Company-Wide Buy-In and Recruiter-Hiring Manager Alignment: How Echo Successfully Deployed Greenhouse

August 9, 2016

Recently, Echo, a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services, was at the point in its growth where it needed to start investing in tools that enabled it to scale as an organization. The team was seeking out ways to mitigate growing pains all around the company.

As such, the recruiting team looked inwards and determined that in order to keep up with the demands for more headcount, it had to streamline its recruiting process to get more candidates—and high quality ones—through the pipeline, faster.

In researching solutions, the recruiting team was impressed by the potential it saw in Greenhouse to help them implement a structured hiring approach and get all stakeholders on the same page.

In our sit-down with Erin Brown, Head of Recruiting, and Bethany Aho, Recruiting Operations Supervisor, we learned exactly how Echo was able to successfully deploy Greenhouse, gain buy-in from all stakeholders, and, to top it off, achieve recruiter-hiring manager alignment.

Greenhouse deployment strategy

The recruiting team knew that if it was going to be successful in implementing Greenhouse, it had to roll out the product and get everyone on board in an organic way. It couldn’t be pushed on them; instead, the recruiting team had to ease people into it so that they could realize the value of Greenhouse for themselves. In this period of rapid growth, the company was deploying new software right and left, and the recruiting team didn’t want everyone to feel like they were “yet again” rolling out something new. They instead wanted to frame Greenhouse as: “Here’s a great new tool that benefits you; check it out and see for yourself.” Erin thought that if people could see the potential impact firsthand, that they would become champions of the product on their own, and make the deployment and adoption that much more successful.

In addition, the recruiting team decided to use the roll-out as an opportunity to do something that would completely refresh the recruiting arm of the company—and help shine a light on Greenhouse as the facilitator. The team set out to re-profile the most-recruited roles in the company, as outdated role profiles had been a long-time pain of hiring managers. In general, hiring managers did not feel confident about what they were looking for in a candidate and questioned how to tell if a candidate was really the right fit for a job. Thus, the recruiting team knew that tapping into this pain and kicking off the re-profiling process would spawn excitement for the new era of Greenhouse.

Role re-profiling process

To kick off the re-profiling process, Echo’s recruiting team instituted focus groups for each role. One focus group consisted of the recruiting team plus key individuals who were performing well in their roles. This gave the recruiters a good sense of the type of person who would be a great fit for the role.

Another focus group brought together the recruiting team plus managers of the position in question. This focus group in particular starts off by getting an understanding of the best and worst performers on the team and then digs into the qualities, experience, and skills of the highest performers. Then, they back into it, asking a slew of eye-opening questions, such as “Which traits came up over and over again?”, “What were the biggest differentiators?”, and “What separates good from great?”

With the high-performing individuals, the question was: “What does it take to be successful in this role?” and then drilling those answers down to the skills, experiences, and qualities to look for. The re-profiling process re-energized the hiring managers and gave them new insight into those positions, enabling them to bring in the right-fit talent for their teams.

Eye-opening revelation

But there was even more good that came out of the re-profiling process. In re-profiling the Sales Rep role in particular, the team had an eye-opening revelation. Here was the process they walked through:

Previous: Up until now, they had looked for people to fill the position who were new grads or were a couple of years out of school, had some customer service experience, and were organized, friendly, customer-oriented, and problem solving-oriented. But through the re-profiling process, the recruiting team realized that they had never really taken the time to assess whether these were the actual traits needed to be successful in the role. So, they started asking themselves questions: “What are the character traits of someone who’s been successful?”, “How do we test for things like GRIT problem-solving skills?”, “How do we figure out really whether they’re customer service-oriented?”, and “What do we want to learn about them overall when they come in for the onsite interview?”

Revelation: What the recruiting team concluded at that point is that they did know what they wanted—they just weren’t accurately assessing for it. So, it wasn’t the role profile that needed to change; it was their approach to the interview.

Now: To rectify this, they used Greenhouse to implement a structured interview where they could effectively assess for the skills, experience, and qualities they knew were needed to be successful in the Sales Rep role. They also put on 3 sessions of management interview training to get every single sales manager across the organization, in all locations, trained up on the “new”, more informed profile and how to utilize what we call Greenhouse guides to more easily recognize the traits we’re seeking. (We turned the scorecards into guides so that they can see their interview question right above the scoring system). Like before, they are still looking for these pieces of information in a resume, but the difference now is that they’re closely assessing for the right character traits during the interview process, too. Prior to this, interviews were completely unstructured. They had no set agenda and would be conducted under the assumption that everything stated in and implied by the resume was true. They realize now that the interview can bring much more out of a candidate—if you ask the right questions.

Scorecards to the rescue

Greenhouse’s scorecard feature has enabled interviewers to not only ask the right questions, but to ask all of them and to stay on track. And even before going into the interview, they’re able to review the scorecard and get a good sense of the type of person they’re looking for. They never have to second guess what a top candidate looks like—they have a guide now that they can continuously reference, keeping the whole process in check!

The scorecard is helping to streamline processes all-around. The recruiting team is getting interviewer feedback on candidates a lot quicker, and the feedback is more detailed and relevant—not just fluff. Not only that, but all the feedback is housed in one place, making it convenient for recruiters and hiring managers to reference and helping to move candidates through the pipeline and make hiring decisions that much faster.

And, the scorecard has contributed to the recruiting team’s original goal of rolling out Greenhouse organically. The team realized that it’s useless to build a scorecard that they think is right if it’s not useful to the hiring managers and other interviewers. So, the team made sure to include hiring managers in how scorecards are built for each role and how the interview questions were worded to address each of the skills, experience, and qualities listed on the scorecard. The result? Recruiters and hiring managers are having more focused conversations, helping them lay the foundation for a stronger recruiter-hiring manager partnership.

Final thoughts

Not only has Greenhouse facilitated a more structured interviewing process to be put in place, but it has also helped reenergize and re-engage everyone in the recruiting process, bringing both excitement and pride to the process of finding great talent to join the team.

The next step for Echo? Bring this eagerness and passion to each and every role in the organization, beyond just the ones that are the most-recruited. Erin and Bethany see Greenhouse as their answer to scaling the company as they strive to meet their goal of growing to 2,500+ employees and 35+ offices across the U.S.

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