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In the world of recruiting, some people have seen it all. They build recruiting teams from the ground up, hired hundreds of people in the best companies in the world. People love their expertise year after year. I'm Robin Choi and I'm on a mission to collect their learnings. These are their stories. All right, so today I'm with Lance from Talent, and we'll be talking about a topic that's very dear to me. We'll be talking about how to nurture time pools and past candidates and how to hire from your past candidates. So very happy to have you here today. Lens, can you tell us a bit more about yourself, your background and why we're decided on that topic for today?


Thank you for inviting me, Robin. I've listened to a number of your conversations, I'd say, over the last year, and in particular, two of the interesting ones that popped out for me were Nate Smith, the CEO of Lever. We just had the chance to interact with him and his team live at their annual conference, and they're proving to be a strong partner of ours. So it was interesting to hear his podcast with you from actually more than a year ago and then also Lever's former head of Ta, you suggested. I listened to Amanda and really enjoyed what she had to say, and I hope we get the chance to cross paths down the road.


Nice. And can you tell us a bit more about Talent? How you build that nurturing process of yours that allow you to hire some people from your existing temple, why it was important to you?


Yeah, you led with it. This is an exciting topic and it actually literally inspires our entire team. When you're the size company that talend is, which were about 1500 people with aspirations to grow to 3000, 4000 as we move towards being a world class SaaS company and a billion dollars in revenue. And that our tool from a data perspective, is how companies operate. Regardless of which business unit you're in, we know we need great people. And when you're out there competing, particularly in this hyper competitive market that we've all seen for at least the last 1218 months, how do you differentiate yourself? And so a commitment that we made was everybody's going after referrals and internal mobility. It makes good business sense. But the next category for us, we've really been looking at nurtured candidates and not just the silver medalist, because, again, those are easy. It's not that they're easy, but to nurture people who our recruiters come in contact with and they find that they would be an accelerator to the growth of our company, regardless of the business unit and role. We're consciously making a decision to maintain that relationship. And we're starting to see, we set a stretch goal for ourselves that 10% of our hires would be nurtured candidates.


And we almost got there last year with 48 nurtured hires. So the way we consider a nurture hire, someone who gets hired into a role other than the first one they applied to. And so we had 48 last year. And as we're coming up on the end of the first half this year, we're at 25 with another couple in process this last week and a half. So we're on track to beat last year, and that's exciting for us. And a lot goes into that. The average rec load that a recruiter at Talend has is a little bit lower than other companies I've been at, because we really want them to enter every conversation with a listening and learning mindset. Instead of getting on the phone and saying, robin, I've got the role for you, we start listening to see what the candidate is looking for, and then we can assess for all of Talend as opposed to just the specific role that we met to talk about.


Okay, would you be able to share numbers? So you're saying that the rate quote is lower. How much is it? How big is the recruiting team? And from your previous experience, because you also work in big corporates, 24 hours fitness, completely different type of roles I would expect from times and intuit Cementech. So what kind of numbers did you see there?


So I'd say our average rec load this past year has hovered around twelve to 15, as opposed to 1518, maybe 20. So that means there are times where the recruiter has instead of twelve, they might have eight or ten because they've closed a bunch of roles and they're just getting started again. And so it's in a lot of those gaps, they also take opportunities to I haven't talked to Robin in a while, I've got a role coming up that I know I've talked to really good people about this before. And so it's also that mindset of getting with the hiring manager and taking a look at the talent that we've already engaged with, as opposed to a brand new posting on LinkedIn and inviting hundreds of resumes that they then have to pour through. And of course we're still doing that and we're still finding great people that way and starting those conversations for the future higher. So it's that constant cycle, but really building a muscle where our applicant tracking system or database is after our own internal talent team members, and then the referrals that come from team members who we trust to say who would make us a better company, go to the people we've built relationships with.




