Cloudflare TV

📺 CFTV Anniversary: Cloudflare Careers Day - Recruiting at Cloudflare

Presented by Todd Ciampa, Ellie Jamison, Roshni Hundel
Originally aired on 

Todd Ciampa (Recruiting Manager), Ellie Jamison (University Programs Associate, and Roshni Hundel (Recruiting Manager) will wrap-up Careers Day by giving an inside look into our hiring process. They will discuss best learnings from the day and provide resources for any candidate interested in working at Cloudflare.

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Transcript (Beta)

And we're live! Welcome to Cloudflare Careers Day. So happy to see you all again and thank you for tuning in.

My name is Roshni Hundel and I'm a recruiting lead here based out of New York.

I'm joined with my lovely teammates Ellie and Todd. We're going to go over and wrap up the careers day today.

I'm excited to just give you some tips and talk about our careers at Cloudflare and share our experiences.

Ellie, how about you? Yeah, I'm really excited to be here and I appreciate everyone who's been tuning in all day.

We've had some amazing teams come on and talk about stories from their careers here, how they progressed, what they're looking for in candidates, how they're hiring.

So hopefully you've gotten some great information but we're excited to wrap up like Roshni said.

To introduce myself, my name is Ellie Jamison and I'm on the recruiting team but I work on the university function side.

So I work a lot with our interns, our early talent and programming for them.

I'm based in San Francisco but I've spent most of this year on the east coast in Florida and excited to be back in San Francisco and hopefully we'll be back in our office soon.

As far as why Cloudflare, which we'll talk about even more later but I really wanted to get into a company that was actually, you know, changing an industry, changing the world and I do believe that Cloudflare has had such an amazing impact on technology and the Internet and we do a lot of good.

So excited to dive into that later but Todd, I'll pass it on to you.

Awesome. My name is Todd Champa and I started at Cloudflare in April of 2020 and pretty interesting story and I might have made this up but I think it's true.

I think I was one of, if not the last, one of the last on-site interviews before the pandemic started and so I've had an opportunity to see the Austin office but haven't had a chance to work there.

Also being part of the first class of employees that were on board in a distributed fashion and so I am responsible for leading the part of the organization that supports our emerging technologies and innovation team where you saw Joaquin and Ali earlier, kind of general administration, so finance, accounting and then a big portion of my time is helping to support our go-to-market team and our sales hiring here in Austin and San Francisco and also our expansion into Canada late last year.

So I'm excited to share my experience and talk to everybody a little bit about some of the unique aspects of the Cloudflare recruiting process.

Awesome. All right, thanks Todd. Thanks Roshni.

Todd, you got in right in time. You were able to interview in person before everything went remote, so that's good to hear and you've been into the Austin office, correct?

Yeah, I did. I did and it was such a unique experience, right, because I think that's right when, you know, things with COVID and the pandemic really started heating up and, you know, I think a big part of interviewing is shaking hands and so it was such an interesting experience.

Everybody being kind of awkward like, should we shake hands?

Should we do it elbows?

And all of that kind of stuff. So yeah, you know, and at this point we've actually outgrown our Austin office and so when we do go back later this year, it'll be exciting to see where that office is in the downtown Austin area and getting to see how we build that out with the kind of change and how everyone will be working going forward.

Yeah, absolutely. It was a weird few like weeks right before things officially ended, but you knew the pandemic was going on.

I used to meet all the candidates in our front office and, you know, them around the office and introduce them to their interview team, but for like the last week, we would be like, sorry, we can't shake your hand.

Not to be rude, but I think there's something going on.

So hopefully that'll all be over soon. But anyways, just to dive in, I'd love to talk about more of like an inside scoop, you know, give candidates kind of really what goes on on the back end of the recruiting process.

And so let me see, Roshni, what happens when a candidate goes onto a career site, finds a job they're interested in, submits their resume and a cover letter, what happens from that stage?

Yeah, so I think one of the more unique facets of recruiting at Cloudflare is the fact that the hiring team is extremely involved from the very beginning.

So, you know, recruiters, we set the roles up, we get the job descriptions posted on our careers page, and then as those resumes start trickling in, hiring managers have full access.

And they're actually the ones that usually take the first pass at looking at the resumes.

