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We are removing ‘years of experience’ as a requirement for jobs at Remote

May 16, 2024
Job van der Voort


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Going forward, Remote will not use years of experience as a requirement for candidates pursuing jobs at Remote. Instead, we will list the actual type of work and knowledge required for any given position.

Remote is expanding by hundreds of new roles every year. Because we hire globally, we receive many applications for every role within hours of posting. Building our team at the speed we intend requires us to be thoughtful about what really matters for a person to succeed in a role — and what doesn’t. Already, we don’t consider education in hiring decisions unless it’s required, like a law degree to practice as an attorney.

I believe the most capable person for any position isn’t necessarily the person with the most amount of experience. Great companies are built by people with drive and intensity, not by people with years of experience doing the same thing.

Apply for open roles at Remote!

Why remove years of experience as an evaluation metric?

Prioritizing years of experience hurts companies in several ways:

  1. Highly capable people who are under the required number of years won’t apply.

  2. People with transferrable skills in adjacent fields will not apply.

  3. Doing so overvalues a large number of years in one particular job

People who are comfortable with complacency are the ones I’m least interested in hiring at Remote. In many cases, the people who have had many different types of experiences are most likely to be adaptive to a fast-moving startup culture like ours.

That said, you do often need people to be able to perform certain roles or tasks from day one. To replace years of experience, we will list clear expectations. For example:

  • “You can demonstrate the ability to analyze our marketing spend and discover inefficiencies.”

  • “You can demonstrate the ability to design high fidelity interfaces that put user experience first.”

The interviewer has to ask questions like this and be able to verify them well. That’s harder than just looking at a number in the CV. Likewise, the candidate will have to work harder to show they actually can do the work.

This changes “years of experience” to “show us that you can do this”. The more specific, the better. Then, during the hiring process, we ask the person to actually demonstrate their ability. This can be done in various ways. When an exercise is necessary, it will be as minimal as possible to assess the person’s capabilities, to be respectful of their time and existing commitments.

I have found that exceptional people often have zero years of experience in the role they are applying for. They are unbiased by previous experiences.

Inversely, you will find some people with many years of experience of doing a single role in a single company to be a poor fit due to their difficulty transitioning from an established role into one with new challenges and responsibilities.

Ultimately, I hope that this helps us find more amazing people. My own career has been built on people giving me a chance to do something in which I had zero experience (shoutout to Sid, the CEO of GitLab, and our amazing investors). I hope Remote can pay that forward.

Apply for open roles at Remote!

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