5 Takeaways: Smash Your Recruiting Goals with Candidate Relationships

At GoodTime, we’re always on high alert for the latest shifts in recruiting. We hypothesized that the companies that build genuine candidate relationships are the ones that come out on top—but we didn’t want to lean on a hunch. We needed data. This prompted us to conduct our 2022 Hiring Insights Report to survey 560 TA leaders and understand their biggest challenges, what they’re doing (or not doing) to improve their candidate relationships, and how those efforts impacted their goals.

Ahryun Moon, Co-founder and Head of Company Strategy at GoodTime, presented our survey’s findings and the latest HR trends in a jam-packed, data-driven SHRM webinar. Read on for the key takeaways from the webinar, and get ready to crush your recruiting goals with ease.

1. We’re in a Candidate’s Market

It’s a candidate’s market in a candidate’s world, and it’s about time that talent teams got used to it. Based on GoodTime internal data, we now know that the competition for the most talented candidates has skyrocketed since the pre-pandemic era. The average candidate interviews at four times the number of companies as they did before. To ramp up the competition even more, candidates typically receive multiple offers before making their next job move.

It’s clear that today’s candidates have a lot of options to choose from. So, what are the most crucial factors in their decision-making process?

Candidates now put a heavy emphasis on key intangibles. These include transparency, company mission, and DEIB. Candidates want to learn more about these elements through cultivating a connection with your interviewers and talent team.

All signs point to a need for talent teams to reimagine their hiring process and cater to what candidates really want. Yet still, we needed more data to back this up. That’s where our 2022 Hiring Insights Report comes in.

2. The (Hiring) Struggle Is Real 

The 2022 Hiring Insights Report unearthed several alarming realities for talent teams. Out of the companies that were surveyed, they attained an average of just 50% of their hiring goals in 2021. “Yikes” is an understatement.

Companies chose “retaining top talent” as the number one hiring challenge that they’ve experienced over the past 12 months. With the ever-increasing popularity of remote work, some might assume that in-office companies struggled with this challenge the most. However, that wasn’t the case. Remote companies were more than twice as likely to struggle than the overall average. 

The key takeaway? Yes, the Distance Economy widens the talent pool, but it also widens the employer pool. This gives more options for top candidates to choose from, making it hyper-critical to take the correct steps to retain, attract, and win talent.

3. Candidate Relationships Are the Solution

Hiring is tough all over. So, what needs to happen? When asked how they expect the hiring landscape to evolve in the next 12 months, “the ability to create meaningful relationships with candidates” claimed the number one spot. 

This is a good sign; talent leaders recognize the shifts in the market and in what candidates now search for. They understand that forming candidate relationships is the key to smashing their hiring goals, retaining top talent, and surpassing the competition.

This datapoint also signals that traditional hiring strategies just don’t work anymore. Talent teams can’t expect to win by pouring more and more candidates into the top of the funnel. Instead, they must craft an interview process that facilitates strong relationships with talent so that they don’t lose qualified candidates in the middle of the funnel.

4. Employ Candidate-focused Hiring Practices

The data is clear: it’s time to make candidate relationships the priority. It’s what every applicant wants. Success in hiring is now found in the implementation of candidate-focused practices. These practices can be split into four buckets: genuine connection, transparency, adaptability, and candidate well-being.

  • Genuine Connection: Candidates want to know if they align with a company’s mission, values, culture, and DEIB involvement. In order to understand an employer’s stance on those factors, candidates want to build a genuine connection with them.
  • Transparency: Today’s candidates also expect a transparent hiring process. They won’t stand for ghosting or beating around the bush. Candidates want open, honest, and frequent communication from companies and interviewers.
  • Adaptability: If your hiring process doesn’t adapt to the needs of your candidates, it’s time to change things. Candidates want to schedule interviews at times that best fit their schedule, as opposed to sitting through an all day in-person interview. 
  • Candidate Well-being: On the topic of well-being, candidates want to gain an understanding for where companies stand on mental health support and related benefits.

5. Use Tools and Techniques To Boost Candidate Relationships

Talent teams have an abundance of powerful methods to use when connecting with candidates. Three of the most crucial tools and techniques include collecting candidate feedback, showcasing a commitment to DEIB, and training interviewers.

  • Candidate Feedback: Gathering candidate feedback helps hiring teams understand how to adapt their interview process to fit the needs of candidates. In order to generate the most actionable feedback possible, teams should collect a simple “candidate pulse” after each interview. 
  • Commitment to DEIB: More than 70% of candidates reportedly want employers to showcase their dedication to DEIB. One of the most powerful ways to reinforce your commitment to DEIB is through your interview process. Take time to cultivate diverse interview panels.
  • Interviewer Training: The number of companies that overlook the importance of interviewer training is shocking. Training interviewers is not only important in generating better relationships with candidates, but it’s also crucial in hiring fast.

The Bottom Line

Investing in candidate relationships is the future of hiring. The companies that build a foundation of strong connections with applicants can expect higher levels of productivity, loyalty, and engagement. 

But this is only half the story. To get the full scoop on today’s hiring landscape, download our 2022 Hiring Insights Report.

How To Evaluate Your Hiring Metrics Like a Pro

The key to optimizing your recruiting lies in identifying, measuring, and taking action on the best hiring metrics. If you want to get more out of your metrics, we’ve got you covered. GoodTime joined Checkr and iCIMS to identify the most high-value metrics, and how to best leverage and analyze your hiring data.

Want to watch the watch the webinar in full? Come right this way. For a recap of the conversation, read on.

Choosing the Best Metrics

Vanity metrics have a knack for sweeping up hiring teams. The numbers make your team feel good, and boy do they look attractive in a report. But looks can be deceiving; ultimately, those numbers reveal next to nothing about your business goals.

So, how do you select the metrics that matter? 

Monitor Metrics on Candidate Relationships

With the high expectations of today’s candidates, forming a genuine bond with applicants is more important than ever. Talent teams should keep an eye on metrics that reveal the quality of these bonds.