So they go into the system, they're right there with us, and we have weekly meetings with them, and they're super involved from the beginning.

So not only are they reviewing the resumes and passing them along to the next stage, but they're also the ones usually doing the initial screen as well.

And so you have direct contact with the hiring manager or the team lead right off the bat.

So that's really cool. And then, you know, weekly, we align with them and talk about the candidates they've spoken with the prior week and see if we're getting the right profiles.

And then recruiting also works with them to start sourcing for candidates and using LinkedIn recruiter and finding people that may be a fit in a profile that they're not seeing from direct applicants.

And then Todd, you want to cover what happens after that?

Yeah, yeah. No, I think I just wanted to add a little bit more to that.

I think, you know, that was, you know, we've used that word unique a few different times.

And for me, it was really actually a compelling reason why I wanted to join Cloudflare.

I think that in a lot of companies, hiring is looked at as a burden.

And, you know, at Cloudflare, the culture is one that recruiting is building great teams is one of the most important factors and responsibilities that we would bestow on somebody in a leadership capacity.

And as Roshani mentioned, that really helps to drive scale by not having recruiters being bottlenecked to try to do prescreens for every single candidate for every job that they're working on.

It really enables us to help our hiring managers see a diverse slate of candidates by us going out and sourcing, as well as them kind of reviewing the applicants that come in.

So once you get a chance to speak with a hiring manager, and between the two of you, you think that's a mutual match where we move you forward to the virtual onsite stage.

And that's where the recruiter, if you did come in through the applicant pool, as opposed to through a sourcing method, would do their HR interview with you to really understand your background, experience, career goals, and motivations to assure that there's that proper alignment, in addition to setting you up to meet with the team.

Another thing that I really value about Cloudflare is that we understand that you are interviewing us just as much as we're interviewing you.

And so we actually do have a pretty diverse slate of interviewers that will be participating in evaluating your candidacy.

And we think it's important that you get a chance to meet with the people that you will work with directly, in addition to other stakeholders in adjacent groups.

And that includes also executive interviews.

And so I'll let Ellie kind of talk a little bit about the kind of tail end of the process, and how we think that's such a value proposition that differentiates us even further from other companies.

Yeah, absolutely. I worked on the final call function for about a year and a half, which is essentially at the very end of your interview, after speaking with the team, the hiring manager, the head of department, you will get the opportunity to speak with our CEO, Matthew, and co -founder, our COO, and President Michelle Zatlin, or our CTO, John Graham-Cumming.

And then the fourth person is our head of people, Janet Van Heise.

And so you'll get to speak to one of these four people. And it's really just an opportunity for candidates to have a really high touchpoint at Cloudflare, to ask these people, what is your vision for Cloudflare?

How's Cloudflare growing? How are we changing? And I think this is unique to Cloudflare because not many people interviewing get the opportunity to talk to the CEO.

I mean, when I was interviewing, it was, you know, my first job out of college, and I was interviewing for a recruiting coordinating role.

And my parents were shocked that I was talking to the CEO of Cloudflare as a part of my interview.

And at that point, we were an 800 person company. So it was quite unheard of for me to have spoken to him.

And also terrifying, but in a good way. So that's a really cool part of our process.

And I always like to tell candidates to not be scared or intimidating or intimidated as hard as it is, because they really do just want to get to know you and get to know more people that are joining the team.

Yeah, I would say that one of the reasons we have them on when I tell candidates is just, you know, they want to make that time for you and showcase that they're available to any one of us at the company, and they are available to answer any questions that anyone may have.

I joke with some candidates that, you know, they sit right alongside us, they're not in bulletproof offices, they sit on the floor, there, you can walk up to them, you can have lunch with them, they're around, they're super involved.

I think that that really shows and and the messaging of hiring and interviewing comes from them.

You know, when I started, we were only 230 people and and interviewing was is and still is and hiring is just so important to Matthew and Michelle and JJC and and Janet too.

And so it kind of just shows that that's that's embedded in in Cloudflare's process and thought.

And then also just want to mention the all hands meeting that we invite candidates to.

So if you're moving towards an offer, you know, and you're a candidate here, we invite you to join our weekly all hands meeting and over 800 people join on a weekly basis.

