So whenever we get the chance to talk about Kairos Society Hong Kong, one of the major questions we always get asked is “so how do I join?”, and to be completely honest with myself, it’s not a question that we here at Kairos HK have done an incredibly good job at answering. And I hope to change that. So in the interest of complete transparency (taking a page from Wil Wheaton’s playbook), we are going to post the entire process of how people can join the Kairos Society Hong Kong.
DISCLAIMER: The information that follows is only applicable to the Kairos Society HONG KONG. Other regions and other parts of the world have their own different methods of recruitment, and this article shouldn’t be used as a source of information for those other regions.
Now, before we dive into how one joins, I suppose it pays to be able to understand a little bit on how the Kairos Society is essentially structured. The Kairos Society comprises of three main groups of individuals, (1) Fellows, (2) Mentors and (3) Executives. We also have a Board of Advisors (to advise), but we won’t really get into that right now.
Fellows, are the lifeblood of the society. These are the young individuals whom are out there doing amazing things. They’re starting businesses, or finding new solutions to problems. (We’ll cover a bit more on what a fellow is later on)
Mentors, are individuals in the community whom are willing to give their time, expertise, and (sometimes) money, to help Kairos fellows in their efforts to introduce something new. Mentors can range from individuals whom are experienced entrepreneurs, to large corporations whom are willing to support them.
Executives, are those that run the each of the regions. They are those that organize the different events that fellows and mentors participate in. They are also responsible for mobilizing the different resources that Kairos has at it’s disposal to build a better community.
For now though, we will only be talking about the application process for Fellows and Executives though.
As I had mentioned earlier, fellows are the lifeblood of the Kairos Society. They are the entire reason that the Kairos Society exists. As I wrote in a previous post, the entire point of the society is to try and bring together some of the greatest young minds, and just hang out and help each other (on top of creating something really really cool).
Because fellows are the center of our society, it is also a title that we are very careful in giving out, and want to give out to those that we think truly deserve it. So the process for becoming a fellow may be perceived as being very challenging (trust me, that was by design!).
The process for how one becomes a fellow can be broken down into 4 steps:
- Be referred by an existing member of the Kairos Society
- Interview with up to 4 current members and fellows of the Kairos Society
- Interview with the Regional President
- Application process with Kairos HQ whom have the final say
So let’s break this up into more digestible bites:
Step 1: Be referred by an existing member of the Kairos Society — This is a fairly straightforward one. We believe that great people know other great people, and are usually the best judges when it comes to who else would be a great addition to the group. So we usually only entertain candidates whom have the full recommendation of someone we already know. We may change this in the future, and allow for a more open application process, but for now, this is how we will operate.
Step 2: Interview with up to 4 current members and fellows of the Kairos Society — As mentioned, we take great care in who we allow into the society. The society is essentially made up of its members, and the entire benefit of the society comes from meeting other people as the same caliber as you. So one of the ways we make sure that the candidate will fit in with the group, is to have the group decide.
When someone is recommended to become a fellow, we then arrange for 4 current members of the group to interview this person. The interview could be like a job interview, or it could be just an informal chat (we even allow Skype calls), it’s really up to our members to decide what’s best and most convenient for them.
After the 4 interviews, the group then discusses among themselves if the candidate is a good fit to join the society. There has to be a unanimous decision for the candidate to be able to join, so anyone can veto the decision to extend an invitation.
Step 3: Interview with the Regional President — Within the different Kairos regions, the regional president is responsible for all the operations that go in within that region. Chief among these responsibilities is making sure that the community is happy and that any new fellows would be a good fit for the existing group.
So although the 4 fellows whom would interview a candidate would always change depending on the candidate’s capabilities, the regional president has the responsibility of meeting and knowing everyone within the region. The regional president also has the same ability to veto the decision same as the first 4 interviewers.
Step 4: Application process with Kairos HQ whom have the final say — The Kairos Society is a global fellowship, and a global organization. Fellowship in one region, essentially means fellowship in all of the regions. So all fellows have to be cleared and approved by the headquarters in San Francisco, CA. They apply their own application process to ensure that a candidate is a suitable fit, taking in the recommendations of the region and the regional president.
They then have the authority to award the fellowship to the candidate when they feel that the candidate is able to meet all the criteria.
Additional Notes:One of the common questions that we normally get is “what constitutes a fellow?” And usually the answer I give is anyone who is younger than 25 years old, and just “anyone who is really good at what they do”. So if you are a business-guy, you gotta be really good at that, or if you’re a tech-guy, you have to be able to hold your own with our tech-savy members. We also have general guidelines that we follow that are provided to us from HQ, an extract can be found below, or you can see the whole document here.
It is probably worth noting that what’s shown above are more guidelines than anything else, and just because someone doesn’t “tick” all the boxes doesn’t mean that they aren’t eligible to become fellows!
Executives on the other hand are a different story. There isn’t as much guidelines or requirements that surround becoming an executive in Kairos Hong Kong. The only requirement is that we can depend on you, and that you get along well with the existing team. That being said though, we do have a sort of formal/informal process in which we recruit new people for executive positions. And they usually go as follows:
- Express your interest in becoming an executive to any of the current executive team
- We will initially ask you to come on, and act in some minor capacity in some of our events
- Eventually as you continue to help us, and we can depend on you, we will eventually start giving you more important tasks and responsibilities
- At some point, when we feel that you are ready, we will officially invite you to be an executive on our Kairos team in Hong Kong.
We believe that this is a fairly straightforward process. We have taken away the idea of interviews and applications, and have instead substituted it for a system where you are judged by actions rather than words on a CV, putting into a practice of “actions speaking louder than words”.
Since we are a small team, we need to make sure that everyone involved is actively helping and contributing to the group. And we believe that this method is the best way to achieve that goal.
So this is our recruitment process for Fellows and Executives all laid out for everyone to see and critique. We aren’t arguing that these processes are perfect, far from it, we are always looking to change and improve and to go with what works. But like everything else, it’s a process, so we do appreciate that you’re bearing with us as we continuously learn and adapt.