In the March edition of the Virtual Vocations “Ask a Hiring Manager” series, we chat with Bobby Stemper, Director of Growth at Storetasker. Founded in 2016 and based in Brooklyn, New York, Storetasker is a Virtual Vocations Employer Partner and a freelance marketplace that connects Shopify-based e-commerce stores with freelance developers and design professionals. Through its innovative service, the company connects clients with the perfect Shopify developers, effectively cutting costs for clients while boosting the income of developers.
Although finding a qualified Shopify developer may seem relatively straightforward based on the candidate’s body of work, Stemper states that there’s a bit more to the equation. In a competitive IT world, you can no longer just be a top-notch web developer. You need soft skills, due diligence, and a host of other qualities to make you stand out from the crowd. By following Stemper’s tips, candidates can discover more success and consistency as a freelancer—two qualities that every freelancer craves.
“Potential candidates should know that interviewing with Storetasker should be an enjoyable experience! We spend a ton of time chatting with developers, trying to find the right fit for Storetasker clients. So we try and keep the interviews focused, but casual and fun. The right fit will feel like they’re speaking with a like-minded peer, not a superior.”
What Three Things Are Most Important During an Interview?
- It may seem obvious, but the ability to effectively communicate is critical to a candidate’s consideration to join Storetasker. For us, that means mastery of the English language across written and spoken mediums.
- It’s important that an interview is a two-way street. When a candidate has questions, it shows they have done some due diligence and value their own time and yours.
- Candidates must show an ability to empathize with a client and work to understand their business and its needs. Whether it’s sharing a notable client interaction or building solutions that address the root of a client’s needs, we want to hear about the 1:1 human experience.
What Should a Potential Candidate Know About Interviewing?
Potential candidates should know that interviewing with Storetasker should be an enjoyable experience! We spend a ton of time chatting with developers, trying to find the right fit for Storetasker clients. So we try and keep the interviews focused, but casual and fun. The right fit will feel like they’re speaking with a like-minded peer, not a superior.
How Important Is It That I Have All of the Requirements Listed in the Job Description? Should I Still Apply Even If I Only Have 75% of the Requirements?
We do not bring candidates onto Storetasker unless we are absolutely confident that they will succeed. We’ve been matching brands with freelance developers for more than 5 years. So, we know what it takes to flourish on the platform. Everything we list is a must-have. But if a candidate is only missing one piece of the puzzle, we are happy to give that feedback and provide resources to help them fill those gaps and apply with us at a future date.
What Are You Looking for in Candidates in Terms of Culture Fit With Your Organization?
With Storetasker Experts in almost every time zone around the world, we strive to build a culture that is first and foremost accepting of each other’s differences. This is the foundation for a thriving community. Second, we are looking for true masters of their craft. Third, we are looking for candidates who are both life-long learners and life-long teachers. Storetasker Experts are a skilled group of diverse but like-minded individuals who are dedicated to:
- Solving interesting problems
- Staying at the cutting edge
- Earning more
- And all without sacrificing the flexibility and freedom of freelancing
We believe that each Expert should have a positive impact on the community as a whole.
What Are You Looking for in a Cover Letter That You Can’t Get From My Resume?
Instead of a cover letter, we ask candidates to share their portfolio or any online profile that showcases their work. This is the best way to visualize the work they have done, the types of brands they’ve helped, and gain a little window into the type of work they are most proud of. Plus, anyone who has ever freelanced as a developer has been asked the same question: “Do you have any work samples or a list of brands you have worked with?” So, having those samples readily available is a critical part of our vetting and early application process.
They Say That You Only Have a Matter of Seconds to Make an Impression With Your Cover Letter. What Are Three Things You See on Cover Letters That Will Cause You To Move the Candidate to the Top of Your Shortlist?
There are infinite ways developers can make their portfolio stand out. But if I had to choose three things that would improve a candidate’s chances, they would be:
- Full Website Build Examples: Candidates who have full website builds highlighted on their portfolio, especially the ones that are still live and used by the client. These tend to float to the top of the proverbial pile, so to speak.
- Custom-coded Personal Portfolio: A portfolio should be a chance to showcase one’s skills and work they are most proud of. What better way to do that than build a custom-coded portfolio website that showcases your skills and communicates your personality in your own special way?
- Customer Testimonials: We are a big fan of testimonials over here. We love to hear firsthand from a client about their experiences. Testimonials suggest a high level of business savviness and strong customer service skills.
When It Comes Down to It, How Do You Decide Who Gets the Job Offer?
As a marketplace, it is a constant balancing act between supply and demand. As Shopify continues its tremendous growth, we have more demand from e-commerce brands for Expert developers than ever before. Therefore, we are not limited to the number of Storetasker Experts we can bring on. If multiple candidates fit our description, we don’t need to choose. We can have all of them working with brands on Storetasker in just a week or two.
What Do You Wish Applicants Would Pay More Attention to in the Application Process? Cover Letters? Resumes? Social Media Profiles? Interviewing Skills?
Even though members of our team have helped build massive teams at companies like Apple, we have all been in the jobseeker’s shoes. It’s so hard to pinpoint one thing applicants should spend more time on. However, we wish companies would pay more attention to the applicants themselves in the hiring process. If you’re lucky enough to hear from a company you apply to, it’s extremely rare to get constructive feedback or even a confirmation that they’ve passed on you. We try to emulate our own ideal job search and go from there.
What Answers From Interviewees Do You Never Want to Hear Again? (Perfectionism as a Weakness, for Example.)
We always ask candidates about a time when a client requested changes to a project or was not totally satisfied with their work. Candidates who claim to have never been in that situation or who show a complete lack of flexibility or empathy for the client won’t be able to deliver the level of care Storetasker clients expect from top Shopify professionals.
What Makes You Want to Learn More About a Candidate Enough to Ask Them for the Interview?
If a candidate’s application proves them to have in-depth knowledge of Shopify development and the e-commerce industry along with freelancing experience, we happily move them to the interview stage.
What Do You Consider a Potential Red Flag in a Candidate During the Hiring Process?
Red flags in the hiring process typically include:
- Inconsistencies in basic facts or experiences across a candidate’s resume or online profiles
- Inconsistencies in discussions from in-person interviews
Using Stemper’s Tips to Further Your Job Candidacy for Remote Jobs
By using Stemper’s tips on portfolios, resumes, interview skills, and due diligence, freelance developers can put themselves in an excellent position for success. But e-commerce and Shopify knowledge are just two small portions of the total equation. Through communicative skills and mutual respect for clients or employers, candidates and freelancers can build a competitive edge while also branding themselves as multifaceted workers. Regardless of your experience in the web development industry, taking these ideas into your job hunt just might land you on the employer shortlist. And in a cutthroat, global, and digital workplace, that’s right where you want to be.
If you’re interested in working for Storetasker, check out their current job openings below:
Are you a hiring manager who’s interested in appearing in our “Ask a Hiring Manager” monthly segment? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to set something up with the team. We’d love to hear from you!
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