments, too, so we can really listen to the motivation behind why someone has decided to take time out of their day to apply to join our team.
And lastly, we talk about wellbeing quite a bit at Applied. What would you say is the biggest impact on employee wellbeing at work?
Praise, or ‘gratitude verbalised’. It’s a more important currency in the workplace than salary, to me. When you know you’re doing well, and your unique skills are frequently recognised and celebrated you can handle almost any ‘constructive’ feedback or tough times. You’re motivated to go the extra mile and continue pushing yourself. There’s a certain safety that’s created when gratitude is verbalised that really frees people up. I think most people can actually handle a significant workload and substantial stress as long as they feel supported and that their manager and their team have their back.
Jade does an amazing job at taking care of hiring managers, job admins, and reviewers. Check out this page to see who she is working with.