Unlocking the Power of Data: Box’s Head of Recruiting Operations is Forging a New Path in Talent

When it comes to Talent, many folks find their way into the profession after stints in other fields. From marketing to sales, or even forays in entrepreneurship, professionals can land in recruiting and Talent positions at any stage in their careers. Shane Noe is one such person.

You could describe Shane as a data-driven, financially savvy, Silicon Valley business pro, having spent time in roles ranging from the Worldwide FP&A team at Apple, to the Treasury at Google, to the Strategic Planning & Analytics team at Box. Along the way he co-founded a large scale musical festival that today draws 60,000 attendees per year.  

About a year ago, Shane took on a new challenge at Box as the Head of Recruiting Operations. Box is a 1,900-employee strong file sharing and collaboration tool that’s experienced significant growth, doubling the number of employees in six years and expanding to several locations across the globe.

We caught up with Shane to learn about his unique path to recruiting, how he’s used data and his financial background to shape his work approach, and how he’s optimizing Greenhouse reporting to maximize efficiency and gain robust insights into recruiting operations at Box.

From revenue to recruiting

Shane joined Box back in March 2015, as a new member of their Strategic Planning and Analysis team. His main responsibility was forecasting Box’s financial statements, which required developing a deep understanding of salary expenses - and by extension – the hiring process.

During his tenure in that role, Shane identified a number of ways to improve the headcount planning and approval process. In becoming familiar with the inner workings of recruiting, he saw a major opportunity to bring better data and insights to Box’s recruiting team. Realizing that his background in finance could give him a unique perspective on recruiting, Shane applied for the head of recruiting operations role and started in that position in June 2017. In this new capacity, Shane’s aim was to transform the 60-person recruiting organization at Box into “a best-in-class, data-driven powerhouse.”

The problem: recruiters aren’t always familiar with data-related best practices

Data can be a recruiter’s best friend—it can help you supercharge your approach to sourcing, understand what’s going on with your current pipeline, and predict what’s likely to happen in the future. But in order for that to be the case, you need to start with a clean set of data.

Problems often arise when there are small inconsistencies in reporting or when steps get skipped, making for an incomplete data set.

Bringing his obsession with numbers and data to his Recruiting Operations role, Shane constantly looks for ways to improve processes to get more value while cutting down on unnecessary work. One opportunity Shane uncovered at Box was with offer approvals. When he first joined recruiting ops, offer approvals were taking place through email rather than their ATS. This meant that they weren’t capturing a lot of important data, so Shane’s first priority was to get approvals directly into the system. This change has added more rigor to the reporting process and as a result has saved recruiters time.

Similarly, Shane identified the ATS reporting hierarchy as an area that needed attention. At Box, the teams were all housed under a few very broad departments in Greenhouse, so when Shane pulled a report, he wasn’t able to split the data easily into the individual teams. To remedy this, Shane implemented a new 3-level Greenhouse hierarchy that breaks down all of Box’s departments into relevant sub teams. This has made it much easier to drill down and determine how hiring is going for individual teams, and as a result the insights are more actionable.

According to Shane, a thoughtful review and relaunch of your ATS department hierarchy should be the first stop on your journey to better recruiting insights.

This provides benefits not just for reporting, it also allows you to take advantage of custom approval routing by location and department. By creating specific approval routes, you can take the guesswork out of the approval process for the recruiters.

Pro tip from Shane: You can set up Greenhouse to require a certain step in the approvals process if the offer is out of range. He currently has roles set up with three steps:

1) finance & stakeholders

2) the corporate finance team to check in on headcount, and

4) the CEO who approves of every hire.

But if any of the designated fields such as salary are out of range, Greenhouse will automatically add an extra approval step to the SVP of People and Head of Compensation.

Shane’s cheat sheet: the hiring data and reporting insights he holds dear

Shane has two favorite reports in Greenhouse: 1) The Pipeline History and Pass-through Rates report, and 2) The Current Pipeline Per Job report.

Pipeline history & pass-through rates

This report tells you how many candidates have gone through each interview stage, how long each stage is taking, and what the pass through rates are between stages. Shane recommends using milestones instead of stages, to keep the comparisons across groups clean. Looking at average time in each stage/milestone will help you identify where you have a bottleneck in your process, and tracking areas with low pass through rates will help you identify areas where you have misaligned expectations between recruiters, interviewers and/or hiring managers.

When looking at this data, it’s important that you look at how individual teams and sub teams are performing relative to the company average. Shane notes, however, that this is dependent on setting up the reporting hierarchy that corresponds to your individual teams.

Current pipeline per job

The Current pipeline per job report will give you a snapshot of which stage your candidates are in across all jobs. This will show both your currently active candidates, and a historical snapshot of all candidates considered for that req. This report is useful for leaders to quickly understand the progress on the job searches in their orgs. It is also a great report for identifying areas where candidate flow is low.

In using this report, Shane reiterates the recommendation to view candidates by milestone rather than by interview stage, as this will make the report simpler and easier to digest, particularly if you have many different interview stages in use at your company.

Some of the other metrics Shane recommends tracking include time to hire for your most scrutinized roles, cost to hire by function, outbound reachouts and response rates, recruiter productivity, and candidate quality by source. As with any set of data, it’s important to understand the nuances and avoid some of the common causes of inaccuracy.

Bringing a more data-driven approach to your recruiting

Shane’s story highlights a theme that’s getting a lot of attention in the Talent industry in 2018, the importance of data in recruiting. Data and reporting allows Talent & HR Operations professionals to identify inefficiencies, stay up-to-date on hiring progress, and keep stakeholders informed of where open roles stand. But there’s always room for improvement, whether that’s creating systems and processes to ensure clean data or adjusting the way you set up your Talent Acquisition Suite to extract maximum benefit from the data contained within it.

Follow the tips that Shane recommends here and you’ll be closer to achieving that elusive goal of being a data-driven recruiter.  

Keep up the learning about using data to power your recruiting. Check out this webinar to learn how the recruiting team at Pinterest used Greenhouse to create a data-driven yet flexible hiring and reporting process.

Dinah Headshot

Dinah Alobeid is Director of Communications at Greenhouse. She helps shape and share the Greenhouse brand story and keeps its audiences informed on company news and industry knowledge. Dinah has 10 years of communications experience in the technology field and prior to Greenhouse, she built and ran the communications team at Brandwatch. She's an avid writer, dancer, foodie and book nerd. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn

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Talent Operations