5 Key Takeaways from Greenhouse OPEN

Last week, I had the enormous privilege of sitting in on many of the Greenhouse OPEN sessions in New York City. I also monitored the Twittersphere and watched as our community engaged in an insightful conversation on all things recruiting, people operations, and HR tech. Dozens of speakers brought their years of experience and passion for the space to their sessions and offered countless actionable takeaways for the 1,000+ attendees to put into practice.

As our Greenhouse team works to synthesize all of the learnings from this year’s conference, I’m sharing my 5 key takeaways from OPEN 2018:



1. Our unconscious biases are holding us back from building diverse and effective teams

In the opening keynote, Greenhouse CEO Daniel Chait and Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson discussed our innate human nature to take mental shortcuts and have implicit biases. These unconscious mental shortcomings are resulting in a “leaky” recruitment funnel and holding us back from building a diverse and inclusive workforce. Daniel and Joelle discussed how they want to move from recognizing the problem to solving the problem with new software that can help organizations scale their own diversity and inclusion efforts.

2. For recruiting to be successful, it needs to be a company-wide initiative

A consistent theme amongst many of the leaders who spoke at OPEN was that the burden of successful recruiting cannot be placed solely on recruiting teams. Successful recruiting requires buy in and company-wide collaboration. While we know lock-step company wide communication is what it takes to be successful, it can be challenging to implement.

"Recruiting is a team sport where half the team doesn’t want to play." - Jon Stross
"It's not the job of recruiters to build great teams, it's managements job." - Patti McCord (tweet)

3. Artificial Intelligence can assist, but can’t replace the power of human-to-human interface

AI was a hot topic at this year’s conference. Many presenters spoke to how it can create many efficiencies in the often tedious logistical processes recruiters incorporate into their workflow. However, many presenters emphasized that recruiting is ultimately a very human practice. There is no artificial intelligence, right now, that can replace the power of a face-to-face conversation. So while AI can advance many components of the hiring process - such as providing target date ranges for when a position will be filled - the machines will certainly not be taking over this profession.

"I'm not going to take the job from a chatbot." - George LaRoocque (tweet)

4. The emerging workforce needs to know where they stand

Recruiting and retaining early-career candidates and the millennial workforce sparked a lively conversation throughout many sessions. Dan Schawbel stated that a clear understanding of their standing in the recruitment pipeline is the #1 factor for candidate experience in early-career candidates. That said, entry level roles tend to see the highest volume. Balancing volume with clear communication is the key challenge for recruiters to address.

"Moderator Dan Schawbel emphasizes that candidates want to know WHERE they stand in the candidate pipeline, and yet according to Ilona Jurkiewicz , in volume recruiting, it's incredibly hard to keep all candidates up to date on where they stand because so many open reqs." - Yuliya Mykhayolvska, (tweet)

5. People team leaders have had to become more assertive amidst today’s cultural shift

The implications of the #MeToo movement and the evolving focus on workplace harassment has resulted in many HR leaders having to approach their roles from a new lense. Many of the OPEN speakers discussed how their roles have evolved as a result of this significant cultural shift. While this may have been taboo 5 years ago, “real conversations” are now being had between HR, hiring managers, and their employees about how they treat each other. HR leaders have had to become “feistier” in order truly effect change.

“We’ve gotten feistier. The role has become such that you need to be a fighter for the business, for your customers, and for your employees.” - Susan Lee (tweet)


OPEN may be over, but we’re just getting started sharing the knowledge and learnings from our speakers and attendees. Keep checking back on our blog for more.

Can’t wait? You can watch the 2018 keynotes from Daniel Chait and Jon Stross any time you want: https://go.greenhouse.io/open2018livestream.html

Chris Ingrao Square Final

Chris is a member of the Greenhouse marketing team where he helps oversee digital channels. When he isn't marketing, he loves singing and all things live theater.  

Filed Under:


Greenhouse