Tips for running a talent operations team
It’s the last quarter of the year and planning for next year is in full swing. Investing time in talent operations is one way to get ahead your 2018 headcount as it allows you to streamline your processes and become more efficient at hiring the best talent out there. Lin Lin Phan, Talent Operations Manager at MuleSoft, sat down with us to give us more insight into how to leverage Talent Operations in the next year.

Recruitment as a standalone business
Lin Lin says the best talent teams operate recruitment as its own business. Successful businesses stay on top of their efficiency by constantly streamlining processes and spend their time and efforts wisely to successfully hit their targets. The same principles should be applied to recruiting, especially the highly competitive talent market we are in, where speed, candidate experience, and effective marketing are critical.

MuleSoft frames recruiting positions as being like C-suite executives:

  1. Chief Operations Officer → Talent Operations Managers
    This is your streamlining and data guru. They know how to elevate recruiting coordinators and get the most out of processes and people.
  2. Chief Marketing Officer → Talent Branding Specialist
    They know how to establish a scalable talent marketing program. They’re brand driven and proud to sing their company’s praises. They know how to engage leads early in the funnel in ways that carry them through to conversion.
  3. CEO → VP of Talent
    This is the person with the strong vision for the team. They understand how to transform the entire recruiting engine into one that’s metrics driven, big-picture-oriented, and sales focused.This philosophy has earned results: MuleSoft’s talent team nearly doubled the company’s headcount, and increased the number of applications it receives by over 60% in 2016.

Empower your people
The talent operations team at MuleSoft has helped to foster a culture of innovation. They focus on building speed and efficiency into every recruiting processes.

Lin Lin notes that a focus on operational excellence is one of the best ways to strategically and continuously grow your volume of interviews without compromising on the quality of interviews, candidate experience, or hires.

“It can be easy to de-prioritize operations, while trying to meet an aggressive hiring goal. It’s important to take a step back to hone in on whether what you’re doing to find and bring in great hires is working. Clean data is the best way to accomplish that, and uncover where you should be spending your time and making improvements. At the end of the day, an efficient, streamlined process is what really allows recruiters to focus on building relationships and hiring top talent.”

Building a culture of innovation
How did MuleSoft create a culture that values operations and innovation? It all comes down to leadership. Operations reports directly to Leslie Kurkjian, MuleSoft’s Vice President of Talent. Her vision for recruiting is to constantly innovate and do things better, smarter, faster. She sees this as a necessity at MuleSoft where they are experiencing rapid hyper-growth.

The talent operations team partners with recruiters and the business to help grow MuleSoft in the right ways.

“As a talent operations team, we lead with empathy but always anchor on driving efficiency. We take the time to understand the different perspectives of each stakeholder but maintain autonomy to make our own judgments. As operational business partners, it’s our job to influence and educate our team and the business on the long-term benefit of new tools and policies. Change can be hard and uncomfortable, but we focus on making it as smooth and easy as possible for everyone involved.” – Lin Lin

Hold the team accountable

Metrics are the most effective tool in your arsenal to drive accountability within your team and the larger business. MuleSoft utilizes:

  1. Time to hire.
  2. Candidate experience (rated using candidate experience surveys)
  3. Waste metrics (e.g., time spent on cancellations and rescheduling)

These metrics can be tied to specific departments and used to identify areas of concern or success. They help talent teams to identify friction points, bottlenecks and how they can hire top talent, faster and with the best candidate experience possible.

Bonus tip from Lin Lin: One core pain point that we have is around the number of cancellations and reschedules. This ‘waste’ metric is usually not captured in ATS systems which is a huge loss for accurately capturing coordinator productivity and driving accountability in the business. With GoodTime, this metric is made possible and is comprehensively captured. (Thanks Lin Lin!)

Share your thoughts: What do you think of Lin Lin’s insights? Connect with us on LinkedIn or email if you want to tell us what you think, or join our Talent Operations Pro Google Groups.

MuleSoft is a software company in San Francisco, whose mission is to help organizations change and innovate faster by making it easy to connect the world’s applications, data, and devices. MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform is at the heart of the applications and services you use every day, like Spotify and Salesforce, from Global 500 corporations to emerging companies in approximately 60 countries.

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