And you get to see different teams present and talk about different projects they're working on, updates from other other teams and offices and Matthew and Michelle and different regional leaders lead that all hands meeting.

And it's just really cool way to see the culture of the company and how we all interact with each other.

It's definitely a great insight, and I don't think enough people offer it.

So if you are a candidate, that's something to take advantage of.

Yeah, we give you way more data points than needed to really understand if Cloudflare is the right opportunity for you.

So while it might have a step or two more than other companies, to me, it's a really valuable experience.

Yeah, absolutely. So now that we've given everyone kind of the background process of what goes on, I think we can switch gears and talk about, you know, what we look for in candidates and the advice that we can give you to best stand out.

If you're thinking of joining Cloudflare, if you've applied, if you have applied and it didn't work out, you know, coming into the application process again, we're going to talk about all of it.

And I think my first question is, you know, if you could pick just three general characteristics of someone who stands out for our process, unrelated technically to the job, just in general, what would you say those are?

And I'll just open up whoever wants to answer first, so I don't have to call on you.

Go for it, Todd. Yeah, I mean, obviously, there's the qualified to do the job, right?

That kind of goes without saying. But I think the other things that we're looking for as we're evaluating people to work with is not only what you can do in terms of the requirements of the job, but how you go about working.

We feel that is just as important, right? The behavior plus, how does it go again, Roshni?

Behavior plus performance equals results? Yeah, exactly.

In that fashion, yeah. And so in addition to people really making sure that you have the requirements to do the work, too, there's going to be behavioral interview question to really understand that you have the same kind of values that we look for, right?

And so we really want to surround ourselves around people that are empathetic, that have an innate technical curiosity.

You know, we definitely have a very complex business, and it's highly technical.

And we look for people who just kind of want to understand how things work.

We really value people that are accountable and principled and aim to do the right thing.

And we want to surround ourselves by people that have diverse perspective and experiences as we understand diversity of thought helps to build better products for a global community.

And so to really sum it up, it's can you do the job and then how you go about working is really as important to us as well.

Yeah, I would say being a self -starter and self-motivated is huge here and someone that can really just, you know, work well alongside others and be cross-functionally easy to like work with.

And I always tell candidates when I'm in the office or I'm in meetings, I'm talking to you all, I just feel like I want to work harder because of the buzz in the office.

Like everyone is just working on such amazing things and it just makes you want to work harder and drives you and gives you more motivation.

And it's awesome to feed off of that energy.

Yeah, absolutely. And I think you really do see that in our all hands meetings because different teams will present every week.

And, you know, I sit there learning more in one day than I did in many years in college about technical aspects I had never heard of.

So it really is a fascinating place to work if you're not technical.

And even if you are technical, there are so many products and services that I'm sure you can learn a lot here.

Let's move on to, you know, what concrete advice can we give someone to stand out now that we've told them like kind of what we're looking for?

Like what actually can they do if they feel like they fit those characteristics to grab our attention, to, you know, get in contact with us?

What do you think? Or I think maybe I'll answer this first because I think the best thing you can do is do your research.

Like we have Cloudflare TV, which is a great opportunity to just put this on the background, go for a walk and just listen to different co-workers that we have talking about their teams, their products, listen to episodes like these.

You will learn so much about Cloudflare.

And so I think that's a great resource for candidates.

I also think our blog is really incredible. We have many, many posts talking about technical things, talking about our culture, different releases.

I think all of these resources are really helpful. And then when you do write a cover letter or if you get in contact with someone who works here on LinkedIn, just saying, hey, I watched Cloudflare TV, your episode or read your blog posts.

I think that really stands out because there are so many of those messages every day that are pretty vague.

But if you can just add something, a piece of effort that you put in, I think that's, you know, invaluable.

Yeah. Yeah. Networking is huge.

You know, go online, see who you're connected with on LinkedIn, get someone to introduce you to the role, find groups.

We work with lots of amazing groups.

Path Forward. I think Janet was talking about that earlier today. You know, all sorts of Latinas in tech, women who pack.

There's all sorts of groups you can be a part of and you can learn more about Cloudflare because we're always partnering with them, too.

