Ever heard of Snapchat? We chatted with not 1 but 2 Recruiters from Snap Inc.! Alex Bader and Lauren Turrisi are Lead Business Recruiters at Snap having worked there for a combined 4+ years. Previously, Alex spent 8 years as a Talent Acquisition Manager at Hulu and Lauren spent 3 years as a Talent Acquisition Senior Manager at Ketchum, a PR agency. This episode is one of our favorite (Snapchat) memories, and we bet it will be one of yours as well…
Here are some questions we will be answering:
– What is your experience working at Snap and what has surprised you the most?
– How does Snap approach the social media battle (e.g. Instagram and TikTok) from a recruiting perspective?
– What are your Snapchat scores?
– How has the Snap recruiting team thought about XR (extended reality)?
– What are some best practices with Recruiter phone screens? What should candidates NOT say?
– What is a conventional thought in recruiting that you think should be challenged?
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Connect with Lauren T: www.linkedin.com/in/laurenturrisi
Connect with Alex B: www.linkedin.com/in/abader
Follow our Host on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/aj-eckstein
* Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this podcast are of the host and guest and not of their employers.
“Number one, I would say like recruiting is on your side. I think that could be interpreted in a number of different ways, but we really do have candidates backs at the end of the day and so, we’re advocating for you. We want to make sure we’re putting our best foot forward.”
Welcome to the Final Round podcast, where our mission is to help you knock out the competition, advanced past the final round interview and grow in your career. My name is A.J. Eckstein, and I’m a podcast host, recruiting expert, international speaker, career coach and strategy consultant. Join me in the ring as I speak with recruiters at top companies to learn the secrets why certain applicants get “knocked-out” and others are still standing after the final round. Now let’s get ready to rumble.
Ever heard of Snapchat? We chatted with not 1 but 2 recruiters from Snap Inc.! Alex Bader and Lauren Turrisi are Lead Business Recruiters at Snap having worked there for a combined 4+plus years. Previously, Alex spent 8 years as a Talent Acquisition Manager at Hulu and Lauren spent 3 years as a Talent Acquisition Senior Manager at Ketchum, a PR agency. This episode is one of our favorite Snapchat memories, and we bet it will be one of yours as well.
What is going on everybody and welcome back to the Final Round, we’re coming at you live from the Final Round Studio, but today we’re going to change things up a bit. Usually on the Final Round, we interview one recruiter from a huge company and today we’re going to interview two rockstar recruiters from a social media app that you may have heard of called Snapchat and we’re actually with two Lead Business Recruiters from the parent company called Snap Inc. So, Alex and Lauren, how are we doing today on this beautiful Friday?
Alex: Great! Thank you for asking.
Lauren: Doing great as well. Thanks for having us, AJ.
Conventional Thought in Recruiting
Of course! I’m really excited about this episode, especially because Snap is such a consumer facing brand and there’s so many things that I want to ask as well as our audience who actually sent questions to us to ask both of you today. So, if you’re ready to rock, let’s dive in. The first thing I want to talk about is I think one of the reasons why people love Snapchat compared to other social media apps is for the raw, real and authentic nature of it because you just snap and you send. So, I think for this episode, we’re going to do just that and be as raw and authentic as possible to provide insight to both of our audiences. One of snapchats most unique features is called Snapchat Memories, which enables users to have photos and videos for later use instead of allowing them to disappear when the designated time is up. So, I want to talk about some of your memories prior to Snap, before we go do a deep dive into Snap. I know for instance starting with Lauren, you spent 3 years as a Talent Acquisition Senior Manager at Ketchum, which is a New York based PR agency. And on your LinkedIn profile, you said that you and your team challenged conventional thinking. What is a conventional thought in recruiting that you think we should challenge today?
Lauren: Yeah, certainly. So, prior to joining Snap, I worked at Ketchum for almost 3 years. For anyone that’s not familiar with Ketchum, it was a global communications consultancy and I supported recruitment for some of the different teams across entertainment, sports, influencer, marketing and analytics and really had the opportunity to grow within the talent acquisition team and really learned from so many different talented colleagues and individuals. I think it’s really just important to really think through like how you can differentiate yourself in this space, whether that’s through the importance of the candidate experience or things that we’re able to offer candidates. It’s such a competitive market, and I think anything that companies can do to really differentiate themselves in this space is so important.