That's surprising because a lot of people will open up a new role and just go on LinkedIn and start sourcing on LinkedIn or posting the job on LinkedIn instead of first searching inside their existing temple and really make it a gold mine. And my understanding is that a talent, it really starts with the intake meeting. So the first meeting with the hiring manager, the recruiter will come with a list of candidates or people that they already engage with in the past. How does this work?


That's actually the goal is to get to a point where that first conversation, we've matured enough as a recruiting team in function and the recruiters got such an established relationship with the hiring manager that it's the continuation of the last role they worked on and everything they learned. So that's the hope that that first conversation almost starts with a slate in some cases because we've built pipeline and we've engaged people. That's not the case all the time. But we do have as a foundational principle for us is that recruitment planning meeting where because we're learning about the skills and the competencies, the gaps that the current team has, making sure we understand the business strategy, all those things so the recruiter can then become a true advocate for that hiring manager and their team. And so it's that principle of playing the long game and this might be the first time we've worked together on this particular role, but I think we're going to get to do this 7810 twelve more times and let's do this right so that we can have a lot more success and of course just hire great people faster. That's one of the things we try and talk about.


And with the nurtured candidates on average we're seeing now for the six quarters that we've really invested in building this muscle, we're seeing an average of the nurtured candidate being hired 19 days faster. And so from a business perspective that's certainly three business weeks, three full weeks and in some cases with long notice periods that saves a month to productivity or a gap in a backfilled role. So we're really excited about that and the business gets it too. So we're not having to spend a ton of time convincing them of why this is good for all of us. They get it, they're helping us. And one of the things that we've talked about for the back half of this year to continue to build this is getting to a point where the hiring manager and the interview team members help with that nurturing so that it's not exclusively a recruiter function because ultimately the candidate they're joining, the hiring managers team, that's who they need to have that long term great relationships with. Whether it's the virtual copy chat now that so many people have shifted to or just an email update on what the business is doing, keeping us top of mind for that candidate who has so many choices, it's one of the levers that we're pulling that we think will help us be successful.


I really like the side of just changing the name from intake meeting to recruiting planning meeting because it feels way more strategic and way longer term. So it's not only taking in your expectations for this role but we're actually planning and scheduling together and forecasting what recruiting will look like for your team in the next twelve months. And if there are actual roles that might pop up in twelve months, then we might start working on this now. And do recruiters also have so we're talking about reclaim. Do they have some kind of Nurturing target? Like you should be engaging with X people per week or per month that are not for an Active just now? Or how does that reflect on the individual recruiters objectives, targets?


That's such a good question because if you're not measuring it is really important. And I've got an amazing Ta leadership team and an amazing recruiting team, and every six weeks we get together for a Ta all hands, and then the next two weeks later, we always have an all Ta training event and we're always talking about this and celebrating Nurture wins. Each recruiter is challenged with two Nurture hires a quarter. So if everyone is working on that 810, 1215 hires a quarter, if everybody is doing that, we really can get to that 10% plus range. So we are challenging everyone with a goal of two per quarter. And then we're celebrating the wins. People get it. And then we also have done the math and the savings for the business. We're incentivizing the recruiters with a day off for every Nurture hire they get, and different things motivate people, but we're trying all these different things to drive this. And another thing I'll share with you, Robin, if I step back, is we've got a goal of 30% referral hires, 25% internal hires, and so that gets us to that 55%. If we're converting somewhere in the single digits, up to 10% of our really talented contingent workforce, we start to get towards 60% plus of our hires.


And then you throw in 10% or more Nurtured hires. And all of a sudden for the amount of hires that we're responsible to the business for in a year, it's literally one in four that you're back at square one, where we've got to go external, we've got to do that much longer, in many cases, much more difficult search because it starts with getting to know the candidates and all of that. So if we do this right, all of a sudden it's only one in four. Rec is new for us, and again, that helps us hire great people faster.


