How To Automate The Hiring Process In 3 Steps – With Jack Smith

Co-Founder of Vungle and Shyp

December 4, 2014

The greatest hiring hack of all time

Jack Smith is the co-founder of Vungle and Shyp. At last year’s Hustle Con, Jack taught the audience how he automated the hiring process for Vungle’s office manager.

This post is for you if:

  • You need to hire someone
  • You’re not technical enough to build web apps (or just too lazy)
  • You’ve spent hours sifting through unqualified applicant emails
  • You use Craigslist to find applicants
  • You want a fast and easy way to filter out the winners from the losers

In this post, we give a step-by-step description on how Jack hired his office manager by building an automated process with Craigslist.


Why accepting job applications through email sucks

When startups hire, 95% of the time they create an ad and shove it on Craigslist. Yes, Craigslist has the most traffic so the odds of a qualified candidate applying are high. However, you have to sift through hundreds of unqualified emails while your future hire is floating around your inbox like a needle in a haystack. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Plus, email is a horrendous way for candidates to applying for positions that require charisma (examples include office managers, community managers, or sales) to show off their personality.  It’s not their fault, it’s a numbers game and they need a job, but chances are your potential hire sent you the same form email they sent to 3,432 other startups.

Thankfully, there’s a quick and easy way to quickly sort out the qualified candidates from the unqualified one while also making it stupid for the candidate to show off their personality. Here’s what you do.

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If your job ad requires the candidate to have personality, then use Jack’s advice.

1. Create your Craigslist ad with a Wufoo form instead of asking them to email their resume.

The goal of automation is to find the bottleneck of the problem and eliminate it. For hiring, the bottleneck is sifting through hundreds of applicant emails.

Jack eliminated the email overflow bottleneck by asking the candidate to fill out the Wufoo form listed in the Craigslist ad instead of emailing him their resume. He did this by creating a Wufoo form and copy/pasting the URL in the ad.

What’s Wufoo, you ask? Wufoo is a simple and free tool that sets up a basic submission form. Jack used it to ask for the applicant’s name, email and phone number.

The Wufoo form acted as a test to make sure the candidate actually read the ad. If they sent Jack an email then clearly they suck at following directions.

2. Build an automated text message with Zapier

After Jack set up his Wufoo form, he used Zapier to connect Wufoo to Twilio.

If you have no idea what I just said, let me explain:

Zapier is a nifty tool that connects different apps to create an automated process.

Jack used Zapier to connect Wufoo with Twilio, an automated texting website. This way, when someone submitted their phone number in the form, they immediately received a form text Jack created ahead of time from Twilio.

Twilio charges less than a penny per text, so when Jack created an account he added a few bucks to his account.

Jack’s form text included the applicant’s name, which was automatically added. This made the text look genuine. Here’s what his message looked like:

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Many people thought Jack individually wrote each text personally just for them. He received loads of responses like “thanks for getting back so fast!” Not bad, eh?

3. Create a video landing page for the applicant to show off their personality

The automated text Jack sent to the applicant included a link to a landing page. The landing page had a video of Jack explaining what Vungle is, the job details, and why someone should apply.

At the end of the video, Jack told the applicant to record a 60 second video of themselves explaining why they deserved an interview. In the video he was light hearted and casual so the applicant felt relaxed enough to record themselves.

To capture the applicant’s video, Jack used a simple recording app called Mailvu. All the applicant had to do was press record and BAM…they were ready to spill their hearts and impress Jack.

This process saved Jack dozens of hours of sifting through mostly unqualified applicants in his inbox to watching a dozen 60 second video clips of highly qualified candidates.


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