Recruiting is tremendously gratifying, and being a recruiter often feels like many roles rolled up into one. We’re your guide through what can be an emotional and grueling time. We’re your sounding board, helping you think about how Airbnb factors into your broader professional aspirations. And, of course, we get to be the first to welcome you on board if you accept an offer with us. There may be some hugging involved.

Yet the unpleasant reality of recruiting is that, for many of our candidates—most, actually—the journey stops short of an offer. At Airbnb, where we promote inclusion, this messaging can feel like a contradiction: how do we reconcile our mission of Belong Anywhere with the tough reality that we simply can’t hire everyone?

There’s no perfect solution. The fact of the matter is when you interview—with us, or any company—there are a lot of unknowns. For example, we can’t say how far along you’ll get in the interview process, anticipate what other candidates you’re up against, or guarantee that we’ll make you an offer. But what we can do is to make you feel welcome, respected, and informed during your journey, a standard we hold ourselves to with every candidate. Belonging is a feeling, not an outcome.

As a company, we’ve recently been thinking a lot about kindness, a concept fundamental throughout the interview process. When we examine how we’re doing as a recruiting team, here are some of the questions we ask:

  • Were we transparent about what to expect during the process?
  • Were we timely in our communication and scheduling of your interviews?
  • Were we accessible and responsive to your questions?
  • If your experience with us doesn’t meet the expectations that we set with you, did we own our error and do our best to rectify it?

Airbnb isn’t for everyone and not everyone is for Airbnb, but while you’re our candidate, we aim to treat you like our best hosts treat their guests: respected and safe. Interviewing here should be an enjoyable adventure. And, even if you don’t end up moving in, we hope you enjoy the stay while it lasts.