Office Hours: As the Senior Manager of Talent Attraction at Zapier, I lead our talent sourcing and brand organization. I'm Kim Wilkes. AMA!Featured

Hi Elphas!

I’m Kim Wilkes and I am the Sr Manager of Talent Attraction at Zapier, where we’re on a mission to make automation work for everyone. We are a no-code automation platform that enables you to connect over 5,000 apps to automate the tedious parts of your work so that you can focus more on the creative and more human aspects of what you do. We are a fully distributed team of 800+ across 35+ countries, and we are hiring!

Before Zapier, I worked for a few larger tech organizations, including Amazon, Uber, and Palo Alto Networks. I’ve led full lifecycle recruiting teams and global sourcing orgs. I have also led brand initiatives, built onboarding programs, and partnered closely with organizations dedicated to fostering diversity, inclusion, belonging, and equity in the workplace.

I joined Zapier almost one year ago and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career. When I think about my transition from big tech to Zapier, the word that comes to mind is “refreshing.” Zapier has a people-focused culture that lives its values. I’ve never worked with a more supportive, kind, transparent, and empathetic group of people. I receive thoughtful feedback that helps me grow and I feel valued and appreciated for my work. I also value the flexibility Zapier offers, from unlimited PTO to flexibility in when and how we work.

Outside of the workplace, I enjoy being in nature and taking nature photography. I live in the PNW and spend a lot of my time on the water and in the mountains with my partner and our dog. I’ve been a Meetup organizer in several different cities over the past 10 years, with events centered around art and live music. I also enjoy traveling, experiencing different cultures, and meeting new people.

I care deeply about connecting people from all backgrounds to opportunities, coaching/mentoring others, and getting involved in the creative aspects of employer brand.

Ask me anything about talent attraction (sourcing/recruiting), job search and interview tips, leading fully remote and distributed teams, talent brand strategies, or anything else!