Okay, so you have the big target for the team and then you just split it into individual targets. And that makes sense. And that also helps explaining not only is it a target for the recruiter, I guess, but also I would say that most individual recruiters would be looking forward to making Nurture hires. Right? Because you grow a very strong relationship with the person, and it's not about pushing direct to as many people as possible. You really work with a person, so it's very rewarding. But a lot of companies will just say that this is not a priority and we'll just say not to spend time on any of this because it's not yielding immediate results. You have to wait for six to twelve months for it to get results. So I like the fact that you actually give targets to individual recruiters because it also shows that this is a priority for the company and the company as a whole cares. And that is important for the company. So it's not only about hitting the target, but also you can take time to work on nurturing candidates because this will be part of the entire company's target.


Right? That's exactly right. Because we're looking at each other, I can see you nodding your head and we're both smiling about this topic. We report on this to the business too, and our quarterly reports, which are pretty detailed, we talk about source of higher and we emphasize this and the business gets it. So they're not starting to they have an expectation too that the recruiter is this talent consultant because that's what you just described. They're not out there just as a resume reviewer. They're building relationships because they're responsible for finding the next great people for our company. And it's also in this hyper competitive market, that relationship, that the recruiter starts with the future to lendy. And it helps us retain them from day one because they start to understand the company, our mission, our purpose, our vision, our values. And all of that starts with a recruiter who is interested in getting to know them and understanding what they're looking for in their next role, as opposed to convincing them that this is the role for them. So it just sets up better conversations and I think different conversations, which are something that we hear from our candidate feedback as well, is that the recruiter wants to know about me and what I'm looking for.


And again, this market and so many great companies to choose from, the recruiter really has a chance to be the.


Differentiator and they probably also create a virtual circle of referrals of positive employee and candidate experience. And this is not something that you can measure with that 10% target, but that will pay off later because you're really investing in the employer brand as well.


That's exactly right. It all fits together. We've seen as our nurture hires have grown, we measure candidate experience, we've seen the feedback that we're getting from candidates and in particular the one we're most proud of is candidates who don't get a job with us. And 83% of them, the last two quarters have said that the recruiter kept me informed and I understood where I stood on the role. And then the other piece is, and this goes back to just what terrific partners are hiring managers in the interview team members are and they understand the importance of that. Candidates are also telling us that an 80% rate that I had the chance to present my authentic and best self to talent. And so when you've got candidates saying, I didn't get the job this time, but I had a chance to present my best self to this company, it turns into that longer conversation because they walk away. It was a no this time, but Robin is going to call me back and I'll continue to get better at my craft while I wait for the next opportunity to pop there. And hopefully that's when it lines up and we get them higher, quicker and faster than the first time.


So I'm guessing by now people listening to us will be convinced of the benefits of nurturing past candidates and staying in touch over the longer term. Hopefully they're able to convince the hiring managers as well and the leadership in the team, because you have to get everybody on board. But by now, we'd expect that's the case. You shared a few numbers, you shared that reduced time to hire, you shared a lot of benefits. But what if we want to get down to the nitty and gritty? How do you do this for recruiters on a daily basis? And the reason why I'm asking the question is because you multiply the touch points. You'll be talking to the person over the phone, text messages, LinkedIn, email, so you get information everywhere and know your goal is to even get the hiring manager to help with the nurturing. And that's the problem that a lot of people that we see face is, okay, we want to do nurturing, we want to keep in touch with all these big pool of pastants, but the problem is that it doesn't scale. And pretty quickly we're just overwhelmed and we will follow up with someone, but we have no idea what we've said to them before.


So how do you organize? How do you make sure that every activity is tracked? And how do you get everybody on board?


Another really good question, and I'm smiling because this is hard and we certainly aren't perfect at doing it, but we've made a commitment and a lot of it goes to the energy of our Ta leadership team. And in particular we've got a Ta marketing leader and he's also got a marketing specialist on his team. And those two people, Jonathan and Nathan in particular, their energy around this has brought our whole team forward. And so doing things like making it consistent for how are we going to tag these people. And so we use consider for future role and CFFR and the starting to build that discipline and muscle for how do we keep these great people easily identifiable. And so that when I go to do a search in lever that I can find them quickly. And so it's building that tagging muscle that I didn't just have a great conversation with Robin, I actually documented it a little bit. And some recruiters are better than others. But if everybody's consistently making sure that we capture some key things like we want this person for a future role. It starts with that and then maybe a key skill or competency and location.