And would you say an example of that is today, for instance, I saw on your LinkedIn profile, you have a QR Code that you use on Snap and it has, I think it was a dancing hotdog that says, “Join our Team.” Is that kind of what you’re saying where you just lean into what differentiates your company specifically with recruiting?
Lauren: Yeah, certainly. So, yeah, if anyone is listening, feel free to check out my LinkedIn profile and open your Snapchat, scan the QR code. I think it’s so important to really continually innovate and evolve, especially in the industry that we’re in. And I think QR codes have made things so easily accessible today, especially with like the great technology available and our camera specifically. I think it’s always important to really work towards creating those innovative ways to recruit talent.
I definitely think that’s probably one of the most fun things I’ve seen, because I thought it was going to get linked to your Snapchat and then I saw there’s this dancing hotdog on my screen and super fun way to really connect candidates to the company. And then kind of throwing it over to Alex, I know your background a little bit different. You spent almost a decade working in talent acquisition as a manager at Hulu before transitioning to Snap. I’m just curious, what was your experience like as a Hulugan, which is what they call employees at Hulu.
Alex: Yes. I feel like that name is never going to leave me. But yes, it was amazing. I think Hulu, both product and culture was one of those lightning in a bottle type companies, very similarly to how I’m feeling about Snap. And so, the talent that was there, the product, just everything that I experienced thus far in that industry was really solid. And I think that is why I was there for almost a decade is when you couple really great talent there, a product that is up and coming and growing. It was just a very exciting place to be.
And I understand there’s something called the Disney Bundle or the Disney Plan where you can bundle Hulu+, Disney+ and ESPN+. And I’m curious if you can bundle some of the biggest recruiting takeaways from your almost 10 years at Hulu, and I want you to take the lens of a lot of our audience’s candidates and they’re trying to advance their career, maybe get a job. So, what would be some of those bundled recruiting takeaways from your almost decade as a talent acquisition manager at Hulu?
Alex: Yeah. Number one, I would say like recruiting is on your side. I think that could be interpreted in a number of different ways, but we really do have candidates backs at the end of the day and so we’re advocating for you. We want to make sure we’re putting our best foot forward, as Lauren said, continuing to make this a great place to be for both incoming and existing talent at the company. So, I would just remember that going into the process that we definitely want to support the candidate and make sure they have an incredible experience throughout and obviously advocate for them as the process continues forward. I would also say thank you’s go a long way. I’ve noticed in my time in recruiting that both recruiting and the business really do appreciate someone who is authentic, excited, really does appreciate their time, everyone’s busy obviously including the candidates. So, it’s just a kind gesture to be able to say like, “Really appreciate the time spent,” and maybe add a couple 1 to 2 sentences about what you learned from that conversation. And then lastly, I would say not to read too much into anything. I’ve been a candidate myself. I know how hard that is to do and it’s just a very competitive market. Again, as I mentioned, people are busy, so I want to make sure that candidates understand that just take a step back, take a breath. Hopefully, if you’re interviewing at a company where there is a really strong recruitment team, we do care about the candidate that you will be taking care of and we will make sure that you’re getting the feedback and responses you deserve.
Sending a Thank You Note or Thank You Message
Well, I think those three kinds of pieces of advice are such great parts for that bundle. Maybe we’ll call it the Alex bundle similar to the Disney bundle, but I want to throw it over to Lauren and that second point Alex was talking about the importance of sending a thank you note or thank you message. And from a recruiter’s perspective and working hand-in-hand with hiring managers, would you say that if a candidate does not send one, they kind of lose points on their application or is it more so just a good to have and it represents the candidate in a good light and the recruiter is going to vouch more for that person, if they are thanking everybody in the process?
Lauren: Yeah. I mean I would echo similarly what Alex had just shared around, like just the general importance of thank you notes. I think to her point, they really do just go a long way and really showcasing your interest in the role, your interest in the company, like your eagerness. And at the end of the day, like we all are busy and likely interviewing while we’re holding other positions as well, and I think they really just bring like an added touch point to kind of an add-on to like the interview and the conversations that you’re going through with the team. So, I really look at them as really an added value and an added touch point to kind of enhance yourself as a candidate.
