How We Hire at MOIA: A Look Inside Our Hiring Process

by Gabi Wegner & Benjamin Moehle

A good interview has to be challenging? We do not think so! Have you ever been able to be truly yourself in challenging situations? No one of us has!

We know that hiring processes can be stressful and uncomfortable, and we do not want you to feel uncomfortable at MOIA. We want to get to know you and we want you to get to know us. There is no right or wrong, it is about finding out if your needs are meeting our needs as a company.

Our hiring process is an important part of our culture and growth journey. We at MOIA care a lot for one another and for every new member joining our team. Therefore, many of our colleagues invest a lot of time and quality into our hiring process. We truly see hiring holistically and view it as a team responsibility. Ben and Gabi from our People & Relations Team took the time to share some insights into our hiring process.

To get started, can you describe what the hiring process at MOIA looks like?

Ben: Usually, you can expect our hiring process to consist of the following steps after handing in your application: a first interview to kick things off, followed by either a coding challenge, a case study, a second interview or something similar. Finally, we often finish the hiring process with a Try Day. However, we want our hiring to be as agile as possible and will factor in the personal needs of the candidate, specific requirements for a position or other special circumstances.

For us, the first personal touchpoint after receiving your application or contacting you is an interview so we can get to know each other. There are always two colleagues present to give you a good overview of both the technical and the cultural side of working at MOIA: one member of your future team or chapter and one of us, the People & Relations Team.

If both sides, you and the hiring team, want to move forward, we invite you to take part in, for example, our coding challenge. This step of the hiring process should give you a good idea of future tasks in the potential role and helps us to understand how you approach a problem and work on finding a solution.

During our last step, the Try Day, you get the chance to meet the prospective team and to experience the future work environment firsthand. The Try Day at MOIA bundles together different meetings depending on the role like a technical talk with peers, a get-to-know with the team, and a meeting with one of our directors of engineering.

MOIA hiring process

That is quite a lot of people you will meet during the process! It is very important to us so that you can get a lot of different perspectives about working at MOIA, so you have a good foundation and are enabled to make a good and informed decision for yourself.

You mentioned that a lot of people are involved with hiring at MOIA. How do you make sure that everyone is on the same page?

Gabi: At MOIA, we hire as a team. That means that recruiters, as well as hiring managers, share responsibility in the process. We follow a practice of agile recruiting, including a lot of transparency, shared responsibility and collaboration.

We share all our open positions and their status in a Kanban board that is accessible to everyone in our company. Also, we give regular updates in our company breakfast, a company-wide meeting happening monthly about our recruitment activities and our KPIs to enable everyone to get involved and continuously improve our existing processes. In our regular hiring workshops, hiring managers learn about our recruiting process and diagnostics to improve their skills. In our role as recruiters, we also act as sparring partners for the teams by enabling them and helping them find solutions.

How do you make sure that your hiring process is inclusive?

Gabi: We are aware that we have to be accountable for the responsibility of hiring or rejecting a person. This has an influence on our culture, how we work and, in the end, how successful our business is. At MOIA this is clearly not a gut feeling decision.

We offer hiring workshops and unconscious bias workshops to learn about diagnostics, reflect about ourselves and our personal biases that influence our decision-making. We introduced an inclusive hiring guide that is helping our teams to write more inclusive job ads and are challenging classical requirements such as specific numbers of years of experience or the need to send a photograph with the application.

Decisions are never made by only one or two people. We hire as a team and we decide as a team to ensure that our hiring decisions are as objective as possible. We arrange feedback rounds after every hiring process where everyone who was involved in the process has a chance to share feedback and where we decide together whether we hire or reject a person.

Hiring Workshop 2019

From your experience, what connects most of the people applying to MOIA?

Gabi: A lot of candidates are fascinated by the idea of having an impact on rethinking mobility solutions. Especially tech and product people are motivated to work on a tangible product where one can see the result driving on the streets (your code on the road) Also, being able to personally try the product and show it to family and friends is often a big motivation. People are also fascinated to work on futuristic hot topics such as changing the way of mobility through autonomous driving. In the end, who does not want to be part of that chapter?

