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Why a Data-Driven Recruiting Solution is Critical for a Strong Candidate Experience

Katie Di Cioccio Headshot

Katie Di Cioccio is a Recruiter for Greenhouse where she manages the recruiting process for high-volume entry- and mid-level roles across both operational and technical teams. Given the thousands of candidates she’s interacted with since joining Greenhouse in 2015, it’s safe to say that she’s a seasoned professional in delivering top-notch candidate experience.

Greenhouse was recently named a Top 5 Applicant Tracking System by GetApp. We’re thrilled to be recognized this way—we believe our focus on creating an exceptional candidate experience by using data in our recruiting process sets us apart. Here’s how we do it.

One of our six main culture attributes at Greenhouse is being “customer focused.” Although I realize that some of our customers may be reading this post (hi there!), as a recruiter, I have very few interactions with Greenhouse customers on a daily basis. But what I’ve done, along with the rest of the Recruiting team, is interpret our candidates as our “customers.”

We all know the age-old saying, “The customer is always right,” but unfortunately, not every candidate is going to be the right fit for the job. So how do you provide a top-notch candidate experience to every professional you engage with, knowing only a few of them will ultimately be hired?

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The Most Common Interviewing Mistake—And How to Fix it

Dan Chait

Daniel Chait is CEO & co-founder of Greenhouse and has been a technology entrepreneur in New York City for nearly 20 years. Dan is a frequent speaker on the topics of recruiting and entrepreneurship and has presented at numerous venues including General Assembly, the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship, Launch Scale, DEMO Traction, and the Wharton Entrepreneurship Conference. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Computer Engineering (#GoBlue!). Connect with Dan on Twitter.

I know that there’s often a gap between hiring best practices and hiring in the real world. In fact, in a previous post, I shared some of my real-life stories of hiring gone wrong. In case you missed it, I told a story from earlier in my career of when two senior engineers interviewed the same candidate and come away with radically opposed viewpoints.

As I began to dig into how this was possible, I came to a major realization: I had no idea what was actually happening in the interviews.

So I’d like to pose the question to you: Do you know what’s happening in interviews at your company? If your answer is yes, I’d follow that up with another question: How do you know that for sure? And if your answer is no, be sure to keep reading.

I’d like to share why it’s crucial for you to know what’s happening in interviews at your company and how you can get a handle on it if you don’t.

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What Can You Do About Unconscious Bias?

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno is the Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse, where she gets to share her love of the written word and endorse the use of the Oxford comma on a daily basis. Before joining Greenhouse, Melissa 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.

Going through the hiring process can be unnerving and anxiety-inducing, but for a significant percentage of applicants, it’s become downright upsetting. At least that’s what a recent survey from GetApp uncovered. When it comes to the topic of unconscious bias, many candidates feel that employers are falling short.

In case you’re not familiar with this term, “unconscious bias” refers to the brain’s tendency to take mental shortcuts, relying on observed patterns (including cultural stereotypes) to quickly and subconsciously process information.

This is especially troublesome in the hiring process since it means that recruiters and hiring managers may make decisions based on bias rather than a candidate’s actual abilities.

We caught up with Karen McCandless, Researcher at GetApp to learn more about their survey and what its findings mean.

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Interview Questions for Managers

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.

People don’t leave companies—they leave their managers. Good managers inspire, motivate, and support their direct reports and teams, while not-so-good managers can lead to wasted resources and weaker team performance. But how do you make sure you’re hiring someone who’s a good manager? It all starts with asking the right interview questions for managers.

At Greenhouse, we’ve always believed that there’s a connection between management and employee happiness and we wanted to dig into how to make sure this takes place and is continually practiced.

There were two important stats that we considered as we created our manager interview kits: companies that hire managers based on their management skills, as opposed to not explicitly testing for management skills, saw a 48% increase in profitability and a 19% decrease in turnover (State of the American Manager, Gallup, April 2015). When selling candidates on the Greenhouse company culture, we have always taken pride in our strong management culture,  and have worked hard to create an environment where people can do the best work of their careers—ensuring that we do a great job of interviewing and hiring highly skilled managers is one of our most important tools in achieving that mission.

We also knew that it would take some work in the kick-off stage for our interview teams to understand the difference between interviewing for management skills and interviewing individual contributors. When interviewing an individual contributor, interviewers are typically checking for technical, communication, and collaboration skills. While these things are important for a manager too, it’s helpful to use behavioral interviewing to pull examples of times when they exhibited being a good coach and when they cared about those on their team—you want to understand their management style and getting specific examples from them can help get you there.

How can you define your management philosophy and design interview questions for managers? Read on for a few tips!

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Featured Image Interview Planning

Managing Unconscious Bias in the Hiring Process

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno is the Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse, where she gets to share her love of the written word and endorse the use of the Oxford comma on a daily basis. Before joining Greenhouse, Melissa 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.

Let’s take a moment to think about all the hard work our brains do. At any given moment, they’re receiving 11 million pieces of information. If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is! Human brains can only consciously process 40 pieces of information. So it’s only natural that they might look for ways to take some shortcuts. And in some cases, this is great. It means that we can focus on things like not being eaten by a predator while still continuing to breathe. Great work, brain! But in other cases, it means that we make decisions based on opinions we’ve formed about different groups or sets of people, often without realizing it. Not so good.

