Switch Spotlight: HappyFunCorp

What's in a name? For HappyFunCorp, as you might be able to guess, there is quite a bit. When this product-driven design and engineering firm was founded back in 2010, founders Will Schenk and Ben Schippers picked a name that would serve as a rejection of the typical tech startup name, as well as an ethos by which to run their company.

Now, five years and five increasingly large offices later, Happy Fun Corp is happier and more fun-loving than ever. The Brooklyn-based firm employs 85 people across 14 time zones, and their deep product wisdom has helped inject life into startups like Boxee, Paperless Post, CoPromote and SimpleReach and re-energize larger brands like American Express and Victoria's Secret.

Open Positions @ HappyFunCorp:

Elisha Singh, HappyFunCorp's tech recruiter, told Switch that the company thrives not only on happiness and fun, but also on gratitude. Read on to find out more about HFC's workplace philosophy, hiring priorities and how it uses Switch to streamline its process.

1. Hi Elisha! What the heck is HFC all about, anyway?

We are a product-driven tech company that loves to solve problems. Whether we are solving a difficult technological challenge or figuring out how a product can engage its users, we all love to test things out, try new things, and most importantly, bounce things off each other. We recognize that our company is full of talented folks and we should all take advantage of being surrounded by these wonderful minds!

Our company culture is all about gratitudeWe make sure that it is normal and natural for people to say what they like about other people and what they are doing.  It’s too easy to only let people know how they are doing when they are not doing so well. We don’t play by those rules. Let people know you appreciate them. Every day.

2. Does the company have a certain hiring philosophy?

It’s not just about your achievements or where you’ve worked before - we want to make sure you share our ideology, our excitement for challenges, and ability to be efficient.

3. When HFC vets a candidate, what are some of the most important qualities you look for?

Our Top 3:

  • Experience: It doesn’t even have to be you went to school and got a degree in it, we’re looking that you’ve been out there learning it (informally is fine!) and successfully shipped it.
  • Pragmatism: What makes someone stand out is their ability to roll with it, and create something that works and works well even under the ever changing constraints of building software for clients. Things change quickly in the process, and people that are able to adapt just a fast are who we admire.
  • Culture fit: This can be a defining factor between candidates. We break the mold when it comes to software engineers & project managers. You won’t catch many of us just sitting in front of a monitor coding all day. We enjoy a good laugh, good food, and great conversation. Having a communicative ability allows everyone to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to completing projects.

4. What is the biggest challenge you guys face when hiring?

The biggest challenge is finding someone with all three of our top traits. If I find someone with an impressive resume and experience to back it up, they may not be the most natural in communicating. (Communication is so important!) You might be an impressive developer, but if you don’t talk to us without being prompted for updates, then “Houston, we have a problem.”

5. How has Switch altered the way HappyFunCorp hires?

Switch has allowed us reach and meet candidates that we might not find in the predictable spaces like other job posting sites. For positions that we are really taking the time to fill, Switch helps us make the initial connection with someone who might not be ready to leave their current position right away.

6. What’s your favorite thing about sourcing candidates with Switch?

I appreciate the interface of going through the potential candidates - I can get an overview of 5 candidates in the time it takes me to go over 1 candidate’s fluff of cover letter, resume, and links on other sites.

7. If you could improve anything about the Switch experience, what would it be?

I would make sure that all of the skills I input for a position show candidates that meet all of them, too. Not just one or two of them. Having the option to see candidates that may only have two out of three skills would be useful during hiring crunchtimes.

8. What advice would you give candidates looking for a job at HFC -- or anywhere else?

Once you make a connection, reach out with a message! We are looking for ambitious people that aren’t afraid to make that initial conversation. Send over a link to your personal website or ask questions about what we’re looking for in a candidate. Recruiters are busy, so make yourself accessible.

9. How does HFC handle a workforce that works largely beyond the cubicle?

At HappyFunCorp, we're a lucky bunch to have the flexibility to work from home when necessary. Whether you have you own desk at the office, or are a full-time remote developer, we get things done where ever we are because of our culture around communication. Although the work-from-home policy differs among the various positions, there are certain positions that are most successful when based out of the office with the rest of the decision-making crew like the production team, designers, and founders. 

10. Are there unique challenges found in hiring for remote positions?

Finding full-time developers who are willing to come into the office everyday has been one of the toughest recruiting challenges here. Many freelance developers expect to work from home, but they must have the track record to back that up. When we are looking for a developer to take on a project, especially remotely, communicative ability is right up there with skill and experience."