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The Two-hour Hire

by Luis Maza on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013.

Darren Ybarra went straight from his meeting with Theo Zourzouvillys, Jive’s CTO, to the HR department. Job interview to employee starting work, all within two hours.

Now that’s impressive.

A little background on this two-hour hiring phenomenon. Darren Ybarra, one of Jive’s new product managers, first heard about the company from his brother, who heard about it through a friend. Though Ybarra was currently living in Boyce, Idaho and had a job, when he heard about the things Jive was doing with technology, he was intrigued. He researched Jive and found that it’s pushing the market in hosted Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. He also found that they use the agile development process rather than the waterfall method of production. Ybarra liked both of these things, and they led him to a Skype and then face-to-face interview with Zourzouvillys (who I have to call Theo because everyone else calls him that and because his last name is unpronounceable, even in writing).

On his meeting with Theo, Ybarra says it was “refreshing.” He explains that rather than going through a rigid set of canned questions, as is often the case in job interviews, he and Theo had a casual, free-flowing conversation about how Ybarra’s experience could match the job. Towards the end of the conversation, Theo asked him when he could start. Now, Ybarra had, before coming out to Utah, decided that there was a chance they would want him to start right away, and that if so, he wanted to be ready. (From the Skype interview, he had a pretty good idea that the job was going to work out.) So when he was packing, he included a week’s worth of clothes. And when Theo asked about his starting time, Ybarra said, “Well, I could start today if you want me.” Ten minutes and a handshake later, Ybarra’s salary was agreed upon and he was headed to HR to get the paperwork filled out.

Obviously Theo was impressed with Ybarra to make such a quick hire, but what did Ybarra see in Jive that made him so eager to get on board? He lists a couple things:

  • Jive finds people to fit its culture, not just fill its jobs. Ybarra says this reminds him of the Silicon Valley companies he’s worked for in the past and that this attitude creates a dynamic environment and leads to company growth.
  • Ybarra appreciates that the development team is friendly, high energy, and committed to making Jive a leader in VoIP and other technologies. They also have a good mixture of senior developers and top-notch recent college graduates. The mix lends itself to both vitality and experience.
  • In Ybarra’s own words, “The CTO [Theo] is on top of his game.” Ybarra was impressed with Theo’s leadership skills, drive, and focus and was excited to work with someone of such high caliber.
  • Lastly, Ybarra feels that “Jive is going to become a household word.” He sees good things in Jive’s future, thanks to Jive’s fast-paced, innovative environment and the dedicated people it attracts.

A two-hour interview-to-hire process doesn’t happen every day, and it is pretty fast. But hey, when it’s right and you both know it, why wait?