If you’ve ever needed to contact us at Laridian for assistance, you’ve probably been fortunate to have been helped by Patty. If you go way back, you may have even talked with Patty on the phone. Patty has been our front-line provider of customer support for several years, is knowledgeable about our products, and genuinely interested in helping you resolve any problem that you might be having. (Well, maybe not any problem… but for sure any problem with a Laridian product 🙂 ).
However, as competent as Patty might be, she’s still just one person. So, we recently began a search to find her some help.
As we were seeking a new person to help on a part-time basis with technical support and customer service, we knew we were looking for some one with a special set of talents:
- Knowledge about our products,
- Knowledge about our subject field (the Bible, mobile computing, etc.),
- Excellent written communication skills,
- Ability to follow instructions,
- Desire to help our customers,
- And, finally, patience, because (as difficult as it might be to believe) sometimes the frustrations of an unexpected problem can bring additional challenges to a support situation.
Knowing that we were looking for some one special, we chose to advertise for our part-time position in three venues:
- our local newspaper
- here at this blog
Additionally, in order to test written communication skills and the ability to follow instructions, the application process included some very specific instructions.
For some (as yet unknown) reason, the ad never appeared on craigslist. So, we didn’t receive any applicants from that source.
The ad in our local newspaper did generate some responses. However, none of these applicants followed the specific instructions that we provided. As a result, these applicants didn’t receive any of our attention. After all, if one cannot follow the application details, how will one perform at a detail-oriented job? (Hint: if you ever apply for a position with Laridian, or even as a beta tester, make sure you follow all of the provided instructions. That’s always our first filter, and it is surprisingly effective.)
Fortunately, the article here in our blog did generate interest from several interested and qualified persons. Many, but not all, followed the instructions, and thus made it past the first step. The remaining applicants were all strong candidates. Plus, most were also customers, and therefore already had knowledge of our products.
The second step was a brief questionnaire, sent to each remaining applicant. The questionnaire was designed to further explore written communication skills as well as to obtain more information than what had been originally asked for.
The third step was to further filter our qualified applicants. Craig and I independently reviewed the resumes and responses, then independently ranked the applicants based upon our own individual criteria. When we compared our results, we found that while our rankings weren’t exactly the same, we did seem to be in general agreement.
For the fourth step, I then conducted telephone interviews with the top few applicants. During a 60 to 90 minute conversation, we discussed the company, the position, and the candidate.
The result? If you need to contact us for assistance, you might still be fortunate to be assisted by Patty. But if not, you’ll probably be fortunate to be assisted by Brett. Brett has been an ardent Laridian customer for several years and is excited about the future of mobile computing and its impact on Bible study.
Plus, we learned that “advertising” here in our blog is an effective way to seek candidates for job openings. You all are a remarkably qualified and diverse group!