So, I think huge takeaway that I took away and I know our audience will take away is send thank you notes even if it’s a small thank you message and try to tailor it. So, Alex and Lauren probably get hundreds of these messages a day, but try to tailor it to what you spoke about, what your background is, what your bio is so it’s not just another thank you message. I always say that if you’re sending the exact same template to multiple companies, it’s not tailored enough. It should be so tailored that you spoke about what you said in the interview or the phone call or the LinkedIn message and I’m XYZ person and it goes, obviously like you both said, a long way.
Alex: I think that’s actually, just to jump in AJ, a really good point. I can say firsthand, I received tons of messages saying, “Been hoping to work at Netflix for years or Meta,” and so I totally echo that sentiment that you want to be very intentional. We’re in recruiting. We know that candidates are interviewing at multiple companies, but I do think you want to take a pause, make sure you’re sending the right thoughtful message to the team.
So, lesson learned, if you are applying to Hulu, don’t say, “Thanks for your time. I’m excited to apply to Netflix basically.” So, we’ll check that off as the main takeaway. But I want to shift gears and I think the meat of our conversation today is going to be about Snap and Snapchat. I wanted to start off with a fun question to just get the ball rolling and I’d love for you both to take out your phones, if you have it on the table, pull up your Snapchats and I’m just curious if you can share what your Snap Score is, because that’s a huge topic of conversation especially for avid users of Snapchat. And I know I actually have my phone here and I guess, I can just start and get the ball rolling. I just thought mine is 157,000. I think I downloaded Snapchat, I want to say, I don’t even know, probably in high school, middle school, definitely a long time ago, but just curious from two recruiters what your Snap score is.
Alex: I don’t even want to share after that.
Lauren: I was literally going to say, AJ, your score is much higher than mine, but I will say I’ve been like such a big fan and user of Snapchat even before joining Snap, solely because it just makes communicating with friends and family so fun. I truly love just trying out all the different lenses and just interacting with folks that I don’t get to see on a day-to-day. I’m looking now. Mine is 36,806.
Awesome! Okay, 36,000. Alex?
Alex: Will end on my really strong score of 29,000.
What is your experience working at Snap and what has surprised you the most?
Okay. I love it! That’s awesome. And again, I think Lauren what you said and that it’s a really good way to stay connected with your friends and that raw and authentic nature, you can’t get that on other platforms and that’s what we’re trying to do for today. So, thank you for sharing your Snapchat score. That was super fun. And I want to do something else fun. So, Snapchat unveiled pretty recently, Snapchat Spotlight, which is bite sized videos in 60 seconds or less. And I’m going to grab my phone, pull up the timer app and I would love for both of you for 60 seconds each, 60 seconds or less starting with Alex, if you can share with our audience what it’s like working at Snap and what has surprised you the most? You can think about that for a couple of seconds, I’m going to pull up the app. 60 seconds, we’re again going to pull up a Snapshot Spotlight of your experience and the biggest takeaway or something that you did not expect. And when you’re ready, I’ll hit start.
Alex: Okay. I’m ready?
Ready? Okay, 60 seconds for Alex.
Alex: I would be really concise.
Okay, go ahead.
Alex: Okay. So, being at Snap has been such an amazing journey, I would say. When I came on board, the amount of documentation and resources available to make sure that you’re set up for success. So, not only the documentation, but honestly the amount of folks who are willing to step in and help and coach and answer questions were so welcoming and encouraged, which I loved. Our team is very close knit, something that I absolutely love about our group here and I’ve heard that across multiple teams. Really surprising how much Snap cares about their employees from sort of a 360 holistic perspective. So, growth, professional development, but also what is your personal time look like, what resources can we have available to you and honestly continuing to iterate month after month. I feel like I have the clock in my head. How am I doing?
Five more seconds.
Alex: I absolutely love it.
Awesome. Okay, thank you. All right. We’re going to reset the clock 60 seconds. Lauren, what has been your experience at Snapchat and maybe what is something that has surprised you working in there? Go!
