CandE Time!

Case-Mate is thrilled to participate in the 2013 Candidate Experience process administered by The Talent Board.  What exactly is “Candidate Experience”?  It’s an opportunity for anyone that has applied for a job with us to provide feedback on their experience.

No matter how far you went in the process, please take 15-30 minutes to complete a short survey about your engagement as a Case-Mate candidate.

The Talent Board is a third party, non-profit organization with a mission to improve the experience provided by companies.  The Talent Board is administering the survey on our behalf, but please note that we will receive your confidential feedback as well and we are excited to have you engage us in return. 

Please click here to access your survey:  http://bit.ly/CE13_CaseMate 

Thank you in advance for your participation and we look forward to nurturing all of our future talent!

Sincerely,

Case-Mate Talent Acquisition Team

Interview with a Dog

Hi my name Gus, I have been invited to write a guest post on the Case-Mate Careers blog.  We were recently mentioned in an article for the Atlanta Business Chronicle, so I thought I would give my perspective (since no one bothered to interview me the first time around).  The HR guy gave me access and free reign, so here goes……

It all started when I was just a small pup,  I started bringing my human to the office since he is always happy to see me and loves it when I bring him things (minus the occasionally unidentified thrown-up objects or UTO’s).  All day he talks on the phone, plays on the rectangle glow box and makes clicking sounds with his fingers…..he calls it work, but try pulling a sled or saving people’s lives….then we can talk work.

I enjoy bringing him here because he gets the chance to play with other humans.  They are always laughing, talking and wagging their tails (especially on Wednesday’s and Friday’s — more about that later).

There are lots of canines here and since I am kind of a big deal, keeping the office politics to a minimal is fairly easy.  If someone doesn’t like it, I just slobber on them or lick their shoes clean….always does the trick.  In extreme cases a bark and wag of the tail makes the humans putty in my paws.

Most of the office canines understand the proper use of grass for doing ones “private” business, occasionally a new pup arrives and forgets he/she is inside the building (most likely its a small bladder or over excitement issue) and then the human has to clean it up — another reason it’s great being a dog :)-

On Wednesdays the humans all sit down in a large area and eat together.  It’s not the ideal food for my refined pallet (pizza, mexican, sandwiches, salads etc…), but hey I am not one to turn down a few fallen crumbs if it hits my bowl.  Friday afternoons around 3:30 the music starts playing and all the human gather around once again and drink from oddly shaped bottles — a concept that make no sense given I prefer a constant flow in my bowl, but hey…whatever catches your cat.

After a long day in the office and in between naps, potty breaks and chasing other dogs, I like to lay around and reflect on the day’s events.  I am glad to bring my human in and watch him play (or as he calls it “work” with his friends).  He never lets me drive home, but all the way I am thinking about how much fun I have and how lucky he is that I can bring him with me…..hey what’s that over there….SQUIRREL!!!  Got to go!

Candidates Just Want to Know: Where Do I Stand?

We recently posted a position for a Director of Information Technology. I received 328 resumes within 12 days, schedule 7 interviews and have made it half way through the interviewing process. So what about the 321 candidates not selected?

The honest answer; it’s impossible to go through every single resume. The 7 selected for the next phase of the process were due to the following reasons;

  1. Someone inside the company referred them or let us know that their contact applied
  2. They made contact via an outside network (our Facebook page, LinkedIn etc…)
  3. Luck;  we looked at their resume at the top of the stack and they happen to be on top.

Yesterday we sent an email out to all 328 candidates and explained exactly where we were in the process and their standing.  Below is the message.

Thank you for your interest in Case-Mate. We have 300+ applicants with an expressed interest in this role. We are in the interview stages with seven active candidates and hope to reach a final decision in the next few weeks.

We thought it better to provide an update versus leaving applicants wondering. If anything changes we will def reach out!

Best regards,

Alex Putman
Director of Talent Attraction & Recruitment Branding
http://www.linkedin.com/in/alexputman

The response was overwhelming.  Lots of positive comments and “thank you’s”.  One person did “pull” himself from the running.  The point is, candidates just want to know where they stand in the process (good or bad).  Most of our Applicant Tracking Systems allow us an easy way to communicate to our candidates.

3 minutes of my time and 1 honest email provided a positive experience for 328 people.  People we may hire at some point in the future, people who will have an impact on the company’s future as consumers and people who just want to know versus being in a black hole.

