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How Shazam Implemented Greenhouse to Take the Spreadsheet Pain Away

Before Greenhouse, Shazam’s group of highly talented recruiters used spreadsheets and their own sharp brains to keep track of candidates and hiring processes. They did it well, but it wasn’t until Ruth Penfold joined the team as the Director of Talent Acquisition that the group adopted a more holistic approach to recruiting and hiring to help change the music discovery industry.

Read on to find out how Shazam keeps track of candidates today to create a seamless experience for every person that comes in contact with the hiring team!

What is your role at Shazam?

I’ve been in recruitment for about 17 years and currently lead hiring for Shazam globally and have been with the business for 3.5 years now. That really means making sure we have the right humans in the right places doing the right things. It’s a global population spread across the UK and the US with small offices in Sydney and in Berlin. I also get involved in more of the employee engagement type work and trying initiatives around developing our diversity internally.

What was your recruiting process like before Greenhouse?

Greenhouse was something that I implemented when I joined—within the first couple of weeks of being here. Prior to Greenhouse, the team here was using what people often use in recruiting, spreadsheets and their brains to try to remember stuff. It was really about bringing in a process that worked and something that was scalable as well.

What I inherited here was a bunch of very talented recruiters working in quite different ways to each other. People were working on roles as individuals rather than one team that has a specific way of doing stuff. Some people would take briefs one way, some people would take them another way. Some people would keep applicants in a spreadsheet that was their own. Some people would have a pile of CVs, so it would just depend.

Really when I joined, it was about unpicking that and creating a process that worked across the business. That comes not only from the tool that we’re using (Greenhouse) but also in the way that we plan roles and structure for success within our hiring process. So making sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of who we’re hiring, how we’re hiring them, and looking at the way that we’re going to go to market for that particular role.

Also, beginning to work in a set hiring cycle, continually checking back in on how we’re getting on from a recruitment standpoint and changing anything if we need to. We’re continuously iterating on our hiring process, which is another reason why Greenhouse is great for us. One size doesn’t fit all for the roles that we hire. What we’re doing to hire for a salesperson in NY might be completely different from what you’re doing to hire a software engineer in London with different technical assessments. It’s good to be able to structure what you need to for the role within the Greenhouse tool.


What were some of the main challenges and frustrations you experienced with your former ATS?

The sort of thing that’s limiting before using something like Greenhouse is keeping track of everything. It’s making sure that no one slips through the cracks and that all parties involved have a great experience. That means the candidate has a great experience and the company has a great experience and, hopefully, the recruitment team has a great experience. From my perspective, those are the primary reasons for using an ATS and why we went with Greenhouse. It really comes down to the experience for us. Things like communicating well and make tight deadlines. It allows for a much cleaner process.

How did you get everyone on the same page when switching to a new tool?

What was great with bringing in a tool like Greenhouse was that it was easy to use, and it made sense, and it complemented rather than created extra work for people. When you’re taking people on a change journey of any sort, it helps if it’s easy and it helps to get people on board with something. If what you’re asking of people will ultimately take the pain away it makes for a more persuasive argument for sure.


What’s an important part of the Greenhouse product that your team was on board with from the beginning?

For us, it’s really important to have a candidate journey. We’re able to work to specific timeframes and make sure that every single person that applies to Shazam hears from us so if somebody is doing us the courtesy of sending us their résumé, they hear back.

That was incredibly important and something that was made a million times simpler once we’d implemented Greenhouse. When in recruitment, it’s very easy when you have an ongoing hiring process that maybe takes three months, you start out with some candidates and maybe some people get added into the process and it’s very easy to lose track of those people and in any busy role, any person can easily track who they have in the process. So being able to come back to that point at any time, see the candidates that you have, see how long it’s been since you’ve been in touch with them, set reminders for getting in touch with them, and really use the tool in that way.

How have you customized Greenhouse to reflect your new recruiting process?

We’d like to do some more work around our reporting because it’s always good to stay ahead in that area. Greenhouse is great for looking at sources and where we are each week in terms of the candidates we’ve had. We also do a weekly report for the business on all of our open roles. It’s also very helpful to pull a report on offers that have been made within a set timeframe. Those are the primary reports we’ve been using Greenhouse for.

Integration on our careers page was also incredibly easy and quick which was really important to us. When I joined, we didn’t have a careers page, we just had an email address on a holding page. So to be able to get that up and running in my first couple of months of being here was fantastic. Really night and day from where we were before.

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Caitlin Doherty

Caitlin Doherty is the Events Coordinator at Greenhouse. She enjoys the ability to work within a small but mighty team to bring People thought leaders together in one room while creating memorable experiences. She resides in New York City where she fills her extra hours practicing a newfound love of improv, experimenting with recipes in her small Brooklyn kitchen, and taking long walks with strong coffee. You can connect with Caitlin on LinkedIn.

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