Lauren: Yeah, certainly. So, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been with Snap now just a little bit over 3 years. And I think in my 3 years here, I have the opportunity to work alongside and be surrounded by such smart and innovative individuals, I quite truly learn from every single day and that has just been so amazing. I think one thing that just sticks out to me the most is really seeing our core values embedded into everything we do and also embodied in how we interact with one another, how we interact with candidates and so on. I think it’s truly just so refreshing working at a company where the values are lived and embodied day in and day out. I think a lot of times when you’re thinking about your next employer or where you want to take your career like values are important to everyone. And I think coming to Snap and seeing the values like lived in day in and day out are important. Every company has their own set of values, but I think a big differentiator is we have kindness as a real value here at Snap, which again is just so refreshing and I think has really just gone a long way especially like in my journey here at Snap. And it’s been just so nice to really see those values lived in day in and day out and definitely what keeps me here at Snap.
Lead Business Recruiter Roles
You mentioned kindness, 15 seconds over time, but I’m going to be kind as well and we’ll let it slide but no, I really appreciate you both sharing more about what your experience has been like at Snap and it seems like it’s not a company that just shares values on the company value statement page, but actually puts pen to paper and enacts those values with their employees. I know that both of you have pretty similar roles as a Lead Business Recruiter at Snap and I’d be curious how are your roles similar and also different? And do you interact on a daily basis? Are you looking for a different pool of candidates, maybe Alex is recruiting for a different role while Lauren is recruiting for another role? If you can share that and we’ll pass it back to Alex.
Alex: Yeah. So, I actually have a great fortune of working with Lauren very closely, although we do support different leaders within the business organization. So, essentially what I cover is anything under sales for the Americas, which is inclusive of the United States and Canada. We have pretty similar profiles that we hire across. So, you can quickly list them off: account executive, account manager, account strategist, things of that nature. And so, my team is tackling those roles day-to-day. For the most part, I’m working on leadership roles to support that organization and then outside of day-to-day recruitment, Lauren and I are constantly working with our leader for our group to ensure that our processes are most efficient. We’re working on projects that we’re hoping to green light over the next couple of months to just continue to attract and retain the best talent, and then outside of that a lot of cross functional work as well.
Awesome! And how about Lauren? So, are you also recruiting for sales for America’s and leadership roles or a different kind of pool of candidates?
Lauren: Yeah. So, I can speak to that and as Alex mentioned, it’s so nice to work alongside Alex and constantly bounce off ideas off of her and also learn from her every day as well. So, as Alex mentioned, we both support different leaders and teams within the business org. So, my team supports our SMB team, our global solutions team as well as revenue strategy and operations, all part of our business recruiting function.
Working with Hiring Managers
So, it seems like both of you are in some way, shape or form revenue strategy ops. I think Alex said sales. And I was playing around with the Snapchat filters the other day, I think one of the most unique parts about how Snapchat sells advertisements to their advertisers or companies is it doesn’t feel like an ad, especially with the filters, like I remember there was like a Taco head and I think it was for Taco Bell and then there was just some really unique aspects where the consumers playing around with these filters, but they’re also playing around with the brand in a really organic fashion. So, obviously, kudos to both of you and your entire team because it sounds like such an exciting role to work with these companies and also strategize ways to try to boost up engagement with these brands that are not always as sexy as they may seem, but if you think of a really creative way that it kind of helps everybody, so love to see that. I also want to ask you, so you both work like you said pretty closely together and you have a lot of cross functional experience, what has your experience been like working with hiring managers? And if you can talk about how that works with the recruiter hiring manager relationship, are you meeting with them day-to-day? Is it more so quarterly touch bases? And do they set the direction kind of for your role or are you kind of telling the hiring manager what’s going on in the recruiting side? And we’ll pass it back to Lauren.
Lauren: Yeah, certainly, and it’s a great point. I think the relationship between a recruiter and the hiring manager is so important and it’s a crucial part of setting the foundation for the entire recruiting process. So, I think really establishing a strong working relationship with the individual hiring manager that you’re partnering with is so important to really set that from day one. I think every hiring manager might have their individual preference or style as to how they want or how they envision the process and also with what type of cadence do they want for meetings or updates? Is it a weekly email update? Is it a weekly sync? Really to getting to understand like what the hiring managers preference and vision is but then also acting as kind of a guide and showcasing them what you’re seeing in the market like sharing trends, really educating them as well because day in and day out like we are the ones that are interacting with candidates. We have a view into what’s happening in the market. So, I think the more we can educate and partner together with the hiring manager in the end as a win for all of us.
