Great news, you sweet wonderful talent acquisition pros, you! The Phone Screen is back for round 2, and it's chock full of tips, tricks, and the real work stories of a recruiter who gets stuff done. In this installment, we caught up with Greenhouse’s Senior Recruiter Ariana Moon to learn about her path to recruiting, the tools and metrics she uses most, and how she’d like to see this profession change.
How did you get into recruiting?
Like many folks, I didn’t go to school thinking, “I want to be a recruiter.” In college, I studied English Lit because I loved everything about storytelling and was (and still am!) an aspiring writer. My first full-time job was in PR, which I thought would be a good use of my writing skills, but my favorite part of that experience turned out to be overseeing several interns. That got me thinking about a career in talent management, which led me to an HR generalist role at a financial technology company. I eventually decided I wanted to specialize in recruiting, and around the same time, my then-team bought Greenhouse as our new ATS. From there, I started exploring the world of HR tech.
Nearly 3 years later, I still say that joining Greenhouse was the best career decision I’ve ever made. What better place to learn how to recruit than a company that thinks about effective recruiting 24/7? Here, we have a leadership team that’s bought into the value of empowering HR teams to be proactive and strategic partners to the business. A lot of leaders say that their employees are their most important asset, but I truly feel that at Greenhouse, we not only say this, but we also make sure we have the People team that can best make our employees feel heard and valued.
What are your favorite tools in your recruiting stack?
Can I say Greenhouse? I mean, with a CRM for nurturing passive candidates and an Onboarding software that integrates seamlessly to our ATS and lots of analytics capabilities, Greenhouse is pretty great. :)
Outside of Greenhouse, my favorite combination of platforms is LinkedIn and an email tracking tool like Outreach or SalesLoft. These tools are traditionally meant for sales development teams to generate leads for deals, but given the many parallels between sales and recruiting, our Recruiting team repurposes them to work towards our hiring needs, too! We’re looking for the best people and the best people usually already have jobs, so we put a lot of effort into outreach to passive candidates.
What are your most successful hiring channels?
Referrals! Whether that means referrals our employees know and have worked with in the past or network referrals sent over to us by influencers outside of Greenhouse, we’ve had lots of successful referrals. Much of this success is because we have a unique program that makes referring fun and a core part of our culture, focusing less on monetary rewards and more on publicly recognizing the referrers’ efforts.
What’s an example of a recruiting campaign, tactic, or hack you used that was really effective? What were the results?
This might sound cliché, but personalization goes a long, long way. One thing I pay special attention to are the subject lines of my prospecting emails. It isn’t uncommon for my team’s emails to have a 50+% response rate, which is in many cases double industry standards, and I really believe it’s because of the time we take to personalize. My general rule of thumb is that every initial outreach email should show the receiver that the message was meant for them and them only.
On the flip side, a hack I use for myself when I’m the one being messaged is including my middle initial as part of my first name on LinkedIn: “Ariana S.” This is a quick way to see if you’re receiving an automated email that’s being blasted to a bunch of other folks, because these types of emails will typically address you with whatever you put into the field for your first name on LinkedIn (in my case, “Ariana S.”). So any email that starts with “Hi, Ariana S.,”—which is something an actual human wouldn’t do—tells me that the sender hasn’t made an effort to personalize the email to me or at least double-check it. This makes it much less likely that I’ll engage the recruiter or salesperson who wants my attention.
Which recruiting metric do you focus on the most? How do you calculate it?
I focus mainly on conversion rates within my recruiting funnel. Once I’ve generated a pool of direct applicants and reached out to a bunch of prospects, what percentage of them are converting into having an initial conversation with me? Then from there, how many of the candidates I screen are successfully converting into the next stage in our interview process? And the next? How many are making it to an onsite interview? Our recruiting team tracks conversion rates for all roles through Greenhouse, and we use this historic data to set estimates of what healthy conversion rates should look like for each job search we launch, factoring in the department and level of seniority we’re recruiting for.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other recruiters?
Be empowered, stay empowered! The traditional perception is that HR is a back-office, administrative, and reactive function that handles paperwork and makes sure organizations stay compliant. Recruiting as a profession sometimes also gets a bad rap because of recruiters who take an aggressive, unprincipled, or “butts in seats” approach to making placements.
Today, with HR tech as a rapidly evolving industry, we’re seeing a shift in that attitude, and as recruiters, we should be empowered to advance this shift! A few ways we can do this are by 1) becoming strategic partners to our hiring managers and focusing on building long-term relationships with candidates, 2) setting high standards for ourselves in defining what that success looks like, measuring it, and holding ourselves accountable to it, and 3), staying on top of HR trends and having a voice, so that our teams can best evolve with the industry.
If you could change one thing about recruiting, what would it be?
I wish all recruiters could have the experience of working for a people-driven organization. What I mean by that is an organization that values its HR team and uplifts them to take care of their people. Greenhouse as a company believes our recruiting team is a true value driver of the business. I think all companies have the potential to have this perspective. Start small—first by making a difference within each of our teams and organizations. We can do this through the suggestions outlined earlier—by becoming strategic partners to our hiring managers, focusing on building long-term relationships with candidates, holding ourselves accountable to what we need to do to be successful, and having a voice. We can start by making an impact on the people closest to us, and then from there, work to have our efforts ripple outward.
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