Photos by WeTransfer
August 07, 2019
Founded in 2009 in Amsterdam as a simple, well-designed file sharing service for the creative community, WeTransfer has grown to include tools that scale across the creative spectrum.
With 50 million active users and 1 billion files transferred every month, WeTransfer is not only an incredibly successful file-sharing service but also a much-loved platform that supports and inspires creatives around the world.
In 2019, Fast Company named WeTransfer one of the world’s most innovative design companies “for being a one-stop shop for creativity tools.”
For a platform that is so essential for how people connect, we wanted to find out more about how things are done, and what drives them.
Miruna PuriceRecruitment Lead
Who are you? What is your job at WeTransfer?
I’m Miruna and I lead the recruitment team at WeTransfer from our Amsterdam HQ. In a nutshell, I'm responsible to attract and hire people to join WeTransfer in all departments and offices globally. Quite a feat, too, as we’ve almost doubled in the 1,5 years I’ve been here. We’re currently around 170 people globally (and growing!).
What inspired you to join WeTransfer?
After working for a few years in larger organisations (financial, professional and consultancy services, yawn!) I wanted to join a company where I could really get excited about the product. WeTransfer in my eyes was this kind cool kid file-transferring service that everybody knows and then you go down the wormhole and see all the other inspiring things WeTransfer does, we have a full set of tools now, including WePresent - our online magazine. It seemed incredible to me that they turned this service into a global platform that supports creative ideas and minds, so I was thrilled to be able to join.
What do you tell your family and friends about WeTransfer and what you’re doing there?
My Dad has been sending me files via WeTransfer for almost a decade now, so he’s super proud. Whenever someone finds out I work here then immediately they ask how I managed to secure this job. People seem to assume that it’s this exclusive company where it’s hard to get a foot in, but the reality is that I just applied online. Most people will know the core file transferring service and are excited about that already, but often I also find myself saying “but WeTransfer is so much more than a file transferring service!”. It’s grown into a set of tools that move ideas, including an online editorial magazine WePresent and apps such as Collect, Paste and Paper. WeTransfer.com is also a successful digital advertising business but something most people don’t know is that we give away 30% of our inventory to support the arts and creativity. We’ve partnered with artists such as Björk and organisations such as the Nelson Mandela Foundation and it’s amazing to think that it all started with transferring files.
Could you tell me about an outstanding project/product you worked on in the past few months?
Paste, one of the products in our set of tools has really galvanised the whole company. It’s a productivity desktop app that does collaborative slides for teams. Sure, we use it for presentations but actually we use it for everything now, whether it’s updates, pitch decks, explorations, brainstorms, meeting minutes, you name it. Paste makes the slides beautiful by itself, so you only need to care about the content.
What’s one thing you do to nurture your own creativity and/or energy? How does WeTransfer help you with that?
Since WeTransfer is such a supporter of creative stories, we’re constantly surrounded by stories to inspire us. We have monthly talks from creatives from various industries that tell us their story, such as photographer Tyler Mitchell or storyteller Holley Murchison. We’ve also had the charity Dot Everyone talk to us about responsible technology for a fairer future. My personal favorites were the founders of Almost Perfect, which is a Tokyo rice shop converted into a space for creatives. One of the founders had just picked up illustration by walking around Tokyo with a drawing pad, which inspired me to do the same. Now I’m hooked.
How does the company culture here differ from other companies?
It’s such a simple thing but what makes the culture here unique is that people are truly autonomous and people are given faith and space to do their work. This is exemplified in one of our company values “We enable”, which is our take on empowering people to do their best work. It’s also a safe environment, where everyone can be themselves. It’s really the opposite of a competitive elbow-mentality, people are genuine and always ready to help.
Another value is “We’re optimistic”, which to us means that we are enthusiastic about our work and believe in the people around us, which makes the work culture very collaborative. We’re all proud to work here, ready to shout out “but WeTransfer is so much more than a file-transferring service!” at any given time. We think that we do is more important and more interesting than that. We believe in the tools we’ve created, the platform we give to creatives, the things we help people create, our approach to non-traditional advertising.
How does a day in the office look like for you?
I usually start with the obligatory dutch cycle to work, then plan out my day with a flat white. That can consist of a mix up of catchups: the recruitment and HR team or different hiring teams. I’ll also be tracking headcount, budget and update our leadership on the current state of things. But I also like to be hands-on and do interviews, move recruitment processes forward and make employment offers. I also like to check in with our new hires. You spend so much time with each other communicating throughout that whole interview process, so it’s so nice to chat with them now that they’re finally here in the office. There’s also always something happening in the office, whether it’s a show & tell, meet & greet or workshop.
How does the recruitment process at WeTransfer look like?
It’s pretty straight forward. After applying online, the hiring team will review each and every application (seriously though, we love reading applications). Someone on the recruitment team will get back to you, and if it’s a match we’ll set up a call to chat to get to know each other, find out what they’re looking for and see how WeTransfer fits into that. In principle there are 2 or 3 more rounds afterwards: the first is a skills based interview with direct manager/ craft lead/ department head. The second round may consist of a skills assignment. We finish the cycle with an interview with close collaborators from other teams or departments, since you’ll join a company and not just a team.
What are the biggest mistakes you see people make when applying for a job at WeTransfer?
Other than the occasional application that was actually meant for TransferWise or WeWork (but hey, they also get the same). We ask a few questions in the application phase that gives applicants the chance to tell us a bit more about themselves than just a CV could, such as why you want to work here and what’s your ideal work environment. Sometimes people don’t fill those out, maybe because they think nobody reads it but honestly we love reading those! But overall people do a good job applying.
What gets you excited about a great candidate?
I realised talking to one of our new hires that lots of our employees have non-linear professional backgrounds. Others are really international, having lived in several countries before even graduating high school. Most of them also are really passionate and at something outside of work, such as teaching yoga, DJing, illustrating, street art, gaming, dancing etc. And of course we get excited when applicants are enthusiastic about WeTransfer or part of the creative community. These are the types of people that really flourish here.
Why are you better at your job than your competitors?
Interviewing is hard, we’ve all been there. We know people are investing their time and effort into getting to know us, and so we want to show them that we appreciate that. So our approach is simple: make recruitment human again. We don’t use bots, we hardly use templates, we don’t have strict Q&A interviews. We put a lot of effort into very simple things such as a smooth, flexible and efficient recruitment process because this is what makes a huge difference. More often than not I give our candidates an office tour and try to make them feel more comfortable if they seem nervous. We’ve seen that this simple human approach resonates with everyone and it has given us a competitive edge.
What would you like to tell us about WeTransfer that is not written down in your job descriptions?
It’s hard to describe working at WeTransfer in the few paragraphs of a job description. The excitement of the people working here is infectious and inspiring. You just have to see it to believe it.
Open positions at WeTransfer:
Thanks so much, Miruna! 🖤