Every year hiring teams face new challenges that make them question their ways of working and, often, the technology they use to support those processes. Teams must hurdle determining when and how to make vital changes to their day-to-day, and with only 17% of HR professionals satisfied with their HR tooling, these changes can have a huge business impact.
Despite the necessity of changes, navigating them successfully can be tough without guidance. John Fleischauer, Chief People Officer at Pivot + Edge is a startup, scale-up veteran and has definitely weathered a fair amount of change, particularly when it comes to HR systems, recruitment processes, and team growth goals. Today, John advises companies entering high-growth, fast-paced environments on how to attract and retain talent and develop the right infrastructure and processes to do so quickly.
“The vast majority of the companies that we help don’t yet have any sort of formalized recruitment process in place, and that includes recruitment technology. So when we’re doing our client onboarding and getting them sorted out, implementing technology is always at the front end of the process,” John shares.
Start with your goals
For organizations looking to make these big changes, laying the foundation for their hiring process and goals always comes first. “If your objective is to hire say 10 or 20 or 30 people in the next six months, in order to do that, the first step is attracting the right people. And the second step is being able to go through those candidates efficiently.”
“I think one of the biggest pain points that I’ve seen over the years is there’s a real push to hire now. And organizations may not necessarily ask themselves: who needs to be involved in hiring decisions? What steps do we need to take? How are we positioning the company and the opportunities? What metrics and analytics are important to us?”
“And ultimately, what you end up seeing is kind of like going to the grocery store hungry, and you end up bringing home a bunch of junk food. And then three months later, you’re wondering why you’ve gained five pounds, and you haven’t actually achieved your goal.”
“One of the things that we really push our clients towards is really thinking about what are the objective outcomes you want to achieve. So, what X outcomes do you want to achieve in Y time frame and in what budget Z?”
For John, the answers to these questions set a solid foundation to determine what kind of tooling is best for the team and situation. “It’s really important to have the right tools in place to achieve the objectives that organizations are trying to achieve. And it’s impossible to do that through email and spreadsheet.”
Once your hiring goals are set, there are a couple of tools that will come up regularly in evaluations. An initial list might include all-in-one HRISs, recruitment software, and process-specific applications like chatbots.
“Sometimes we run into a scenario where that C-level is looking for an all-in-one solution. So an HRIS, a payroll system, a recruiting technology platform, all of that kind of stuff. And there’s a small percentage of organizations that already have a discount all-in-one HRIS implemented and just aren’t satisfied with the recruiting piece. In this situation, it’s really important to have the best tool in place for the job you’re trying to do.”
For John, this means that, for many companies, an HRIS won’t necessarily help make those urgent hires. “One thing that I see all the time is for most of the all-in-ones, specifically in the startup scale-up world, they may be really good at things like time tracking and employee profiles and time and away, but the recruiting side of it as always, from what I’ve seen, substandard.”
Applicant Tracking Systems and recruitment software aim to cover the entire recruitment process in detail. However, for John, the pain points companies usually face start before the hiring process in the candidate attraction phase.
“You need to be able to tell your story as an organization and amplify it through your employees effectively. That’s one reason why we typically recommend recruiting software to our clients because of how simple it is from a user perspective, and how impactful it is for telling employee stories and optimizing careers pages, and having a really tight process. I really love the fact that you don’t have to file a ticket just to change your workflow.”
“Even within a few days, we can take a client organization from not having any careers page presence and no formalized process to having a fully branded site. This means they’ll also have a tight process that gets employees excited and proud to share it through their networks.”
In certain situations, teams may need an even more specific solution like a chatbot or job-aggregator.
“We do get involved with some more community-based aggregation styles of projects. Some of the work that we’ve done is implementing technology that scrapes jobs from multiple companies’ websites and puts it in one spot.” John explains. These technologies are great for groups of companies (holding companies with subsidiaries) that agree to share candidates from the same talent pool.
Pivot + Edge has installed chatbots before, “The chatbots are a great top-of-funnel kind of quick filter, but I do still believe that the human element associated with hiring is still very much required.”
People, process, technology
Technology is often the missing part of what makes some companies successful in their hiring and others not. However, John notes, “Purchasing some sort of recruitment technology is not going to result in a thousand people knocking on your door saying, ‘I want to work here.’ But it does extend the opportunity for more people to know that your organization exists via the experience you provide them.”
“So the technology is an enabler. It is not the solution. To me, it comes down to people, process, and technology, and it’s an ever-evolving, ever-spinning kind of cycle.”
When looking into the future, John reflected, “I think there are a lot of opportunities for tech to help organizations grow. As a result of the last 10 months, many organizations are looking at how they’re spending money. And if they’re not getting value from whatever, they’re looking for different options. I think it’s a bright future. There’s always an opportunity if you look for it, and people need the people, process, and tech to achieve it.”