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How 15Five Tackles Explosive Growth while Maintaining a Lean Hiring Team

As a small company, there’s nothing better than being recognized as “Best Place to Work,” especially during times of explosive growth. The influx of interested candidates can be a huge boon to your recruiting — as long as your hiring process is ready to handle the extra volume.

But what if it isn’t? How can your team get ready so that your company’s candidate experience continues to reflect the amazing culture you’ve all worked so hard to build? And helps you say “no thanks” to great talent without closing the door for future opportunities?

To find out, we sat down with Heidi Collins, VP of People Operations, and Jessica Lam, Talent Manager at 15Five, whose three-person talent team helped the 2019 Inc. “Best Place to Work” hire 100 employees in eight months, almost doubling their headcount during a phase of exponential growth.

Here are these two experts’ top tips for hiring lean and thriving as a small company.

Amplify your people’s hours to get more done in a day

Just a year ago, 15Five found itself struggling with a siloed hiring process that made it difficult for hiring managers and people operations to document interview questions, provide feedback, and follow up with candidates. This made initiatives like diversity and inclusion extra challenging.

“We have always been extremely passionate about diversity and inclusivity, but nothing was being documented and it was difficult to tell if we were making fair hiring decisions,” says Collins. “We needed something that was easy to understand to ensure high adoption rates.”

The company chose Lever to empower its hiring managers with a more consistent hiring process through the automation of manual tasks. Now, scheduling, feedback collection, and email outreach are all done through one dashboard, speeding up each stage of the talent pipeline. Plus, the Lever team offers a diversity and inclusion survey to monitor success and results from changes made to the candidate experience.

Currently, 15Five has 30 open roles, 2,900 candidates in their talent pipeline, and 200 candidates actively interviewing. “There’s no way our team of three people could manage all those candidates without a tool like Lever,” says Lam. “I can’t live without it.”

Close the feedback loop to boost candidate referrals

“The candidate experience is really critical whether we hired the person or not, because every candidate has the power to influence our future talent pipeline,” says Collins. That’s why 15Five uses Lever’s email templates to quickly follow up with candidates who aren’t hired. The templates can be customized for each candidate to provide a reason why they weren’t selected, which prevents candidates from falling into a black hole. 

Feedback is gathered to fill in these emails from Lever’s interview feedback forms, which 100% of 15Five interviewers now use. “It can be challenging to get people to submit thorough and thoughtful feedback,” says Lam. “Lever really simplifies the feedback process for our team.”

Candidates have taken notice and are reaching out to thank the 15Five team for feedback and updates. As a result, they’re recommending the company to their peers, while staying open to applying to new opportunities in the future with the company. 

For example, one VP-level candidate recently left this Glassdoor review for the company: “Overall the entire process then, and now was incredibly humanistic. I never received any automated cold emails or calls. Even though I didn’t get an offer, interviewing with 15Five really opened my eyes to how recruiting should be done and could be done. I’ll be regularly checking any open roles as I would love the opportunity to join 15Five. Major kudos to the Head of Talent for leading such a great recruiting team!”

What’s ahead for 15Five

15Five is on an exciting path of growth and expansion. As the company looks ahead, making strategic hires is of utmost importance. Collins and her team know they have the tools at hand to make smart hiring decisions at scale. “Lever is my favorite recruiting and talent management platform,” says Collins. “We have a lot of recruiting tools, but I can’t live without Lever.”

>> Ready to make the switch to a modern recruiting platform? Learn where to get started in our eBook, How to Get Your CFO’s Buy-In for Better Recruiting Software.