When Anthony Rodriguez started at Wix in 2018 on the Talent Acquisition team, the company employed 370 people in the United States across 4 locations. Today, Wix stands at nearly 1,500 employees across 8 sites — a 10x growth in just 3 years!
To understand the driving force behind this incredible growth, I recently chatted with Anthony on LinkedIn Live to discuss the transformation. In our conversation, he pulled back the curtain on how Wix uses their culture (“The Wix Way”) as a tool in their hiring, as well as what changes he and his team have made in the past year to attract talent in today’s competitive job market.
Anthony left us with 3 practical changes to consider making to your recruitment strategy for similar hiring success at your own organization. Check them out below!
1. Create a culture resource guide
At a certain point in a company’s growth, word of mouth or simple observance no longer suffice to convey culture to new hires. To be deliberate about creating and maintaining a strong company culture, it’s important to write it down. With no written down record, alignment between employees and what they tell candidates about your company’s vision, values and culture can break down.
This is why, when Wix hit 1,000 global employees, they created the “Wix Way” as a definitive code and cultural resource for current and future employees to make sure everyone was on the same page.
A large part of the Wix Way is to empower employees to own what they do. Despite being a billion-dollar organization, most teams within Wix operate in a flat, startup-like environment. As Anthony describes, he’s worked on plenty of projects where he gets a simple thumbs-up from his supervisor, and he’s able to take his idea and run with it.
Behind this take-it-and-run attitude is a data-driven culture supportive of constant trial and error. As Wix instills into their employees, and Anthony has personally experienced in his own way, “if you’re not failing, you’re not learning!”.
But perhaps the most important part of the Wix Way — a part similar to our “no jerk” policy here at Rally — is the company’s mission to only hire collaborative, genuine, honest, hard-working and inherently good human beings. Together with the company’s smaller team approach, this vetting of character makes for especially tight-knit teams who are friendly in and outside of the workplace.
For example, even though they’re a decentralized team, every quarter, Anthony and his team do “team innings” (called “team outings” before the pandemic) where they make cocktails, shoot the breeze and generally socialize. Even during daily stand-ups, his team rarely turns off their cameras so that everyone can see each other’s faces and feel more connected while working remotely.
Whatever your culture looks like, to make sure that it stays intact as you grow, and that recruiters always know what to promote to candidates, create and share a document, spreadsheet, video, article or other resource to serve as a cultural guide.
2. Incorporate your culture into the candidate journey
The Wix Way has become a big reason why people want to join Wix, and that’s largely due to Anthony and other talent acquisition professionals at the company infusing company culture into the candidate journey.
But that hasn’t come without its fair share of challenges, especially as it relates to adapting to the new virtual world. Before the pandemic, people could visit the office, talk with employees and physically experience the Wix Way in action. However, as remote work became the new way of the world, Wix had to adapt.
First, they came up with virtual culture decks, which they share with all candidates before their interviews. The slides in these decks go over company values, benefits and feature employee testimonials lending to the overall vibe of Wix.
Similarly, in-person hiring events were big for Wix pre-pandemic. They would invite candidates to the office, give tours and then have them split off into smaller groups for questions. Now, all of this is done virtually, with the added option for candidates to speak with employees currently in the roles they’re applying for. This creates a more personal feel, and helps candidates get a clearer picture of the company culture and role they’re applying for.
The Life at Wix Blog has emerged as another hotspot for conveying company culture. With articles — many of them written or contributed by Wix employees — going in-depth on components of the Wix Way, including failure, their “no assholes” hiring approach and others, the blog sets up candidates in the early stages of their journey with useful information they can use to gauge their fit. These articles are also shared with candidates at each stage of the interview process to help acclimate them to the company and make them feel comfortable.
3. Earn buy-in as quickly as you can
Like many, going virtual isn’t the only recruitment challenge that Wix had to overcome in the past couple of years; they’ve also had to grapple with heightened competition.
Earlier this year, Anthony was tasked with hiring 200 account managers within 6 months. While previous job ads typically produced hundreds of applicants, that was no longer the case. They were receiving less applications, the market had changed, and he needed to adapt quickly.
He first looked at LinkedIn Insights and other sources to see where account managers were currently working, what companies were experiencing layoffs or attrition and where account managers were going. Together, this data informed candidate motivations and next steps for Anthony and his team in their hiring strategy to better appeal to them.
One change they made was shortening the application process and making it easier for candidates to engage with current Wix employees early in the process to ask their questions. For example, as touched on above, they replaced early-round interviews with virtual hiring events.
At these events, after a more general introduction, candidates are broken off into breakout sessions with 1 or 2 other candidates where they can ask their specific questions to current Wix employees and business leaders. Instead of learning about Wix’s culture piece by piece over email and each individual interview, candidates at these events get to experience it right away. As a result, they’re much less likely to jump ship midway through the hiring process for a competitor.
And the results speak for themselves. Not only does Anthony see a higher offer acceptance rate, but his candidates also now take, on average, 10-15 days less to be hired from the day they start their application.
In a market where everyone is offering candidates the same thing, company culture is emerging as one of the best ways to differentiate yourself as an employer. In following Wix’s example, start by making sure everyone at your company understands your culture, incorporating it into your candidate journey and connecting employees with candidates early on in the hiring process to showcase your culture in action.
You can catch my full conversation with Anthony below!
For another great example of a company seeing success with culture-focused recruitment, check out our article, What Makes Nestlé USA’s Recruitment Marketing Content So Successful?