Anna Lambert might just be one the most influential (young) women in Ottawa. She holds one of the keys to gaining access to an exclusive and highly sought after workplace in Canada: Shopify.
"I am very aware that working at Shopify sets the bar very high," laughs Anna Lambert, Lead Talent Acquisition Team member at Shopify. Indeed, it will be a hard act to follow. With job perks that include free catered lunches, home cleaning services, baby bonuses and an exceptional new office space at 150 Elgin, Anna is honing her recruitment skills at one of the best companies in Ottawa.
We are creating an index of awesome people
"Experience in HR isn't solely related to years of experience in the industry," advises Anna. "Experience is equally achieved based on the number and quality of people you interview. By interviewing the best of breed in every field, I effectively create an index of awesome people."
She credits her mentor Doug Tetzner for convincing her to join the Talent Acquisition Team at Shopify saying, "he’s a great mentor”.
"We have a saying here that 'Shopify experience is x10 what you might get elsewhere'. In my role on the Talent Acquisition team I have the opportunity to assess some of the best applicants, which helps me better my recruitment skills," Anna adds.
Our job is to increase the average calibre of talent at Shopify
Not only does the TA role give Anna the ability to interview exceptional talent, she and her team are always looking to improve the recruitment process at Shopify. "Our job is to increase the average calibre of talent at Shopify and diversify the teams," explains Anna. "We are looking to hire for potential; we want applicants who can bring something to Shopify and enhance the talent we currently have. Everyone at Shopify gets better by virtue of that philosophy.” And she adds, “the quality is high."
Doug is a great mentor
A Shopify interview is not a cookie cutter question and answer format. "We want to meet people in a human way," explains Anna. "The first interview generally starts with a discussion about the person's life story, started at a particular point in their lifetime. We want to get to know them in a short period of time, including their likes/dislikes, experience, past transitions and impact."
The TA team at Shopify are trained on pattern recognition and fit assessment. They also take implicit association tests and participate in bias training to help maintain objectivity in discussions with interviewees and applicants.
We want to meet people in a human way
Additionally, the overall candidate experience is important to the TA team at Shopify; every applicant gets a response either via an email or a phone call with feedback on their interview.
How does Anna cope with people trying to use her as a connection to get in the door at Shopify? "I am always happy to help people get a job at Shopify, and I tell them all the same thing: go through the application process. The bar is high, but we encourage people to apply."
I don't think you looked hard enough
So don't start emailing her directly once you have read this article telling her how great you are and asking her to recommend you for a position at Shopify; she simply can't do it. All applicants need to go through the application process.
Outside of her role at Shopify, Anna is a trailblazer for women entrepreneurship and women in technology. In fact, she started an annual conference called "Beyond the Code" that brings together awesome women in technology, including developers, product managers, executives and anyone who is currently impacting technology in North America.
I started Beyond the Code to see women represented in technology
One of the motivating factors for starting the conference was the lack of female and minority representation that Anna was seeing at other technology conferences. After telling one conference organizer that the conference would have been more meaningful had included women presenters, they indicated they couldn't find any.
Undeterred, Anna told them "I don't think you looked hard enough." Beyond the Code proves that.
"The goal of the day is to highlight excellence from women and minority groups in technology, and additionally offers networking and connecting opportunities," explains Anna. Anna is generously offering two tickets to this event on September 21st to the readers of oWOW. Fill out the contest entry form to the right of this article.
This is just the beginning for me
In addition to her fulfilling career at Shopify, and building the Beyond the Code conference, Anna is training for her first full marathon this fall.
Anna is grateful for her partner Sam and the support he provides her. "Sam challenges me to think about things in a different way and puts up with my constant chatter about all things Shopify!” laughs Anna.
It’s clear that Anna loves her job and the company she works for. "This is just the beginning for me," Anna reveals.
For more information on career opportunities at Shopify, visit www.shopify.com/careers.
For more information on Beyond the Code, visit www.beyondthecode.io