“Tech company hiring is, unfortunately, a series of specific incantations that aren’t necessarily obvious or familiar to most people,” shares Dom Narducci, Principal Engineer (and Uber’s first intern) who joined the company in 2010. “By pulling back the curtain just a little bit for potential candidates, we can likely reduce the “false negative” outcomes of an otherwise qualified candidate getting tripped up by the process.”
Launched in 2022 as a US&C-focused Talent Acquisition-run program for engineering candidates to learn about Uber and prepare for an interview, Uber Greets was the brainchild of Cameron Morrah, Principal Inclusive Sourcer, to address gaps in candidates’ understanding of interviewers’ expectations. After extensive review of interviewer feedback and listening to candidates who expressed frustrations with big tech industry interviews, we made a decision to meet candidates where they were by providing more access.
Cameron Morrah, Principal Sourcer and Uber Greets Co-Lead
“Uber Greets shows that we are invested in the success of underserved talent, and like many things in life, success depends on access and opportunity which we aim to provide with this program. We aspire for all our candidates to walk away feeling like Uber is a place they can see their careers thriving.”
How Uber Greets works
During the screening process, successful candidates are invited to register for one of the scheduled bi-weekly sessions to prepare for the next stage. Engineers who support Uber Greets rotate with the aim of providing candidates different perspectives. Sessions are hosted by a combination of Staff and Senior-Level Engineers who have long tenure with Uber and new joiners who have recently participated in our process themselves. This enables candidates to receive insight from both sides of the interview spectrum.
“We demystify the process, give candidates guidance, concrete examples of what we like and do not like, and do our best to help candidates see interviews as a way to meet prospective future coworkers,” shares Juan Marcano, Staff Software Engineer and frequent interviewer.
“I felt so welcome and safe. If this is what the overall Uber culture is like, I would love to work there,” shared a past participant.
Helping candidates prepare for an interview and expand their networks
When candidates come to an Uber Greets session it’s a time to ask questions in a stress (and judgment) free environment and get to know both the people they’d be working with as well as connecting with others going through the process. The goal? To provide a great candidate experience and help candidates confidently prepare and expand their networks.
“I enjoyed attending them and it helped calm down some anxiety associated with interviewing,” shared one past participant after a session.
The program doesn’t just help candidates, it also trains our engineers to be more candidate focused and gives them a clear picture of what candidates are facing in the market. They become inclusive, equitable, empathetic, and fair. They become better!
“The Uber Greets program causes me to continually question and iterate on my own role in the hiring process,” explains Dom. “It challenges me to constantly work to craft the best, fairest, friendliest candidate experience that maintains a higher bar for quality without over-indexing on homogeneity.”
Juan Marcano, Staff Software Engineer
“During these conversations, I have learned to see things from many different perspectives. Recently, candidates challenged my views on how to interview candidates who work on secret projects, either because they are in secretive organizations or because they work on national security. There was one time that a candidate mentioned that the way we, interviewers, deliver hints or feedback could make candidates feel defeated or excited. In general, so many things I never thought about, and I have interviewed close to 500 candidates at Uber.”
“Hiring the right talent is one of the most important things an employee can contribute to,” shares Dom. “Long after the code I write has been deprecated and deleted, the individuals I had a hand in bringing to Uber will continue to be here, doing their work and hiring others themselves. I want my legacy as an employee involved with talent hiring to be as strong and long-lasting as possible, and the Uber Greets program is the best path I have found to that end.”
Expanding Uber Greets
The evolution of Uber Greets will be led by Tracey Ross, Senior Inclusive Sourcer, and will revolve around increased access. We will continue hosting virtual sessions while incorporating office sessions for candidates to experience Uber’s office atmosphere. As a company we are promoting hybrid work, so what better way is there to visualize yourself working in an environment than coming in and meeting future colleagues. We will continue to expand the program to address the needs of talent – especially underserved talent – globally in 2024.
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