And Alex. What has your experience been like with hiring managers? Has it been pretty similar to what Lauren shared?
Alex: Yeah, I very much agree with Lauren. I think at Snap, I’ve noticed that our hiring leaders very much see us as consultative partners to the business and I do think that’s a testament to both of our teams being able to come to them armed with data, what we’re seeing in the market since we’re on the ground. But I do also think that while we definitely allow the hiring managers, as Lauren mentioned to sort of dictate the communication, what does that look like? Is it email? Is it meetings? How often are those meetings? We also really push for an equitable process across the board. So, for example, I mentioned a couple conversations ago that we have about 5 or 6 roles that we typically recruit across. And so, that allows our team to sort of look at the process and assess whether or not it makes sense to have a similar process across all of account executives while allowing the hiring managers certain nuances that pertain to their role. But again, ensuring that we are hiring pretty similarly across the board for the same role.
Awesome! I think that makes complete sense. And we actually have an audience submitted question from Henry H who actually responded to one of our social media posts on the same topic working with hiring managers and recruiters. And he’s shared that getting to the recruiter is really challenging. I mean, I know for us three to even set this up, it took probably a couple of weeks, maybe a month or two and it’s no doubt that you both are insanely, insanely, insanely busy and I can only imagine how much outreach you get. So, he basically said, “If you are a candidate and you’re trying to reach out and try to get a role at a company, do you suggest trying to target the recruiter and speaking to that recruiter who’s almost like the gatekeeper to that role or should you try to find the hiring manager or someone on the team and actually speak with them? And obviously, you can’t do everything, what would you start with and prioritize between those two?”
Alex: I will preface by saying this is my own personal opinion, but given what you just said is that Lauren and I and most recruiters are inundated with so many reach outs daily. It is really hard to kind of pick and choose what you’re going to respond to with that limited time. And so, I would say as a candidate, arguably it’s more impressive and probably much more well received to go directly to the business. I would also encourage LinkedIn has the wonderful function of showing you first and second-degree connections. So, if there’s someone at the business that you’re interested in that can give you a little bit of insight into the company and the culture and then you in turn can tell them a little bit about yourself and what you’re interested in, I think they would certainly be happy to advocate for you. Most companies do have a really strong referral program so I would actually kind of start in that avenue first.
Awesome. And Lauren, would you agree with kind of that recruitment strategy?
Lauren: Yeah, I would agree 100%. Plus one to that, Alex. I think to Alex’s point, we get so many reach outs from a ton of different candidates and I think a lot of times it’s for even roles or positions or teams that we might not support or we might not recruit or have that visibility into. So, we’re more than happy obviously to send someone’s resume along or share their contact information with our recruiting colleagues across Snap. But at the end of the day, I think it’s more impactful if you can either connect with someone via LinkedIn or make that reach out directly to someone on the business in hopes of getting in front of the right team members for the position that you’re interested in.
Would you say that a recruiter’s day job is to actually speak to candidates or do you say that’s an additional part to your job? Because I wonder that–again, you guys get so much outreach, how do you filter through your outreach? What is kind of needed for your job and what is more like a good to have? As in someone reaches out to Alex for a software engineering role at Snap and obviously Alex, you said you don’t recruit for software engineering, so it’s maybe out of the goodness of your heart and out of the interest of the company to pass them along to a technical recruiter, how much time should you or do you carve out to speak to candidates?
Alex: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting because I think you can sort of differentiate between the applied in direct candidates that are coming from our applicant tracking system. So, in that regard definitely recruiters are scheduling many recruiter’ screens a day for that specific role that they’re working on. Those more general calls I would say unfortunately are less common at some point. Our teams don’t have the bandwidth because we do have so many direct positions that we’re recruiting on. But I would say certainly a large part of our recruiter’s day is talking directly to candidates but it’s typically more relevant to the roles they’re actually recruiting on. I would say, to your point, out of the goodness of our hearts, we hope that if someone like a trusted pearl or someone that comes to us with a very thoughtful message, of course we would be happy to pass that on to the relevant recruiter who’s actually working on those departments.
And Lauren, anything to add there or would you kind of agree with what Alex shared?