Jasper Sone, GoodTime’s Co-founder and Head of Product, said that one important metric that’s contingent on your candidate relationships is turnaround time. This measures the average time it takes for a candidate to respond and get confirmed for their next interview. 

Engaged candidates respond faster than disengaged ones. With candidates interviewing at four times as many companies now versus pre-COVID, meaningfully connecting with applicants is crucial to keeping your turnaround time low.

Divide by Primary and Supporting Metrics

Rhea Moss, Director of Data Insights and Customer Intelligence at iCIMS, prefers to choose hiring metrics by distinguishing between primary and supporting metrics. When a primary metric is healthy, the secondary metrics in connection to the primary are likely also healthy.

 For instance, time-to-fill is an important primary metric to measure. If your time-to-fill improves, you’re probably seeing notable supporting metrics like your OAR (offer acceptance rate) and dropout rate improve, too.

Let Hiring Metrics Reveal Themselves

Is starting your projects by selecting the key metrics the best strategy? Maybe not. Scott Jennings, Head of Industry Strategy and Market Development at Checkr, suggests a different method. He believes that teams should start with a business problem that they’re looking to solve, and then work backwards to identify the most suitable metrics.

“What you typically find when you’re delivering a project is that the metrics at the end of it that matter are different than what you thought going in,” Scott noted. “That’s going to be influenced by the different data sets that you bring in and the different philosophies that are brought in.”

Balancing Speed and Quality When Hiring

Candidates don’t want to wait around. A lengthy hiring process means losing talent. Yet at the same time, a rushed hiring process creates disinterested candidates. How should teams balance speed and quality to snag top talent?

Boost Interviewer Availability and Quality

Jasper recommends that organizations take two crucial steps to emphasize speed and quality. The first step involves providing a high level of interviewer availability. For the second step, talent teams should ensure that their interviewers convey an excellent image of their company.

To tackle the first step, organizations should have five alternative interviewers locked and loaded for every interview. “If you provide five alternatives, for any random time that a candidate wants to meet there is a 96% chance that someone on your team could meet with them,” Jasper noted.

The second step involves establishing a robust interviewer training program. This way, you’ll build an interviewing team that’s adept at deeply connecting with candidates.

Ideal Speed Varies by Employment Model

While the average hiring process in the U.S. lasts for about 23.8 days, this length varies across the different employment models. Same day hiring isn’t possible in most traditional hiring spaces, but it is in the contingent labor market.

For this reason, Scott noted that the ideal speed—and the perfect mix of speed and quality—that talent teams should shoot for depends on the team’s employment model. Teams should reflect on the standards and candidate expectations that are unique to their model, and then go from there.

Leveraging Industry and Geographic Benchmarks

Congratulations! You now have a stellar selection of metrics to monitor. Better yet, you’ve crafted a hiring process that emphasizes both speed and quality. But, one question remains: how should you utilize industry and geographic benchmarks when analyzing your own data?

Analyze Benchmarks for Shifts

“Geographic benchmarks are quickly falling to the wayside,” Rhea noted. While these benchmarks are incredibly pertinent to industries like healthcare and retail, it’s unwise for teams to leverage geographic benchmarks in the same way that they have in the past since people are relocating to new geographic locations faster than ever.

Her take? Instead of using industry and geographic benchmarks as gold standards, teams should evaluate benchmarks to understand general, directional shifts. Look for seismic changes in behavior based on industry or geographic data, and take that into consideration when identifying changes in your hiring metrics.

Share Your Own Benchmarks

It’s just as important for your organization to share your own benchmarking data as it is to analyze benchmarks that are already available. Jasper added that GoodTime enjoys sharing their benchmarking data to help other organizations set goals for themselves.

“By sharing data, not only does it give us an understanding of where we’re at, but it inspires teams to come up with creative ways to beat some of the geographic or industry standards,” he said.

Optimize Your Recruiting Process Today

When you take action on the most crucial hiring metrics, the sky’s the limit for your talent team’s success. If you want to beef up your knowledge on TA metrics a bit more, you’re in good hands.

Check out our 4 KPIs that Show TA Ops Success infographic to boost your recruiting process with more metrics that matter.

Imposter Syndrome in the Workplace: You’re Not A Fraud

Do you feel like a phony even though your accomplishments tell a different story? Don’t worry, you’re not crazy. You just have imposter syndrome. And you’re far from alone: 70% of adults experience these feelings at some point in their lifetime.

In Crosschq’s latest installment in their People Lead/HER webinar series, Debra Wade Carney, Director of Marketing, and Elena Arney, Director of People & Culture, sat down with three women leaders to get to the root of imposter syndrome in the workplace. 

Jenn Oswald, Head of People Strategy at GoodTime; Katie Mehnert, CEO at ALLY Energy; and ErinBlythe “EB” Sanders, Career Coach and Consultant, dove into how they’ve experienced and navigated imposter syndrome to become the strong leaders that they are today.

You can watch the full webinar here, but for the TLDR, here’s the key takeaways from the chat. 

Is Imposter Syndrome the Best Label?

First thing’s first: should we even call it “imposter syndrome”? EB noted that when the concept behind imposter syndrome became popularized in the 1970s, people referred to it as “imposter phenomenon” before later morphing into imposter syndrome.

“Somewhere along the way, that became ‘syndrome,’ which is problematic in that it pathologizes it,” EB said. “What it’s saying is that there’s something off neurologically with everyone that’s experiencing it.”

EB uses the term “inner critic” to emphasize that these feelings aren’t signs of a disorder, but that they’re feelings that the majority of people experience.

“Imposter syndrome is not categorized as mental illness, but at the end of the day it gets back to a reflection of who we think we are, and that is powerful work we have to do ourselves.”

— Katie Mehnert, CEO at ALLY Energy

Coping With Imposter Syndrome 

The things that trigger feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt vary from person to person. Recognizing the triggers—whether they stem from specific actions, people, or situations—is the first step to mitigating them.

To alleviate imposter syndrome in the workplace, Jenn encourages people at GoodTime to hold open discussions when those feelings begin to arise. She finds it helpful to have a peer at work to confide in for coaching tips or a different perspective.