At Greenhouse, we recently had the opportunity to participate in unconscious bias training with Paradigm, and I wanted to share a few of the key points we covered when it comes to unconscious bias in the interview and hiring process. Curious to learn more? Read on!

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Structure Is the Way to Hire Excellent: A Bulletproof 5-Step Plan for Interviewing Success

Jamie Edwards

Jamie Edwards is Co-Founder and COO of Kayako, the unified customer service platform. He is an advocate for hiring structure and is a strong believer that the best customer support comes from hiring the right people. You can find Jamie helping customers deliver customer service so good it becomes their competitive advantage. Connect with Jamie on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Hiring new talent can be time-consuming, not to mention costly: according to Geoff Smart, author of the bestselling book Who: The A Method for Hiring, a poor hiring decision can cost a business up to 15 times the hire’s base salary in expenses and shortfalls.

It’s not difficult to see why companies are beginning to take much more care over who and how they’re hiring because they can’t afford to make hiring mistakes. Research from Bersin by Deloitte found that companies were spending close to $4K per hire because they’re investing in finding the right talent.

But even when you’ve got plenty of resumes and cover letters to read over—and you will get plenty (Glassdoor reports that one corporate job opening attracts an average of 250 resumes, of which only 4 to 6 people are interviewed), it doesn’t always guarantee great candidates. Case in point: you need a bulletproof hiring process.

Read on to learn a 5-step process for interviewing success...

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Featured Image Interview Planning

Is a Structured Interview Really Necessary? Yes and Here's Why (Workbook)

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno is Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse, where she gets to share her love of the written word and endorse the use of the Oxford comma on a daily basis. Before joining Greenhouse, Melissa 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.

When was the last time you were involved in making a hire at your company? Think for a moment about what that process was like and how satisfied you were with it. Whether it involved getting the job req approved by the recruiting team, grilling a hiring manager about what exactly they were looking for, or interviewing a candidate who was being considered for your team, chances are that there was some friction and at least a little room for improvement.

At many companies, there’s no formalized process for opening up roles and interviewing candidates. This can lead to confusion and frustration as everyone involved in recruiting has different ideas about what they’re looking for and different approaches to finding the best candidate.

But it doesn’t have to be this way: You can keep people from different departments aligned by creating and following a structured interview process.

A structured interview process follows a straightforward framework: The main parties involved in the hiring process kick off the hiring cycle with a meeting. During this working session, they determine the answer to three key questions: Who are they trying to hire? How will they evaluate the candidate? And what will the interview process look like?

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Featured Image Interview Planning

The 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing a Structured Interview Process (Workbook)

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Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno is Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse, where she gets to share her love of the written word and endorse the use of the Oxford comma on a daily basis. Before joining Greenhouse, Melissa 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.

 

How capable is an interview of predicting a candidate’s performance on the job? That all depends on how well you’re interviewing!

Companies normally take one of two approaches: unstructured or structured. 

In the unstructured approach, the interviewer will make small talk, perhaps ask the candidate a few questions about points on their résumé, and do a whole lot of improvising depending on what the candidate says.

The unstructured approach may be more common, but a structured interview is much more effective. Using an unstructured approach is ineffective and leads to poor hiring decisions (in other words, we do not recommend this approach. Not even a little bit). When an interviewer follows the structured approach, on the other hand, they have a roadmap to guide them through every stage. They know what the purpose and focus of every interview should be, so they are accurately assessing candidates against meaningful criteria. And, candidates are getting a clear idea of what they’ll need to do on the job, so they’re set up for success before they even start. Does your current interview process provide all that? If not, you’ll definitely want to keep reading!

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Improve Your Quality of Hire with These 5 Tips for Enhancing the Final Interview

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Ray Gibson

Ray Gibson is CEO of StartMonday and has been working in HR and recruitment for 16 years. He has seen every type of recruitment process in a wide range of businesses and shocked the HR industry last year with the introduction of 15-second-videos for job assessments via StartMonday. Connect with Ray on LinkedIn.

 

$11 billion is lost annually in staff turnover. Think about that for a moment...billion.

How can that be avoided? It all starts with hiring—better hiring, that is.

Consistently hiring great people is tough, so finally getting to the end of the hiring process with a solid candidate can feel like a relief. But, ask yourself, is this candidate merely good, or are they great? Expending a little extra effort before taking the plunge can protect your quality of hire and save a lot of frustration—not to mention money—later on. Let me explain...

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The Dos and Don'ts of Group Interview Feedback Sessions

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Ashley Petrovich

Ashley Petrovich is the Director of People at Namely, the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform built for today’s employees.

 

Most HR departments know this to be true: two heads are better than one when it comes to conducting interviews. Scratch that: The more heads you can put together when assessing a candidate, the better.

It’s highly beneficial to have more than just one person conduct interviews. Why? Candidates should get to meet and interview with various members of the very team they’d be working on. When candidates get to meet with their potential new close circle of co-workers, you not only ensure that the assessment of the candidate will be both unbiased and well-rounded, but you also get an accurate glimpse into how well he or she will fit in with the group as a whole.

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