Finding the Perfect Match: A Female Engineer’s Story to Finding Lever

For many job searches, finding the right fit based on values or getting experience when you are just starting out can at times be the toughest part. The path was no different for Erica Yingling, a software engineer, except that becoming a software engineer in the Bay Area is one of the most competitive geographic regions around. Therefore, finding a company that also fit her unique values and needs as a candidate was near impossible. 

“Most people I know just jumped on the first offer handed to them because statistically after applying to 100 jobs, you might come back with one offer and it’s an incredibly exhaustive job process,” says Erica. But close to a year after graduation, Erica was lucky enough to get a foot in the door at a startup accelerator and her career path was finally underway.

Aligning a career with your core values

After a few years at the startup accelerator, Erica remembered a fellow bootcamper had just started to build out something to match job values with the right role — as a side project. Three years later, the website now has hundreds of companies appearing in search results when users populate the values they’re  looking for. 

“I put in some of my top values: Committed to personal growth, diverse team, fosters psychological safety, team-oriented, practices inclusion. Lever was my #1 match! It felt a lot like OKCupid, an algorithm-based dating app that takes in your values, but for job searching,” says Erica. Other job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor also provided necessary transparency to see feedback from others within the company, but gave Erica the extra boost she needed to feel like she had found the perfect match for her.

We reached out to Founder, Lynne Tye, to learn more about this unique website for job value matching. When asked why she started the website, Lynne explained that, “A few years ago, I was freelancing as a web developer and then finally decided to look for full-time jobs myself. I realized how dreadful and frustrating the process was and set out to build the resource I wish existed. Ever since I dropped out of my Neuroscience PhD program in 2012, I started believing that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself, and more importantly, there’s nothing more important than finding work you love and finding people you love working with.”

But how are the companies featured and how many exist on 

“You can see all active companies on Keyvalues on its homepage and it is a free resource for all job-seeking engineers,” says Lynne. “I work directly with companies — specifically engineering teams — to qualify the values they self-select. Sometimes I call it tough love, but I push teams to cut the fluff, provide details and examples, and give shoutouts to real team members wherever possible.” 

And what does the future of jobs + value matching look like? 

“As much as I’d like for it to become more mainstream and foundational to all job searches, it’s an extremely tricky thing to execute,” says Lynn. “I used to think it’d look more and more like dating sites, but I later realized that (a) not everyone prioritizes value alignment, (b) company and team culture(s) change more dynamically than individuals do, and (c) most people don’t know what exactly they want until much later in life, once they’ve had plenty of hands on experience.”

Fortunately for Erica, the path after using the website and aligning her core values was simple. She quickly reached out to a current female engineer at Lever listed on the website, Jen Wei, to learn more about the opportunity and was thrilled when Jen was able to confirm that all the values that she had input and was searching for existed at Lever.

Improving Lever’s candidate experience to affirm our values

One of the unique things Erica found right away was that she was able to have the same recruiter and point of contact, Anthony Lat, throughout the process. He showcased qualities like empathy and care, and followed up at every stage of the interview process. He told me to call him if I needed anything or had any questions — and I did. I was delighted and surprised that there was also someone who felt like a friend on the phone,” says Erica. 

Secondly, Lever sent PDFs for every part of the interview process describing in detail what they would be covering. Lever not only builds a great product with a mission that is all about improving communication and creating a seamless interview process at scale, but also brought that experience to life firsthand for Erica. 

The other key for her was breaking up the interview, so she didn’t have to sit in one five-hour chunk of time — which is incredibly disengaging now for candidates when remote. These small changes in the interview and communication process made all the difference to affirming the values that Erica had researched online.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to improve your candidate communication process in a remote world, check out our eBook on 5 Foundations for Building Talent Relationships in a Remote World.

The future of job and value matchmaking

Employers source talent all the time, but now in the remote world we’re all adapting to working in, employers need to ask themselves: How can I give candidates more of an inside peek into our organization? What are our values that we hold dear and can we show this by example throughout our process? Lastly, how can we attract candidates looking for a company with these same unique values? 

Lever’s ecosystem and tech integrations connect to many outward facing channels to ensure that you put your best foot forward to candidates in a seamless way. From scheduling via Easy Book to Lever’s Chrome Extension — technology is simplified and automated to enable teams to eliminate steps in task management and not leave any candidate in the dark.

Just like dating or matchmaking, recruiting is a two-way street that takes work and effort on both sides to ensure the perfect match. The most critical part is ensuring that when the right match comes along that you don’t blow it on those first, second, and third dates. Therefore, ensuring your candidate experience is a glowing one and ready for that commitment every step of the way can make all the difference.

If you’re looking to improve your interview process and hire more great tech talent like Erica, check out our latest co-hosted webinar with Checkr and on Strategies for Hiring More Efficiently in Tech.