How the City of Fort Worth chose Greenhouse to create a successful data-driven hiring process

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Neena Kovuru, Assistant Director of HR at the City of Fort Worth, reveals how she chose Greenhouse and is using it to create a data-driven hiring process that helps attract and retain great talent.


Most of us who work in talent acquisition understand the importance of creating a data-driven culture – in hiring and all aspects of the workplace. As author and professor Dr. W. Edwards Deming so truthfully pointed out, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”

Anyone who recognizes hiring as a strategic business advantage knows that if you want to bring in great talent, you need to provide a great candidate experience. And I knew that in order to achieve this goal, we’d need to find the right results-driven investment to optimize candidate engagement and modernize the hiring process while ensuring visibility and measurability into everything we were doing. From that moment on, it became extremely important to find an applicant tracking system (ATS) that could help me capture data on all aspects of hiring to help take our hiring to the next level.

Taking a critical look at our needs

It’s challenging to understand how to improve if you don’t take the appropriate time to understand the nuances of what your hiring process looks like. When I first started analyzing our talent acquisition recruitment practices in early 2019, I realized there were quite a few inefficiencies and challenges.


The problems

First I noticed that recruiters were performing manual tasks and sending candidates to hiring managers based on numerical ratings that were determined using pre-screening questions. Without much reasoning behind these numerical decisions, we could not ensure no bias was present.

The hiring process was cumbersome and outdated – departments were printing out on paper during interviews, and then scanning the documents to the talent acquisition team once the interviews were over.

The pre-boarding process also included printing paper and then gathering signatures on the first day of a new employee’s orientation. Through surveys and research, I found that our onboarding process was time-consuming and ineffective at connecting new hires with our mission, vision and values (which is absolutely key for upholding company culture and retaining employees).


The solutions

As I delved deeper into the issues of how we hired talent, I also recognized that there was no clear mention of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in our hiring process – a highly valued priority that is esteemed by many organizations, including the City of Fort Worth (CFW) and our leadership team. I had many challenges to resolve and needed a system that could help deliver four things:

  1. A seamless, engaging onboarding process that acclimates new hires to their roles and to CFW’s mission and values while allowing us to measure the new employee experience
  2. A structured hiring process that encourages diversity in hiring by disrupting unconscious bias
  3. An optimized journey for candidates, using data-driven insights that allow recruiters to be strategic
  4. A way to track marketing effectiveness and returns on investments using analytics


Whew! I knew it sounded like a lot, so I started the challenging task of finding a system that would meet all of these needs.


Finding an ATS that aligned with our values

After multiple interactions and assessing several different vendors, I found the system that met all our needs – Greenhouse. At its core, Greenhouse’s goal is to make every company great at hiring through structured processes.

Beyond that, the software focuses on making companies more diverse and does so, not by making vague promises, but through providing results-driven DE&I capabilities that mitigate bias and force behavior change. Greenhouse Inclusion performs tangible functions, like nudging hiring managers and interviewers to focus on job-relevant qualifications and eliminate behaviors that perpetuate implicit bias in the hiring process. That consistent underlying value of DE&I is a huge priority for our team, so I knew that we wanted to move forward with a company that not only brought this to life in their product, but was also living and breathing this in their own mission.

The right features for us

Data and analytics reporting: We will now be able to make data-driven hiring and sourcing investment decisions, while also ensuring our hiring process is quantifiable and measurable. As we start capturing recruitment metrics including onboarding candidate satisfaction, hiring manager satisfaction and cost per hire, we’ll gain a better understanding of how different areas of the hiring process impact the organization – from turnover to performance.

Interview kits: No more printing, scanning or faxing papers for us. Like much of the world today, our interview process will be paperless, thanks to Greenhouse interview kits. We have also transitioned from numeric scoring to symbolic and chromatic scoring to ensure that our hiring managers evaluate candidates consistently and fairly across interviews. Additionally, our interviewers are able to fill out scorecards on the mobile app, making structured hiring possible from anywhere.

Seamless integrations: As an added bonus, Greenhouse provides several other perks, such as posting our jobs directly on LinkedIn or Twitter using their social media integration tools, which are great for creating and nurturing prospect pools from hiring events.

Business intelligence: We have also leveraged the Business Intelligence Connector that is fed through Greenhouse. We now have the ability to measure hiring trends and learn predictive insights into decision-making with the click of a button.

Onboarding tools: Pre-boarding and onboarding are now seamless processes for both candidates and our team. Candidates can sign their documents even before their start date so they can focus on what really matters – feeling valued, welcomed and ready to contribute. This customized process we’ve created will help establish us as an employer of choice and make our culture, values and mission clear for new hires.

An organization’s main asset is their talent, the people who are contributing to the organization’s success every day. We’re thrilled to be standardizing all of our recruiting tasks and visualizing data as a whole in a friendly and effective way to make the task of attracting, engaging and developing talent a captivating experience for candidates and interviewers alike.

I am writing this blog post, not as someone looking to leverage a marketing partnership, but as a genuinely passionate talent acquisition professional who wants to help other companies reach their full potential and hire amazing talent. Hopefully, this will give someone the nudge and inspiration they need to turn hiring into a competitive advantage, as we’re doing at the City of Fort Worth.


Learn more about how Greenhouse recruiting can help you set up a data-driven, equitable hiring process, create a positive candidate experience and bring in great talent.

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Neena Kovuru

Neena Kovuru

is an inclusive leader, dedicated to creating value for business stakeholders via insightful analysis, cross-functional partnerships, implementation of structured data mining processes and an unwavering focus on attracting, developing and engaging talent. Prior to her time with the City of Fort Worth, Neena spent 14 years in the consulting industry implementing data-driven solutions, mobile applications and software that enabled her clients not only to attain project objectives, but to create value in midst of a changing technological marketplace.

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