“Find those allies and people who will support you, and coach you, and mentor you so that you can realize your greatness,” Jenn said.

As a CEO, Katie tries to foster a culture of openness. Similar to Jenn, she encourages people at ALLY to share whenever they experience imposter syndrome, if they feel comfortable. She’s found that imposter syndrome is all around us and can affect anyone, regardless of their title.

Not Just a “Female Thing”

While Katie, EB, and Jenn all have their fair share of experiences with imposter syndrome, its effects extend far beyond the female population. Imposter syndrome remains prevalent among both men and women across a variety of age groups. However, EB noted, women tend to discuss imposter syndrome more openly than men. 

Yet within those populations, she added, people who are part of systematically marginalized and underrepresented groups—such as POC and LGBTQ individuals—tend to experience imposter syndrome to a higher degree. This can be attributed to the negative stimuli that they already experience due to their identities.

As for people with a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as ADHD, imposter syndrome can be a massive struggle. 

“There is a saying in the community that you have to work twice as hard to feel as if you are half as good,” EB said. “If you are neurodivergent, there is the daily baseline of functioning that you’re trying to work with, and then trying to feel as if you are competent and as if you are fitting in.”

Social Media’s Impact

Does social media heighten imposter syndrome? For many people, the answer is yes. Social media generates a constant flow of feedback—both good and bad. That never-ending feedback can compound feelings of self-doubt and feed the inner critic.

In order to combat the negative side of social media, Katie encourages her team to have digital breaks once in a while to center themselves outside of the noise. Digital breaks allow people to reconnect with their purpose and the reasons behind the work that they do each week.

“Reconnecting with what those reasons are, and who we are, and what we want, and why we want those things builds a little shield of, ‘It doesn’t matter what all that chatter is, because I got my own path, I’m doing my own thing,’” EB added.

However, EB said, some people find value in the comparisons that social media breeds. For some, feeling envious of others on social media can inform what they’d like to achieve. They then use this information to the advantage of their personal growth. Instead of comparing, they compete.

“We’re moving into a space where employers need to think of the overall well-being of their people.” 

— Jenn Oswald, Head of People Strategy at GoodTime

The Way Forward

As a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental wellness is now top of mind in the work environment. In order to overcome imposter syndrome in the workplace and other negative thought patterns, give your mind a little TLC.

Jenn sees value in going to therapy to address your mental health head-on. She added that as GoodTime grows, they continue to evaluate their employee wellness benefits.

“I think we’ll continue to see the landscape of benefits change over the next few years and see much more of a focus on mental health,” Jenn said.

Katie believes that there are two distinct parts to addressing negative thoughts: one involves coaching to develop confidence and leadership skills, and the other involves doing the inner work to see where the thoughts come from. Both hold equal merit, and we must tackle both to understand why we think the way that we do.

“We are the way that we are because of the environment that we grew up in,” Katie said. “It is super important as professionals to make sure we are taking care of our mental health.”

How to Win Top Talent With Strong Candidate Relationships

Want to move the needle on your hiring goals? Sorry to break it to you, but cool swag and flashy benefits don’t cut it. Today’s top talent leaders focus on fostering candidate relationships. 

Recruiters had the upper hand in the recruiter-candidate relationship in the past, but not anymore. Candidates now hold all the cards in choosing where they want to go for their next career, and they’ve grown more and more selective. Job seekers won’t just accept any offer that comes their way; they expect deeper relationships and intangibles such as flexibility, transparency, and a visible commitment to DEIB.

To snag the best talent from the bunch, you must establish a genuine connection to your company’s mission, to the team, and to your recruiters. So, where do you start? 

GoodTime Account Executives John Bartsch and Siegfried Huffnagle, joined by Maria Riabukhina and Matthias Schmeißer from Beamery’s talent team, sat down to discuss the secret sauce to cultivating healthy candidate relationships. If you didn’t catch the webinar, here’s the TLDR with the key takeaways on how to better connect with candidates for hiring success.

Four Pillars of Candidate Relationships

Yes, investing time into connecting with candidates is non-negotiable for recruiters, but what do candidates actually expect from the relationship? Here are four main pillars that should comprise your candidate relationships.

Genuine Connection

While remote work has created a distance economy, candidates don’t want to feel so “distant.” Genuine connections are now more valuable than ever. In fact, 72% of candidates would reject a job offer if they didn’t feel connected to the company culture during the hiring process. Even if the salary and the job description are aligned, if candidates don’t recognize a human-to-human connection, it’s a no go. Recruiters must address candidates from a position strongly rooted in authenticity.

Transparency

To instill your recruitment process with authenticity, start by prioritizing transparency. Don’t leave candidates guessing; applicants want to know what it’s like to work for your company from the very beginning of the interview process. 39% of candidates expect to be informed about compensation in the initial job post. Besides expecting open communication surrounding compensation, candidates want potential employers to be loud and clear on their DEIB initiatives.

“People have spent the last couple years thinking about what’s most important to them, how they want to spend their time, and what their values are. People want to make sure that the time that they spend at work is aligned with that.”

— Siegfried Huffnagle, Account Executive at GoodTime

Adaptability

GoodTime found that candidates currently interview at 4x more employers than pre-pandemic — meaning that the talent competition is more intense than ever. This is largely due to the rise of remote work. As the office workspace continues to evolve, so does candidates’ ideal work arrangement. Flexible work arrangements are now at the top of job seekers’ wish lists. Companies must adapt to the work preferences of candidates, and demonstrate that adaptability throughout the company culture.

Candidate Well-being

All in all, candidates don’t want to sacrifice their well-being for their job. Sixty-two percent of employees cite well-being support as their top priority when job hunting. Work must exist in harmony with health — there’s no way around it. Recruitment teams should be prepared to openly address the efforts that their company makes in prioritizing the health and general well-being of their employees.

Boost Connections With Recruiting Tools and Techniques

Once you’ve mastered the building blocks of candidate relationships, it’s time to reel candidates in — hook, line, and sinker. Examine your hiring methods and tools and look for areas of improvement. You’ll not only enhance the relationships created from your hiring process, but also move candidates through the funnel more efficiently to get an offer in their hand.