7 Memorable Interviews

In 2012 we interviewed over 300 people!  During that time we hired a little over a 1/3 of the interviewees; which means 2/3 walked away with some impression of us as a company.  Let’s recount some of our more memorable interviews:

  1.  Ms. Prepared:  this candidate stood out because she arrived in the interview with handouts full of data and plans.  Her research was spot on for the role she was interviewing and her data was pretty accurate for not being an “insider” or having an inside connection.  We liked the charts and effort she took in preparing for the interview.
  2. Mr. Excited:  You could tell the minute he walked in that he was excited about the organization.  He obviously watched our videos and understood our culture.  Dogs, people busting in on the interview and the casual dress did not shake him!  Love when someone knows what they are getting into.
  3. Mr. Uncomfortable:  All interviewees are invited in with the notice that we are extremely casual and therefore please DO NOT wear a tie, Mr. U came in full suit & tie.  After confirming that he received the notification, we informed him that he could remove the tie (if he wanted)…to which he stated “that would be way too uncomfortable.”  I guess you just have to see our environment to understand it (thus the videos)
  4. Ms. My Boss Sucks:  Yeah, she did not say it exactly that way, but did tell us how she was really running the show and that her boss did not do anything (except take credit for her work)…..may be true, but not a great way to start the interview.
  5. Ms. Two Shoes:  yes, she came in wearing two different shoes, they were both the same color,however the heel was extremely different….. One toe was square and one was round, and one had straps the other did not…..
  6. Mr. Needs a Double Shot:  Laid back is one thing, but interviewing like a zombie is completely different!  One guy came in like the cast of Walking Dead, totally zoned and not focused on any questions…..
  7.  Ms. You’re Hired NOW:  When someone walks in and exudes confidence, intelligence, and poise plus is a great story teller, go ahead and make the offer then!  We did and she has been an awesome resource.  Answered every question, open and honest, extremely likeable and high intelligence will go a long way!

Hopefully this trip down memory lane provides insight into the mind of the interviewer and how we perceive the interviews.  I am willing to bet that some of the interviewees would tell a different story.  Regardless, be yourself and know what you are looking for….everybody will be better off for it!

Too anxious to wait for next week…

Case-Mates decided to bring in the holidays a week early. If we are going to gain our winter weight, we are gaining it today! Starting with brunch.

The spread: every glutenous piece of pastry you can conceive (baked or bought), customized waffles/pancakes, some traditional egg nog and apple cider. Oh, and fruit, for that one vegan in every company.

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White Santa followed in the afternoon. Even those who didn’t participate in the gift exchange showed-up to spectate. They know that in this company, there is bound to be at least one gift that pushes the envelope in one ridiculous direction or another.

And they were right.

Congratulations, Rad! You are the official owner of a hamster. Wish we were a fly on the wall to witness your family’s reaction when you arrive home with this…

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And for the cherry on the holday festivities cake, we commenced judgement on each team’s space decorations. Take a look at all of the creative, original and (in many ways) very tacky decor:

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Most spirited goes to:

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And, of course, every company has one of these:

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So, until next year, Happy Holidays from the Case-Mate Team!

Welcome our new team member – Isjuan!

Name: Isjuan
Department: Operations

Isjuan is from his hometown of Tallahassee, Fl.
He never misses an episode of Spartacus
and “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson will get him dancing.
His favorite dinner joint is Pappa’s but he’d happily eat gummy bears the rest of his life.
He’s known for being very inquisitive,
but you’d find it surprising to know that he has lots of tattoos.
He’s in good company here :)

Check Isjaun out here

What are Case-Mates thankful for this Thanksgiving?

I’m thankful for Case-mate because I’ve been given so many great opportunities since the day I was hired almost 4 years ago, I feel privileged to be a part of this company and hope to keep building a career here. – Lauren C

I am thankful to work for a company with an entrepreneurial spirit where individual contributions are valued.  Also thankful for fuzzy puppies to pet every once in a while. – Marianne C

I am thankful to work at Case-Mate for the opportunity collaborate with peers from all different backgrounds to collectively grow this company together. – Katie H

I am thankful to work at Case-Mate because I never, ever dread Monday!  – Alex P

I’m thankful for Case-Mate for providing me a home away from home, and letting me do what I’m passionate about – Benny L

I’m thankful to work for Case-Mate because of the creative and relaxed atmosphere; I don’t feel like I’m “at work” when I’m at work – John Y

I’m thankful for my awesome coworkers that go above and beyond to help me anytime that I need them. – Julia M

