Driven by transparency, accountability, and an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement, Merit America’s Talent Acquisition team is dedicated to delivering an exceptional candidate experience. Curious about what to expect? In this blog post, Jula, a business development representative at Merit America, candidly recounts her recent candidate experience, providing insights into why she considers it the best candidate experience ever.
“I want to throw something out there to you,” he said.
Having just shared my current professional landscape with my longtime sales mentor and friend, I eagerly awaited his next words.
“We are looking to expand our sales team at Merit America, and I would love for you to consider applying.”
Although Merit America was a new name to me, it was an organization I should have been familiar with, given my involvement in the workforce development nonprofit sector. Having recently taken on a role with the Corporate Engagement team at a similar organization earlier in the year, I was passionate about closing the opportunity divide for young adults. However, the fit wasn’t perfect, and I found myself at a crossroads, open to new possibilities.
Following the conversation, I explored Merit America’s website. The four-day workweek caught my eye immediately. Skepticism often lingers when encountering such policies, but my mental image of Lumbergh from Office Space insisting on Friday workdays quickly vanished. According to my friend, it was the real deal. Merit America embraced a genuine four-day workweek, with everyone happily disconnecting from Slack and email on Fridays.
As I perused their values, they resonated with my own (including “think big and act with conviction” and “care deeply”), as well as their mission to generate $1 billion in wage gains by 2025. It seemed like an excellent company to work for, and I was excited to apply.
Weeks passed before the official posting of the role appeared on their website. My friend gave me a heads-up, and I promptly submitted my application. Uncertain about the response timeline, as companies often take their time acknowledging applications, Merit America surprised me. Their talent acquisition team reached out promptly, scheduling my initial Zoom screening.
During the screening with the talent acquisition partner, I was impressed by her deliberate approach. She would meticulously repeat questions while copying and pasting them into the chat. This thoughtful method accommodated candidates who might feel nervous answering questions or prefer visual over auditory learning.
After I passed the initial screening, I was given an assignment to complete. I appreciated their request to anonymize my submission for blind grading, a clear indication of their commitment to fairness, eliminating barriers and biases. Taking about 45 minutes to complete the task, I sent it off into the ether, hoping to progress to the panel interview.
Another aspect I valued was that my friend’s recommendation didn’t guarantee a position. I still had to prove my suitability for the role amidst hundreds of applicants. This opportunity was a chance I didn’t take for granted.
When I passed to the next stage of the panel interview, I was ecstatic. I appreciated the diverse perspectives brought by two other team members from different departments, in addition to my hiring manager. The mix of two men and one woman on the panel made for a comfortable interview setting, with insightful questions allowing me to share my passion for the mission and elaborate on my background and experience.
The panel interview’s standout feature was the pre-interview preparation by the talent acquisition partner through a “success call.” She answered all my questions and ensured I felt prepared and ready for the interview. I don’t remember any other company doing this for me, and I loved that they went the extra mile to make the experience for the candidate a smooth one. I remember telling her this was “the best candidate experience I have ever had” with a company—and that says a lot because I have interviewed with many organizations throughout my career.
I finally received notice that I’d made it to the final round, which included interviews with the team’s vice president and with one of the co-founders of Merit America. Interviewing with a co-founder added a unique layer, emphasizing the importance of cultural fit. Both were down-to-earth, with a spilled turmeric latte during the interview turning into a lighthearted moment. Conversing with them felt like talking to ordinary people and left a positive impression.
I was overjoyed when I received the call from the hiring manager that I’d been selected for the position. I felt thrilled to join a team that genuinely cared for each other. This experience, from application to joining, stands as one of the best decisions of my career. I wholeheartedly recommend Merit America to anyone seeking mission-oriented work within a team of extraordinary, caring, and fun-loving individuals. I feel grateful every day to be here.
Interested in joining our team? Check out our current Merit America job openings!