Gather Candidate Feedback

Now that candidates are in the driver’s seat, they want more ownership and involvement in the recruitment process. For this reason, gathering candidate feedback becomes both necessary and expected. Who can speak to the quality of your hiring process better than those that experience it firsthand? By factoring in candidate feedback on your entire interview process, talent teams can ensure that their process exceeds expectations.

Build DEIB From the Studs Up

If you think you can skate by in the hiring process without highlighting your company’s DEIB efforts, think again. To align with candidate expectations, recruitment teams must present candidates with a holistic image of what their company stands for on DEIB. This translates to having the tools and strategies in place to provide this image from the very first moment that candidates sit down to interview.

“Companies that are enabling diverse and inclusive interview panels experienced a 4X increase in interviews in less than one year. This really speaks to the importance of training up your interviewers and having a broad and diverse pool.”

— John Bartsch, Account Executive at GoodTime

Prioritize Interviewer Training

How do you demonstrate a genuine commitment to DEIB? Start by training a diverse and expansive pool of potential interviewers. Widening your interviewer pool not only ensures that you’ll always have people available to interview applicants, but also cultivates a group of diverse panelists that are representative of both your company and the candidates you want to attract. Having five alternative interviewers for each interview translates to a 95% chance that one of them will be available for the time slot selected by the candidate.

Empower Your Recruiting Tech Stack

A robust tech stack seals the deal when it comes to impressing candidates. Beamery’s talent lifecycle management platform delivers meaningful insights to shape customers’ holistic talent strategy. Here at GoodTime, our Hire product uses Candidate Relationship Intelligence to automate coordination, connect with candidates, and gather actionable data.

Interested in learning all about Hire? Say no more.

How to Deliver a Hiring Strategy Focused on Diversity

Webinar on diversity in hiring.

We’ve all seen the data: candidates want to know they’re considering a company that makes DEI a true pillar in its company culture, and that culture begins with hiring. We partnered with Mawulom Nenonene, head of talent at LTSE, to chat about what it takes to develop a winning strategy to hire top talent. You can watch the full webinar here, but for the TLDR, here are the seven key takeaways to learn how to practice diversity in hiring.

Building a Foundation for Equity

LTSE entrenches DEI into its talent acquisition process. They teach hiring managers to leverage pipeline data to drive strategic top-of-funnel sourcing planning. This allows consistency and reduces biased hiring.

Templates, Templates, Templates

At LTSE, role templates are a central source of truth in helping hiring managers find the best talent for each role. Specifically, they don’t simply write out the job description and mirror the template to the JD— the team does additional discovery to learn the goals of a specific role and what expertise the talent in question needs to have. Nenonene shares that these goals being understood and outlined are as equally important as any formal education requirement.

Actionable Tip: Increase your number of templates and train your team on how to use them.  GoodTime platform data shows that increasing template usage can increase the monthly volume of unique candidates by nearly 150%. 

Promote Why It Matters

Representation matters because it’s the right thing to do, but also, the data just doesn’t lie. Team members are more likely to execute and promote a diverse hiring strategy when they align on most the mission and the goals surrounding all hiring team objectives, and this includes knowing how having a diverse work culture directly impacts the success of the company. 

Nenonene points to the Gartner research that shows 75% of organizations with decision-making teams reflecting a diverse and inclusive culture will exceed their financial targets through 2022.

Gender-diverse and inclusive teams outperformed gender-homogeneous and less inclusive teams by 50% on average. 

In a Deloitte survey, Nenonene points out that 83% of millennials reported higher levels of engagement when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture. 

Actionable Tip: Create a blueprint so every hiring manager can get it right with their talent acquisition strategies. There are many types of diversity, so evaluating the current team’s viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds paves the way for hiring an all-inclusive team ready to fill in the gaps.

The Anatomy of a Skills-based Job Description

There’s no one-size-fits-all skill for every job description. Hiring managers who prioritize skills-based hiring need to have clear, actionable steps for guidance.

Actionable Tip: Review every job description for inclusion. Tools for inclusive job description development include Hemingway, Textio, and Mathison.io, which analyses job descriptions for bias and exclusionary terms.

The Rooney Rule

The Rooney Rule has been around for some time and requires that a hiring manager interview one individual from the underrepresented candidates for a role. At LTSE, this rule is modified to also require that the hiring team interview at least two women and two underrepresented candidates before extending an offer.

The empirical data that Nanonene observed across several was that unless that URG candidate had a truly life-changing experience suring their interview, the Rooney Rule was largely ineffective in cultivating diversity in hiring. Enter the development of the Mo-rule. 

The Mo-rule

The Mo-rule in practice requires an equal distribution of underrepresented and represented candidates at the in-person interview stage. The hiring teams at LTSE approach this by identifying what crop of underrepresented candidates are missing from their team and dedicating their resources to finding talent that matches those profiles.

They also ensure there’s a one-to-one ratio of underrepresented and represented candidates. 

Actionable tip: Review the representation data after each hire with your team to continually reiterate the hiring strategy.

Building the Hiring Team

LTSE focuses on assembling interviewers with the perspectives, training, and insights required to qualify each candidate for the skillsets needed.

Nenonene’s team then develops an interview panel comprised of employees who are well versed in the importance of the candidate experience. This focus is developed through monthly training sessions for all interviewers to empower them to conduct structured interviews. 

Actionable tip: Create a lights-on monthly training program to both grow your interviewer pool and to also keep your existing interviewers well trained. 

Delivering on the Candidate Experience

LTSE’s approach is focused on the candidate relationship, and getting to know the candidate at the first interview call. The interviewers share unique information about their teams and walk the candidates through the position’s requirements.

Actionable tip: Be as transparent as you can with your candidates, with both the good as well as the challenging. A realistic expectation is far more appreciated that a hype session that will invariably leave a new employee feeling dupedA lack of information about essential aspects of a role or the company may hinder delivering the best candidate experience. LTSE provides each candidate with unique documentation outlining everything they need to know about the role being considered so that each candidate has a clear picture of role expectations, the team dynamic, and the company culture. 