Then all of a sudden it's much easier for the recruiter who might have that role next time to find them. So it's building muscle over time. We track as another just team metric. We made a commitment to being operationally excellent the last two years and so we've watched our audit scores continue to improve. So it's simple things like our postings aligned to Rex.


How do you run those audits? Are there internal audits? You work with a third party?


So another good question. We actually on our Ta operations side and our people data analytics side. We've got a great partner who has managed to create what we see as a real advantage for us is if you could picture FPG and a user and a plan as the planning tool. Workday is our system of record and then we've got our ATS lever and our company and team trying to practice what we preach as a data company. All three of those systems integrate into one data warehouse. And so because it's one source of truth for us, we're able to pull any information from each of the systems and have everything tied from the budget idea of an original wreck all the way through a higher and so we can see those things and with some really smart people that are on our team and across the people function, it's helping us stay tight on things that we know can lead to success.


So this is an external when you're saying the partner that managed to create that big integrated system was this built in house or with someone else?


Yes, it was built in house with our enterprise data analytics team partnering with the people data analytics. It's not even a team, it's one person who's doing a lot of great reporting using tableau as we pull data from that data warehouse. And ultimately we have a goal like a stock market ticker is we want all the recruiting information to be first of all accurate but then available real time in a transparent, easily accessible in usable way. So that whether it's a C level leader or a hiring manager, they could quickly click in and see how things are going.


Okay, most like do you have SLA for the recurring team as well? Like you should reply to an inbound candidate within 24 hours. Do you have such rules?


We've talked about that and I know that helps a lot of teams be successful, but we have not gotten into that level of detail on what the expectation is for resume turnaround and feedback and things. It's certainly on our to get to growth roadmap but right now focusing on the overall hiring manager and candidate experience and then some of these other key things that we've been talking about, we measure source of higher speed of higher. We also measure diversity. So there's some key metrics that we're after that are creating that foundation for us to, I think, get even more detailed in the future.


Now, you seem to be very data driven. You've been able to quote a lot of numbers that I think a lot of companies will spend months to get reduced time to hire, that's a good one. So you seem very data driven indeed. And if we go back to nurturing that talent pool so there are two ways to actually nurture talent pools and I like to know which one you picked and if you tried the other. What we see is there are companies doing recruiters reaching out one on one with candidates and staying in touch with a very personalized one on one relationship over time. Like how are you doing? Last time we talked about that and did that change? You told me that maybe this summer you would reconsider changing jobs. So that type of relationships and there is another way to get it is like sending bulk and not personalized email sequences but more like marketing email sequences. Like this is what has been happening in the team in the past month or we recently released this feature or had this big news. My understanding is you're doing more of the first one but did you consider the latter as well?


Yes, and it's a good one. The answer right now is it's highly personalized for a couple of reasons. One, our recruiters are committed to this and we are really fortunate that we haven't had much attrition in our recruiting team. And so we've been through the leadership changes at our company, we've been through COVID, we've been through the global unrest. We recently went from public to private as a chance to grow our company faster. So there's been some big changes that we've gone through together and the team has stayed together. So the commitment they have to both talend and each other is helping us have this highly personalized connection point. Is that scalable? Not entirely. That personal relationship piece is I think it's the differentiator for our recruiters and our coordinators too. They take the time to deliver a great experience for candidates and support hiring managers and so everybody is really driving for this. But boy, having the ability to do bulk updates or a marketing kind of message for people who opt in for that and want to know what's going on with the sales team or what's going on with the product team in terms of meeting the roadmap, we absolutely want to get to that point so the recruiters can personalize that content or imagine if some of that was automated and they could do it in a way that it sounds just like the conversation we're having now so it doesn't come across as sterile.