Lauren: Yeah. We’re on the phone a lot throughout the day, I think that’s the nature of the role of a recruiter and it’s part of my job that I love most too is just getting to meet with different candidates throughout the process and the opportunity to really engage with them in that initial call or that initial touch point and really getting them excited about the role or the team or the company and learning about them as well. So, it’s a part of my job that I love and like Alex mentioned, it’s definitely balanced across direct applicants as well as candidates that come into our network.
So, you said Lauren that you love speaking to candidates and I’m sure a large amount of your day is spent on the phone or screening candidates. We speak a lot about interviews on the Final Round podcast, but I feel like we haven’t touched a lot about kind of recruiter screens. So, I guess we’ll pass it back and start with Lauren and if you could just talk about with the recruiter screen, what are you looking for and how is that different than maybe an interview with a hiring manager?
Lauren: Yeah, certainly. So, I think it’s important. Again, it is the initial touch point kind of the initial conversation in terms of just learning more about a candidate, their interests, their experience, why the company, why the role, was there anything that piqued their interest around Snap or the role. So, it’s always interesting to me too aside from learning about their experience and what I see on paper from the resume or CV that they’ve shared is really understanding like what excited them about Snap, the role and that also kind of showcases sometimes for individuals to share, maybe some research that they’ve done about the company or knowledge that they have around the role. So, it’s more so just getting that full picture around both experience and interests.
We speak a lot about conducting thorough research on the business landscape, the company and even the interviewers, but instead of trying to do this all on your own, the Final Round’s got you covered with our newly revamped newsletter called the Knockout Newsletter. We feature business news stories in the world of recruiting, careers, layoffs and hiring cycles, exclusive career opportunities, tips from recruiters and hiring managers and bonus content. Go to www.knockoutnewsletter.com to sign up for free. Now, back to the show.
And when you say excitement for the role, maybe we’ll have Alex answer this kind of follow up, when you say excitement for the role, it’s almost obvious that the candidate should be using, let’s say Snapchat or has heard of Snapchat. It’s like when we’re talking to a Netflix recruiter, you can’t just say, “Oh, well, I love binging Netflix shows,” or Hulu, “I love binging Hulu shows,” that’s not enough to talk about your excitement and interest because it’s so competitive. Would you say that actually creating maybe having like a high Snap score or actually having a show on Snapchat Spotlight, is that extra? I mean, what are you looking for from an excitement point of view or maybe it’s on the research side, maybe you’re not a huge creator, but you know that XYZ happened in the news recently with Snap?
Alex: I love how you phrase that because you would be surprised how many times if Lauren or IRR teams asked why Snap? What interested you about our company? It’s like, “Well, I use it every day.”
You’re like, “So, are the next 320 million viewers,” but okay.
Alex: I was going to say, I mean, I agree with you. I think obviously for us, it’s really researching the company, like what product offerings do we have? What’s up and coming in the news about Snap? What interested you about our company values? I would say this span across any company you’re interested in. Like first and foremost, go to their Careers Page, right? There are tons of information you can gather about the company before you start talking to a recruiter. And to Lauren’s point, our conversations at the get go are a little bit more generalized. Why Snap? Why this role? Let me hear a little bit about yourself. And so, you can be more intentional about the role and your skill sets with the hiring manager, but I think for us, that’s a really good opportunity, not only for us to learn about the candidate and their interests, but arguably Lauren and I are also equally selling the company as well.
Best Practices with Recruiter Screens
You spoke about the Careers Page, which is actually a perfect tee up for our next topic and we’ll talk about that in a second. But one final question on this section with a recruiter screen, they seemed pretty kind of obvious of what questions you’re going to ask. Like you said, Alex, you’re selling Snap just as much as the candidate is selling their experience to work, that you want to make sure it’s a mutual fit for both parties. What gets someone rejected or not getting past the recruiter screen? I know you can’t go into too specifics but just what would make you kind of end the recruiter screen call and say, “That person is not getting to the hiring manager.?”
Alex: Well, I think that there’s direct experience, disconnects as well. So, if we get on a call, it appeared on the resume that the candidate was a fit, but then upon further investigation and talking about their actual role, there isn’t really that direct connection then that’s typically a reason we wouldn’t move them forward. And then Lauren has talked about the through line of our values and everything we do. And so, if we’re really asking more competency-based questions around our values of kind, smart, creative and their philosophy or feelings around those don’t necessarily align with our company then that would probably be a reason not to move forward as well.
