The Application Process

Our general process for filling a role is described in detail below. 

  1. Prepare: Define what we need
  2. Pace ads
  3. Shortlist applicants
  4. Voice call with applicants
  5. Shortlist candidates
  6. Face-to-face interview by video chat
  7. Shortlist candidates, second-round interview
  8. Practicum
  9. Shortlist and reference checks
  10. Job offer and acceptance

Prepare: Define what we need

  • We identify a need in the Company to employ this person
  • For an employee, we create or revise a detailed Position Description
  • For a contractor, we create or revise business process documents
    • This defines what the output is, what the “definition of done” is, and how to go about doing it
  • We discuss and decide on a salary / fee for the work

Pace ads

  • We write a job ad.
    • We’re careful here – we need the right mix of “Look at us, we’re cool!”, and requirements for the role.
    • Perhaps unlike recruitment companies, we spend significant time crafting a suitable job ad.
  • We may release the job ad to job sites (some generic, some industry specific),
  • We do a mailout to our careers mailing list (subscribe to that at the top of the left column of this page)
  • Depending on the role, we may advertise internally as well.

Shortlist applicants

  • As applicants come in, we read their cover letter and resume, and sort them into “Yes”, “Maybe” and “No” lists, based on a broad assessment of the resume and cover letter.
    • “Yes” applicants move to the phone interview stage
    • “Maybe” candidates are not reviewed until we have exhausted our list of “yes” candidates
    • “No” candidates are not reviewed again.

Voice call with applicants

  • We prepare for a voice interview with each “Yes” candidate.
  • This includes a list of questions designed to provoke responses that tell us where your mindset is. Some will be specific to the role, others will be about your and our industry.
  • Each applicant for a given role is asked these same questions.
  • We then review the cover letter and resume in more detail, and prepare some questions specific to your application.
  • We score your application out of 5 – how suitable you appear for this role, based on your resume and cover letter alone (though, for creative roles, we may view online portfolios).
  • At this stage, as each applicant gets more scrutiny, we often move some “Yes” candidates to “Maybe”, and vice-versa.
  • We call each candidate for a phone interview.
    1. We’re always happy to call back at a time that suits you.
    2. It’s good to have a pen and paper handy.
    3. Be in a quiet place.
    4. If we leave a message, we’ll say it’s abbywinters.com, but not that we are responding to your application for a job here.
    5. If you have not done some reading on us, you’re going to come across poorly! Just ask for time, and we’ll call back (though, this indicates you tend not to do research before presenting an important proposal you! – so we have to ask ourselves, if an applicant cannot present themselves properly, how will they present our business properly?!).
    6. We’ll run through our prepared questions, and our you-specific questions. Sometimes, we’ll go off on tangents. We like free-flowing conversation, so long as it’s relevant. Unfortunately, you’re one of maybe eight people we’re phone interviewing today. Towards the end, we’ll always ask the same set of questions, so be prepared;
      • What’s your availability for a face to face interview by video chat?
      • What’s your availability to start in the role?
      • What is your salary / fee expectation?
      • What is your family and friends opinion of you working in the adult industry?
      • Do you have any questions for us?

      After the conversation, we’ll score you out of 5 again (against the requirements for the role), this time based on the phone conversation.

Shortlist candidates

  • Once we have called all the applicants, we review their scores.
  • Some scores may be amended (once we have spoken to all suitable applicants, we may adjust our scoring scale).
  • We decide which candidates we want to meet face to face for an interview. Usually, this is less than half of the people we do a voice interview with.
  • We book candidates for a face-to-face video-chat interview.
  • Of course, we’ll work around your schedule when we set an interview time. We’re always able to interview in evenings, and we sometimes interview on weekends, if it suits you (Not being able to will not place you at a disadvantage).
  • We’ll suggest some days and times that suit us, and you can respond with times that suit you. We’re generally pretty flexible, but when on opposite sides of the world, the timezones can get tricky, so we ask that you also be flexible for this.
  • If you had only done light-weight research before you applied, now is the time to do more detailed research on us and the industry. Read the Preparing for your Interview section. Some applicants prepare a proposal for us – details on what they could do for us if they got the role. Nice! It’s a great idea to prepare a list of questions – we like questions, and have some suggestions if you’re drawing a blank.

