I am reporting live from the Society for Human Resource Management‘s annual conference, where I was able to meet with Alex Douzet, co-founder and president of TheLadders.com, which announced the launch of its Signature product at the conference. An edited version of our conversation follows.
What do you look for when you’re hiring?
The right skills for the job, as well as the right cultural fit. Our culture is collaborative and achievement-oriented. Some people want to work for a successful company only to be part of that success, and some want want to help build that success. We want to attract the second type.
Has it been challenging to maintain that culture as the company expands?
In some ways. One of the toughest periods was during the recession. The employment sector was particularly challenging during that time, and we had to trim the workforce a little. We didn’t know what impact that was going to have on the culture. But we made it through. You don’t make your success in good times; you make it in bad times.
How would you describe TheLadders.com’s mission?
To find the right people for the right jobs. It’s more of a curated network, as opposed to the earliest versions of the job boards, which were all about having the most listings. We’re not claiming we’ll find you the most jobs; it’s all about applying for those five or six jobs that are the right fit.
What does the innovation process look like at TheLadders.com?
We’re never short of ideas, so we filter through them with a voting process. Strategy isn’t what you say yes to; it’s what you say no to.