The recruiting model has shifted overnight as talent volume has skyrocketed for certain roles —particularly in specific industries. As such, many companies are inspired to create more solid pipelines and better assessments to gauge quality when they hire, which for some is now remotely.
As well, the passion for compassionate hiring, meaningfully applied missions and more nurturing has led many companies to tweak their processes, adapt communications and incorporate messaging of an evolving workplace and business environment.
1. Can you tell me what about your company’s hiring processes you are most proud of that align with your mission?
Quantifying the “Hire with Heart” Mission
“I think the thing I’m most proud of is that we took our ‘hire with heart’ mission and quantified it – made it formulaic and process-driven,” exudes Armitage. As a result, our initiatives ensure “that which was impossible is no longer impossible,” while also enabling exponential returns.
Armitage’s organization, which often acts as the recruiting arm for high-growth companies, delves beyond finding people to also focus on process building. This allows their customers to scale long after FoundHuman’s teams exit.
Realizing the impact of every person in the culture recipe, they take special care in bringing the right group of people together under the right set of circumstances for the right reasons.
“We’ve spent the last five years figuring out how to take what we do and make it a repeatable model for any company to follow,” he continues. “It’s about doing the right thing for the right reason — using our own expertise and creating the right processes around it.”
Hiring for an Innate Sense of Curiosity
Bestow’s mission to change the status quo one hire at a time has resulted in what Roe describes as a company filled with “incredibly smart and talented people.”
“I feel extremely proud of the work we have done with regards to interviewing and hiring,” continues Roe. “More important than meeting the requirements on paper, what we look for in candidates are those who have an innate sense of curiosity, are not afraid to bring new ideas to the table and care enough about their work to make it great, for example. Bestow is changing the status quo in the life insurance industry, and we like to hire people with a similar pioneer and innovative mindset.
2. How would you describe operational initiatives you’ve undertaken to refine, streamline and enhance your recruitment initiatives?
Thinking Forward-Back, with the End in Mind
“The first couple of years were painful, because we weren’t our own customers,” explains Armitage. “We ended up hiring really great people, but not the right people. Personal situations, such as Armitage’s father dying, meant that process wasn’t top of mind at the time.
“It was a learning experience. So, I took a step back and said, ‘We need to practice what we preach,’” continues Armitage. This included significant rebuilding: revisiting the job ideation process and thinking forward-back, while also addressing residual culture items, ultimately resulting in a much stronger company and offering.
“I would tell anybody, especially an entrepreneur or anyone in leadership this: At some point and time you’re going to get distracted, so when that happens you need to have a system set up. This might include hiring and training someone to carry the torch in your absence or during a period of distraction; e.g., birth of a child or a death in your family or COVID.”
“A bad hire is MORE than a financial cost; a bad hire changes the dynamics of the culture. You don’t get that back. So, it’s important to take care to make sure you have safety measures in place (to avoid this happening),” concludes Armitage.
Improving Pipeline Management to Hire World-Class Talent
“One of the great advantages of working at a start-up is the opportunity to always improve and iterate on various processes with regards to interviewing, onboarding and orientation,” says Roe.
Closely aligning with both the hiring manager and interviewing teams has propelled Bestow’s goal to hire people who elevate their teams. “We’ve also been able to leverage a tool which allows us to connect with more active AND passive job seekers; this has helped us greatly with building a more robust pipeline for our more challenging roles and ensuring we continue to hire world-class talent,” continues Roe.
3. What steps has your hiring organization taken to ensure it is robust and at the same time agile, for evolvements and shifts in the market, particularly as it relates to shifts in the talent market post-COVID?
Underpinning Processes with Radical Transparency
Rooted in agile philosophy, FoundHuman’s data-rich processes empower their goals of radical transparency achieved through candidate feedback (what’s working and what isn’t) and also among the team that the data is providing.
“Lever just added candidate experience surveys, and we’re psyched,” exudes Armitage. “For us, experience is everything; candidates are an offshoot of our customers, and a lot of times they ‘become’ our customers.”
“We tell every candidate that our goal for them is two things: 1. We want to get to the point of knowing they want that job or they don’t want that job. We want them to have ALL the information they need to know. 2. Regardless of what they decide, we want to ensure the experience they have with us is a good one.”
Lever’s timely release fuels this continuous improvement by asking the candidate what their company could do better at a certain point in the interview process. It also enables them to diagnose the issue as acute or systemic, and then to create and test it again.
Moreover, they use data to constantly analyze. “We know what likely will work, but we’ve had our share of surprises. We‘re like constant kids, asking ‘How didn’t that work’? Our processes continue to evolve.
“Right now, we’re in one of the most trying times, so we take the approach of, ‘We know nothing’ as we’re tracking people. Let’s see how it’s affecting bits and bites. It allows us to get the point of knowing more than we did,” concludes Armitage.
Building Recruiting Engagement Programs Addressing the Shifting Talent Market
“Unfortunately, millions of people and their jobs have been affected by COVID-19,” says Crull, whose company has been closely monitoring and internally sharing news of the layoffs occurring among their networks.
“As a result, we have built a few strong recruiting engagement programs to address this ever-shifting talent market to include focusing on more targeted searches due to layoffs and furloughs, directly reaching out to companies that announced layoffs to stand in as outplacement support, using social media avenues to announce our job openings and that Bestow is here to help.”
Moreover, in their desire to help as many people as possible amid and beyond the COVID crisis, Bestow’s founders and senior leadership help stand in the gap in the community by delivering public messages.
4. How has Lever been able to help address particular challenges in recruiting?
Automating Repeatable Processes
According to Armitage, Lever’s agile, data- and process-driven methods mesh well with FoundHuman’s philosophies, enabling a synergistic relationship. “We don’t have to tweak what we are to work with them. We can set up the environment to get what we need.” This includes getting granular to drive the enhancement.
“Now, they (Lever) are adding process automations to create a repeatable process to keep our teams as small as they need to be without being bloated,” continues Armitage, emphasizing the value of fully baked processes to work a high-volume, growth-focused recruitment initiative that prioritizes candidate experience.
Evolving Processes for Scalability
Bestow is among those companies whose hiring has trended up despite recent months’ challenges, having “had more hires halfway through our current second quarter than we had at the end of the last quarter,” according to Roe.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to continuously evolve our processes to be more efficient and scalable, a few months ago we integrated DocuSign with Lever which ensures we will have all of the necessary documents tied to each candidate’s profile. More recently, we also integrated GoodHire with Lever for our background checks.”
While the hiring landscape looks differently than it did only a few short months ago, the need for hiring agility to adapt to evolving needs remains the same. To help you address this, Lever has created 11 Best Practices to Recruiting During COVID-19 to ensure you evolve processes and redefine the functions of your talent acquisition practices. Download your copy today!