Birchbox hiring data suggest it cycles through talent as quickly as it does mascara

8 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Facts

Monthly subscription boxes - services that send you a box of items for a set price - were a growing sector a few years ago. Consumer excitement about monthly boxes may have cooled, but what remains is a subscription box for everything from cat toys, to snacks, to socks.

But beauty-product boxes - the sector that essentially started the monthly subscription box trend - remains a hotly competitive space.

One of the originals was Birchbox ($BIRCHBOX) which, for $10 a month, sends subscribers a monthly selection of beauty products. The service generated so much buzz when it launched that competitors hopped in at lightning speed.

  • YouTube beauty phenom Michelle Phan launched competitor Ipsy.
  • Not to be outdone by upstarts, beauty giant Sephora got in the game with Sephora Play.
  • Just this year, big-box giant Target launched the cheaper $7 Target beauty box.

There are dozens of monthly reviews of the big players in the beauty-box space, and there isn't a clear winner when it comes to popular opinion: in some cases, Ipsy delivers the most product, in other cases, Birchbox contains the most "natual" products. In other cases, Sephora provides the most bang for the buck.

But Birchbox continues to be known as the monthly beauty subscription service with the most variety.

So how does Birchbox continue to make fans happy every month? How does it keep its monthly product lineups fresh? According to our Birchbox hiring data, the company may do so by cycling through staff as quickly as it does beauty products.

After all, a variety of people curating boxes will lead to a diversity of choices for customers.

The chart below shows the types of positions Birchbox has hired for over the past years:

Birchbox Position Types

As you see, a large proportion of all positions are either internships or part-time positions. At some times, there are more even more open internships at Birchbox than there are full-time positions.

The hiring process looks to follow a quarterly or four-month cycle: bring in a group of interns, circulate new ideas, perhaps hire a few for full-time positions, and then cycle through for the next group, much like a fashion production. 

It's perhaps a clever strategy when one considers what Birchbox is charged to do every 30 days: come up with a unique, diverse set of beauty products that keep customers guessing and, ultimately, subscribed for another month. By bringing in a new group of curators via internships and part-time positions every few months, Birchbox assures a stable of fresh idea-makers who aren't afraid to discard previous ideas and simply move on to whatever is next.

Beauty follows trends, and perhaps the best way to stay ahead of those trends is by bringing in the very people who create them.

Hiring interns on a quarterly basis as schools begin and end semesters may not seem terribly unusual, but when it comes to startups in the subscription space, hiring of this sort is. In fact, not a single internship is listed on competitor Ipsy's site. Meanwhile, Sephora has a grand total of three internships listed on its career site.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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