Be sure to check out our ebook on the importance of solid candidate relationships in your hiring strategy.

Remote Work and Spotify’s Work From Anywhere Revolution

Webinar on making remote work successful.

Work from home is nothing new, and if we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that WFH can be just as productive (if not more so) than working in an office. But what if your company wants to adopt a WWYWB (Work Where You Work Best) policy? Lindsay Goreng, Global Talent Acquisition Lead at Spotify, sat down with GoodTime’s Head of Customer Success, Lauren Costella to discuss options for remote work and the strategies that made their approach a success. If you don’t have time to watch the full video, here’s the TLDR with the five main takeaways from the session.

Consider Your Remote Work Approach With A Globally Distributed Team

Spotify has implemented a strategy that enables employees to work from anywhere. Employees at Spotify are encouraged to view work as something they do, not a place they go. This enables great flexibility for employees to work fully remotely if they choose.

Though this strategy has been successfully implemented at Spotify, it’s not for every company. The fact is, there is no one size fits all option because you have to have the right infrastructure to support this work style, and the right strategies to implement these kinds of company policies. 

The way a company approaches these policies is one of the most important elements to consider. Spotify’s approach was very people-focused and they aimed to analyze what their employees needed to work their best. This meant that they had to provide flexibility for their employees because some of them worked best in a remote environment. 

This Is How They Approached Remote Work at Spotify: 

  1. Try to ensure that teams are within similar time zones to work seamlessly with each other instead of having 8+ hour time differences. 
  2. Set up multiple entities in different locations around the world so that those who do need the office can access it. 
  3. Choose specific regions when you’re looking to fill certain roles. 
  4. Allow employees to choose their work modes (office or home mix).

Prepare With Your Team

This is all about getting your team ready for change by understanding the goals and strategies used to make those changes a success. Preparation is also crucial for leaders to understand which employees prefer working in the office and those that prefer working fully remotely. 

It’s important to remember that it will take months to fully prepare for this kind of work environment because these changes can be quite drastic. Some roles have to adapt fully online, while others will need to be hybrid.

These Are Some of the Factors Spotify Had to Iron Out Before Getting Started: 

  1. Employee laws in different countries
  2. Payment methods for different currencies and countries 
  3. Co-working spaces for those who want office spaces in different locations
  4. Human resources and internal comms
  5. Training and retraining staff to adapt to remote work
  6. Getting the recruitment team ready

For Remote Work, Employer Branding Is Key

This is an important element to recruiting talented people because they need as much information about their employer as possible. Spotify has a dedicated website just for careers at the company to highlight the different roles available. This lets candidates see which roles are eligible to be fully remotely and the ones that require office work. 

This kind of method is quite effective in employer branding because the website gives in-depth details about the roles as well as the company culture that candidates should expect. It’s better than just having a few hundred words on a job board that give very little knowledge about what the employer values are and what work mode options are available at the company. 

This kind of employer branding is fundamental because it ensures that candidates already know before they apply what kind of role they want and what work mode they are eligible for as well. 

Spotify’s Results

Once these kinds of changes are made within the company, it’s essential that people are measuring the level of results. Spotify has seen many great results and one of those is the increase of applications once they announced that they’d let people work from anywhere where eligible. This attracted many talented people based in different parts of the world. 

By allowing people to work from anywhere, they no longer had to turn down applicants who were unable to relocate due to personal reasons or COVID-related challenges. This leveled the playing field for applicants and gave them the chance to hire more talented people regardless of their geographic location.

Look at Your Tech

Having the right tools is critical for companies trying to move to remote work. Spotify works to ensure that collaboration is asynchronous by using tools like Slack, Workplace, and GoodTime.

GoodTime has proven helpful for companies that have to navigate through different time zones with candidate schedules. This is one way that the Spotify team can automate scheduling and make the application process a positive experience for candidates. 

How to Run High-quality Interviews in the Distance Economy

Interviews are a critical part of any hiring phase. But what happens when you have to undertake these interviews against the backdrop of an emerging distance economy? It’s more challenging when you have to undertake the interviewing process remotely. Unless you employ impeccable skills and tactics, you’ll likely miss the mark in your recruitment process. 

So, how do you ensure that your remote interview process is above board? Scott Parker, Director of Product Marketing at Goodtime, spoke with Siadhal Magos, Founder and CEO of Metaview. Here’re some useful takeaways from the LinkedIn Live conversation that can be handy for hiring leaders managing the remote hiring processes. 

Prepare Your Interviewers Like Your Company Depends on It

When it comes to building candidate relationships, there’s little room for error during remote interviews. The days of the fashionably decorated offices loaded with perks are done for the foreseeable future, so preparation and proper training are key.

In most cases, candidates anticipate a polished interview process with minimal hitches. Having specialized training paths to ensure you have the right people asking the right questions to the best candidates is everything.

The interview preparation phase involves more than just selecting a panel of interviewers. Preparation involves optimizing your tech stack, the questions being asked, the interview sequence (who’s asking what and at what stage), and the scheduled times for the interviews.

Unlike face-to-face interviews, where you have more leeways to make adjustments, there’s very little wiggle room for remote interviews, especially if they’re across multiple time zones. If you want to run a high-quality interview in the distance economy, create training paths and interview templates to scale your process efficiently while keeping it bespoke to each candidate and role.   

Train a Broad Pool of Interviewers 

The new distance economy means the candidate pool is far deeper, which could easily overwhelm your team. A mistake some hiring managers make is settling for a smaller interviewer pool, which exposes the team to two negative outcomes: burnout and a slow time-to-hire.

It’s critical to empower your interviewers both in skill set and in load balancing. If you anticipate interviewing 70% of the shortlisted talent, you need to have at least 30% of an equivalent number of interviewers to oversee the interviews. 

It’s essential to expand the interviewer pool when dealing with remote interviews. This way, you have room for diversity, increased productivity and better succession planning. Before commencing the interview process, empower the interview team in a way that they can manage the process seamlessly. It’s also important to note that your interviewers are the face of your brand. What they portray during the interview is what the interviewees will take as the actual representation of your brand.

