Main image of article What Wants in New Hires
In the nearly seven years since it was founded, Answers, a St. Louis-based knowledge exchange that operates the website, has seen double-digit revenue growth annually, company officials say. Answers LogoJim Yang, Vice President of Products and Community, attributes the rise in part to rapidly increasing mobile traffic. “We expect to grow throughout 2013 at a sustained rate as we continue to invest in new products and lines of businesses,” he says. In addition to, the company operates WikiAnswers, ReferenceAnswers, VideoAnswers and five foreign language question and answer sites. It currently has 225 employees – a number that’s rising steadily. Currently, Answers has 27 openings for Web developers, data center engineers, expert content editors and platform developers. The jobs will be filled over the next 90 to 100 days, and more IT professionals will be hired following that period. Company executives describe Answers as an “extremely results oriented” organization with limited hierarchy. It prides itself on its “large company” benefit package, which includes a 401K and 100 percent principle-paid medical insurance. Recruiting Chief Lance Greeninger says the majority of new hires are individuals who were actively pursued by the company. But Answers also posts job openings on its website and a variety of job boards.

How to Read a Job Posting

Greeninger says the company’s job postings are designed to give applicants a strong flavor of the kind of environment they’d be working in. The postings often include details about the company, the department the opening’s in and the specifics of projects, as well as the kinds of software tools the company frequently works with. These include Linux, Apache and PHP. Greeninger says the postings are designed to sell talented prospects on the company. “We let them know that other experts, well-recognized in the industry, are coming here,” he says.

Making Your Approach

Answers values employees who are entrepreneurial, innovative and passionate about their work. “We encourage and appreciate people who come in here and are willing to take risks,” says Yang. Adds Greeninger: “We are looking for enthusiasts, people who would be doing this job even if they didn’t get paid, people dedicated to open source communities, people who have to code -- otherwise they don’t feel settled.” He says applicants should talk up their skills and capabilities as well as some of the things they’d like to learn and their career development plans.

Advice for Seasoned Professionals

Answers looks for employees who want to stay long term. The company also places a high value on what Greeninger calls “top-pedigree athletes,” highly skilled and talented professionals at the top of their game. And, the company is open to training new hires for certain roles if their skills don’t align with the job but they are highly accomplished and demonstrate extraordinary potential. “We look for great energy, for people who can multitask,” Greeninger says.

Advice for Recent Grads

Answers hosts or participates in events at several university campuses. Greeninger encourages graduating seniors and other students to seek them out at these events. “We are very open to college talent,” he explains. “This year we hired 27 summer interns. We believe in giving them a fresh and meaningful start. There’s a chance that some of those internships could be converted to full-time opportunities.”