Characteristics we look for in Sticker Mule team members

Posted by Anthony Constantino on Apr 21st, 2016

Recently, we decided to codify the characteristics we look for in new team members to help maintain our culture as we grow. Since our inception, we have always hired for a particular type of person although it was never explicit. As hiring became more distributed we spent a while thinking about what it is that unites us.

Culture is even more important when you're remote.

The importance of culture isn't immediately apparent when you’re small but it becomes quite obvious once you grow. Without care, culture can change quickly; especially when you’re hiring fast. It only takes a few people that do not fit your model to create a cultural change that quickly spreads. That’s why we are relentless about hiring people that strengthen our culture and avoiding people that don’t.

Culture is even more important when you're remote. Since we spend little time together in person, and in some cases never see each other, a shared outlook helps us understand each other even if we never met. We might come from all over the world, but we all tend to be humble, independent, logical, thoughtful and autodidactic. We try to hire other people that have these characteristics too.

Here's a glimpse at the characteristics of people we look to hire at Sticker Mule and why:

Humble

Possesses a modest view of one’s abilities and importance.

Why: People fail when the disparity between what they can do and what they think they can do becomes too vast. Humility is a prerequisite for improving and in a fast growing company there’s a constant need to scale your abilities as the needs of the company change.

Independent

Good to work with but able to get stuff done on their own too.

Why: Time is finite so it’s important to respect each other’s time by working independently when possible, yet being pleasant to collaborate with when necessary. The best teams, in companies, sports or otherwise, are comprised of talented people that know how and when to interact to achieve a goal.

Logical

Strong decision making skills that we can trust.

Why: Success is the result the sum of our decisions and actions. Decision making skills are incredibly hard to train so we avoid people that lack them. Responsibilities change as we grow, so we favor logical people over those who are merely experienced.

Thoughtful

Concerned about the well-being of others and the company as a whole.

Why: People that put the well-being of each other first can be trusted to make optimal decisions. Anyone that is inconsiderate towards the feelings of others is difficult to trust no matter how intelligent, logical or experienced because they tend to optimize for their own benefit.

Autodidactic

Willing and able to learn from others and on their own.

Why: Organizations require new skills as they evolve. People that are unable to self educate run the risk of eventually becoming a burden because it can be hard to place them if our needs change.

Concluding thought

At Sticker Mule, we hire for two things: skill and personality. It’s hard to pass on a skilled person because their personality doesn’t fit, but if you aim for longevity it’s critical that you do. We intend to be around for a long time. I suspect and hope most of our team will retire from Sticker Mule. If you feel like you will fit in well with our team then you should apply to join us. We'd love to hear from you.

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