Face-to-face interview by video chat

  • Because we don’t have a central office, the face-to-face interview will be by video-chat
  • We’ll give you a chance to ask us questions (in fact, we really like doing this – “reverse interviewing” often leads to really interesting discussions helping both parties learn).
  • We’ll expect you to nominate a salary you feel is appropriate for yourself in the role.
  • At the end of the interview, we’ll let you know when we will be making a decision by. We’ll try to hold to our commitment, but we may not be able to, as we’ll be working around other candidates as well as our internal business needs. Feel free to email your contact, if you have not heard by the specified time – they’ll provide an update.
  • We will not offer you (or anyone!) the role on the spot, so don’t be disappointed if that does not happen. We need to face-to-face with all our interviewees, and then assess our notes before we can make an offer (and anyway, we typically do second-round interviews).
  • After the video-chat ends, we’ll re-assess you on a scale of 1 to 5.

Shortlist candidates, second-round interview

  • We may decide to interview more people from the “Yes” pile, or even go back to the “Maybe” pile, to get a better range.
  • Once all candidates have attended the video-chat interview, we decide who makes it to the second-round interview. The numeric assessments we make are the simple way for us to decide that.
  • Second-round interviews follow a similar pattern to the first-round interview, but they will be with a different person in our company, and have a different set of questions.
  • The second round interview may discuss issues in more depth. The session will be structured, and we’ll work hard to set you up to succeed.
  • We don’t do second-round interviews for all roles – we might jump right to the Practicum.

Practicum

  • A practicum is a “test” to assess your real skills in relation to the role
  • This may be a written test, or on-location / with-equipment, or in front of a computer using the software, being assessed by one of our in-house staff (sharing your screen by video chat).
  • If you say you’re a 9/10 with Photoshop, but then ask us how to make a mask, it’s not going to look good, so make sure your resume is honest!
  • If you have not used the tools / software / equipment / whatever, your practicum is not the place to learn. Rent or borrow the equipment, and refresh yourself. Pracs are brutal if you are not prepared!
  • Practicum work may, or may not be paid
    • If the practicum is something that is part of our normal workflow and stands to make us money (for example, a video editor editing a scene we intend to release on the website), you’ll be paid for it, a rate that we both agree on.
    • If the practicum is not something we can profit from (that is, it’s a task purely to demonstrate your skills, and we won’t sell or derive benefit from the product), we will not pay you for it. But, we’ll be mindful of your time.

Shortlist and reference checks

  • We’ll let you know we need to speak to your referees.
  • We’d always like to speak to your most recent employer, but we understand this is not always possible.
  • We’ll let you know before we start calling references.
  • For some roles, we may require a “police check” to be completed (that is, a report of your interactions with the police and criminal justice system). We’ll pay for this.
  • We will Google you. Let us know in advance if there’s anything we should be aware of. We understand that everyone has personal aspects to their life, and we’re not making value judgements. If we find anything of concern (that is, something that may influence their work with us in a negative way), we’ll discuss it with you.
  • It’s fine if you want to let us know about online issues before this stage, to provide some context.

Job offer and acceptance

  • We’ll formally offer the role to you, including the salary / fee and the relevant Employment Agreement or Contract
  • There’s time for negotiation, and for you to seek legal advice, which we always recommend before signing legally binding documents.
  • Once we have offered the role to someone, and they have accepted in writing, we notify the unsuccessful applicants by email,
  • We ask them to subscribe to our careers mailing list, so they are informed of other roles that come up.
  • We encourage people to re-apply for roles. Just because you were not right this time, does not mean you’re never be suitable!
  • It’s our policy not to describe why we did not offer you a role with us. Sorry, we know this is frustrating, but legal and moral risks are too great. But also see…

Next: Why we reject applications.

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