by Andreas Rekdal
April 9, 2018

Having grown from 15 employees to more than 30 in the past year alone — with plans to expand aggressively in 2018 — Spark Hire has no shortage of emerging opportunities. Or willingness to give current team members a chance to take them on.

“That [growth] mentality is one of the best things about working at Spark Hire,” said Hannah Goldenberg, who joined the startup as a sales development representative but is now heading up its marketing efforts.

Spark Hire, whose interview software is used by companies like IKEA, Volkswagen and the United States Postal Service, also prides itself on its close-knit culture. And on going the extra mile to make interviewees and new hires feel welcome.

“When I first walked into the office, I immediately noticed the atmosphere,” said Ben Stein, a Spark Hire sales development representative. “Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there.”

We spoke with Goldenberg, Stein and two other “Sparktans” about their day-to-day work, what they look for in new coworkers and what most excites them about the year to come.

 

spark hire office shot
Photography by Allison williams

spark hire office workers

spark hire logo wall

 

LAUNCHED: 2012.

NUMBER OF SPARKTANS: 30.

WHAT THEY DO: Spark Hire is a video interviewing platform that streamlines the hiring process for more than 4,000 clients in over 100 countries.

WHERE THEY DO IT: Northbrook, Ill.

TEAM BONDING: Spark Hire hosts monthly happy hours, as well as special outings like Cubs games and football viewing parties. Some brave Sparktans even organized a group for the Polar Plunge.

LOOKING FOR: Hard-working individuals with a sense of humor and a friendly disposition.

 

spark hire collaboration

hannah goldenberg spark hire

 

Hannah Goldenberg, Marketing Associate

A one-person marketing powerhouse, Goldenberg is responsible for writing everything from e-books to email campaigns and website copy. She also works with members of other teams to develop customer webinars and implement Spark Hire’s chatbot, Sparky.

BEYOND WORK: Goldenberg loves baking bread because it combines creativity with her love of science and chemistry.

 

You made the move from being a sales development representative to taking on Spark Hire’s marketing. What was that like?

At first, terrifying! But I knew marketing would better fit my strengths, so I gladly accepted the change. I’m glad I did because my experiences as an SDR have helped me bring a unique perspective to our marketing efforts.

We have the advantage of being a growing organization, which allows us to hire people who fit our culture, identify their strengths and place them in a position where we can best capitalize on those strengths. That mentality is one of the best things about working at Spark Hire.

We hire people who fit our culture, identify their strengths and place them in a position where we can best capitalize on those strengths.”

What is the most interesting challenge you’ve taken on in your job?

As an SDR, I noticed that potential customers would sometimes book demos with our sales team without ever talking to a development rep. That made it difficult for account executives to personalize their demos, so I started reaching out to people with upcoming demos to ask what they were looking for. Arming AEs with more information helped make our demos more successful. Today, “demo prep” emails are standard practice for our SDRs.

 

Describe an ideal candidate for your team.

I want a creative individual who is open to new concepts while unafraid to get their hands dirty. An ideal candidate is also a hard worker and outgoing, with a good sense of humor.

 

What is your most memorable moment at Spark Hire so far?

Our Thanksgiving potluck! Everyone brought delicious food, and taking time to sit and talk with my coworkers was a great kickoff to the holiday weekend.

 

spark hire team fun

ben stein spark hire

 

Ben Stein, Sales Development Representative

Stein’s job as a sales development representative involves emailing and calling prospective clients to schedule demos for his team’s account executives. His favorite part of the job is that every call is different because every company has its own set of recruiting challenges, ranging from time to money and the quality of available candidates.

BEYOND WORK: Stein is a life-long hockey devotee, crediting his early foray into the sport with teaching him about respect, dedication and the value of a strong work ethic.

 

Video interview software is something pretty much any company can use. How do you identify the best prospects for your team?

What’s worked best for me is to really address the problems that my leads are facing. Basically, I have learned to show people how we can help them and improve their hiring process, rather than focusing on just trying to sell them on the platform.

