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Julia Guthrie
 |  October 23, 2014

Ever poured over a job contract and noticed the word “unlimited” next to the vacation allowance section? Well, I haven’t but, I assure you, this is a thing. And this thing is taking off within many forward-thinking companies like The Virgin Group, Netflix, and VMware right now.

Jim Belosic, CEO of Shortstack, recently wrote an awesome article for Mashable about this fashionable trend. In it he tells how The Virgin Group, headed by Richard Branson, recently adopted a “non-policy” whereby employees are encouraged to take time off when they please. The time isn’t counted or monitored. Belosic also offers an unlimited vacation policy to his own employees.

He writes, "In my 13 years as an entrepreneur, I've learned that when you treat employees like grown-ups, they act like grown-ups."

Employing a DIY mobile app to find great, grown-up employees

The trick here, I think, is finding the right employees—the ones who will ultimately act like grown-ups when making decisions about vacation time. As Belosic says, “In four years, the unlimited vacation plan has only been abused once, and it was really a hiring mistake, not a policy pitfall.”

This got me thinking about my own job-searching circumstances and how my prospective employers have been approaching the ever-so-daunting hiring process. Before starting at AppSheet, I was furiously (and frustratingly!) interviewing almost non-stop. I often speculated about what was going on behind the scenes and what kinds of methods my interviewers were using to parse through all the information coming at them. How could they record and share essential candidate information in order to effectively find the "grown-up" employee they were looking for? Was I that grown-up?

Eventually someone thought so, and I’m now working for a pioneering company that empowers anyone to create their own mobile apps. What’s really cool is that AppSheet has created mobile app solutions that can help streamline daunting business proceedings like the one profiled here.

Every company is different, and each one has its own needs, standards, and processes when it comes to hiring new employees. AppSheet's platform provides a convenient channel for individual businesses to create their own apps to the specifications that make sense for them. The mobile app would make it possible for interviewers to keep their thoughts and notes organized as well as to find out how their colleagues felt about candidates without having to track each one down for a conversation.

Our Interview Feedback app template is optimized to help businesses standardize the interview process by organizing candidates and allowing multiple interviewers to leave their own feedback about each one. Of course, the templates can be manipulated to reflect the candidate information that is important to each respective organization.

I wanted to test out the app and see if it was something I could see being useful to my prospective employers. Not only did the existing template allow for an organized view of candidates and their contact information, but it also offered a straightforward platform where interviewers could input their respective opinions about each candidate. Since many of the jobs I applied for asked for writing samples, I decided to add an extra tab that allowed me to input documents submitted by candidates as samples of past work.

Interview Feedback allows multiple interviewers to input notes and opinions about candidate. I manipulated the app to include candidate sample projects. Just click the PDF link to see the sample.

One cool thing I realized along the way is I could be using this exact same template (with minor tweaks) as the candidate, and have the ability to keep track of where I've interviewed along with important information about the meetings, interviewers, and the company. A DIY mobile app is a great way to make finding my "unlimited vacation policy" job, well, a vacation!

Tell us, whether you're the interviewer or the candidate, would you use an app like this to simplify your own process?

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Julia Guthrie

Julia is Marketing and Communications Manager at AppSheet. She loves the creative and eclectic. She’s held various marketing roles, plus other wacky jobs like suicide hotline operator, shoe designer, and dead animal removal business owner. Julia can usually be found hanging with her cats, crafting, and watching Seinfeld.

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