How to Hire Passionate Employees
Bazaarvoice has been named the best place to work in Austin for four years in a row by the Austin Business Journal, and according to CEO Brett Hurt, BBA '94, that’s the result of a strong, deliberate company culture that starts during the company’s distinctive hiring process.
The process is meant to simulate the kind of crisis that would show an employee’s passion for the company. Hurt describes it this way:
- “Assume that the candidate, who’s applying for a job in sales, becomes a finalist for the position. That means at least eight internal Bazaarvoice interviewers are unanimously passionate about the candidate.
- “We call our finalist on a Friday and we say, ‘Congratulations, you’re a finalist at the hardest company to get a job at in Austin. We just have one more thing to ask you. We need you to come in on Monday and present to us like we’re a prospect. You’ll have 45 minutes to present, and we’ll do 15 minutes of Q&A. You have to be in your role the whole time. You build the Power- Point deck from scratch. And by the way, over 50 percent of people fail this test. Good luck.’”
- The person who passes that test spends about 16 hours that weekend on it, says Hurt. “And by the way, there are no official office hours at Bazaarvoice on the weekends,” he explains, “But it’s no different than if Proctor & Gamble came to us on a Friday and said, ‘We need this request for a proposal filled out by Monday.’ Sometimes you’ve got to do what it takes. It’s not that often that something crazy like that happens, but a crisis will really test you.”
Read more about company culture and passion in the OPEN magazine feature profile of Brett Hurt, "You Gotta Have Heart."