Plainly: an exhausted and dismissive interview panel will absolutely send the wrong signal. Don’t let it happen. 

Invest in the Right Resources

It’s surprising how hiring managers can set a very high standard for the candidates, yet rarely invest as much in the interviewing team. The interviewer training process is helpful as it sets the standards when dealing with interviewers.

Properly trained interviewers can cut the actual time of recruitment by up to 50%. The quality of the actual interview process depends more on the skill level of the interviewers than on the number of panelists. An interviewer should have conversational skills and analytical capabilities when managing the recruitment process. Other aspects such as experience in managing people also come in handy.

As an organization, it’s essential to invest the time in training your interviewers. When dealing with remote candidates, specific skills are critical. Unfortunately, most of these necessary skills cannot be attained without a formal, standardized training. 

Vary Your Question Types 

The process of interviewing candidates encompasses both open and closed-ended questions. Sometimes, direct, closed questions during an interview save time. But in other cases, you also need to listen to what the interview has said in length about some topic areas. This is significantly more so when dealing with remote interviews. 

In most cases, open-ended questions are helpful in the modern distance economy context. Open-ended questions allow you to probe the candidates more and invite them into a conversation. It’s important to do this, since it will enable the candidate to feel at ease and blend into the conversation. It’s essential to set questions so that they invite a broad range of responses.

The future of hiring will witness a mix of remote, in-person and hybrid work settings. Open-ended interviews present a chance for interviewees to explain how they intend to ensure flexibility in response to the uncertain future. 

 It will also help put the interviewee on the different spot-on issues. On the other hand, closed-ended questions allow the interviewee to give short answers on direct matters. 

The Bottom Line

The distance economy continues to disrupt how businesses run and operate. Talent acquisition teams must adjust and adapt to this evolving world of remote hiring. Optimizing remote interviews is among the new norms that every TA leader must embrace to develop the best candidate relationship possible. 

5 Key Takeaways: Meeting the Expectations of Candidate Experience

Webinar on the candidate experience.

Since March 2020, talent acquisition leaders contended with near-constant changes in both how they approach candidates, as well as sourcing top talent. The question is how to approach the remote work environment efficiently and conduct not only effective interviews with candidates, but also run interview processes that build the candidate experience and create excitement over the new role.

Teddy Chestnut, Chief Revenue Officer from BrightHire, spoke with Scott Parker, Director of Product Marketing for GoodTime, and shared smart recommendations for interviewers faced with the ever-changing recruitment landscape. Here are the key takeaways from their LinkedIn Live, with actionable steps on improving how you train your interviewers and how your team approaches the recruitment process.

“Being remote is no longer an excuse for not having your hiring plan together.”

— Teddy Chestnut, Chief Revenue Officer at BrightHire

1. “The New Normal.” It’s Pretty Much Just Normal Now

The pandemic afforded hiring teams the opportunity (or challenge, depending on your take) to manage the interview process using Zoom and other virtual tools to connect with and communicate effectively with candidates. Teams and candidates alike are now accustomed to having remote communication for interviews, and reverting back to less efficient processes isn’t likely.

Teams have pivoted their plans to remote, hybrid, and flex models to capture top talent.  Having buy-in on a plan that speaks to the future of work is critical. “Being remote is no longer an excuse for not having your hiring plan together,” says Chestnut. 

2. Building Adaptable Teams Is a Non-negotiable

Companies that do not provide flexibility for their candidates are at a distinct disadvantage because now candidates prefer to have the option to work from anywhere.  Because of the new hiring processes teams have been forced to implement, employees are increasingly requiring more interviewer training, and teams need to update their tech stacks to optimize core hiring metrics.

Building a resilient team that not only thrives in a remote work environment, but also demonstrates to prospective candidates the positive culture created in a distributed workforce, makes all the difference when sourcing new talent in this ever-competitive market. 

3. Help Interviewers Avoid Distracti… Look at This TikTok!

Now that many of us work 100% remote and are far more accessible, calendars are filled to maximum capacity. Because of constant access to news and by social media, it’s harder to tell if a remote interviewer is distracted versus when they were in person, because they can’t just grab their phones in the middle of interviews. The challenge today is for interviewers to give their candidates full attention so that the interview process can be as effective as possible.

When the calendar is full with back-to-back meetings, and Slack, WhatsApp, and Gmail constantly send notifications, it’s much harder to concentrate in an interview fully. Candidates can quickly tell when their interviewer is not giving them their full attention, which can create a negative experience that they might write about on Glassdoor.

Those negative reviews could deter potential candidates from even considering applying for a position at your company. Teams need to help interviewers focus on the task at hand, and work hard to avoid distractions in order to create a positive candidate experience.

4. Great Candidates Have Lots of Options (And They Know It)

Since the start of the Great Resignation, it’s been clear that the hiring process has greatly changed. Almost all candidates have other offers, even when they’re sitting right in front of you in an interview.

Interviewers need to remember that candidates have other options, and probably have other people giving them offers for a job. This means that interviewers need to make sure that the company is communicating the value that it can add to the candidate. The candidate also needs to make sure that they present themselves in the best way possible. 

Things have drastically changed with the dynamic between the candidate and the interviewer. This creates a sense of urgency between the interviewer and the candidates and it makes the interviewer keenly aware that they have to make sure that the scheduling works well and they’re not skipping interviews. Otherwise, these candidates can easily take a different job offer because of a delay caused by the interviewer.

5. Training Interviewers Is the New Non-negotiable for 2022 

When you’re in a situation requiring an interview where you have to have over seven hours of interviewing a day, logistics become challenging. Interviewers have to take time to do candidate research, write the feedback, and have time for preparation even before the interview starts.

Interviewers must have the right training to know how to interpret what they learn about the candidates they’re interviewing. When the interviewers are trained with the skills needed to manage remote interviewing, the interview process will be so much more efficient than it would’ve been if they were not well trained — or worse, not trained at all. 

Time To Elevate the Candidate Experience With Interviewer Training

Train interviewers how to create an amazing interview experience— then teach them to trust the process.