Awesome! That makes complete sense. You spoke about the Careers Page before and I know Lauren said, “You need to do your research,” and just as much as a candidate to do the research, we did a ton of research for this episode, of course. And when I was searching through the Careers page pretending that I was a candidate applying to roles at Snap, I saw that first of all, there are thousands of open roles in Snap’s Career page, which is crazy to think about. I mean, spanning from any tech roles to sales, account strategy, revenue, ops, ton of roles. But also, that Snap is the parent company, Snap Inc. has three major brands under it: Snapchat, which we’ve been talking about. I think everybody knows what Snapchat is. There’s Spectacles which is glasses that bring augmented reality to life and then Bitmoji, your digital cartoon character. So, as a candidate, how do you go about approaching the Careers page and are you applying to just one area? Are you applying to Snap in general? And then when you get the offer then they say, “Hey, you’re going to be on this specific project,” because it’s just a little bit difficult to try to figure out what you are applying to from a candidate’s lens?
Lauren: Yeah. Certainly, I can take this one. I think as you mentioned, AJ like when you navigate through our Career page really showcases everything in terms of who we are as a company, our community, our benefits, some of the different brands as you mentioned and of course, like all the open positions across Snap. So, there are numerous open roles across the different teams and areas of the business and kind of the job descriptions or job postings will indicate what team or the particular position sits on so that candidates are able to kind of navigate through in terms of their interests or really what they’re looking for in their next career step.
And when you’re maybe interviewing or having a call with the recruiter for a phone screening, should you get super specific as in like, “I want to work at Spectacles,” or should you go higher level and say, “I want to work at Snap and Spectacles is of interest, but I’m open to the different brands under Snap.”
Alex: I would say when you’re interviewing for a role and I would say arguably my experience is obviously rooted more on the business side so I can’t directly speak to what tech would look like. But for the most part, aside from proprietary information going into that interview, you should be knowing like what product you’re going to be working on. So, I would say like you’ll be prepared for that conversation and even navigating our job site, I would look for buzz words that pertain to your job experience as well. I know you mentioned there are many, many roles but you should be able to sort of navigate through around what department makes sense.
And when I was looking at again, doing research for this episode, I saw that when snap had their IPO or Initial Public Offering in 2017, there was a declaration in the filing pages that read Snap Inc. is a camera company. Obviously, it’s a pretty vague, bold statement. I was just curious for both of you, how has it translated into the day-to-day and is everything rooted in just being a camera company? Is it being lens first? Is it being creator first? What is Snap being a camera company mean to both of you? And we’ll pass it back to Lauren.
Lauren: Yeah, certainly. So, as you mentioned, Snap Inc. is a camera company, like think about when you open your Snapchat. The first thing you’re opening to essentially is the camera and I think there is so much opportunity when we look at how we interact with one another, how we communicate. Our products really empower people to express themselves and really kind of live in the moment, have fun, learn about the world together. I think among some of the different fun lenses that we have, I think it’s just a great authentic way for people to really express themselves. I think cameras are used for capturing a moment and now even more so for communication. So, I think all of that really represents Snap as a camera company.
Alex, kind of a follow up question for you and your experience working with just day-to-day employees at Snap, would you say that a lot of employees are creators or photographers or people who are expressing everything through camera? I can only imagine when you come back on Monday, you say, “How is your weekend?” Lauren is probably like, “Oh, I went to XYZ location. I got a ton of pictures.” The Slack channels or any internal messaging is probably filled with videos and just a ton of content. Have you seen that as this specific company has just been a lot of people focused on creating?
Alex: Yeah. I mean, I would argue most of our employees are the same as our user base, right? They want to express themselves, live in the moment, have fun together. So, I do think that translates both from the user base all the way to the employee side as well. It is great too, because I think as co-workers, we are able to use the product that we’re working on and selling amongst ourselves as well.
Snap Approach on the Social Media Battle from a Recruiting Perspective
Awesome! That’s so great to hear. And I’m sure you probably have the CEO as a Snapchat friend as well. One of the last questions I wanted to ask you is obviously there is a war or a battle going on in just the social media world and it’s obviously hyper competitive, but I saw that in 2021, according to Statista that Snapchat had 320 million daily active users and they were actually the most popular Gen Z social media platform. So, from the recruiting side, how would you say Snap approaches this battle? And are you even thinking about the other positions available to other companies or do you say that that’s almost just background noise and you want to really just double down on what makes Snap unique and focus on the news of the company?
