How investing in data-driven hiring paid off for TransferWise

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TransferWise is a global technology company that’s building the best way to move money around the world. They power money for people and businesses in our increasingly global lives – to pay, get paid and spend in any currency.

Since launching in 2011, TransferWise has quickly grown to over 2,200 employees at 14 global offices. And with this rapid expansion, the recruitment team had to act fast to keep up with the pace of change. We caught up with Jana Smidt, Recruitment Lead at TransferWise, to learn how her team standardized and streamlined their hiring processes with Greenhouse to improve their reporting capabilities and candidate experience.


Before Greenhouse, company growing pains hurt the recruiting team

Hypergrowth and international expansion at TransferWise led the recruiting team to a critical observation: as the company grew, the recruiting team had to mature as well. Messy and incomplete data collection prevented recruiters from gathering the information they needed, leading to frustrated hiring managers and an inconsistent candidate experience. It soon became apparent that their ATS couldn’t scale as quickly as they needed.


Streamlined hiring processes were the answer

Jana says making the switch to Greenhouse was an easy sell: “We needed a tool that could support us through our growth while providing data to make better hiring decisions, and, of course, to give all our candidates and users a good experience.”


Data and hiring best practices drive clarity for recruiters, hiring teams and candidates

We asked Jana to share how TransferWise streamlined and standardized their approach to hiring. Here are some of the best practices she highlighted.


Data dashboards give insights at a glance

The recruitment team built dashboards for every team that’s hiring at TransferWise. Each dashboard is divided into four pillars: number of hires, speed, conversion and candidate sentiment. If the recruiter sees any issue at a high level – such as how certain sources are performing or if any roles have been open for longer than 60 days – they can drill down into sub-dashboards to further investigate the problem.

Easy access to data facilitates conversations between recruiters and hiring managers. Jana says, “Data is just one piece of the puzzle. It's important to work with stakeholders to find and implement a solution together.”


Autonomy empowers hiring managers

TransferWise employees pride themselves on working differently. Jana says, “Here people have bucketloads of freedom, responsibility and autonomy. We hire people who are comfortable with figuring things out.”

TransferWise hiring managers complete a group training and fill out a “How We Hire” document for each role to establish a common foundation of hiring best practices.

At the same time, Jana says, “We are very autonomous in the way we work, which means that Hiring Leads can fully design their hiring process together with their recruiter.” Recruiters and hiring managers use bespoke dashboards to determine what the data is showing them and discuss areas to improve and optimize.

Honest self-reflection with the Hiring Maturity assessment

Jana recently took the Hiring Maturing assessment and TransferWise’s score of Systematic was “very much expected.” Jana says it’s perfectly aligned with the guidance and support she’s come to rely on. “Our account managers at Greenhouse have always made sure to provide us feedback on how we are doing and what we could do better, which I am very grateful for.”

Jana continues, “We can definitely work on making more informed hiring decisions. We are already using ‘How We Hire’ documents for all new roles, however it'd be good to review all processes globally.”

Jana’s take on her team’s results corresponds with how Greenhouse characterizes the Systematic stage on the Hiring Maturity curve. Greenhouse President and Co-Founder Jon Stross and Senior Operations Manager Rosa Gandler write that in the Systematic stage, “consistency develops across the organization as each team is held accountable for working in the same way rather than just inventing processes on their own.”

The Hiring Maturity assessment really helped reinforce what we already knew as a team. I think it could help companies understand where to focus in order to get the biggest wins for their talent teams. I love the fact that you've outlined very clear steps teams can take.
–Jana Smidt, Recruitment Lead at TransferWise


Putting candidates first – even in a distributed work environment

Candidate experience has always been a priority at TransferWise. Jana says, “We try to create the fastest experience while keeping in mind that they get assessed fairly and appropriately. We measure candidate satisfaction, look at Glassdoor ratings and read what they tell us.”

Transparency is a critical aspect of the TransferWise candidate experience. Jana says, “I feel it's important to be clear on what kind of a career people can expect in your company while being also completely honest about what people won't get while working in your company.” To get more insight into how TransferWise talks to candidates, check out their career page.

Over the past few months, the TransferWise recruitment team has adapted to the new challenge of working remotely. Jana believes despite the changes in the world, it’s still important to make their company feel open and accessible to people from all backgrounds.

To set new hires up for success, TransferWise has shifted in-person interviews and onboarding sessions to Zoom. New hires around the world get paired up on the #borderless-meetwise Slackbot so they can connect with their coworkers socially. Recognizing that many team members are also parents and caretakers, TransferWise supports employees with a grant to purchase working from home equipment, regular check-ins with their lead and time off for anyone who needs it.


Looking to the future of hiring at TransferWise

With the knowledge they’ve gained from the Hiring Maturity assessment, the recruitment team will focus on standardizing how they assess their values and attributes globally to make sure they are evaluating candidates fairly and consistently while mitigating bias.

Jana says, “We are in the process of training everyone at TransferWise to conduct value-based interviews. We have four strong core values that we've divided into different attributes that describe who would be a fit for us. We are not only teaching people what kind of questions to ask, but we are also showing them how to score different answers. We are hoping this will help us make better hiring decisions.”

Greenhouse has been proud to help the TransferWise recruitment team overcome their growing pains and we’re excited to continue supporting their Hiring Maturity journey. Want the full story? Learn more here.

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Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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