Article | Recruitment Reflections

Recruitment Reflections

Recently we were looking for a front-end developer intern. This article reviews our process

Internships at Abletech

Over the years we’ve had good success with interns. It’s great to bring someone on board and get to know them for three months. It’s important for us to observe how our interns fit in with our team values and culture. From time to time we’ve offered our interns permanent positions.

Advertising the position

Some previous interns have come through the Summer of Tech process. Because we wanted our latest intern in June we listed the job on our website, on Seek, and on Trade Me. We circulated the opportunity via our Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn and personal networks.

Seek’s platform allowed us to advertise, question, screen, shortlist and contact people. There’s an option to upload resumes from candidates who have submitted applications elsewhere.

Our position description requested CVs and academic transcripts be sent to a personal email address.

Seek and Trade Me candidates also had the option of clicking ‘submit resume’ and applying through the platform; they could personalise a cover letter if they chose to. We suggest a personalised cover letter is an essential part of an application.


We received a total of 154 applications before our deadline. We screened them as they came in and replied to those who applied directly. We used the ‘reply to all’ function on the Seek and Trade Me platforms once we had a shortlist.

We received 72 applications into the Seek platform. We received 21 applications into the Trade Me platform. We received 61 applications to the email address provided.

Applicants provided a variety of information including CVs only, CVs with impersonal cover letters, CVs with personalised and tailored cover letters, and emails with cover letters, CVs and academic transcripts. We had asked for academic transcripts to be included where possible.

In a workplace, things like reading, understanding, and following instructions, are important. The way someone applies for a job indicates how they might behave in employment. In addition to attention to detail in HTML and CSS, for this role we also noticed layout and design, grammar and proofreading.


Of the 154 applications, we screened out 75 on our first read of their application. A further 64 were considered closely but were not suitable. That left us with 15 impressive candidates who we considered for the internship.

13 of these had sent their application directly by email and two had submitted resumes into Seek/Trade Me. Four had been through Enspiral Dev Academy.

We whittled this group down to five by closely reading their emails, looking at links to examples of their work, Github, LinkedIn, academic transcripts, research, phone calls and chats.

Abletech headquarters

Abletech headquarters

Technical interviews

We invited each of the five shortlisted applicants into our office for a half hour ‘technical interview’. These candidates came in separately to do a few informal technical exercises. We provided the laptop, and full instructions, and sat with them as they worked. These basic tests meant we could check familiarity with HTML and CSS. It was also a good chance for us to observe how they approached problem solving.

Pairing day

We invited three preferred candidates back into the office to pair for a day. This was a good chance to meet the rest of the team and spend a day together before we made a job offer.

Abletech team

Our company culture is probably a bit unique:

Work is enjoyable

We’re intrinsically motivated. We enjoy using our skills to complete tasks and add value.

We strive for team improvement

We grow and learn together. Our desire to be better is woven within us so it’s fulfilling when we achieve an improved process or result. We seek to learn more and we share our knowledge with each other.

Web + Mobile apps improve our lives

We believe this. It’s pleasing to think that what we do is having a positive impact on individual and organisational lives.

We enjoy honesty, respect and ethical choices

There’s something good about sustainable choices. There’s also something natural and obvious about making ‘common sense’ decisions. It’s more fulfilling to do good than to do pure profit.

Read more

Message sent
Message could not be sent