I would also say having a unique cover letter, not just a cover letter, to write a cover letter and just using a template of some kind, but having a unique cover letter to kind of tell why Cloudflare, what stands out about the company to you, why you're interested in working here.

I think that that's also something that would make you stand out.

Yeah. I don't have much more to add than that.

And the only things I would say is that I feel like there has been a lot of guidance provided to candidates about some of these strategies outside of applying.

Go find people that work at the company. And I just can't emphasize enough how much just that little bit of personalization differentiates you from other candidates.

So really being thoughtful and taking the time to showcase not only why you're qualified, but why you want to be a part of our story and in our journey will help to separate people.

People hire people, right? And so if you can find a way to connect through those commonalities, that will help you to separate yourself.

Because at this point, gosh, I want to say that because Cloudflare has become such a rocket ship of a company that people want to be a part of it, less than a half percent of the people that apply for a position actually get hired.

And so you have to figure out ways to really differentiate your candidates if you want to be a part of this.

Yeah, I would say. Sorry, go ahead, Rashi.

I would just say if you've applied before and you didn't get through, don't hesitate to apply again.

But also don't apply to 50 jobs at once. Organize your search.

We see those candidates as well. We do see that. So organize your search. Find a department that you're interested in and a career that you want to get into and a niche that you want to get into.

But when you see applications that are for marketing and for support and for sales, it seems a little disorganized.

But don't hesitate to apply again.

And if you've interviewed here before, don't hesitate to reach out to your recruiter again, too.

They may be working on new roles. You have their email address.

You can contact them. So definitely do so again. And there have been times where candidates have reached out to me and said, hey, I saw this role open.

I'd be really interested in this new position. Please direct me to the right hiring team.

And I'm more than happy to do so. And they've been hired. So yeah. No, absolutely.

Apply again. I interviewed here as a BDR and realized I didn't want to be in sales.

And so I actually asked the hiring manager if there were any roles in recruiting.

And he said no. And then he emailed me back a week later and said, actually, yes.

And so don't be afraid to ask what you're passionate about and if there are different teams that someone on Cloudflare can introduce you to.

Because we certainly are growing.

And so if you don't have a role now, I'm sure in the next year we will have a role on that team.

So just moving on kind of to the last part of our segment, I know that throughout the day, if you've been listening all day, you've heard a lot about career progression and how people can grow a great career here, how they can transition.

And I know each of us actually have a story in our own career development.

Even Todd has been here a year, which is just awesome.

So I guess, Roshni, I want to pass it on to you if you could tell your story.

I think it's fascinating. Sure. So I mean, again, I started Cloudflare in San Francisco.

The company was 230 people and we were in our old, old office.

And I remember I was like, I've worked at Apple before this. And when I went in the interview, I was like, are we going to work in this office forever?

And they took me over to 101 Townsend, which was under construction at the time.

And they're like, no, we've got this brand new office. Like, promise you don't have to work in the old office.

And it was just so cool to be a part of something so small.

And there were five people on the recruiting team. It was all based out of San Francisco.

I was the only coordinator. I joined as a coordinator, recruiting coordinator, and being one of those five supporting London and Singapore.

And I think we had Austin then, but from San Francisco, it was awesome. Not a lot of processes were set up.

We needed email templates. We needed some sort of standardization.

And I got to help with all of that. And that was just so exciting to me.

I have all these projects to work on outside of my day to day, which I think makes Cloudflare truly amazing because there's so much work to be done.

No one really tells you no.

You can take on any project that you want that will make the company better.

And then luckily, a year and a half in, I got an opportunity to go to Singapore.

And so when I started here, I reported directly to Michelle, our co-founder.

And that was one of the reasons I took the job. I was like, if I could work for a woman like her, I'm going to learn so much.

And so I moved to Singapore.

And the office there was only, I think, 30 people at the time. And I stayed there for a year and a half.

And I was the only people team person there. There was no HR.

There was no recruiting. There was no office manager. And so I kind of got to see all facets of all three roles.

Became a recruiter, like a lead recruiter out of Singapore.

Helped hire 50 people in a year for that office across all functions.

So SRE, support, IT, sales. Got so much experience doing it all. And people from all over Asia, too.

It's such a diverse place. So I got to hire people from Japan and India and Korea and Australia.

