Group hiring events optimize efficiency and emphasize culture

Hiring is a high-stakes endeavor. Choosing the wrong candidate can be not only costly, but it can have a lasting and damaging effect on company culture. On the other hand, finding the right person requires a major investment of time and internal resources. The typical interview process at Flywire takes four to six weeks. However, we’ve recently adopted a technique that allows us to make an offer with high confidence in our decision within just one week.

Flywire’s Global Talent Acquisition team has recently been hosting group hiring events for entry-level positions that have multiple openings for similar roles. Taylor Roa, one of the Talent Acquisition Specialists who helped create and manage these one-day interview events, says they were created with two pillars in mind: “We want to elevate the candidate’s experience and make the hiring process for entry-level roles as efficient as possible.”

“These events save our interviewers and candidates a lot of time. By the end of the event, the team is often prepared to make an offer to one or more of the candidates.” Taylor continues, “However, because this approach is designed to move the hiring process along quickly, we’re also careful to make sure that the candidates still experience Flywire’s culture of transparency and being real during their interviews.”

Each event lasts approximately three hours and is composed of three sections, starting with an information session about Flywire, including a Q&A period with a member of the hiring team.

That is followed by a group challenge where the candidates must collaborate as a team to solve a logic puzzle called the “Zin Obelisk.” This serves a number of purposes, serving as an icebreaker to help the candidates open up, testing the candidates’ ability to digest and disseminate information and allowing them to demonstrate how they go about sharing ideas and having their voices heard, while also providing the hiring team with an opportunity to see who steps up and leads.

Finally, candidates complete a rotation of one-on-one interviews with hiring managers, role-playing exercises where they act out real-life scenarios with current members of the team they are vying to join, and conversations with members of the Global Talent Acquisition team.

Taylor says, “Flywire isn’t a typical company, so it makes sense that our hiring experience isn’t always typical, either.” He adds, “Throughout the process, we want to make sure candidates project an appropriate level of confidence, while also demonstrating accountability and an awareness of their potential areas for improvement.”

So far, four new FlyMates (Flywire employees) have been hired from the group hiring events in our Boston and London offices: Client Success Associates Hanna Hayden, Greg Kuhlman, and Victoria Stephens, as well as Customer Success Associate Hilda Amponsah. The Talent Acquisition team is currently planning to expand this hiring approach to additional roles and regions, with three seasonal events already in the works for 2019.

One might expect this type of event to create an ultra-competitive atmosphere for the candidates, but Hilda says that wasn’t the case at all during the London session she attended. “It was a unique experience unlike any other,” she says.

“My initial thought was, ‘OK, this is a collaborative company.’ But we were all in the same boat—no one knew what was going on, so the interview didn’t feel competitive at all. The hiring managers and Talent Acquisition team did a great job setting up an atmosphere where the focus was clearly on the candidate.”

She adds, “All of the other candidates at my interview were open to sharing advice, and we were all rooting for one another. In fact, none of us wanted to leave at the end! We’re all connected on LinkedIn now, and we’ve stayed in touch since our Flywire interview.”

In reflecting on her experience, Hilda offers this advice to future candidates participating in group hiring events: “Just be yourself! If you can’t be comfortable at work, or they don’t like you for who you are, it’s the wrong place for you, anyway.”