How Grindr Uses Uncubed to Hire
October 12, 2015
The only thing that feels just as good as finding a job-seeker a dream job? Finding a company their dream employee.
We’re lucky enough to work with some of today’s most innovative companies, and even luckier that companies continue to choose Uncubed as a resource for growing their teams and showcasing their culture.
One of those companies is Grindr. Their vivacious and passionate team (all decked out in yellow) has continuously made a splash at our LA Uncubed event. We sat down with Erin Shoji, Director of Operations at Grindr, to learn about the team’s experience at Uncubed – how they prepare for the full-day, what they do to showcase their culture, and why they keep coming back.
Uncubed: How did you first hear about Uncubed?
I first became aware of LA Uncubed via networking within the Silicon Beach community. I specifically recall remarking on how clever the name of the event is!
Grindr is the longest serving partner of Uncubed, which connects young, creative talent with innovative companies. In fact, we’ve already signed on to participate in the Winter 2016 gathering.
Uncubed: What’s your experience like at the event as opposed to other recruiting-focused events?
Personally, I’m inspired by the level and mix of cutting-edge companies that Uncubed draws. The forward-thinking insights and ideas shared, and the connections made at Uncubed have been invaluable to Grindr. And the events are fun!
The Grindr office is in Hollywood, so we enjoy the chance to venture over to Santa Monica – the epicenter of the Silicon Beach tech/startup community. It’s typically difficult to convince our
staff to step away from their desks, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of convincing when the venue – Annenberg Community Beach House – is beachside!
Uncubed: How does your team prepare for Uncubed?
Our team holds a strategy session to discuss our main objectives for the event and how to make the maximum impact for our brand. For us, Uncubed is always a great opportunity for our staff to network with fellow industry peers, as well as to speak with candidates who may ultimately become future Grindr
colleagues. From that strategy session, our team takes individual “to do” assignments, and then regroups for an event run-through the day before Uncubed.
For Grindr, it is important to highlight the unique technology demands that come with working on an app that has up to 2M active daily users in 192 countries. I’m sure that those who have never been to the Grindr office or met someone who works at Grindr has a very different idea of what it’s like to work here. We’re among the top 10 most popular and profitable iOS applications of all time – there’s a successful business powering the popular consumer brand. That’s why it’s so important for our staff to meet face-to-face with attendees to tell the Grindr story.
U: How does the format of the event influence the way your team interacts with job seekers?
Uncubed is informal and interactive, putting everyone at ease to focus on what they came to do. The event setting has a great deal to do with the ambiance – sunny, outdoor location with hors
d’oeuvres and libations There is also a lot of foot traffic created by the layout, with attendees strolling between the speaker room/tent, booths, and food/drink stations.
There’s always a good flow of people visiting to the Grindr booth. Team building is a natural byproduct of Uncubed in that the Grindr staff is able to hang out together at the booth, engaging one-on-one or in small groups with job-seeking attendees.
U: What is it that you see in a potential candidate that makes you think, “We need to bring this person into the office tomorrow for a job interview”?
Each of the last two Uncubed events yielded an engineering hire for Grindr. Both of the candidates were extremely confident and engaged, heading straight to our booth with a mission to get their questions about Grindr answered. I head up recruiting and I distinctly recall that more than one Grindr staff member came up to me at the end of the two events raving about the candidates. We called them the next day.
U: How do you think Grindr fits into the mix of other attending companies at Uncubed?
Grindr is one of the more established companies at Uncubed – we’ve been around since 2009. That said, due to the niche nature of our brand, we may not be perceived as a “destination employer.” Attending Uncubed is one way we can educate job seekers about Grindr – the pioneer of location-based meet-up apps, share anecdotes on the innovation and creative thought behind driving our brand and introduce attendees to our diverse and talented staff.
U: Do you think it takes a certain “type of company” to benefit from attending Uncubed?
Not at all. Recruitment within the tech space is a huge challenge for companies of all sizes. Uncubed provides a unique platform to get share your business and culture story to an ambitious community of young professionals looking to start their careers.
When we were first debating looking into participating in the inaugural LA Uncubed event, one of our team members scoffed at the idea as it didn’t align with Grindr’s recruiting practice at the time,
which was to hire only senior-level engineers who were “passive candidates” – qualified candidates who aren’t necessarily looking for work, but who may be interested if the right job comes along.
Since then, we’ve changed our direction in terms of recruitment strategy and candidate sourcing at Uncubed is part of our new approach – and one that’s worked!
U: What changes have you seen in the Uncubed events over time?
You mean aside from the better food and beverage sponsors? (Kidding, not kidding!). It’s great to see more companies participate. Uncubed is not only a recruiting event, but a forum for its members. For example, Grindr just filmed our first two classroom videos with Uncubed and we’re really excited for the videos to go live, which will then be promoted to thousands of creatives. Grindr is Uncubed’s longest serving partner and we are eager to see what comes next!
U: If you were to prep a company on how to best succeed at an Uncubed event, what tips would you give?
Select staff members who can speak to the company as a whole, but also answer granular company questions. Make sure you prepare arm those staff members with key talking points to communicate to attendees who visit the booth. Echo those points in your take-away marketing material.
Most importantly, get your C-level executives to attend! Nothing is more exciting for an attendee than to have direct access to a CEO/founder or a CTO. (Lukas Sliwka, CTO of Grindr, at our Winter 2015 LA Uncubed is pictured below).
U: How about for an attendee looking for a career change?
I don’t think there is a “catch all” answer to this question. There are so many factors to balance when changing careers. At the most basic level, it’s an opportunity to meet people who are hiring so bring your resume, craft your elevator pitch, and use Uncubed as an opportunity to strut your stuff.
Meet the teams behind game-changing companies just like Grindr at our next Uncubed event.
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