What characteristics define a strong "hiring culture" within a company?


Maia Josebachvili 

Maia Josebachvili is the VP of People and Strategy at Greenhouse, where she oversees Recruiting, People Operations, Talent Strategy, Employee Experience, and Greenhouse's Strategy Consulting practice. Maia has a decade of experience building teams at high-growth tech companies. This includes Urban Escapes, a company she founded and sold to Living Social. In her time there, she was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 and led Living Social’s new initiatives group, during which she hired nearly 800 full and part-time employees across the country. Follow her on Twitter @Josebachvili.

This question was originally asked on Quora.

In my experience as VP of Strategy and People at Greenhouse, I speak with dozens of recruiting and HR leaders regularly. I’ve noticed a few key trends that are always present in companies with strong hiring cultures.

Talent acquisition is a collaborative effort between hiring managers and recruiters

When recruiters and hiring managers collaborate and support each other on searches, results improve dramatically. I was speaking with a head of recruiting at a company recently who was telling me about a really cool project she kicked off with her department heads. Together, they realized that they didn’t have enough recruiting resources to hit that quarter’s hiring goals. Rather than point fingers and place blame, they distributed the recruiting goals across the different teams while they continued to build up the recruiting team internally. Within two months, they saw a 70% increase in total hires!

Talent acquisition is data-informed and uses metrics to track progress


Talent acquisition teams that use data are 2x more likely to improve their outcomes. The most impressive teams I’ve met have consistent metrics they track to understand the health of their recruiting funnel. One team I spoke with tracks the total number of Qualified Candidates on a week-by-week basis. They define QC’s as candidates who pass the application review and are qualified enough for an initial phone screen. If the number of QC’s dips for a couple of weeks, it’s a leading indicator for the team that they are not tracking to hit future hiring needs. They’re able to make adjustments ahead of time, rather than find out after the fact that they missed their goals. 

Interviews are structured and pre-defined


The best interview processes I've seen are the ones where every candidate goes through the same structured process and each interviewer tests for different skills and traits. Someone once used the analogy that each interview is like a slice of swiss cheese. It's not possible to capture everything in one sitting, but as long as you overlap the holes, you can get at all of the qualities without having things slip through. 

Emphasis is put on the candidate experience


For every employee a company hires, there are at least 15 more people who had very close interactions with your team but didn’t actually get the job. Those candidates can have the biggest impact on your talent brand and it’s important that they leave the process feeling positive about their experience, even if they don't get an offer. Across Greenhouse customers, 75% of candidates surveyed report having had a positive interview experience, and the companies that have the highest ratings are also almost always the ones with the strongest process.


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