It’s rare to have the opportunity to help build a product that directly impacts your daily life. But that’s what we get to do here at Lever on the Recruiting team. Our jobs are about more than hitting our hiring numbers and filling open desks with new Leveroos. While our team hires the people that build, sell, and implement the hiring software that our team lives in every day, we also get to directly impact the product itself through our feedback, knowledge sharing, and close relationships with every team. I never dreamed when I started my career in recruiting that I’d have the opportunity to improve the daily lives of anyone involved in hiring, as well as help improve the tool our team couldn’t do without.
At Lever, we get to be on the meta team; all at once using and helping to build a talent acquisition suite that supports over a thousand customers. Here’s what it’s like.
We are design thinkers and often the very first users
On the Recruiting team we often influence the product direction through our team’s own feedback. We have a lot of pride in being a part of the process, and we know our feedback is taken into account by our Design and Engineering teams. But before I was an employee, I was a Lever user at a prior company, and it was then that I experienced Lever’s deep commitment to user research and solving real hiring pains.
Our team at Lever believes in human-centered design, an approach to innovation that starts with the needs of people and integrates it with what is technically possible and is required for business success. As part of that process, our Product and Design team interviews, observes, and tests with recruiters and hiring managers to better understand their needs and how they work. Lucky for us, we’re included in that bunch!
I remember feeling shy when I told Josh, one of the product managers at Lever, what wasn’t working for me about the setup of a particular feature.
“Tell me more,” he said. It was the first time anyone had ever asked me what I thought about a tool that I used.
And it definitely wasn’t the last. The product team at Lever regularly conducts user research with customers, prospects, and users of competitor products. I knew my role as an “end user” at Lever would allow me to be closer to the development of our product, but I had no idea just how seriously our designers and engineers would take our suggestions or how they’d impact our product.
Not long after I became a Leveroo, I was surprised when a designer popped by my desk with a sketch of an idea and asked what I thought of it as a Lever user. Would I try out this feature? Why or why not? As the weeks have turned into months and now years, I’ve come to expect these appearances and really look forward to them.
In a typical user-research session, a recruiter will sit with some permutation of our Design, Product, and Engineering team and will answer questions about our workflow, walk through wireframes, or interact with rough prototypes. We are an incredibly cross-functional company, and we often help one another out because we’are driven by collaboration. But we also have ulterior motives– we love seeing something new from the Design team that will delight us (and make our jobs easier!).
Recently, our team was involved in the redesign of Lever’s scheduling feature. Recruiters often have to juggle several calendars and competing schedules in order to schedule complicated interview panels. The updated “availability finder” allows recruiters to see interviewers’ calendars, schedule interviews from within Lever, show meeting conflicts, and lets us do all of this easily with a drag-and-drop feature. Simply, it’s crisp and quick.
When the availability finder was in the design phase, the recruiting team spent hours with our Design team providing feedback on iterations of the feature and being shadowed while we scheduled interviews. When the new feature rolled out a few weeks ago, we were able to see just how our thoughts and our feedback influenced the way the feature was built and structured. And now it’s something we use—and benefit from—every day.
When I saw the updated availability finder for the first time, I couldn’t believe that the calendar had morphed from one communal calendar to several individual calendars, each calendar belonging to just one interviewer. I remembered having described the cluster of calendars and the difficulty of scheduling to our designers. To know I’d been heard and to see the changes, plain and simple, in our product, was nothing short of “I can’t believe this is part of my job.”
“Meta” for us also means “people”
We also have a unique opportunity to impact most of our own new hires even after they start as Leveroos. Everyone–from the executive team to hiring managers and interviewers–are passionate about building incredible teams, and that doesn’t end once someone converts from candidate to employee. During Ramp Camp (our new hire onboarding), we invite new employees to shadow the Recruiting team to gain an understanding of how Lever’s products work in action, whether we’re scheduling interviews, screening resumes, or sending sourcing emails.
Many companies don’t have recruiting-first cultures. Hiring managers hide from their recruiters, interviewers tank a candidate’s experience, and a whole epidemic of “hiring-is-not-my-job-itis” can hit. But at Lever, recruiting is a team sport, and our entire company is encouraged to help build our teams. Most of our teams at Lever communicate with recruiters (our customers) who share their pain points. So when the tables turn and Leveroos are the ones doing the hiring, they truly understand what the Lever Recruiting team and our customers go through on a daily basis. This shared experience of these pain points has allowed our team to share a common language about the industry we’re trying to revolutionize and has allowed for a lot more collaboration, feedback, and process innovation.
You become a voice in the talent community
Not only does our whole company know what we do, but we enjoy having shared recruiting knowledge across the company, which allows us to share this with our customers. But in order to do so, we have talk a lot about what most people never talk about: interview process design, feedback submission best practices, the best sourcing subject lines, and so on. And we do.
The environment here is very pro-recruiting and it’s made our jobs just that much more fun when we’re able to engage with our entire company because of what we do.
We also frequently discuss our own internal processes and receive feedback across our broader team. We’ve had our sales recruiting processes influenced by our engineering processes and hallway conversations have yielded major turning points in closing a hard-to-fill role. What’s more is that we get to share these best practices (and the failures, too) externally. Whether that’s in a webinar or at external recruiting events, it’s been humbling to be able to share what we’ve learned with interested audiences. Across our team, we’ve spoken on panels, at Diversity and Inclusion events, LinkedIn Talent Connect, and a host of other events that are aimed at pushing the recruiting industry forward.
In fact, the additional transparency into our own hiring practices have helped inform our customers, too. Our Recruiting team often answers questions about our own best practices to help our Sales and Customer Success teams advise our customers. We are also no strangers to hopping on the phone with customers or sharing our best practices through webinars. If hiring truly is a team sport, we think it’s our responsibility to share outside of Lever what’s been working for us.
Being a recruiter at a company that designs and builds beautiful recruiting software is truly a dream come true. We are impacting our industry tangibly, every day, by hiring people who will change what can feel like an antiquated industry. Every phone call, every candidate interaction, every user research session we’re a part of brings us closer to the way we believe recruiting should be–fluid, transparent, and fast. With each day and each candidate, we get closer to this pinnacle.
Our team is so grateful to be able to build this incredible company. If you’re curious about joining the team and helping us change the world of recruiting, drop us a line and apply on our careers page. We’d love to hear from you.