This content was created in partnership with Red Ventures.
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After acquiring a handful of companies like Bankrate, local dynamo Red Ventures will be rapidly growing its team over the next 12 months. Here’s how to land a job at Red Ventures.
With over 3,800 employees, you’ve likely heard of Red Ventures or know somebody who works at Red Ventures. It’s the Charlotte area’s best startup story.
Recently, I sat down in Red Ventures’ massive new space with Heather Cheney, Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Red Ventures.
What does Red Ventures do?
Red Ventures helps connect people with brands in a seamless way. This ranges from movers to financial services to healthcare.
Red Ventures now has a portfolio of companies and assets focused on industries where digital transformation is affecting how consumers and brands interact. These brands include: Bankrate, CreditCards.com, ThePointsGuy, Allconnect, MyMove.com and Reviews.com just to name a few. On the backend, Red Ventures has built out unique technology capabilities that allow users to make the right decision, fast and efficiently.
In their early days, I feel like RV was known mainly as an optimized sales engine for massive companies — but now they’ve diversified into more of a technology- and product-oriented company.
While they’ll continue to hire inbound sales pros, they’re also hiring data scientists, analysts, designers, copywriters, engineers and marketers like crazy.
Here’s a look at Red Ventures’ 2017 growth:
What’s the difference between “sales” and “sales support” at Red Ventures?
“Sales Support” includes all of their digital marketing/technology teams. “Sales” includes inside sales agents (who receive inbound phone calls generated and optimized by the Sales Support side) and sales leaders (almost all of whom started as agents and were promoted from within).
All sales applicants go through an online application, phone screen and then come to the RV campus for interviews, sales role play and a tour.
Every day, there are more than a dozen candidates on the Red Ventures campus.
Heather Cheney leads talent acquisition on the sales support side of the business and this story will focus on landing a job in that part of the business.
Sales support job openings at Red Ventures
The sales support division currently includes about 2,200 employees, and they plan to grow another 15-20% in the next 12 months. I had no idea this part of the business was growing so quickly. I always thought the “corporate” side at Red Ventures was only a few hundred people.
“We’re growing to support a lot of the new businesses that we’re launching and growing,” Heather said. “Our business model has shifted a lot to our own brands like saveonenergy.com, reviews.com, mymove.com and now the acquisition of bankrate.com and allconnect.com.”
More than 50% of sales support roles will be technology jobs. Professionals in software engineering, data science and cloud management are especially in high demand.
About 70% of hires come from the Charlotte market and 30% come from outside Charlotte.
Expect a project during the Red Ventures interview process.
Once you’ve been identified as a potential candidate, a recruiter will set up a 30-minute phone call in which they’ll touch on job history, assess cultural fit and perhaps ask a few job-specific questions.
If they decide to move you forward, you’ll typically be given a project. For example, a software engineer will be given a coding project and a copywriter will be given a writing project. While this happens for most sales support roles, Red Ventures does not use projects for certain functions like HR and accounting.
Projects are then reviewed and if managers like what they see, you’ll be invited to the Red Ventures campus for a half day of interviews.
On campus, candidates will typically interview with five or six people. During these interviews, expect questions that gauge behavior, cultural fit and a more detailed review of your project.
One interesting thing to note is that Red Ventures doesn’t have hiring managers. Instead, they’ll do what they call “interview circles” — which means that sometimes a candidate won’t even interview with their potential manager.
This tells me that they’re looking for talent first and will always make room for top talent, even if the perfect position isn’t open.
After your on-campus interviews, the interview circle will meet up and have an open discussion on whether or not to extend an offer.
“Our philosophy is to find great talent — corporate athletes, utility players — and then we figure out what the right role is for them,” Heather said. “The number one thing that I look for is intellectual curiosity. It always stands out and it’s what sets people apart at Red Ventures.”
How to increase your odds of landing a job at Red Ventures
Optimizing your LinkedIn and an employee referral will increase your odds of landing a job at Red Ventures.
While jobs are posted to Indeed, LinkedIn and RedVentures.com, the Red Ventures talent acquisition team is actually trying to get away from typical job postings.
“We see the most success in sourcing candidates,” Heather said. They’re actively sourcing using LinkedIn, so make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with job descriptions and that your profile contains keywords that recruiters would use to search.
Referrals remain a significant source of new hires. About 30% of hires are referrals. On the online application, you’ll be asked who referred you to Red Ventures. If you live in Charlotte, chances are you know somebody who works at Red Ventures. If not, network your way into a connection.
Another interesting candidate source for Red Ventures recruiters has been technology-specific Slack channels, so stay active.
How does the analyst track work at Red Ventures?
The Red Ventures analyst track reminds me of an investment banking track. Typically, these are recent college graduates who would enter consulting or investment banking. Red Ventures does on-campus recruiting at schools like Davidson, UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and N.C. State. Recruiters look at coursework, GPA and fit. They’ll do on campus interviews at these schools.
Many times, Red Ventures will perform technical screens and run analyst candidates through a live case to assess analytical capabilities.
Once hired, Red Ventures spends four weeks in the classroom on-boarding analysts. I was surprised by this investment and it’s cool to see.
The analyst track looks like this: associate, senior associate, director and then VP.
Another way in the door at Red Ventures is through their growing internship program. They’ll have about a dozen interns this summer along with their Golden Door students, who also do internships at Red Ventures.
Performance at Red Ventures is measured based on a rubric developed by the company called “RAPID.”
RAPID stands for results-driven, accountability, passion, influential communicator and development driver.
Along with performance reviews, these five characteristics also drive job candidate assessment.
Market yourself with this in mind. For example, when an interviewer goes to assess the development driver characteristic with a question like, “Tell me how you learn something new?” — don’t answer with “I just listen to my manager and do what she says.” Instead, talk about how you self-drive by taking classes on Udemy and teach yourself new skills. You get it.
Let’s talk money.
Heather politely declined to share specific salary data with me, but she did share that Red Ventures has a performance-based approach to compensation. “We don’t do cost of living adjustments. If you’re a performer, you’re going to get paid very well and see larger adjustments than 3 percent,” Heather explained to me.
Typically, compensation is adjusted annually in coordination with an employee’s annual review, which Red Ventures takes very seriously. There’s also a less intense mid-year review between direct reports and their manager that serves as a checkpoint and a time to discuss strengths and opportunities for the employee.
Here’s a full list of benefits at Red Ventures:
- Health Insurance Coverage (medical, vision and dental)
- Life Insurance
- Short and Long-Term Disability Insurance
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Paid Time Off
- 401K with Company Matching
- Onsite Health Clinic
- Discounted Gym Membership ($10/month)
- On-site gourmet cafe
- On-site gym and basketball court
- Employee Referral Program
- Valet dry cleaning service
- Local restaurant discounts
- Doggie Daycare discount
- Discount on Pet Insurance with Petplan (15%)
- Discount with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile (up to 10%)
- Discount on all Dell products (up to 17%)
How does Red Ventures pitch itself to potential candidates?
According to Heather, Red Ventures’ investment in learning and development sets it apart from other employers.
Employees are also given opportunity and autonomy — not bureaucracy. “Young talent here are doing things that they wouldn’t be allowed to do anywhere else,” Heather said. “If you come in from college, you have open access to the CEO and may present to him. As a senior associate, you could be 2.5 or 3 years into your career and you’re running partner meetings.”
“The campus is cool, but that’s not what sells Red Ventures. It’s all about the work. We get to solve challenging problems and the right candidates are attracted to this.”