VP of Talent & Admin, Co-Creator of IMPACT's Core Values, Vision, and Culture Code
April 24th, 2017
Currently sitting in my inbox, I have countless emails from companies trying to sell me on new hiring tools, asking me to upgrade my current products, or comparing the hiring options out there.
With all the noise, it’s difficult to know where to put my energy and which tools are really the most appropriate for IMPACT’s hiring needs.
To give you a little background:
At the height of our hiring this year, we were probably looking to fill 3-4 positions at once. In the past year, we have filled 9 full-time positions and 2 internships that eventually transitioned into full-time roles. Never in the history of IMPACT have we ever felt more confident in the people that we’re hiring, and the processes and marketing interview questions that we’re using to find them.
So, this got me thinking. What are we using that has made us so happy with our process?
I decided to look back at the stages in our hiring process and analyzed the tools that we used to bring these A-players onto the team.
I’m sure you’ll notice, much like I did, that we didn’t need a lot of bells and whistles to get to the place we’re in now.
While I do like trying some of the new, snazzy products, I found that a lot of the tried and true (not to mention, inexpensive or free) methods are still working and helping us build the incredible team we have today.
Now, not every company is like ours and will benefit from the same processes, but here’s a peek at 7 hiring tools that helped us find kick-ass talent.
Hiring Tools for Getting Applicants in the Door
Throughout the last couple years, I’ve tried a variety of new tips, tools, and tricks to build our applicant pipeline, however, during our big wave of hiring in the last year, the ones below proved to be the most successful at driving the applicants that made it all the way through our very comprehensive hiring process.
You’d be amazed at all of the things you can do with a basic profile on LinkedIn.
I’ve gone back and forth with trying the free and premium version and I haven’t seen a real need to pay for an account with the features I use. Here’s a breakdown of how I use the platform:
Ah, my favorite part of LinkedIn: the filtered search tool. There are so many ways to narrow down the searches to some excellent candidates. My personal favorites are the keywords, locations, and past company filters.
After going through a couple different search filters, I typically narrow down my searches to the ones that look like the best candidates for the roles we’re looking to fill and connect with them.
Yes - connecting is a waiting game, but rather than going right to a message, which can seem a bit intrusive and spammy, I let the person give me permission to connect with them first.
By that point, they’ve seen my title and probably know I’m searching for talent, can see the company I’m with and look into it if they want, and can choose whether or not to connect with me.
I know LinkedIn gives the opportunity to send a message with a connection request, but I’ve found that usually gets ignored. Once I get the notification that someone actually accepted my connection request, I use that opportunity to send an opening message.
But don’t screw this up.
At this point, you’ve already hand chosen these candidates and they’ve opted to connect with you. A generic, copied and pasted message that gets ignored will throw away all of the work you’ve already done.
With each candidate who connects with me, I take the time to personalize the messages based on their work experience, location, or even hobbies and interests if they have those listed.
By being as “human” as possible, they typically write back and either let me know if they’re interested in more information about our company, or if they’re happy where they are currently.
This helps me to prioritize my time and efforts into the people who want to hear more from me.
Aside from LinkedIn, the amount of applicants that have found us through Glassdoor has skyrocketed in the past year. It’s one of the most transparent ways for potential applicants to know what it’s like to work at our company and because of this surge,we’ve recently put a big focus on optimizing our profile.
Although, like LinkedIn, Glassdoor offers a paid profile, we’ve had tremendous success with using the free version, paying close attention to the features explained below.
The first thing someone often sees on Glassdoor is your overall rating, so it’s important to get that number as high as possible.
We also make a point to respond to every review we receive - good or bad. This shows we acknowledge the ways we need to improve and that we’re listening to the feedback from our current or past team members.
Glassdoor also offers a variety of embed codes to add parts of your review to your website.
We used the one below on our careers page to promote our score and link to our Glassdoor page so people can read real feedback on working at our agency.
Almost 50% of the employees we hired in the past year came from Indeed.
Whether we scouted them ourselves or they found us through a job listing, it’s one of our most consistent drivers of great talent.