Those are all things that we're trying to figure out how to do on our roadmap. The administrative things that we can take off of a recruiter's plate, gives them time to have that extra conversation or to update a hiring manager, talk to a candidate they haven't talked to in a while. So all of those things that are why recruiters love what they do, we're looking at those things. But right now it's highly personalized with the Aspiration to use tools and find other ways to just keep them updated.


I actually very like that it's personalized and exactly because it's not very scalable, that makes it a very strong competitive advantage because not everybody has a strong marketing team with a lengthy experience with a candidate. So I can completely understand why you're betting on this and why it's a strong capital advantage as well that other companies kind of replicate. Because rather easy to create nurturing email sequences, like generic email sequences with generic data, you need to have one person dedicated to working on the content. But aside from that, it's rather easy. What's very hard is maintaining a highly personalized relationship of thousands of people. That's a tough one. So congrats for reaching that and good luck with reaching that goal of 10% of hires coming from nurture. And we'll reach back for when is the 2022, right?


That's for 2022, yes. So we'll have to come back and see if we had more nurture hires in the back half of the year than we did the first half. And we go from 89% in FY21 to 10% or more this fiscal year.


I'll check in with you in six months. And do you have maybe one final advice to companies? So a lot of companies are slowing down and hiring right now. Some are even laying off talent acquisition teams. What would be your advice to these companies? Do you think that's a good time to invest more on nurturing or is it the opposite? Because hiring is not a priority. They shouldn't spend any time on nurturing any day from now. What do you believe?


Yeah, it's a really timely topic as everybody looks at what's happening with the global economy and what are we going to do? And what we've talked about, we actually shared with you. We had one of our TA trainings just last week and we were talking about this, and we're going to stay committed to that personal touch. And even if the conversation ends up being Robin, we're not going to hire right now. What we can talk about is what's going on at Talend, the mentality behind this deliberate hiring approach, and then get and create an expectation for them. Can I reach out again in a quarter or two? You can always reach out to me. So there's still that conversation to be had. It may not be about the next interview, and we had a period 14, 15 months ago where we slowed down for a little bit and we were a little more deliberate, but by keeping the pump prime, it's cliche, but it's true. If you're continuing to engage with people, it's just all of a sudden, it's opening the spicket to go full speed as opposed to pulled back a little bit. Another piece that I'll just share with you is that the recruiters building really strong relationships with the business, the hiring managers, and the interviewers themselves.


If everybody is interested in occasionally having that conversation, it's a lighter load than just always being on the recruiter and coordinator. So everybody touching base with Robin to keep the relationship with Talend going. It's another neat thing that, frankly, it's one of the reasons I'm here. Talend gets it, and people want to do it because they know it's good for us and our company.


Got it. So your advice is take that opportunity to stay in touch with people and show that you are not only reaching out to them when you need to hire that role for yesterday. Makes sense. And also, I would probably add that in any case, companies will probably try and reduce their cost per hire. Whatever happens, even if they want to keep on hiring, they probably want to reduce cost per hire, probably reduce the number of agencies that work with as well. And so nurturing the time pool and nurture candidates are always cheaper. Same as referrals. Even cheaper than referrals, but always cheaper than agencies.


Exactly. And you mentioned earlier the idea of you build that relationship with someone who has a great experience with us, they might refer. And so that's even something we're thinking about in the future is this consider for future role candidates, if we're hoping they come join us at some point, would we ask them for a referral and then maybe reward that referral? So we're thinking about a lot of exciting new ideas that could really help us scale and leverage the great relationships we're building with people.


Great. So thanks so much for sharing those ideas, and we'll definitely check out again in six months and see where you're at with that target then.


All right, well, I'll look forward to that. And we'll also all be watching what's going on for you. I know you've got some exciting happenings today with your demo. Hi there.


This is Robert. Most of our listeners come from word of mouth, so thank you. Thanks a lot for your support. And if you enjoy the players, please keep on sharing it with your team and friends. Stay tuned for the next episode, and if you can't wait, follow me on LinkedIn for more content and recruiting. Talk to you next week. Bye.