The time is now to implement interviewer training. GoodTime helps you train interviews with ease, giving you one hiring experience solution that lets you track interviewers and their progress and train them at scale. GoodTime gives you the confidence that your selected interviewers evaluate candidates effectively.

Want to learn more? Sign up for a demo now. 

5 Key Takeaways: Building an Employer Brand Strategy at Postmates

Postmates created a great employer brand strategy.

How’s your employer brand strategy? 

Amid The Great Resignation, compensation and role alignment aren’t enough to snag top talent. 

Creating a smart employer branding strategy attracts more ideal candidates by providing a clear, specific, and unique point of view as to what life is like within your organization. Employer branding also demonstrates company values in a way that helps candidates see themselves with a given company. 

And now more than ever before, company values matter deeply to job seekers. This is why taking the time to build a solid employer brand strategy is the secret sauce in capturing top talent. 

Every TA leader understands the importance of company culture as it’s seen through the eyes of current employees. By leveraging that knowledge, hiring teams can develop an authentic employer brand strategy to appeal to their ideal candidates.

Here are five key takeaways from the webinar with Pete Lawson, former VP of Talent at Postmates, on building an authentic employer brand strategy at Postmates. 

1. Turn on the Discovery Channel

Discovery interviews are the first step toward building an authentic employer brand strategy. They provide the opportunity to see the company through the eyes of the employees. Lawson’s team asked employees questions such as:

What’s it like to be a part of the Postmates team?
What’s their background?
What are their goals?
What’s compelling about their organization?
What do you feel is working?
What do you feel is not working?
Where do you feel undervalued?

Determining the company’s strengths and weaknesses from an employee’s perspective was valuable feedback that allows them to continuously improve as an organization.

Talent competitor analysis was important for Lawson’s team to pinpoint who Postmates was competing against for talent, and how they are currently showing up in the market. The team focused on key areas including:

How’s their employee value proposition (EVP)?
What’s their voice or tone?
What’s their brand reach?
What does their community engagement look like?
What do their mobile apps look like?
How can they gain a competitive edge as an organization?

A digital audit was deployed and combed through their primary mediums including:

  • Career site
  • Job description pages
  • Corporate blog
  • Social media
  • Glassdoor page
  • Github

The team used this method to identify some of their biggest gaps, to gather opportunities for improvement, and to determine where they needed to build more infrastructure. 

2. Communication Is Key During Development

The second phase was to utilize all of the insights collected during phase one to develop a brand narrative, finalize a digital recruitment strategy, and iron out the EVP narrative.

Lawson and his team developed a methodology as to what makes the experience of working at Postmates so unique. They accomplished this through a series of workshops where employees from different departments across the organization provided a wide range and variety of experiences and opinions. 

Using this valuable employee insight, they delivered recommendations for the tagline, the brand’s voice and tone, and the EVP framework. Hearing directly from Postmate employees about what makes the company culture strong, unique, and conversely the areas in which they could improve, was one of the driving forces behind how they arrived at this EVP. 

At this stage, it was crucial to align with the marketing team to get buy-in from them early on in the process. Having meetings early on helps all members understand the end goal, and can provide a roadmap toward the final destination. Getting that buy-in at this stage ensured that they had the opportunity to collect critical information, and understand who on the team they should expect to meet with on a regular basis.

These early stage meetings also allowed them to gain a greater understanding of their concerns regarding this project, what they are most comfortable with, and even some aspects that they’d prefer to avoid during this development phase.

During these meetings, they created project milestones to hit along the way, and gave access to the branding toolkit, and any other materials they had from a branding standpoint. This helped them stay on brand as they developed their strategy and finalized the EVP. 

Having in-depth communication with the team from the start allowed them to build their treatment, and establish themselves as the experts. They were then able to communicate that they understood the objective, company mission, and the desired outcome.

3. The Execution

After all of the hard work that was put in during phases one and two, the execution phase is where they really started to have fun with it. During the execution, they:

  • Rolled everything out
  • Activated the EVP
  • Built out the content creation and analytics dashboard
  • Created the job posting guide
  • Implemented the technology for candidate experience

At this stage, they leveraged the EVP and brand narrative to establish their target audience. They asked themselves what kind of personae and personalities they hoped to attract.

At Postmates, one of the key targets was to highlight female engineers and employees wherever and whenever possible. By including testimonials and photos on their microsites, they increased female representation, which encouraged more women to apply.

This is a much more effective method than simply saying, “we are hiring female engineers.” It was important to them that they really represent the female population, and share their first-hand experiences working at Postmates. This was a great way for candidates to connect with and relate to actual employees, rather than simply hearing the information from a recruiter.

4. Recruiting Ideal Candidates

A job posting guide was built to help make job posts more candidate-centric and on-brand, outlining key sections, examples, templates, and messaging resources as they related to the targeted personae. These would ultimately empower hiring managers to write better job descriptions with the narrative they created. The team wanted the job descriptions to paint a picture of the impact the candidate would make within the organization, and provide more detailed descriptions of the role.

As they interviewed prospective engineers, the hiring team heard a variety of stories concerning the impact they’re making during the COVID-19 pandemic. They wanted to ensure that they’re intentionally highlighting what it was like being an engineer at Postmates during COVID-19, and how their employees were treated during this time.

Video content was key. The team created employee-generated video content during the pandemic, and highlighted some of the shared experiences of employees throughout the organization. They made it a point to highlight their female talent, and how they are empowered to make an impact by building technology to support at-home workers during the pandemic.

This powerful campaign allowed Postmates to give candidates an intimate look at the impact their engineers have in their organization, using raw experiences to generate a narrative to help articulate the company-wide impact engineers have at Postmates. 

The employee-generated video content provided a rare opportunity for potential candidates to build a virtual connection with the employees they’re seeing, who they could easily look up on LinkedIn to verify identity. They prioritized authenticity, and gave candidates an opportunity to envision themselves working at their company.