Indeed’s “Resume Search” feature, for example, allows you to find candidates whose resumes match a certain job title, skills, or company.
After the initial search, it opens up the option of additional filters, with the ability to hover over a candidate's name and immediately see a preview of their resume. This makes it easy to search through a high volume of candidates in a short amount of time.
After going through your filtered search - Indeed allows you to message candidates directly through the site. Being able to immediately take action within Indeed and not have to jump to another tool to communication keeps things easy and organized. I’ve used this search a bunch of times to contact a large quantity of applicants and and keep the pipeline full.
To prevent the hiring pipeline from running dry when we’re actively hiring, I tend to invest a small budget into a promoted Indeed posting. This sponsored posts works in the background while I’m doing other recruiting methods, saving me time and effort, and adding a cushion to the pipeline.
I don’t think I’ve ever invested more than $25 into a campaign at a time, and in the past year, we spent a combined total of about $250 on posts. For an average of about $20 per month, Indeed brings a lot of visibility to our job openings for a minimal monetary or time investment.
4. Our Own Employees
While they’re not the typical hiring “tool” you may think of, we’ve had some incredible applicants (and now current employees) come from referrals within our organization.
Although it doesn’t always work out, we always encourage employees to refer people that they think would be a great fit.
One of the ways we encourage people to refer others is through our referral cards (pictured below). It’s an easy, fun way to tell great candidates how to apply or get in touch with our hiring team.
Once I have a good amount of people in the pipeline, it’s important to stay organized when managing all of them.
In the past, I’ve used Google Sheets, but it became too time consuming to update and manage. When I started looking at tools that were built specifically for this, I came across Workable, and I’ve loved it ever since.
Right when you log in, you can see the pipeline of all of your active job openings in your dashboard. This is an easy way to evaluate each stage and determine where to put your focus.
From there, Workable gives you insight into other tools to better analyze and prepare for hiring.
With these tools you know where your efforts have been paying off, how long it typically takes to hire for a certain position, etc.
Among a lot of the other features of the Workable platform, I enjoy being able to communicate and collaborate with other team members. We can make notes on candidates, leave reviews, attach files or links, and make sure we’re all on the same page before making a decision on a candidate.
Within a candidate’s profile, we can see all of the information they submitted in their application, public social profiles, any notes from internal team members, and communicate directly with the candidates.
Adding email templates into the system makes this messaging even more efficient and organized, making it easier to move candidates from one stage to the other.
Tools for Interviewing
Aside from email and phone communication, we use Google products in a couple different stages of our interview process.
One of the first stages in our interview process is a “face-to-face” interview, which we used to do in the office. Now that we hire remotely as well, we do this through Google Hangouts. It makes it easy to schedule and attend for both parties, and best of all - it’s free!
During a stage in our hiring process where candidates complete an activity, we analyze their performance with a scoresheet. Because we don’t need anything too fancy, Google Sheets works perfectly to tally up the score, and we can organize and share it seamlessly in Google Drive. Like Google Hangouts - there’s no charge to use it.
If a candidate makes it all the way through our hiring process, it’s time for onboarding!
During the first couple weeks of a candidate’s onboarding, new team members work off of a board in Trello. Trello is incredibly easy to use and organize, so new people can hop right in and start navigating through all of their tasks.
Organization within each Card
Items within a list on a Trello board are called cards.
By clicking into the card, new team members might find descriptions, lists, attachments, etc. to guide them through the process for each item. This keeps things organized and easy for new employees to navigate independently through different stages of their onboarding.
While Trello offers a paid version, all of the features we need are currently included with a free profile.
Good Tools Don't Guarantee Good Employees
No matter what tools you have, if you don’t don’t have your own set of hiring guidelines, or a good hiring process, you probably won’t end up with the best team. Once all of your hiring procedures are in place, you can mix and match the best tools to fit each of the stages in your team’s hiring plan.
To learn more about the tools that IMPACT and other marketing and sales leaders are using, attend IMPACT Live 2017!
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