I am thankful for Case-Mate’s fun-loving culture. – Andy S

I’m thankful for always feeling like I can be myself. Which, at times, means being a huge goofball and extreme nerd. -Anastasia B

I’m thankful for having colleagues that can make me laugh. – Ben C

I’m thankful to be able to work in an innovative and creative enviroment. – Emily S

I am thankful for Case-Mate’s constant push for evolution; it keeps all departments on our toes to come up with new ideas and develop strategies for “the next step.” Change makes business fun. – Jackie B

I am thankful to work for a guy that wants to build a premium, high-quality product! – Tom F

I am thankful to work for Case-Mate because we foster and reward entrepreneurial initiative. – Chris P

I am thankful for Case-Mate for the achievements made and the company’s vision for the future. – Alma C

I am thankful to work for Case-Mate where happiness is the foundation and key ingredient to all that we do!  - Sherri L

I am thankful for the energy and drive that the company exhibits, it has makes for a fun and enjoyable workplace! – Pete W

I am thankful for the knowledge of business I have gained over my 5  years at Case-mate. – Josh B

I am thankful for Case-Mate’s atmosphere of creative freedom. – Rob W

I’m thankful for the clear vision Case-Mate’s leadership team is giving to us, and the ability to make changes quickly as the market demands. – Julia B

I’m thankful that Case-mate allows me to bring my furry friend to work with me. – Kimberly S

I’m thankful to work at Case-Mate because we absolutely have the VERY BEST team of employees!  - Megan L

Meet some new Case-Mates!

Case-Mate:   Julia
Department: Sales

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Julia is from good ol’ Louisville, Kentucky. She loves the show Modern Family, which means she has a funny bone in her body, and she can probably run, bike and swim laps around most of us any day of the week, Why? As an advocate of Half Iron-mans, she’ll be competing in–not one–but two! That’s a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run! Did we mention that she’s a new mom too? Looks like we’ve hired superwoman!

Case-Mate: Sarah
Department: Information Technology

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She’s a Peru native, but she calls Atlanta her hometown (a.k.a. southern girl at heart). This UI Developeing rockstar loved traveling to Barcelona, dubbing it her favorite place she’s ever visited. But when she isn’t traveling or kicking butt at work, she’s probably catching up on the latest episodes of Castle.

Case-Mate: Marianne
Department: Information Technology

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She’ll crack-up to the movie Office Space any day of the week. She could tell you about her trip to France (favorite place she’s traveled), but the story you reeeaalllyyy want to hear is the summer she spent following the Grateful Dead in a VW minibus…almost famous?

WELCOME TO THE TEAM, LADIES!!

CM’s Talent Acquisition Team Leaves for Chicago and Come Home Winners!

Case-Mate’s Talent Acquisition Team (Alex and Anastasia), along with the VP of Human Resources (Nancy), were Chi-town bound last week. During the day, they were able to check out the HR Tech Conference and its grandiose exposition. By night, they were dodging the Chicago bitter cold by hopping in and out of “networking” events. Side-note: If ever anyone tells you that HR professionals can’t be the life of the party, they’re lying.

But let’s get to the real reason for this trip. Months ago, Case-Mate’s TA team took a–what was thought to be a premature–risk to enter a competition that determined which companies should be recognize for their positive and ameliorating candidate engagement. A little company like Case-Mate in the running against huge fortune 500 juggernauts seemed like a far shot from a win, but a good way to at least benchmark the team’s progress. So they entered–fingers, toes, eyes, and arms crossed. Round one quickly advanced on to rounds two and three, and It wasn’t until they were finalists for the CandE award when it actually hit them, that all their hard work and determination to build a candidate experience from the ground-up would fruition into a force to be reckoned with. Then, like every good fairy tale and “Little Engine That Could” story ending, they won!

But the team knows the hard work isn’t over yet. It’s one thing to bring something to life and a complete other to maintain it. With that said, don’t be surprised to see the TA team working even harder this year to snatch a second win! :)

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Nancy, Alex and Anastasia receiving the 2012 CandE Award

 “We are honored to be recognized for our diversity and engagement efforts by the Talent Board,” said Anastasia Bartolucci, Talent Acquisition at Case-Mate, “We realize how sensitive the job search process can be for most people, which is one of many reasons we focus on being candidate-conscious and approach the process with fragility.”

Check out the official PRESS RELEASE here!

The Chicago “bean” in Millennium Park

On a second side-note: Anyone who tells me this is a lake–not an ocean–is also lying.

View from the hotel of Lake Michigan