And that was so cool to talk to people from all those different backgrounds.

And then in the last three years now, I've been based out of New York and the New York office, which when I came here, it was only 10 people.

And now I think with everyone we've hired through COVID, there's around 60 people based out of New York.

And I'm a recruiting lead. So I definitely love my career here.

And I've done a lot. And I love growing. And I love impacting the recruiting team and hiring so many people.

And just seeing teams be built out from nothing to 100 people that they are today.

I think that's so awesome to get so many people jobs and bring them on board.

And so loved every second of it. And it's almost been six years now.

Such an awesome story. I love it. Thanks. What about you, Ellie?

Yeah, I can share my story. So I touched on this a little earlier, but I essentially joined Cloudflare right out of college.

I actually came from a very small startup that went under.

I just moved from the East Coast, San Francisco, and my small startup went under.

And I took some time after that and really wanted to join a company that was already established.

And Cloudflare was pre-IPO at the time, but it had been around for seven years.

It had been growing like crazy.

And when I just walked in for my interview, it was a very contagious environment.

And I really liked the people. I wanted to be surrounded by these people.

And so I was pretty hooked early on. So I joined as a recruiting coordinator as well.

And I got to work on really cool projects right off the bat. I was able to work with our co-founders, our head of people, and our CTO to set up the final calls.

And so I had a great time communicating with them weekly and getting to know them.

I thought that was such a cool experience for me. And then I also, something that I thought was incredible was on my first day, my manager at the time sat me down and he asked me, you know, what are you interested in?

And I was like, oh, recruiting.

I'm excited about recruiting. He goes, yeah, yeah. Okay.

But also like, what else are you interested in? And he's like, we have all these teams at Cloudflare.

Like, let me introduce you to some of the heads of departments.

If you ever want to learn more about those roles, we really do encourage lateral movement.

And just, we want you no matter what to have a great career at Cloudflare, whether it's on recruiting or it's on a different team.

So in the past two and a half years, I've gotten to work with other teams on cool projects.

I've gotten to write blog posts for the public policy team. I've gotten to work with the marketing team on different events.

And so that's been a really, really incredible experience and kind of led me towards my new role, which is a university programs associate.

So within recruiting, but I've taken a lot of experience like working with the marketing team, actually putting on programs to attract early talent to Cloudflare.

I run the internship program all summer long and really get to know college students, PhDs, MBAs.

I think it's just a really exciting space.

And also our intern program is growing so quickly. So I'm really excited to see where it's headed next summer.

But otherwise I do think, you know, just from other friends that I have at Cloudflare, you can progress here just as long as you work hard and put your head down.

I think work always speaks louder than talk. So certainly do that, but I've had a great experience here.

And I know, you know, if you're listening and you're thinking about applying, I think there are just so many encouraging stories from different people that can assure you, you can have the same experience here.

But Todd, I want to hear more about your story too. Todd, wrap it up for us.

We've got two minutes left. I will wrap it up very quickly. So I, you know, Cloudflare came on my radar after we had recruited some people that I used to work with that I admired tremendously.

And part of my job at that previous company was really to understand, you know, what kind of threats do we have to our company for our talent?

And as I started researching and looking more into Cloudflare, I was like, gosh, I really want to be a part of this story.

Just our mission alone of helping to build a better Internet.

And so I actually left a management position to come here to be the first recruiter based in Austin, hoping that my skillset and experience and hard work would help me to get back to a role that was commensurate with what I had in the past.

And so through that hard work, I was fortunate enough to be elevated back into a management role and now continue to lead a team as well as contribute to helping to hire great talent.

So I've been here for just over a year.

It's been a great journey. And so I'm going to wrap it up or give it back to Ellie to go ahead or I'll go ahead and wrap it up, I guess.

We just wanted to thank everybody who took the time to participate and listen to any of the segments today.

Everybody who's on this call or anybody who participated in Career Day is more than happy to connect with anybody that's interested in learning more about Cloudflare.

So please reach out to us on LinkedIn, Twitter, what other kind of social media channels that you find us.

And we're happy to share a little bit more about our story and see how we might be able to help you if you want to be a part of Cloudflare.

So thank you so much. And with that, we will sign off. Thank you.