An inside look: How to land a job at Austin’s 15 fastest growing startups, part 1

October 20, 2014



Austin’s tech scene is growing rapidly, but landing a role at one of these coveted startups can seem daunting.  In this two-part series, we're giving you an inside look at the hiring process of some of the hottest Austin startups. Read on to discover what it takes to get your foot in the door, directly from the companies.



SpareFoot team (1).jpg


The number one thing they look for in an applicant: At SpareFoot, we recruit extremely dynamic personalities with awesome skill sets. Therefore, we like candidates that stand out from the pack and aren't just interested in a "job." We look for people who want to launch their careers and want to have fun while doing so. While we are working every day to make storage sexier, we are also providing a less tech-savvy industry with tools and systems that make the self-storage marketplace more accessible for our consumers and profitable for our clients. And did we mention we have a blast while doing all that?
Hot hiring areas this year: For the rest of Q4, we are primarily hiring for Engineering and Product roles, specifically a Product Owner for Business Applications, an Application Developer, a Mobile Web Developer and a Front End Developer. Our engineers work in a LAMP stack, but we also love to see varying skill sets in our applicants and find that the more varied experience, the better.
The nitty-gritty of the hiring process: The hiring process at SpareFoot depends on the role, but usually consists of three to four rounds of interviews. We don't see multiple interviews as a way to trick, confuse or demotivate our candidates; rather, we want them to meet every possible person that they would interact with in the role at SpareFoot, as well as simultaneously giving the candidate a chance to learn about the role in both phone conversations and in-person interviews. We pride ourselves on providing an excellent candidate experience, as well as giving candidates timely feedback.

Union Metrics



The number one thing they look for in an applicant: On top of meeting the requirements for each specific job, we're looking for candidates who are a good fit with our company's four values: creativity, craftsmanship, humor and humility. We like smart people who work hard, enjoy solving problems, and don't take themselves too seriously.
Hot hiring areas this year: We're hiring mainly in engineering and sales right now, with some upcoming openings in account management, support and marketing.  
The nitty-gritty of the hiring process: Ideally, we'd start with a brief phone call to see if there's interest from both parties in moving forward. If so, you'd then come in to our office for an in-person interview. Half of our team is in San Francisco, so someone may be dialing in from that office. That interview will be between one and three hours, depending on the role you're interviewing for. After that, the next steps will vary, but hopefully it ends with you joining our team! 




The number one thing they look for in an applicant: Our team is lean, but we accomplish a lot in a short amount of time and have a lot of fun doing it. We're looking for people who are driven to really produce excellent work and make an integral contribution to the team beyond just checking off tasks. We also laugh a lot so this is an important quality in anyone interested in joining the team.
Hot hiring areas this year: Right now we're hiring front-end and back-end developers.
The nitty-gritty of the hiring process: We take time to learn a candidate's professional story and share our collective vision for the company. Our founders are closely involved in making sure the person will work well with the other team members and feel like a core part of the team. The candidate will often come see the office and get the chance to meet everyone. Regardless of the decision, we follow up with the candidate and provide feedback.

StepOne, Inc


The number one thing they look for in an applicant: Culture fit, not just desire. Personality and drive must have been demonstrated in previous roles by the way in which the candidate interacted with their teams.
Hot hiring areas this year: Developers (Python preferred for back-end and Javascript libraries like Angular.js or Node.js experience for front-end), office manager/admin, and sales and marketing.
The nitty-gritty of the hiring process: After we determine if there is a culture fit, then the candidate must meet technical requirements. The full process typically involves a couple of phone screens and a day onsite with the team.

Kinnser Software


The number one thing they look for in an applicant: The first thing we look for is passion for the craft. Our culture is built around our dedication to our customers, because we know the impact this has on improving healthcare. Everything we do, we do it with that mission in mind. This is why everyone that comes onboard our team is extremely passionate about what they do.
Hot hiring areas this year: Where aren't we hiring? Our biggest focus right now is on building an Applied Analytics team and a few Development teams. We are also looking for roles in Marketing, Sales, Product Management, and Client Services.
The nitty-gritty of the hiring process: Our hiring process can be extensive. Yes, we are picky, but only because we want to ensure all our colleagues are going to fit our culture and mission. You can rest assured that we will communicate with you throughout the process, because we are aware that this is a two way relationship.


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The number one thing they look for in an applicant: The will and determination to succeed. We can teach any candidate how to sell but we could never give them the determination they need to come work hard every single day.
Hot hiring areas this year: We are hiring mainly for Sales Reps, Account Managers and Software Engineers in the Austin area.
The nitty-gritty of the hiring process: Our hiring process for sales consists of a preliminary interview, a mix of sitting on the sales floor and speaking with our top sales managers. We also implement a short personality test for the candidates to see where their strengths are.

Clarify, Inc



The number one thing they look for in an applicant: For developers, we look for very solid programming fundamentals. More generally, we're looking for people who relish taking ownership of projects, where they can contribute to figuring out what needs to be done, how to do it, and see it through to completion.
Hot hiring areas this year: Programmers! Backend and fullstack programmers as well as those with experience in signal processing, speech, and NLP.
The nitty-gritty of the hiring process: We typically start with a phone interview so both sides can get to know each other a bit. This is followed by a more technical in-person interview.

Click here to read part two of the series

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