What differentiates us from other companies is that we have an agile company culture of co-determination, but at the same time also the security and resources backed by the Volkswagen Group that enable us to grow and fulfill our ambitious mission. At MOIA a lot of our employees are interested in mobility, care for sustainability, are interested in working in diverse teams and are embracing an inclusive working environment.

How would you describe the company culture at MOIA, what kind of people do fit to this?

Gabi: We were born agile. From day one, we used different methods according to the individual needs of each team. Most of our employees have worked for tech companies and startups before, and are familiar with the agile approach, however, in some roles we also do have people coming from corporate backgrounds. In the past years, we were growing a lot and still are. This means constant change and a dynamic environment. A lot of people appreciate this, since no single day is like the other, while people coming from environments with a lot of structure and hierarchies with the need for stability might not feel comfortable at MOIA. We like to collaborate, and our product development teams work cross-functionally, therefore we need people who like to connect and communicate across the organization. Another thing that we have in common is that we love to take responsibility. There are a lot of opportunities to take ownership and bring in your ideas, no matter what your role is.

There must be some situations where you share some laughs when you do a lot of interviews. Can you share a funny moment?

Ben: Especially since we are doing a lot of interviews remotely, the unexpected can happen all the time. For us it is just particularly important to take the stress out of the situation for the candidate, e.g., offering creative solutions for technical hiccups or when a child needs immediate attention. One of the funniest and at the same time most heartwarming moments in an interview I had started with a sneezing baby in a candidate’s background. Without a second thought, my colleague lifted her own baby into the camera as well. It made the situation so much lighter and natural. And we shared a good laugh, too.

Of course, we also have seen the occasional flatmate, family member or cat take part in the interview accidentally or walk over the keyboard (in the case of the cat). This happens more often than you might think!

What is important for you as a recruiter during the interview and during the entire hiring process?

Ben: We know that looking for a job, applying for open positions and attending interviews can be quite stressful, so we want to take the pressure out of the situation as much as possible. For example, we see our first interview more as a get-to-know where both sides share insights and information with the goal to have a clearer picture of one another.

We want to really understand your background and what sparks your interest. We certainly don’t want to stress you and waste time with catalog questions that yield questionable results. Instead, we want to create an environment that is appreciative and authentic so that you get the feeling that you can be your authentic self during the different meetings with us as well.

We put a big emphasis on making the entire process as smooth and clear for the candidates as possible. That means we are responsive and accountable for our commitments of giving feedback in a timely manner and making sure that it is a positive experience for our candidates — independent of having a match or not. For example, if we do not think there is a match after having the first conversation together, we always offer a feedback call to explain our decision in detail and use the chance to exchange feedback.

How can candidates prepare themselves for the interview?

Gabi: The interview is about getting to know each other, understanding what you are looking for and checking if that matches with what we need at MOIA. We are interested in really getting to know you as an authentic person, so don’t prepare to be someone you are not. It helps of course if you reflected on the role and responsibilities that you applied for.

Also, we are always curious to understand what you would like to learn and about your ideas of personal growth. If you live in Hamburg or Hanover, book a MOIA and try it out yourself or download our app to check out our digital products behind the ridesharing service.

You might want to do some research and find out more about our culture and how we work. We recommend reading our blog, having a look at our Kununu reviews and following us on our social channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

How can I apply for a job at MOIA?

Ben: You can have a look at our career page and check out our open roles. We would love to hear from you! Applying at MOIA is easy and only takes a few minutes, you just need to upload your CV or submit your LinkedIn profile. And if you are in Tech and you do not find a fitting role, you can also send us an initiative application.

You should also apply in case you do not meet all the requirements mentioned for a role. We want to offer you learning opportunities to support your individual growth at MOIA.

If you have questions or want to know more about working at MOIA you can contact us directly, e.g., me or my colleague Jovana on LinkedIn. And if you do not want to miss anything on what we are up to at MOIA, you can check out our social channels and online resources as mentioned by Gabi.

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Our code on the road to future mobility.