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Method: More than a green culture

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,People Management

Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry first noticed the need for their company when they shared a San Francisco Bay Area house with three friends. In looking for cleaning products that didn’t have harsh, toxic ingredients, Ryan and Lowry came up empty-handed.

Thus the idea for Method home-cleaning products was kindled.

Ryan and Lowry’s objective wasn’t just to create a product but to articulate an ideal that people could rally around.

“When you articulate an ideal and create a cause, it gives people, including myself, the ability to do so much more,” Ryan says. “You’re so much more excited to jump out of bed and go to work when you’re doing something that improves people’s lives.”

And Ryan pays very close attention to hiring people who want to jump out of bed to work at Method. Method’s senior team sets a new standard for the amount of time they spend on recruiting and hiring.

At Method, a hiring manager is desig­­nated for any position that needs filling. That manager puts together a cross-functional interview team of seven to 10 people.

After those seven to 10 interviews, a short list of one to three candidates comes back for another interview, in which they’re given a homework assignment to address a current Method business challenge.

They’re also asked to answer the question, “How will you help keep Method weird?”

The hiring decision depends 50-50 on the person’s skill set and culture fit.

It’s time-consuming. Sometimes it’s only after conducting several interviews that a homework assignment reveals that a candidate is a dud.

But Ryan says he tells the hiring manager, “That was great. We just dodged a bullet. We saved money by not hiring the wrong person.”

— Adapted from “Grow,” Jim Stengel.

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