Candidate experience was next level with GoodTime. Postmates’ team hosted the material that was created during the first couple of phases to create content for their site. Each touchpoint that the candidates had throughout their interview experience was imbued with this new branding and messaging. GoodTime freed up time on the employee side, allowing more time to create content and take care of bespoke, personal details to further elevate the candidate experience. The goal here was to provide candidates with the same feeling that a customer would get from interacting with their brand. It was also important that their mobile app would make it quick and easy for candidates to schedule their interview.

5. Preparation Equals Payoff

After all of this planning and execution, the Postmates hiring team was excited to see the fruits of their labor. Theming the strategies described in the above sections, they saw:

  • 80% increase in applications between September 2019 and September 2020
  • 91% increase in female applicants, an essential part of their mission
  • 30% increase of minority applicants and a significant increase in candidate quality
  • 50% of their applicant pool either “met” or “exceeded” the job requirements, and 
  • 46% of applicants were considered a “strong match” compared to September of 2019

They saw a huge increase in engagement on LinkedIn, and were  honored with a number of awards, including:

  • Best Place to Work in the Bay Area
  • Company With Best Benefits – New York
  • Company With Best Benefits – Seattle
  • Company With Best Benefits – Bay Area
  • Best Paying Company – Bay Area

If you want to watch the full session, check it out here. 

5 Takeaways for TA Teams: Diversity Recruiting + Alto Pharmacy

Neil Frye, Chief People Officer at Alto Pharmacy, was able to dive into the organization’s diversity recruiting journey in the past year in our DE&I 2021: Moving from Awareness to Action webinar.  You can watch the full, 45-minute webinar below, but for the quick rundown, here are five key takeaways from the session.

1. It’s a pivotal time for DE&I conversations in the workplace

Last year, the senseless violence in the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Jacob Blake, and other innocent POC underscored the need for systemic change. The #BlackLivesMatter protests, while long overdue, was a moment for action for organizations to address diversity and inclusion in the workplace. At Alto, the focus on diversity recruiting has always been in place. If anything, 2020 accelerated the journey by pushing practices to get a second look.

DE&I conversations are not new in the workplace. Organizations have formed policies and practices to address issues of their employees and their community. Yet, as US-based companies contend with with systemic racism as well as ongoing misconduct in the workplace, there are still faults and inefficiencies in their programs. Alto knew that this was the moment to drive actionable change – the goal here is getting results that mean something.

“We condemn the violence and systemic racism that has harmed marginalized communities, specifically Black communities, for far too long. At the same time, we commit to look inward and educate ourselves to continue to create safe spaces for Altoids and to act on what we learn.”

—Neil Frye, Chief People Officer, Alto Pharmacy

2. Diversity recruiting starts with self-awareness

The corporate world has always looked for ways to improve their diversity recruiting. Recently, the emphasis has shifted to systemic racism and gender inequality. While it may be easy to draft up policies, the task gets significantly harder when management has to actually implement, or encourage behavioral and mindset shifts. Perhaps what was lacking previously was the aspect of empathy. Coming from a place of privilege, the issues of the underrepresented communities may be underplayed or unrecognized by people in power. That’s where the problem begins. 

The corporate environment can only be as inclusive as its C-level suite. Neil Frye, Chief People of Alto Pharmacy, shares that he identifies at a cis-white gay man, and uses he/him/his pronouns. By establishing this, executives like Frye are able to uncover their hidden biases and prejudices that they may not have realized before. For him, the awareness comes from knowing that as a cis-white individual, he’s standing in a place of privilege, compared to marginalized counterparts that may be trans, a person of color, or female, despite also being a part of the LGBTQ+ community himself. Only when people understand their own identities, then can they empathize with their peers, before achieving advocacy.

3. Leaders must educate themselves

While diversity recruiting has always steered toward reducing bias, it is crucial that organizations have clear parameters of what DE&I means to take it forward.

Prior to talking to the teams at Alto, leaders of the organization had to educate and uncover the roles they played in the current DE&I landscape. Previously, in the fight towards equality, the burden of education fell on underrepresented communities to educate their privileged counterparts. Today, that responsibility falls on advantaged individuals to champion this change.

4. Being specific and defining diversity for Alto

DE&I in the workplace has never been one-size-fits-all. Each company considers factors like region, culture, and the diversity of teams. Because of this, it’s crucial for business leaders to build initiatives that meet the people where they are. From organization to organization, both workforce challenges and underrepresented communities differ.

Management and leaders have to start by putting themselves in the shoes of their workforces. The journey towards DE&I began with an internal audit. Alto tasked management executives to listen to the needs and voices of every employee through various listening sessions. Through this, they uncovered a series of complaints, experiences, and emotions. Parents, POC, marginalized groups told their stories about their communities, how they felt, and what their individual experiences were. The goal of this work was to craft strategies that truly reflect the communities they serve, rather than taking the page out of someone else’s handbook.

5. Alto’s strategic pillars for DE&I: Hire, Include, Develop and Invest

After months of planning, Alto developed a DE&I framework with four strategic pillars to drive real progress: Hire, Include, Develop, Invest. These four pillars were part of Alto’s aspirational goals and defined a specific action plan to produce tangible results. Prior to this, Alto has identified Black, Latinx, Hispanic, and women in STEM roles as the underrepresented communities they want to serve through their DE&I initiatives. Thus, the first pillar was focused on hiring, retaining, and promoting these individuals. Fleshing this out meant that they had to first define their current workplace diversity, which then set a benchmark for aspirational goals. From managers to directors, VPs and advisory board members, it was clear that these areas of the organization were lacking the various members that they identified earlier. Thus, Alto had to shift their focus to promoting internally, as well as hiring new members through GoodTime’s diversity recruiting solutions.

Companies must move past the awareness stage into advocacy. Acknowledgment alone of any issue, let alone one as complex as workplace diversity, doesn’t solve it. Alto Pharmacy’s journey into a more diverse workplace comes from taking actionable steps to promote, include, and achieve equality by listening to its employees, leveraging the right tools, and measuring success in an accountable way to continually move forward. That’s how progress starts.

Check out the full session here:

https://goodtime.wistia.com/medias/j17hyzytpy