Is today a pants day? The right applicant had humour and honesty

As any entrepreneur will tell you, people are decidedly the most important asset for an early-stage company.  They build the product and  grow the relationships, which is why hiring is one of the most important decisions a startup will ever have to make.

FlyerFlo was faced with the challenge of hiring at the onset of JOLT.  Between customer development, research and supporting one of the most popular Catalog apps in iTunes, our team was working non-stop just to stay afloat, let alone grow our burgeoning business.

The decision to hire was easy, but finding the right person was difficult. We understood FlyerFlo would be competing for talent with the likes of Google; companies with more money, users, and resources.  We also knew there was a generation of young professionals that have a passion for making an impact, a facet FlyerFlo could appeal to that larger companies can not.

At this point, we had our job description set, posted it online, but what came next was a surprise.  Over 250 applications found their way to our inbox.  We were overwhelmed with such talent that it left us with the problem, how do we pick?  The answer to this, I learned from one of our applicants.

At the end of our Skype interview, this particular applicant stood up, and before he realized his webcam was still on, our team noticed he was wearing shorts with his dress shirt.  We commented on his shorts, and he explained he had another interview that week and didn’t want to needlessly wrinkle his pleats since it wasn’t a “pants day.”  We all laughed, especially at his choice of words, but what I learned that day I’ll always remember.

While he was as qualified as the rest of the talented group, it was this “pants” applicant’s personality, honesty, and humour that made him stand out. And I learned that being a good fit is as important as having the right resumé. Now when I wonder how to choose who to hire, I will ask myself, is today a pants day?