Recruiters Reveal: Interview With Kylie Hurst from You.i TV
Since their launch in 2009, You.i TV, has been one to watch and have continued to grow exponentially.
Continuing to grow.
This is something we hear companies talk about all the time. With this type of growth and a super competitive market, we have to ask “what got them to that point?”.
The answer is people..
When it comes to people and business, we have seen so many different HR-strategies, tactics, and processes to try and recruit top talent. So what’s working?
To get the inside scoop, Splice, turned to Ottawa recruitment and people strategy powerhouse – Kylie Hurst – and found out her philosophy on how to stand out in one of the fastest moving industries, tech.
Kylie highlights the importance of “living” your brand and culture. In other words, practice what you preach and follow through with what you’ve sold. Putting an emphasis on People (over Resources) and Leveling-Up (over net new searches) have contributed to her success. As both Talent Program Manager at You.i TV and Founder of The Recruiter Collective, Kylie is a major influencer in the Talent community.
So let’s get into it!
Can you please tell us a little about yourself and what you do at You.i TV?
I am the Talent Programs Manager at You.i TV. It involves a little bit of everything across the company to really take a holistic and strategic approach to aligning our People and our business drivers. You have to play to the strengths of the talented people you have hired, empowered, and believe in to get things done. At the forefront though, is fostering an amazing culture and an encouraging & supportive place to be.
Taking a look at the majority of new hires at You.i TV – how many of them would you say came through internal referrals, headhunting, or the traditional application process? Can you break it down by percentages?
It’s really hard to put a granular figure on this or break it down to percentages. It’s all about employment branding and getting to the crux of the issue. There are huge gaps and shortages in the talent market as a whole. That’s why our team is really focused on working with post secondary, high schools, and even elementary, to get kids interested in and confident enough to pursue a career in the sciences. We taught a whole group of toddlers about programming via Osmo kits over Mother’s Day. It was so sweet and rewarding!
On a more reactive note though – promote your culture and organizationally live by what you promote. Focus on making your workplace a genuine place to be (no matter how big or small) and people will want to work there & refer their network. Referrals are such a huge indicator of employee engagement.
How important is your online presence these days? The market is SO competitive! Is having a strong Linkedin profile a game changer?
I think LinkedIn is great for promoting your business and building your brand – it is important. Especially for Executive-Level or Sales headhunting initiatives. In tech, you have to be where your audience is – especially for passive talent – it’s not LinkedIn, Job Boards, or anything-HR related. Figure out who you are trying to target and get creative with your approach.
Tell us one thing you never want to see again on a resume.
People who list skills they wouldn’t be comfortable speaking on. I used to be fluently bilingual – but I haven’t kept up with it. So, I couldn’t imagine being called out on that in an interview. Just be honest with your capabilities and you’ll impress them. Especially, if you actually know more in an area than they initially thought. The inverse is just a let down and doesn’t set you up for success. It’s better to undersell as they say.
Say I make the first pass and get invited to an interview. Can you describe the interview process as briefly as possible?
If this is a technical interview you’ll actually meet with other devs or designers on your project team. You’d have been briefed by me in advance (lol) so you’ll know what to expect going in and who you’re meeting with. Interviews are not natural for anyone by any stretch so we try to keep it as natural as possible. We do a short technical evaluation where the candidate chats through their answers aloud and together with the interviewers – we get a sense of your thought process. Then you’d meet with the Dev Manager who would chat through our work style, development process, and team fit. The whole thing takes about 2 hours.
You.i TV is a tech company, so I assume the majority of roles you recruit for are technical. Aside from the obvious tech skills – what else do you look for in a candidate?
We just look for attitude. You can’t hire someone for one language. Over time, that language or platform or framework will change. We hire people who have a growth mindset and can (and want to) adapt to a changing industry. So, we really just hire for attitude and aptitude for learning.
You.i TV has a pretty unique vibe that’s offbeat yet accessible, which we assume carries over into your office culture. Would you hire someone who is a cultural fit over someone who has more industry experience and hard skills?
It would be SUPER rare to find someone locally who has industry experience in our space. We are pretty uniquely positioned as not only a Product company but one who has built out an extremely successful Services arm in one of the fastest moving industries – media & entertainment.
Do you have a favourite story of an application that really stuck with you? Something that stood out and got passed around between your team?
I had someone recently whom answered every specification we had with an open posting outlining his experience with every requirement – he included Github projects and evidence to back it up. It was extremely clear and honest.
Any parting advice for us? Anything in your role today that you are looking forward to?
Talent Acquisition includes more than catering to and focusing on external hiring strategies. You have to know what talent you have in-house, what hidden skills your devs have, what they could (and what to) cross-train others on, and what new skills they want to learn – you have to facilitate both the career and personal growth of your people to really assess what you should invest in/what you need moving forward. You have to know and grow what you have to make a plan on what you need in the future.