What It's Like to Recruit for Box

May 8, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

aaron levieTake a look through Box's Facebook account, and you'll unearth what may perhaps be one of the most praiseworthy company cultures in Silicon Valley.

One would think an organization that boasts kegerators, Nerf wars, and cool parties with Blink 182 would require little to no effort in recruiting more talent, but there's actually a hiring algorithm that gets the right candidates through Box's front doors — every single time. And it isn't complicated.

Set aside the entertainment and amusement, and Box shows off a company mission that emphasizes creativity, transparency, innovation, humanitarian goods, and diversity.

Read Quote of Mike Morearty's answer to Silicon Valley Company Culture: What is it like to work for Box? on Quora

Read Quote of Tommy MacWilliam's answer to Box (company): What is it like to work with Aaron Levie? on Quora

Read Quote of Sean Rose's answer to Box (company): What is the engineering culture like at Box? on Quora

Unfortunately, living and breathing Box's treasure trove of company culture just might be limited to what you see on their Facebook's impressive photographic collection, probably because they don't want anyone else to give you the runaround about how much fun they're having at work.

That, and because searching variants of "Box office company culture" in Google Images pulls up cardboard clip art or pictures of theater ticket booths.

Entelo spoke with Box's senior manager of tech recruiting, Sarah Lovelace, to get an inside look on the company's potent formula for hiring success, the infrastructure of their company culture.

Here are our favorite takeaways from Entelo's webinar with Box on diversity hiring:

While Box focuses a great deal on creating diversity among the engineering team, the company didn’t always start off that way.

“We really didn’t have a [diversity] goal at the beginning, which is kind of strange. We weren’t focused on hiring a specific number of people from different gender groups or ethnicities, or backgrounds. What we did instead is we looked at the group of people that we had and we focused on programs on things that were relevant for them,” Sarah said.

Don’t have a diversity hiring plan? Focus on improving employee satisfaction by tailoring your company’s onboarding and retention strategies to suit the current team.

box company cultureBy leveraging diversity on their management team, Box recruiters were able to attract and hire like candidates.

Here's an example. Following Box's acquisition of Increo in October 2009, its former CEO, Kimber Lockhart, joined Box as was one of the first females on the engineering team.

With a keen interest in recruiting other younger women to join the company, the former director of engineering catalyzed programs and recruiting plans at Box built around that hiring goal, tactics that stuck around even after her departure in March. (She's now the VP of Engineering at One Medical Group.)

Along with Lockhart, recruiters visited college campuses and attended other networking events where she was able to connect with diverse candidates and help develop the distinct female engineering presence at Box today.

Many recruiters lose sight of the idea that maintaining a positive company image goes beyond having recognizable branding or a standout online presence. An organization’s employees also molds its identity and how others view the company culture and work environment.

Appeal to candidates by showing them what you’re made of. Consider having current employees speak with potential hires about the company’s benefits to give them a sense of who they’ll be working with, and how being on the team will develop their career goals. It’s even more effective when team members from upper-level management get involved with the recruiting process.

The recruiting team at Box is made up of a mishmash of very interesting people. Fun, too.

“Diversity doesn’t just extend to gender or ethnicity," Sarah said. "It’s really all about who you are and your unique thing that you bring to the table.”

Box’s team of 20 recruiters and hiring managers represent a wide range of folks varying in age, alma maters, homelands, and hobbies. Of the crew, there are ballroom dancers, a record-holding juggler, natives of London, India, and the Philippines, and a trapeze pro. Sarah herself is a two-time world baton twirling champion!

There’s also an engineering director slash biohacker on the Box team whose practices include testing irregular sleeping schedules and a melange of unconventional workout regimes.

“By having a diverse group of recruiters and hiring managers, you’re just automatically going to bring more diversity into the group.”

Diversifying the company’s management team naturally instills a drive to hire talent from a wider variety of backgrounds and experiences. And as proven in our previous point, the benefits go both ways.

box company cultureBring your wacky self during the interview at Box. Seriously.

According to Sarah, one of Box’s mottos states, “Bring your wacky self to work.” During the interview, Box asks candidates a simple, but revealing question on what makes them different.

“For us, it’s about finding people who are successful in their job, but who are also successful in other aspects of life as well. We want people who are always going to be bringing in something new and interesting to the table, and who are going to continually add value to our culture,” Sarah said.

By opening up the conversation to learn more about what candidates do outside of work, recruiters can steer the discussion toward finding out about candidates’ personal and professional goals while creating a more intimate, comfortable connection during the interview.

Creating more diversity in the workplace not only yields more productivity, but also builds a team that's excited to develop a product or service along with their fellow comrades. 

"We have a pretty kickass culture. It makes a big difference to have people you enjoy working with."

If you want to learn more about recruiting for a diversified team of top talent, click here to access your free copy of the webinar!