Thanks so much for joining us @kimwilkes!Elphas – please ask @kimwilkes your questions before Friday, March 31st. @kimwilkes may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites 🔥👍🏾➕
Hi Kim! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions :) I work in marketing, so Zapier has quite literally been a lifesaver on many occasions.I'm curious to hear about your most creative strategies for employer branding, and what companies should look for when they're auditing their own brand?
Hi Magda,It’s nice to meet a fellow marketing professional, and I love hearing that our brand has inspired you! Some creative strategies for employer brand that I’ve found powerful include employee advocacy, video content, and virtual events. We recently began hosting LinkedIn Live sessions, where Zapiens around the company share their experience and take questions from the audience on a wide range of topics, including what it’s like working at Zapier, interview tips, and more. We also partner with several organizations that promote DIBE (diversity, inclusion, belonging, and equity) in the workplace to help us create new content and host events. It’s been a great way for our teammates to share their experiences and offer insight into our culture, values, and more.Auditing the company’s brand is something I’ve been doing a lot since joining Zapier. First, I look for consistency to determine if our brand messaging and visual identity align with our values and culture. Second, I look for differentiation – what makes us stand out from other companies? Is there a clear value proposition that sets us apart from others and attracts the right talent? Third, I look for perception from employees and candidates (Glassdoor, Employee Engagement surveys, etc.) to understand how they view our culture and if their experience aligns with our EVP. When the company’s vision and mission align with how the company is perceived, the brand becomes genuine and authentic. And, understanding inconsistencies can help us take the right steps to improve.
Hi Kim! You have such a fun background. Thanks for doing a AMA with us! I also worked at Uber pre-IPO and love photography and travel. When I last interviewed w/ Allan, I recall seeing on Zapier's career page a general interest form. Does the team ever look at the resumes that get submitted to that or is that just there? Or would you suggest connecting directly w/ a recruiter over LinkedIn gives us higher visibility?
Hi Donna,It’s nice to meet a fellow Uber alum and photography/travel enthusiast! Thanks for sharing your questions with me.By filling out a general interest form, you become a member of our talent community which means you’ll be the first to know when we post a new role, and you’ll be among the first candidates we review for each opening. Our Sourcing and Recruiting teams search through our talent pools to identify candidates for new roles as they open too. To increase visibility, I’d recommend signaling interest in Zapier on LinkedIn by clicking on the “I’m interested” button within the About Us section. Once you signal that you’re interested, Recruiters at Zapier will see your profile when searching for candidates who have already let us know they’d be interested in joining. I’d also encourage you to follow Zapiens on LinkedIn to learn more about our culture, product, and generally what’s new, and stay engaged with us. This can give you more insight into the company so that you’re prepared for any possible interviews in the future!
Thanks for taking the time to answer questions here! I'd like to know how your recruiting strategy has changed in the last 6 months and whether you evaluate candidates differently now. Do you have new or different things you recommend to candidates today to get noticed? Thanks very much for your input!
I have the same question, so thanks for asking this! I've been keeping an eye out for a year+ for a role that's a fit with my experience in People Ops at Zapier. With the hyper-competitive market, I'd love to hear any new strategies you recommend for standing out in a sea of qualified applicants! (Btw, @kimwilkes, we met virtually after your recent Live Connect session with Bonnie Dilber, so I was excited to see you pop up here this week!)
Hi Karey,First of all, thank you for joining our LinkedIn Live session! I was personally inspired by all of the thoughtful questions our audience asked. I hope you’ll be able to join some of our future sessions!In addition to what I shared with Carline, I would suggest connecting with Zapiens on LinkedIn and following us on Instagram and other social sites, and keeping an eye out for events we typically host, such as ZapConnect and Chat & Learns. Building relationships with those who work at the company you aspire to join can help you gain insights into the company culture and showcase your interest in being a member of the team. Standing out is not just about being the most qualified candidate, but also demonstrating your enthusiasm and potential for growth within the company.
Hi Carline,Great question! A lot continues to change in the market, though how we evaluate candidates hasn’t really changed. We have a commitment to applicants ( which we actively practice. When it pertains to our recruiting strategy, I would say we've identified new ways to automate some of our processes on the backend to ensure we’re providing candidates with a great experience, and since I joined Zapier, my team has been focusing a lot more on Zapier’s talent brand. We’re curating more content to tell the stories of our teammates and amplify their voices through blogs, videos, and events, and there’s a lot more on the horizon!My advice when it comes to leaving an unforgettable impression as a candidate is to first research the company and be prepared to articulate why you are interested. Identify at least one thing that deeply resonates with you and come prepared to share why. It’s also beneficial to bring specific examples of the impact you’ve made to your interviews. Bring data and outcomes, and speak to what you might do differently in the future having gained this experience. Thirdly, allow yourself to be vulnerable. It’s okay to share mistakes you’ve made and how you’ve grown from them. And lastly, don’t hide who you are. Our differences help bring new ideas to the table.
@kimwilkes hi Kim, thank you for taking the time to help all of us! I’m currently a career nanny/educational family assistant looking to do something else. I have a lot of volunteer experience with leading/outreach/ and events. But no tech training or software use. I’m finding it so difficult to write my resume to showcase what I do as a childcare professional and volunteer lead. I’m not sure where to start, what jobs I would qualify for or how to enter new fields.
Hi Dayla,It’s exciting to hear that you’re considering a career change! It can be challenging to transition into a new field but remember that many skills are transferable across different roles and industries. My first suggestion would be to think about what you enjoy doing. What type of work do you wake up excited to do? And then think about the skills you have. For example, if you enjoy working closely with people and have experience supporting others, maybe an HR job would be a good option to consider. It comes down to what you’re most passionate about and connecting that with the skills you have.When writing your resume, I suggest highlighting your accomplishments. Think about the volunteer experience you have and the impact you’ve made leading events. Include the scope of the events you’ve led and the results you achieved. I always recommend including data whenever possible as well. At Zapier we value transferable skills and experience, which could be gained in a number of ways, including volunteer work. You could also consider getting additional training in areas where you want to gain new skills, which could include online courses, attending workshops, or pursuing a certification program. I hope this helps!
Hi Kim, thanks for taking time to do this AMA! What led you to your current job at Zapier?
Hi Belinda,Thanks for asking! I enjoyed the work I was doing in my prior role, but after several years in big tech I felt a change was needed. I reflected back on when I felt most satisfied in my career, and it was with smaller organizations where I had the chance to build strong relationships and get more deeply involved in a few aspects of work that I really enjoy, such as employer brand. I went to LinkedIn to see what types of roles were open, and I came across a posting from Zapier that outlined exactly what I was looking for. The way the job description was written also positioned Zapier as a forward-thinking company that put its people first. To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with Zapier (and I was not pronouncing it correctly!) so I did some additional research using Glassdoor and the company’s website. I was impressed with Zapier’s mission and values, and hearing what Zapiens had to say about their experience. I applied for the position and was given the opportunity to interview with several members of the Talent Acquisition org, and I was blown away. Each person I met was kind, humble, and transparent. They were open with me about what their opportunities were and how I could make an impact. It was a no-brainer to join Zapier, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Hi @kimwilkes! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with us! I'm a career changer pivoting from academia to tech. I'd love to know more about how you think about sourcing candidates with atypical backgrounds, and how candidates with loads of transferable skills but less direct experience stand out to recruiters.
Hi Becca,Thanks for asking! Our goal is always to hire the best candidate for the position - and that’s about the skills they demonstrate, their previous experiences, and how they’ll help us grow and evolve as a company. Our interview process focuses more on showing skills throughout the interview specifically to help candidates who have a less traditional background have more opportunities to show what they could bring. We encourage you to apply even if you don’t meet all of the criteria on a job application.When it comes to standing out as a candidate with transferable skills, I would focus on highlighting your experience, skills, and achievements. Explain the skills you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for, and focus on providing specific examples of how you have used your transferable skills in previous roles. I would also recommend highlighting specific achievements using data where you can. Doing so can demonstrate your ability to succeed in the role you are applying for. I hope this advice is helpful!
How have things changed at Zapier in regards to ensuring people are fairly treated and rewarded for their work? I left Zapier because I was never recognized for my many contributions and was unfairly targeted (pulled from projects, denied promotion, refused opportunities, harassed about attendance when it was average) after calling out some management for toxic and abusive behavior. [A note from Elpha moderators: the final sentence of this comment has been removed because it violated our guidelines for Office Hours]
Hi there Zapier alum,Thank you for sharing your feedback with us—it’s a gift. Everyone’s experience matters, and specific feedback helps us learn and grow.Since joining Zapier nearly a year ago, I’ve personally experienced a low-ego, open culture where feedback is encouraged and delicate situations are handled with empathy and care. While we still have a lot of work to do, I am witnessing a deep level of investment across the company to ensure that everyone at Zapier feels included and supported. One thing that resonates with me is access to personal growth planning resources, which I discuss with my boss and team regularly. I regularly receive thoughtful feedback that is helping me grow and I feel valued and appreciated for my work. I value having access to learning and development opportunities, which are available to support everyone’s needs and interests, including internal working groups that provide a safe space to share challenges and discuss solutions. I’m also very proud of the work of our ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) who are deeply invested in helping members and allies through networking opportunities and community events. I hope what I’ve shared is helpful and offers you a current perspective on how things are going here at Zapier.