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Lever’s Lunch & Learn Seattle: Creating a Talent Strategy for Success in 2020

Seattle Lever Recruiting Strategy Summit

We just wrapped up our Seattle Lunch & Learn, 5 Steps to Mastering Your Talent Strategy. Our diverse panel all came to the table with an exciting angle on the topic of building their talent strategy at their organization.

Our amazing panel included:

  • Jen Pusztai, Recruiting Operations Program Manager at Outreach. Outreach is a market-leading sales engagement platform.
  • Bryan Reese, Director Employee Success at eXp Realty. eXp Realty is helping to transform the real estate experience.
  • Caitlyn Metteer, G&A Recruiter at Lever.

The 5 steps to a talent strategy included:

  1. Create a strong employer brand
  2. Nail the candidate experience
  3. Keep your hiring managers engaged
  4. Transition to proactive techniques 
  5. Report effectively to your C-level

Here’s a recap of what they said it takes to become a recruitment-led high-growing company.

Step 1: Create a strong employer brand

“We started from scratch. We didn’t even have a career site,” says Reese. “We chose Lever because we wanted to have that very simple candidate experience right from the get-go.” 

Ensuring the brand’s consistency across platforms was of utmost importance for eXp Realty. And in looking at their company career site, you can feel the holistic flow of content and what they want you to feel — that it’s an exciting place to work, like Google or Apple would be. (Just check their ratings on Glassdoor for the proof points!)

For Outreach, it was critical to collaborate with marketing and build a relationship across teams. “We’re working with our marketing team right now to look at that.” says Puszttai “What do we need to do to make our recruiting site more inclusive?”  The answer — creating a consistent story and engaging marketing to work with recruiting to advise on their thoughts for successful outcomes.

“We’re also pretty lucky because we’ve received a lot of great publicity recently,” says Pusztai. “We’ve gotten some awards for being a great employer here in Seattle. That’s helped a lot, but we are working on building upon that and making sure that every single employee knows who we are and how to tell that to candidates and to friends, and past colleagues that they might refer.”

Step 2: Nail the candidate experience

The goal should be ensuring the candidate experience is as simple as possible. “It’s the one click apply,” says Resse. “It’s very, very easy for people to access our website and our jobs and all of that.” 

It’s important to note thateasy apply needs to be paired with constant candidate communicationso no one feels like a cog in the wheel. Reese hates the type of experience where you apply and get a disingenuous response “I hated that experience as a candidate, so we really want to make sure that as we go through each stage with a candidate, that we’re communicating consistently with them.” With Lever, some of these messages and notes can be done in a matter of minutes.

Pusztai also agreed that the apply process within Lever was quick and easy. “One of the things I really appreciate about how Lever structures things,” she says, “it’s pretty easy to see exactly what you have in your queue. You can look at your list of what’s happened, who’s applied, and you can just go through that list. You can make sure that maybe someone you haven’t reached out to recently, you can go ahead and give them an update.”

Step 3: Keep hiring managers engaged

“I run our operations,” says Pusztai. “We need to make sure that everyone knows what they’re looking for and that they set expectations with the folks that they want to interview.” 

If these expectations aren’t set upfrong, all sorts of things can get missed in translation, such as what makes the best fit for a role or a hiring manager’s role in the interview process.  

Reese insists that kickoff meetings are key to controlling the process from the beginning. “You’re having to be the subject matter expert to go in there, set the stage of what this is going to look like for your hiring manager,” he explains. Even by role he’ll lay out timing and interview expectations, so everyone is set up for success and knows the time needed to set aside. 

Metteer adds that Lever’s recruiting team came up with metrics to share with hiring managers each week around progress. “I think a lot of times it’s unclear what happens at the beginning of a recruiting process,” she says. “Sharing out some of that detail and that data has been really helpful in gaining buy in from the hiring manager.”

Step 4: Transition to proactive techniques

Managing timelines when it comes to a solid recruitment strategy also means understanding the techniques and timing needed to go outbound to nurture and source the very best talent for your business. 

“We see huge, huge boosts in our response rates,” says Metteer. “I think, typically, we’re hovering right about 60% response rate with three email touchpoint using our executives to send four, which is really nice.” 

Step 5: Report recruiting value to the C-suite

Pusztai uses the Lever dashboard to report effectively to her C-suite. She can pull reports within the dash and say, “Look, this is our pipeline. This is our pipeline speed. I imagine we’ll have these roles filled within 30 days.” 

To be able to have all the information and metrics to back you up provides a confidence that might be missing in past reporting. You also want to emphasize the value of the bigger picture. Slicing the data in different ways to show executives what’s going on and the state of the business and how quickly you can fill certain roles is key to any head of recruiting’s success.

“We’re also obviously looking at days to fill because our company is rapidly growing,” says Reese. eXp Realty’s leadership want to know why it’s taking so long to get people in roles and what the recruiting teams are doing to become more efficient. “We’re looking at diversity, obviously, and so we’re always looking at those analytics as well,” Reese says. 

There’s also a component to the cost benefit of sourcing. For instance, if Reese is getting 500 applicants from Indeed, but is only hiring one person, that might not be worth the investment. “Every month, we look at that, and then we try to inject something we’ve never done before,” he says, “so it’s a new job posting source. It’s a new networking event or something like that just to kind of mix it up and constantly be fresh, innovative in how we’re sourcing candidates.”. 

As long as you are painting the analytical picture of where you’re saving cost and where things are really working and where they’re not, the C-suite will support your hiring strategy.

Final thoughts: Creating a talent strategy for success in 2020

Reese explained that another secret weapon to his talent strategy is referrals: “60% of our candidates come by referral. Lever’s referral portal makes it easy, and that’s why we chose it, because we wanted to build that pipeline and have it as easy and customizable for our referral base.” For Putsztai, their data science team has been extremely helpful and integral in their talent strategy and process. They have their own networks that they’ve been able to really tap into, which has been key. 

If you’re struggling on how to create a talent strategy built for success in 2020, check out our eBook on 3 Ways to Create a Winning Talent Strategy!