Ozow's Recruitment Process: an insider's view by Brett Makepeace

September 1, 2022

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Ozow's Recruitment Process: an insider's view by Brett Makepeace

After closing our Series B funding round in November 2021, Ozow went from start-up to scale-up and we are currently in a hyper-growth phase. With 58 open roles across the business we’re actively looking for the best and brightest minds to join our rocket ship. But finding the right talent isn’t easy, so we asked our Head of Talent Acquisition, Brett Makepeace, to give us an insider’s view into the recruitment process at Ozow and provide some useful tips and tricks to interviewees.

Some food for thought from Brett:

We are often faced with life-altering decisions - some more than others - but one of the biggest decisions you can make in life is that of your career. Here are some questions to ask yourself before applying:

Do I look for a new opportunity or do I stick it out?  

I am just starting my career journey; is this the right company to give me the platform to learn and succeed?

These motivations are yours and yours alone, and they will often impact how far you progress in a process, but this is a topic for another day. What we are here to discuss is Ozow's Recruitment Process so you can get an understanding of how we recruit, what we look for and what happens at every stage of the process.    

Where can I apply?

Ozow has several channels that are used to let future Ozowks know we are recruiting, but all roads lead to Rome… and in this case, ‘Rome’ is our website. Applying can be a pain, but we make every effort to ensure the application process is as seamless as possible. If we ask for something it is always relevant to the application. During this stage, my advice to any applicant is to be clear and direct in your answers. This is relevant to both the application and your interview steps.

The initial review

In this stage our hiring manager will review your profile and accompanying CV.

Make sure your CV is the best representation of who you are. In all aspects. Because at any stage of the interview process, interviewers will look at this to assess your profile based on skill, culture, and fit to the company. They’ll also look at the level of professionalism employed. If you want to make an impression, it's important to remember that your CV is basically your personal sales brochure. So, treat it accordingly, make sure it's eye catching, professional and authentic.  

The first interview

The first interview with Ozow can come in a few different forms, this will be determined by the requirements, volume, and scope of the role.

The one-way video interview

In this interview format candidates are sent a link to an interview video from Ozow. The hiring manager asks the questions and applicants film and submit their answers. Because there’s only so much a CV can tell us, the video interview gives us the chance to get to know you a little better. We don’t expect you to rattle off an Oscar winning monologue, all we ask is that you be yourself and answer as best you can. If you feel you didn’t nail it on the first go, use the second attempt if you need to.  

The virtual/in-person interview

Our other interview format is a virtual/in-person interview. We really enjoy the opportunity to engage with prospective Ozowks, whether in a virtual or in-person setting. I have always heard that you should dress for the job you want, and I feel this continues to apply at Ozow. Treat this opportunity with the respect it deserves, but also keep in mind it is a two-way conversation. Here there are two parties looking to gauge a potential fit. So bring your inquisitiveness, some key examples of deliverables and actions for those situational questions, and most importantly just be yourself.

My tip? I would recommend placing emphasis on the two-way conversation by giving the interviewer an opportunity to be part of the conversation.  

The assessment

For certain roles, the proof is in the pudding, and that pudding is technical output. A great way for us to gauge this is with an assessment that is geared towards the specific skill we are looking to have in the business. During this stage we ask that you set aside the time, with no distractions, and give it your all. The sooner you complete the assessment the sooner we can move onto the next step. Bear in mind that this step could even be included in our 1st engagement.  

I have found that if there is a lack of motivation to complete the assessment, you ought to ask yourself if you actually want to pursue the role further. Ask yourself this after every engagement and ensure that you are committed to joining our rocket ship.  

The panel interview

A role often has multiple stakeholders across a department, or even multiple departments, which means we need feedback from multiple people. At times this can be intimidating but rather look at the silver lining and use it as an opportunity to get to know the people in the business, and most importantly how the employees of Ozow engage with each other. This engagement will allow you to test and assess us as much as we are assessing you. Again, the same rules apply: bring your curious mind, and an example of previous wins and have some fun with it. After all, no one enjoys sitting through a boring meeting.

The culture fit interview

At this point we know you have the skills and we believe you are a strong match for the role - now we want to ensure you are a good match for the organisation. In the culture fit interview the conversation will relate to who you are outside of work, what your preferences are at work, the values you live by, etc. This interview takes place with the big dogs, our C-Suite, but guess what? They are just like you and me and love meeting potential future pioneers of the Ozow rocket ship.  

My tip: treat this interview as you would a first round. Be prepared, but know that the focus is on a more personal or soft skills level.  

Finally…the offer stage

At this point you may feel like you’ve run a marathon, but, just like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a marathon, you should be proud of yourself for making it this far. We’ve designed our interview process to ensure that we are hiring only the best, and if you’re at offer stage, that means you’re one of them.  

At offer stage we gather documentation, references and the vetting process starts. We adhere to all relevant requirements including BCEA, NCA, PCI, etc. The goal at this point is to have two very happy parties who agree to work together in a mutually beneficial partnership. A perfect fit!

Starting your career or moving into a new role and company can be challenging, but having a helping hand is great for making it a little less intimidating. If you’d like to work with people who are that helping hand, see which position at Ozow bests suits you and apply now.

Brett Makepeace

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