Lauren: Yeah, I can take this one. I think I touched on this earlier really around just companies really differentiating themselves in this space. And I think in the competitive market or landscape that we’re all in, I think there’s always going to be like an ongoing competition for talent. So, I think it is really important to showcase to candidates why we are a differentiator amongst our competitors and I think our values are truly what makes Snap a great place to work. And I think we, at the same time, look for candidates to align with our values and really have the ability to make a positive impact while being kind, smart and creative. I think candidates also get a sense of how we embody those values across teams throughout the interview process as well.
The Final Question
I think such a big part of that is the recruiter, right? Because a lot of times, the candidates first glimpse into what it’s actually like internally other than just reading Glassdoor reviews and seeing Snap in the news is speaking with the recruiters. Again, I said this early before we even started recording that recruiters don’t get enough acknowledgement that they are such a big part of the brand. And if I speak to a recruiter and the recruiter is not nice and they’re not embodying those mission or value statements and they don’t love the company, they don’t love the branding, that’s a huge kind of turn off, a red flag for me. And that’s what we’re trying to do here on the Final Round is we want to share these stories, these insights, these pieces of advice to have Lauren and Alex really continue to promote Snap and obviously what you’ve done, you said kindness and you said everybody at the company wants to create and express themselves and it just obviously is very, very true from what you both have said. So, as much fun as this has been and this has been a wild journey kind of talking about both of your roles and Snap, we are getting to the final question. I know you both are crazy busy and you probably have 50 people waiting in your inbox asking for some time. The final question that we ask for every episode is what is the best piece of advice that you can share with our audience to help them advance past the final round interview and land their dream job? And we’ll throw it over to Alex to kick us off for the final question.
Alex: Yeah. I think, to your point, getting to the final round, we’ve assessed your skill sets, we’ve aligned you to our values, you’re almost there, right? Like you’ve done all of the work and so at that point, it’s really just a matter of us seeing like how you will fit into this company. So, it’s actually a perfect tie in to what I said at the beginning is thank you’s and being kind and humble. I think you’re going to have a lot of different touch points throughout the process, whether it’s the recruiter, the coordinator, the business, maybe an admin. So, I would just say be humble, courteous and respectful to everyone you meet throughout the process because I promise you, it does go a really long way to showcase that you are someone we want at this company.
Lauren: Yeah, I think always be curious, think empathetically and just really be your authentic self throughout the entire process. I think come prepared with questions too. I can’t stress that enough. I think it’s so important like candidates have the opportunity to ask interviewers questions throughout every stage of the process and I think it’s just such a great way to even learn more about the role, the team and Snap as well.
And super quick follow up to that, Lauren from a recruiters’ kind of phone screen to a hiring managers interview, obviously, maybe Lauren you don’t have experience working in revenue option strategy versus the hiring manager does that day-to-day, would you say it’s important to tailor your questions based on who you’re asking to the recruiter versus the hiring manager? And also, what would you say is not a good question to ask?
Lauren: Yeah, I think LinkedIn is such a great tool to have the ability to really look up your interviewer or who you’re meeting with to learn more about them as well. So, you could certainly tailor your questions to the role that they’re in or just tailor it to the specific position that you’re interviewing for or even just ask the question that you’re eager to get answered. So, I always think there’s no wrong question to ask.
Lauren and Alex, thank you so much again for joining us on the Final Round. It was an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait to launch this episode to our audience.
Alex: Thank you so much, AJ.
Lauren: Thanks, AJ. It was so nice getting a chance to chat with you today.
Now that episode was definitely one of my favorite Snapchat memories. If you are interested in careers at Snap and want to check out how they are leveraging extended reality and recruiting, go to Lauren Turrisi’s LinkedIn profile, which is linked in the show notes below. Open Snapchat on your mobile device, scan the QR code and you will see a fun surprise pop up. And be sure to check out the Knockout Newsletter for exclusive career opportunities, business news in the world of recruiting, tips from recruiters and hiring managers and bonus content. Until the next episode of the Final Round, keep fighting and I will see you in the ring.