How Noom Hires: A Conversation with VP of Talent Mark Horton

Whether you’re an employer or job seeker, the hiring process is hard. Shining a spotlight on this problem, we spoke to Noom’s VP of Talent Mark Horton about his best advice for candidates hoping to stand out, level up, and land their dream health and fitness job.

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Roles at high-growth health and fitness companies are highly competitive. What can candidates do to stand out?

MH: The best way to stand out in this, or any, crowded job market is to let your personality shine. Yes, we want to know that you can deliver quality work, but we also want to know that you are a person that we’ll enjoy working with.

Especially at a mission-driven company like Noom, we also want to know that candidates are inspired by our mission of helping people everywhere live healthier lives and that this will be the driving force behind the work they are doing on a daily basis.

We encourage our teammates to “think like an owner.” Demonstrate this even during the interview process by discussing your experience, the impact you can make, and the results you’ll be able to drive for the whole company.

What does your company’s hiring process entail?

MH: At Noom, we have developed a structured hiring process that is imbued with our core company principles to not only help us identify if candidates are right for Noom, but also to help the candidate decide if Noom is right for them.

This process starts with writing an integrated hiring plan as a way of getting everyone who will be working with this person on the same page about their role and responsibilities. We want to make sure that the candidate is set up for success in every way, and this includes aligning expectations from team members with the posted job description.

Once a candidate submits an application, our process includes a screening call with a recruiter, video interviews with potential teammates and the hiring manager, a skills-based evaluation depending on the role, and referencing the individual with several previous managers.

Between each step of our application process, one of our leading company principles, “be transparent, but be kind”, comes into play as our Talent team provides candidates with thoughtful, constructive feedback to help them put their best foot forward.

We want to make sure that individuals are supported at every step, so we use the areas of development spotted during their hiring process to establish customized growth plans for new hires. We don’t simply use it as a barrier to entry, but rather as a launch pad for their growth and development, even before they have officially joined the Noomily.

Which credentials matter when assessing applicants?

MH: At Noom, we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we celebrate uniqueness and empower candidates to be their true selves.

We are not working within a singular framework predicated on the perceived quality of education or career experience. In fact, we make an effort to remove unconscious bias from the process by encouraging our interviewers not to review profiles prior to conversations with candidates. We promote an interview structure that objectively evaluates one’s skill set, regardless of background.

We’re always looking to hire the best of the best, which means relying on the output of our rigorous evaluation process to identify rockstar talent who are genuinely passionate about helping lives.

When it comes to credentials, we do look for individuals focused on continually improving themselves, so as a result, many members of our team do hold advanced degrees. However, these are not a requirement to get in the door. Though hiring at Noom is incredibly competitive, we take a holistic approach and do not use any sort of formula to bypass candidates without these credentials.

If a candidate has the right background and if their passion is aligned with our company mission, we prioritize them and discuss the ways in which they can continue to learn and grow with us.

Succeeding at a startup or fast-growing company is challenging. How do you screen candidates for intangible skills?

MH: For us, the most important intangible skills a candidate must possess are the ability to weave our mission into all of the work they do and a desire to learn continuously, and quickly, while doing so.

A major part of the Noom DNA is to constantly be experimenting and iterating across functions. We optimize for fast learning and that, coupled with an insatiable appetite for learning, helps those who are mission-driven perform optimally. This is something that we look to shine through organically during our interview process and is very telling as to how a candidate will perform as a member of our team.

Any additional advice about the hiring process you’d like to impart?

MH: The recruiting journey is all about fast learning and making improvements for your next experience. Be confident in your skills and open to learning at every moment.

When you receive a “no,” don’t just file it away. Review your own performance and ask for feedback to help you improve for next time because each challenge is an opportunity to learn and overcome. The cumulative result will be a better you!

 

Note: This Q&A has been lightly edited for clarity and readability