 

What is your favorite thing about your coworkers?

How caring they are. We have a lot of different characters in the office and we all mesh very well together. When I am having a bad day, I can always count on one of my coworkers for a pick-me-up. I feel like I can go to anybody in the office if I ever have an issue or need advice about something.

When I am having a bad day, I can always count on one of my coworkers for a pick-me-up.”

What initially drew you to Spark Hire?

When I first walked into the office, I immediately noticed the atmosphere. The brightly colored walls and all the employees saying "hi" with big smiles on their faces were very welcoming. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there. By the end of the interview, I knew this is exactly where I wanted to be.

 

What are you most excited about in the year to come?

Seeing how much the company can grow. Every time we set up a demo or make a sale, we are one step closer to that main goal. Everyone does their part, which is what makes it such a special organization to be a part of.

 

spark hire collaboration

elyse miller spark hire

 

Elyse Miller, Administrative Assistant

Miller does a little bit of everything, from admin work to accounting, recruiting and organizing get-togethers. To her, learning about how every department works and interacting with people from across the company are the best parts of the job.

BEYOND WORK: Miller has been a country music fan since she was 10, and she loves the genre for its storytelling. She also aspires to travel the world.

 

What initially drew you to Spark Hire?

Having just come from a big corporation, I liked that Spark Hire was a startup with a lot of potential for growth. I was also excited about the culture and office atmosphere.

 

What opportunities have you had here that you might not have had elsewhere?

I’m able to get my feet wet in so many areas of the company. In past jobs, I always had the same set of responsibilities day in and day out. Here at Spark Hire, no two days are the same. And I’m given the opportunity to voice and implement my ideas.

Here at SparkHire, no two days are the same. And I’m given the opportunity to voice and implement my ideas.”

What is your favorite thing about your coworkers?

We’re more than just coworkers — we’re friends. Everyone cares for one another, and we help each other succeed. I never had that in my previous jobs. People also go out of their way to be supportive. I am in charge of planning and implementing our company events, and my coworkers nicknamed me “atmosphere girl.” It feels so great to be appreciated.

 

Describe an ideal candidate for your team.

Someone who really shines through and has a great personality. There isn’t much more to it. We can train the right candidates.

 

 

spark hire team laughing

spark hire vince prinzo

 

Vincent Prinzo, Customer Success Hero

By fielding user questions and helping people discover new ways to use the Spark Hire platform, Prinzo helps turn users into long-standing customers. Sometimes, that means troubleshooting technical challenges. But it can also mean helping companies reshape their approach to interviewing.

BEYOND WORK: Prinzo has played the guitar for the past 15 years. These days, he loves improvising alongside a playlist of favorite rap tracks.

 

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned in your role?

Users will sometimes give up hope on video interviewing after running into their first issue. But we can always backtrack and fix any issues that may arise. From there, we can create a game plan to ensure a better experience moving forward. As is the case with any new process, there may be initial road bumps, but I've learned to take action and address situations immediately.

 

What initially drew you to Spark Hire?

I used to work for an organization that had a highly corporate culture, but I lost motivation and needed to make a change. It seemed to me that the Spark Hire team was driven and took great pride in the service it provided to customers. I was right.

It was great to walk in on the first day and find out that I would be working every day with people who truly care about their customers and coworkers.”

What is an ideal candidate for your team like?

Our team is energetic and passionate about the service we provide. Someone who fits well on our team would need to be committed. They also need to be a team player. No one has all the answers, so when an issue arises that you’re unsure of, it’s important to be able to discuss that openly with the team.

 

What’s been the most exciting part of working at Spark Hire so far?

I have seen the company grow substantially since I started, adding more than 15 team members across departments. Moreover, it was great to walk in on the first day and find out that I would be working every day with people who truly care about their customers and coworkers. Finally, our team is on the verge of greatness. Every day, we are becoming more confident, and I am so excited to be witnessing our growth first hand.

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