Optimizing the hiring process: How Talkdesk climbed the Greenhouse Hiring Maturity curve (part two)

Hiring team round table meeting

In our recent webinar, we learned how Greenhouse customer Talkdesk moved from the bottom of the Greenhouse Hiring Maturity curve to the very top in just one year. Shauna Geraghty, SVP, Head of Global People and Operations at Talkdesk, sat down with Jon Stross, Co-founder and President of Greenhouse, to discuss how the cloud-based company achieved hiring success using a structured methodology – and how other companies can, too.

In part one of our series, we discussed why becoming great at hiring powers all other aspects of Talkdesk’s business and how Shauna built and successfully launched her new Talent Plan. In this recap of part two, we’ll explore how Shauna got executive buy-in within her organization to support Talkdesk’s strategic vision from a talent perspective, as well as how to maintain a Strategic level of hiring into the future. We’ll also share the answers to a selection of audience questions from the live broadcast.


Talkdesk embraces a whole-company hiring mindset

Talkdesk’s success story with Greenhouse is an inspiring one – and not just because of the speed at which they were able to accomplish their hiring goals. These big wins wouldn’t have been possible without embracing a hiring mindset. Starting with executive buy-in, Jon asked Shauna how she got leadership to believe in and support an entirely new structured hiring process.

“Approaching executive buy-in depends on how your talent acquisition team is positioned within the organization,” said Shauna. She explained that Talkdesk’s talent team is the backbone of the organization, taking the strategic vision of the CEO and executive leadership team and translating that into operational strategy. “To support our business objectives, our team is essentially building teams from the ground up,” said Shauna. “We’re helping our company expand into new markets and executing against very aggressive headcount goals.”

Our detailed understanding of the business allows us to position ourselves as a partner to our organization.
–Shauna Geraghty, SVP, Head of Global People and Operations at Talkdesk

“When we deliver, we deliver. And when we get results, we do it together as a team,” she explained. “That helps us solidify our position as not only one of the top performing teams within the organization, but also as the backbone of the organization itself.”

“That’s so key,” replied Jon. “Once you get a little momentum, you get credibility and permission to accomplish the next goal, and so on. Even without having all the answers on day one, you can build up to something.”

Shauna went on to explain that building trust and credibility also enhanced her team’s ability to uphold structured hiring processes along the way. The result is that teams rarely deviate from the new hiring process – now proven to drive successful results – at Talkdesk.


Building a sustainable hiring process

Now that Talkdesk has climbed the Greenhouse Hiring Maturity curve all the way to the Strategic level and optimized their processes, what’s next for the company? Jon asked Shauna where she sees Talkdesk’s hiring processes a year from now and how they plan to remain at the top of the curve.

The Greenhouse Hiring Maturity assessment truly encapsulates our talent acquisition strategy perfectly on all our core components and shows us we’re on the right track.
–Shauna Geraghty, SVP, Head of Global People and Operations at Talkdesk

Even though Talkdesk has climbed the curve, Shauna says there’s always work to be done to remain at the top. “My philosophy is that we can never be complacent,” she said. “Our company is scaling at a rapid pace and that means anything we’ve deployed can change at any time.” From the advanced hiring analytics structured hiring provides, Shauna’s team is able to consistently iterate and understand how they can optimize. Her team stays on top of the needs of the business – today, tomorrow and beyond. (See where your company lands on the Hiring Maturity curve by taking the assessment today.)

Jon shared that, even with the ups and downs of 2020 and today's unpredictable nature of the market, there’s never been a better time for businesses to look internally and strengthen their foundational hiring processes. That way, they'll be ready to hire for what’s next when the time comes. Shauna agreed.

“There's a bit of uncertainty right now within the global economy. Companies are having to reformulate their hiring forecasts rapidly,” said Shauna. “Talent leaders can use this very unique opportunity to take a critical assessment of how to optimize processes internally and move away from what’s not working.”


Greenhouse Hiring Maturity webinar live Q&A highlights

We encouraged attendees to submit their own questions during the webinar. Here are a few highlights:


“Is Talkdesk using a candidate relationship manager (CRM)?”

Yes – Shauna explained that, when it comes to the CRM, her talent operations team leans into the structure it provides, while at the same time owning the cadence and specific content they send to candidates. The ability to create consistent communication with a personal touch is all included within Greenhouse, meaning every candidate has the same experience across all touchpoints regardless of their location, the role or the recruiter who's interacting with them.


“What metrics help guide a company’s progress through each Hiring Maturity stage?”

Jon explained that the Greenhouse Hiring Maturity assessment was built by first determining the metrics that would align to each stage of the curve as tied to reasonable proxies. “For example, one aspect of Hiring Maturity is measuring the candidate experience,” shared Jon. “In order to collect the data needed to determine progress in this area, one of the things we use is our candidate experience survey. Though it’s best used in combination with other data points to get the full picture, results from this survey are a reasonable proxy to determine how you’re moving up or down the curve.” (Learn more impactful metrics in the full Greenhouse Hiring Maturity webinar).


“Does recruiting internationally affect the four stages of Hiring Maturity?”

Shauna explained that while Talkdesk has offices globally, their hiring processes remain consistent. “For example, a hiring manager might be located in San Francisco, but they might be paired with a recruiter in Lisbon,” she said. “They need to be on the same page and running that same recruitment process so that every candidate will have a high-quality experience with us.”

Jon added that while consistent global hiring practices are the goal, not every company is at that level today – and that’s OK. “As I’ve heard from folks in the industry, across different countries and even different departments within one country, it’s totally normal to be in different places on the Hiring Maturity curve,” said Jon. He explained that momentum up the curve is built by seeing the success of other teams within the org, as other teams will begin to adopt those same processes.

Access the full Greenhouse Hiring Maturity webinar to gain further insights into improving your hiring strategy.

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