Tesla’s Re­cruit­ment Pitch: Be All You Can Be!

The HR Digest - - Content Features -

A lot of brands are suc­cess­ful be­cause of their abil­ity to hire top tal­ent that is able to push their busi­ness on top. Their in­ter­view pro­cesses are a proof that they know ex­actly what tal­ent what they to hire. These com­pa­nies are not will­ing to com­pro­mise. For some can­di­dates these com­pa­nies’ hir­ing styles may seem in­tim­i­dat­ing. From the hind­sight, these com­pa­nies not only have a top notch in­ter­view process that can iden­tify the tal­ent they’re look­ing for, but a suc­cess­ful process to en­sure the qual­ity of the hire is in­cred­i­ble.

Tesla Mo­tors is one such com­pany that comes in mind when you say ‘top notch in­ter­view pro­cesses’. It fol­lows a col­lab­o­ra­tive hir­ing process, in­tro­duc­ing the can­di­date to the com­pany when they ar­rive for the in­ter­view. Prospec­tive em­ploy­ees are ex­pected to take an en­tire day out to get to know the fa­cil­i­ties as well as be open to mul­ti­ple in­ter­views with mem­bers across dif­fer­ent de­part­ments. Through­out the in­ter­view process, can­di­dates are asked to an­swer two ma­jor ques­tions:

How pas­sion­ate are they about the com­pany and its mis­sion? Do they have a com­pelling rea­son to work there? Can you han­dle the tough work­ing en­vi­ron­ment? But, that is not all. Can­di­dates are also sub­ject to a num­ber of in­ter­view rounds, which in­clude a phone screen­ing. A re­cruiter from Tesla calls up ap­pli­cants to learn about their skills, and chat with them about the role. Then comes the phone in­ter­view with the team. Can­di­dates are re­quired to have a chat over the phone with the hir­ing man­ager or a se­nior en­gi­neer about their ex­pe­ri­ence and to get a lit­tle knowl­edge about the tech­ni­cal de­tails of the job.

The on-site in­ter­view at Tesla re­quires can­di­dates to cre­ate a pre­sen­ta­tion about their past work ex­pe­ri­ence.

Dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion, can­di­dates are also sub­ject to an ar­du­ous Q&A ses­sion for a panel of four to six peo­ple. The panel con­sists of hir­ing man­ager, se­nior en­gi­neers and di­rec­tors.

Once the pre­sen­ta­tion is over, each pan­elist has a one-on-one in­ter­view with the can­di­date. The ques­tions vary from tech­ni­cal know-how to fun­da­men­tal en­gi­neer­ing top­ics such as kine­mat­ics and dy­nam­ics to be­hav­ioral ques­tions. There’s also an ad­di­tional phone in­ter­view for those who can­not make it.

The over­all in­ter­view process isn’t dif­fi­cult. In fact, it ex­its to check if the can­di­date is pas­sion­ate about work­ing with Tesla and their mis­sion. It helps Tesla not only hire some­one who is ca­pa­ble, but also some­one who is ac­tu­ally pas­sion­ate about work­ing with the com­pany and its cul­ture. In­ter­est­ingly, the hir­ing process helps weed out peo­ple who are only in­ter­ested in the com­pany be­cause of the name.

For non-tech­ni­cal job open­ing, Tesla has a unique re­cruit­ing app which sources peo­ple of its U.S. sales team via Job­suit­ors. Job­suit­ors is a one-top­shop for com­pa­nies on the hunt for can­di­dates. It’s not just an app, but a unique re­cruit­ment tool that use an al­go­rithm sim­i­lar to that of a dat­ing site.

To make unique can­di­date-com­pany matches, Job­suit­ors asks both em­ploy­ers and can­di­dates to fill out an ex­ten­sive ap­pli­ca­tion. It in­cludes ques­tions such as: What skills do you have? What skills do you want to learn? What are the skills you don’t want to use? Can­di­dates are also asked about their level of hap­pi­ness at each of their pre­vi­ous jobs as well as the kind of hours they’re look­ing to keep at the next one. Tesla, on the other hand, pro­vides an in­sight into the com­pany cul­ture and de­sired traits of the hire.

Us­ing Job­suit­ors, Tesla is able to find as much as it can about a can­di­date’s per­son­al­ity and their job kills. Com­pa­nies like Tesla are switch­ing to Tin­der­like in­ter­faces for find­ing the right can­di­date. The $25 mil­lion tal­ent ac­qui­si­tion in­dus­try, is filled with names like Jobr, Real­match, Whitetruf­fle, Switch and Short­list. Tesla, is not the only one to try out novel means to find the right can­di­date.

Out of Tesla’s 7,000 or so em­ploy­ees, around 300 are vet­er­ans. Tesla specif­i­cally seeks out vets to fill in the po­si­tion, and for a good rea­son that is. Tesla has a soft spot for vet­er­ans and re­cruits them through word of mouth of vet­eran groups or at job fairs.

Vet­er­ans bring spe­cial ex­per­tise that goes well with build­ing elec­tric cars. Their tech­ni­cal knowhow about me­chan­ics and elec­tron­ics, as well as team­work, dis­ci­pline and lead­er­ship skills go well with Tesla’s work cul­ture. Tesla holds ca­sual meet­ings for vets where they can share their own ideas about how the com­pany can im­prove it­self.

For Tesla, hir­ing dis­ci­plined work­ers is a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship. Vet­er­ans at Tesla have an eas­ier time tran­si­tion­ing back to nor­mal life when they re­turn from the job. The com­pany is flex­i­ble with the sched­ules of the en­listed one. Tesla held em­ployee Megan Gates’ po­si­tion while she was on duty for two years, and she re­mains com­fort­able bal­anc­ing her Na­tional Guard ser­vice with her work. “I give Tesla my sched­ule and say ‘these are the week­ends I need to leave,’ and they work around that sched­ule,” she says. “Ev­ery­one here is so sup­port­ive.”

It’s not just US army vet­er­ans who are hired at Tesla. At least 200 of Tesla’s em­ploy­ees pre­vi­ously worked at Ap­ple. Truth be told, the hir­ing process in many com­pa­nies is sim­i­lar to the one at Tesla. So, what makes Tesla’s re­cruit­ment pitch so unique?

A lot of com­pa­nies fail to pro­vide a mean­ing­ful hir­ing-work­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that Tesla does. Te­dious en­gi­neer­ing isn’t what most can­di­dates have on their mind when they are set up with an in­ter­view with a fa­mous tech com­pany. It’s mostly perks and bonuses.

Elon Musk, Tesla founder, is for one, a man with a com­pelling vision who wants to hire peo­ple who be­lieve in him. He be­lieves, it’s mean­ing­ful work that mo­ti­vates peo­ple be­yond a ro­bust com­pen­sa­tion plan or a sim­ple play­ful in­ter­view process.

This, in fact, should be the hir­ing goal of all com­pa­nies look­ing to achieve ex­cel­lence. When com­pa­nies lay out a deeper, mean­ing­ful vision peo­ple can be­lieve in, they not only at­tract sales and in­vestors, but also the top tal­ent in the in­dus­try. So dream big, your tal­ent pool de­pends on it.

You have to have a very com­pelling goal for the com­pany. If you put your­self in the shoes of some­one who’s tal­ented at a world level, they have to be­lieve that there’s po­ten­tial for a great out­come and be­lieve in the leader of the com­pany, that you’re the right guy to work with. - Elon Musk, Chief ex­ec­u­tive of Tesla Mo­tors.

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