• Design software unicorn Canva was valued at $40 billion in 2021, and is hiring.
  • The company received over 240,000 applications last year so competition is tough. 
  • We spoke to Canva’s global recruiting head on what makes a successful candidate stand out.

Design software unicorn Canva —  valued at $40 billion after a funding round last year —is one of the hottest startups right now.

The Australian company provides popular free design software to help individuals and businesses pull together presentations, résumés, and social media graphics. The firm says it has 75 million monthly active users.

Canva sees itself as a “visual communications company,” according to its global head of talent acquisition, Amy Schultz. “Our mission is to empower the world to design anything on any device anywhere.” 

She told Insider: “It’s for school kids, universities, not-for-profits, teams, small businesses, talent acquisition teams, social media teams, I think our customer base is really broad.”

Canva currently employs 2,500 people – “Canvanauts” — across Australia, Philippines, the US, and now the UK. 

The company recently expanded to the UK with its acquisition of UK-based data-visualization company Flourish and has plans to ramp “expansion efforts” across the region including hiring. 

Canva has around 466 roles listed on its website globally, including graduate programs and internships as well as graphic design, social media, marketing, communications, engineering, and education. It is also hiring for its “vibe team” which is focused on employees’ experience at work.

Competition is steep, with Schultz saying the firm received 240,000 applications for jobs in 2021, and 165,000 in 2020.

The company doesn’t publicly disclose salaries. However, any company operating in the US — including Canva — must disclose information on job offers made to workers on a visa. Analysis of that data from 2021 shows managers offered a base salary ranging from $105,000 to $120,000; a Salesforce developer being offered $110,000; and a senior product marketing manager offered $165,000. 

The hiring process begins with sending a résumé and an initial interview with a hiring manager.

Then applicants are expected to complete a “Canva challenge” which is an opportunity to complete a work sample to show how you solve problems. The process concludes with a final interview. 

Schultz emphasized that everyone who completes a “Canva challenge”, whether they move on in the process or not, will get Canva Pro free for six months to help them in their job search. 

Schultz described what a successful applicant looks like. 

1. They are goal-oriented 

Canva is keen to find candidates who can add to the company, not just fit in. 

“We do not hire for a culture fit,” Schultz said. “I think that you miss an opportunity there around diversity and inclusion, but folks that can really add to our unique culture is something that we look for, folks that are goal-orientated.” 

One of Canva’s core values is “setting crazy big goals and make them happen,” so being able to solve problems, approach challenges, and find solutions is important. 

“We’re a mission-based organization, and having a growth mindset, and an ownership mentality at Canva is super important, like it is for any company that’s going through hyper-growth. And no day is the same, so I think Canva is a culture where if you thrive on change and help make change happen, then Canva is such an exciting place to be.”

2. They get creative 

Insider has previously reported on candidates getting increasingly creative with their applications including sending TikTok résumés and Twitter DMs to land roles. 

“I would say, get creative with your approach,” Schultz said. “I mentioned we had over 240,000 applications last year, but we love when we see candidate’s uniqueness come through, and how they’ve leveraged Canva résumé templates to put together their CVs. And we’ve received websites where folks can showcase their work. So I would say definitely get creative.” 

Schultz said that Gen Z candidates are currently applying for intern and grad roles, and often excel at creating “really visually compelling résumés, whether that’s video résumés, hype reels, etc.” 

3. Authenticity 

Canva’s culture is “a celebration of diversity,” Schultz said, and the company aims to create as inclusive a culture as possible. 

“We want to be a place where folks feel comfortable in bringing their authentic self to work,” she said. So we really encourage those folks as much as they’re comfortable to show us their personality.” 

Shultz said that might include stating your pronouns, or modifying your


Zoom

background if an interview is virtual.

Other recruiters who value diversity have also noted the importance of authenticity. The top recruiter for software firm ServiceNow, Sally Sourbron, previously told Insider the company sought candidates who could “just be themselves and bring their true authentic self to our interview process.”

4. They do their prep 

Preparedness is almost always one of the top traits named by recruiters for standout candidates.

Schultz told Insider it’s a pet peeve when candidates don’t prepare because it’s a “missed opportunity” for the candidate and recruiter to connect. 

“I think you can tell the candidates that have taken the time to familiarize themselves with Canva. And that’s whether they’ve done research on the company, or whether they’ve used the product,” Schultz said. 

She added: “Folks that have familiarized themselves show that level of curiosity and passion for what they do.” 

Preparation should add to the flow of the interview, because an interview should be a “two-way conversation,” Schultz said. 

“It’s really important for candidates to feel confident that Canva can be the place for them to grow their career as well. So have you been able to ask and have those questions answered?

“Do they feel really excited and confident about the decision to join Canva as much as you feeling excited about them possibly joining and working with us as well?”

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