Article: Amy Schultz of Canva: Crafting excellence in talent culture


Amy Schultz of Canva: Crafting excellence in talent culture

Amy Schultz, Canva's global head of talent acquisition, uncovers how the company's talent philosophy isn't merely aspirational but a lived experience for everyone.
Amy Schultz of Canva: Crafting excellence in talent culture

Popular graphic design platform Canva is a beacon of inspiration when it comes to combining the power of innovation and ambition. Just last year, about 400,000 job candidates aspired to be part of "the world's best team".

At the centre of this talent innovation strategy is Amy Schultz, the global head of talent acquisition at Canva, who shares insights into what makes the company a magnet for candidates who are seeking more than just a job.

Guided by the visionary ethos of CEO Melanie Perkins, the company champions a two-step plan that underscores its mission: to become one of the most valuable companies in the world while committing to doing the utmost good.

Schultz elaborates on how this philosophy isn't merely aspirational but a lived experience for everyone at Canva, driven by core values that emphasise being "a force for good".

In our exclusive conversation, Schultz reveals how Canva's focus on making the world more equitable through design and its dedication to fostering a culture of communication and collaboration sets it apart. Here's our interview:

The world has seen how massively popular Canva has been in the past decade. How has talent acquisition played a role in supporting that kind of massive growth for the business?

Great question. The talent acquisition team has, I think, played an integral part in each stage of Canva’s journey and that has meant we've needed to evolve, as well. Our vision for the team used to be, to grow the world’s best team. And we evolved that vision to be, to grow and mobilise the world's best team. Because at Canva, we want everyone to do their best work.

While we were starting up, that meant that we had to hire a lot of folks. And we're now super fortunate to have over 4,000 Canvanauts working with us globally. And so, it’s really important to balance the need to hire and bring in critical skills, but also to help folks build new skills and mobilise those around Canva, and we always want folks to be working on new goals, to build new skills.

READ MORE | Can gamifying employee engagement improve retention?

At our core is recruiting. But just about a year ago, actually, we stood up a new team, the talent agility team, and that is about embedding hiring strategies that go beyond purely buying talent. That was bringing together a talent program team. [They are] the folks helping to build programs for early-career or even mid-career folks to pivot and find a role at Canva. So, that’s hiring contingent workers around the globe to help us with specific goals and ongoing engagement. And then also there’s internal talent mobility.

We continue to fuel Canva’s growth, not just by hiring externally but also by ensuring that our amazing talent is working on Canva’s most critical goals.

So there's talent agility now.

Yeah, so we’ve got our core recruiting. We’ve got the talent agility team, workforce planning and recruiting operations, which include our amazing recruiting coordination team. As anyone out there generally knows, recruiting coordinators are the glue that keeps most talent teams together and skills are a large part of our hiring DNA.

What makes the talent culture at Canva attractive to candidates?

I think many are attracted to Canva because of our two-step plan. And as Mel [Melanie Perkins], our amazing CEO, says to us, “We have a simple two-step plan: to be one of the most valuable companies in the world but also to do the most good we can do”.

Essentially, step one fuels step two. It’s refreshing to work for a company that is focused so much on step two to help create more equitable access for people in the world. Our product can help do that. And it’s also wonderful to work for a company where people love our product. There are just so many different use cases.

And so, I think that attracts people along with our culture and our values. A couple of my favourite values that I hold dear are: “Be a force for good and be a good human”. It’s not just about what you do but how you do it. I think, to live by those values, the skills of communication and collaboration are so integral.

It’s cool to be part of a company that has a product that is helping people communicate more effectively, particularly visually. It’s been amazing to see how visual design and the skill of visual communication are so important to our work day-to-day and also really important to jobseekers and hiring managers out there.

READ MORE | Inside a tech giant’s family-friendly work culture

We know DEI is important to Canva. How does Canva ensure that, right from the start, the recruitment process is inclusive and supportive of a diverse pool of candidates?

We have an inclusion recruiting team that partners with our talent acquisition team to help make our processes as inclusive as possible and also helps train our hiring managers. But essentially, inclusive hiring is everyone’s role. Be it the coordinator, recruiter, hiring manager, or interviewer, we all have a part to play in helping make each step of the process inclusive.

One step we have taken is using gender-neutral skills-focused language in our job advertisements. In the past, we used AI tools like Textio to help us do that. And now, we use our own Magic Write tool to give us feedback on our job ads, which is great.

Conducting regular unconscious bias training both within our team and for our hiring managers, focusing on the diversity of our interview panels and being conscious of the experience that candidates have throughout the hiring process.

We also use a structured interviewing tool called BrightHire, which gives us insight even into things like talk time ratios in our interview and by gender so we can ensure that our candidates have that positive experience where they’re able to ask questions and also have the space to talk and ensure that there’s no differentiation on that by gender.

Funnily enough, we were using BrightHire to look back on some of the topics that candidates were asking us most about in interviews in 2023, and our approach to DEI was one of the top topics. It’s still very much on the front of candidates’ minds. We hope their experience in the hiring process enables them to get a bit of a sense of how that experience might be working in Canva.

READ MORE | How TechDiversity celebrates Australia’s DEI wins

What’s in store for Canvanauts in 2024?

Shaking the magic eight ball here! I always say no day is the same at Canva. But something that will always hold consistently true for us is that we will continue to build our team at Canva mindfully and sustainably. Every hire counts, and we’re in a super fortunate position to be growing at Canva.

We want to double down on our truly local experiences, making Canva locally relevant for all our markets around the world. We now have 170 million monthly active users globally, which is incredible.

Lots of really cool, exciting stuff is coming. Our products now fuel 99% of the workplace, and we need to grow and mobilise the world’s best team to do that.

Read full story

Topics: #Culture, Talent Acquisition

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?

Your opinion matters: Tell us how we're doing this quarter!

Selected Score :