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Talent Acquisition Best Practices

When you’re a recruiter in a rapidly growing company, you know that you’re going to have to spend the majority of your time filling roles. Functioning well as a team, becoming thought leaders in the space, developing professionally, and so many other aspects can feel completely out of reach. We all know that professional development is really important in employee satisfaction and happiness and it’s also really hard to nail this aspect when things feel as if they’re flying at a million miles a minute.

Greenhouse’s Talent Acquisition team can relate. They love bringing candidates in and so, of course they love talking about filling roles, interview tactics, working effectively with hiring managers, and all of the important day-to-day details and hard work that comes along with recruiting. They also enjoy being super efficient and are one of the most well-run teams I’ve ever witnessed. I caught up with Katie DiCioccio, Greenhouse’s Associate Recruiter in hopes that she would show me the ropes around her team and their best practices for making sure they commit to focusing on more than just the day to day. Spoiler alert: Katie shared the Greenhouse recruiting team’s approach to talent acquisition best practices. 

Keep reading for a few tips you can try out with your team!

Talent Acquisition Best Practices from the Greenhouse Recruiting Team

S-T-A-N-D UP!

Each week for one full hour, the entire Talent Acquisition team gathers in a room for their "Recruiting Standup" with one team member driving (this person rotates each week) on their computer and all others paying close attention—without the help of their computers. This is a really important guideline they’ve set. It means that every single person is accountable as an owner at some point and that no one is distracted by other work. Complete buy-in from each person means a more successful team.

Trello Ello Ello Eh Eh Eh

The team uses Trello—a project management tool—to organize everything from who the facilitator will be to instructions on how to run the meeting. Though Trello is used for this particular meeting, Asana and Google Sheets are also great tools that can replicate the style of this meeting.

Before I get into the new days of Greenhouse recruiting stand ups, it’s fun to relive the old days (just for a minute) to see how far the team has come. 

Back in the old days, there was no Trello board, no rotating facilitator, no meeting norms, and a whole lot of tactical items. These came in the form of a long to-do list without owners, so it was anybody’s guess on who posted the item or what the greater context was. It wasn’t always productive and it wasn’t helping the team succeed on much more than talking through candidates in the pipeline. 

A team member took the initiative to set up a more efficiently run meeting using a Trello board and some simple meeting norms. Intrigued? Read on!

Running the Talent Acquisition Best Practices Meeting

Katie gave me a sneak peek of their private Trello board and I’ve created a condensed version and example (found below) for any of you visual learners out there. 

talent acquisition best practices

The first column, labeled "facilitators," lists all team members. The facilitator rotates every week, giving each member the opportunity to run the meeting. This creates the complete buy-in that the team is going for as opposed to this role being restricted to only directors, team leaders, or one specific person.

The second column lists the "instructions" for running the meeting, along with corresponding colors to estimate how long the topic will take to discuss. This also includes meeting norms that should start off each standup.

The "recruiting standup" column contains the list of meeting norms to run through at the beginning of the meeting and any new topics that have been added with corresponding colors. 

The meeting norms include a quick pulse check using the rose/bud/thorn method to very generally talk through things that have gone well, things that haven’t gone well, and things to look forward to during that specific week. This isn’t necessarily a pre-meditated list but a nice way to get the meeting started.

Also included in the team’s meeting norms is a run-through of items in the "action needed" column from past standups, a review of the quarter’s progress, and discussion around anticipated new hire start dates so that, as much as possible, new employees can begin their Greenhouse journey together.

When reviewing "action needed" items, owners are asked to give updates on progress. After that, the team dives into new topics. This includes any new ideas from team members, industry news, talent acquisition best practices, and other topics to discuss—these can be added by any team member and are compiled throughout the week leading up to the meeting. Some of these are discussion points that lead to next steps or larger projects. If it’s the latter, they’re assigned an owner and any next steps. 

Digging deeper: "Recruiting standup" items

Here are a couple of examples that the team has covered in the past:

The team uses AngelList as one source to market Greenhouse’s open roles. Our Recruiting Manager was getting candidate and prospect notifications on all open roles in her inbox and thought it might be worth streamlining. She added this topic to the "recruiting standup" column and as a team they discussed what would work in terms of ownership and workflow. It made sense to have a clear owner of this even though it touches everyone on the team and each person has access to the platform.

Current team members were moving into more senior roles and a Recruiting Coordinator started with the team so it was a time of change and a perfect moment to determine who would maintain AngelList. Out of this ten-minute team conversation, they decided that the Recruiting Coordinator would own admin duties for the Greenhouse profile and set up tailored notifications. Now one person can effectively communicate to others on the team about actions they may need to perform as opposed to team members remembering to check AngelList or experience confusion on what needs to be done.

Another really important aspect of this weekly time together is sharing news and trends in the recruiting industry so that the team can stay abreast of talent acquisition best practices and continue to be thought leaders in the space. Before one specific meeting, Katie added a new Trello card to the "recruiting standup" column with an article about unconscious bias.

Greenhouse has regular all team trainings on the topic, but as most of us know, it takes practice and reminders to make sure it’s kept top of mind. Katie tagged this card with an orange label for a “Decision/Discussion” topic that might take 10–15 minutes to cover. For the first two minutes, the team took time to read and digest the article. For the remaining eight minutes, the team shared reactions and thoughts on the article and if Greenhouse wanted to adopt any new practices from this. 

This process serves the purpose of self checking on a subject that is difficult to truly measure and keep track of. In this particular situation, there were no next steps coming from the discussion. Though this conversation was limited to eight minutes to keep the meeting running, the team agrees that there are no rules about revisiting topics and lot of times these conversations will spur later or further action, other conversations, and chat room talk in Slack.

The "action needed" and "ongoing projects" columns are used to manage projects in the pipeline and are reviewed when any updates are taking place. 

The last column, "resolved," denotes all items that have been completed. This is a nice reflection point to see what and how much the team has accomplished and an easy way to reference past information. The great thing about Trello is that is can be customized in a lot of different ways to break down larger projects. Team members can be a part of something without owning this large initiative on their own and with a clear plan for action. Trello has the ability to assign due dates with reminder emails and tag different people, so only those people get reminder emails.

Conclusion

What the team has gained from this is the ability for teammates to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, accountability as team members, and the ability to propel themselves further as thought leaders who are well-versed in talent acquisition best practices.

I hope this has been a helpful way to start thinking about how you can improve your practices as a recruiting team. We’d love to learn from you—what are some methods your team uses to stay up-to-date on recruiting trends? Please share some of the highlights in the comments section!

Looking for more ways to stay in the know about the latest in recruiting? Be sure to subscribe to The Modern Recruiter newsletter!


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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