Recruiting Operations Groups

GoodTime’s mighty Talent Innovators’ Community, which consists of talent leaders from a variety of different organizations of all different sizes, meet at least once a quarter for our awesome Talent Operations Dinner! We co-hosted our most recent one last week with our co-hosts, Thumbtack, at one of our favorite restaurants, The Barrel Room in San Francisco!

Each dinner is an amazing opportunity to network with some of the Bay Area’s recruiting operations leaders and ideate about pressing topics that their teams face. This past dinner, we had attendees from Salesforce, Box, Udemy, PagerDuty, DoorDash, and Databricks!

Throughout the three hours of eating and drinking, we discussed the following three trends that should be top-of-mind of everyone:

  • Employer Branding
  • Effective Structures for Recruiting Teams
  • Diversity Recruiting

Employer Branding

No matter what the size of your organization, everyone has similar difficulties: lack of budget and measuring program success.

Lack of budget

Employer brand and marketing your company is critical to drive high-quality applications to your open roles and assist passive candidates to be willing to make the jump. However, recruiting teams don’t typically have access to the same budget and materials as marketing does, meaning recruiting teams often have to fend for themselves and get creative.

Our group brought up one of the best ways they found to improve employer branding on a shoe-string budget: leverage left-over branding/marketing collateral and relationships with marketing.

Marketing generally owns social media channels (like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc), and asking them to repurpose something they’ve already used for recruiting ensures your open positions get visibility without adding extra responsibilities! Using a content calendar and pushing out content on a regular basis is key. Additionally, having a great relationship with the marketing team (alcohol goes a long way here!) allows you to have access to their channels!

Above all, thinking like a marketer is key. Even if you have the channels and the help, you need to understand your company’s value proposition, what defines you, and the key message you want potential candidates to understand. Consistency in your message is key!

Measuring the Success of your Program (and what KPIs actually matter)

Measuring the success of your employer branding initiatives can be difficult. What do you measure?

Our group was pretty stumped. There’s no clear metric or KPI that we know of that shows the growth of your employer brand. At the moment, it’s primarily vanity metrics: clicks, views, shares, and anecdotes from candidates.

However, employer branding is important. One of our attendees, Carl Swanson from Collective Health, shared a personal anecdote about how a great video he saw about Collective Health is what made him make the jump to the company. In the video, the founders discussed their mission and why they are building the company, which inspired him! Watch the video here.

Effective Structures for Recruiting Teams

This topic actually did not get as much attention as we would have liked primarily due to this was when the food came out! So everyone was more quiet than usual (hard to blame Barrel Room). The main takeaways that came from this discussion were:

How do you build a cohesive culture and make sure your company sales pitch is consistent?

This needs to come from the top-down and cannot be a recruiting (or HR) decision only. Consistency across recruiting, marketing, and sales is critical as how you explain your company’s mission and value needs to be the same no matter who you are speaking too. Without consistency, new hires may not actually be joining the organization they think they are.

How do you think about scalability?

Every recruiting leader mentioned they wished they would have invested in the right technology earlier instead of waiting until the pain was too much. So, if nothing else, make a business case to invest in tools and systems sooner rather than later.

When things aren’t as hectic in the organization, recruiting operations and recruiting have some time to devote to setting up these technologies and training their team to learn the systems (which most likely will change process and workflow). If you wait until no one has the capacity to take on another project, you are left with the tough decision of:

  1. Hiring More People (a short-term fix that ends up being much more expensive)


  2. Taking on new technologies to assist with scaling, but at the cost of your short term goals

The biggest takeaway? You must ensure the technology you are investing in matches your strategy. Having it driven from a particular strategy, a technology solution will ensure you are impacting the right KPIs in your process.

Diversity Recruiting

This is always a hot topic for recruiting, and this was definitely the most engaging topic of the evening. Everyone at dinner agreed this is a huge focus for their company – but with very mixed feelings.

It Must Start from the Top

Smaller companies typically find it more difficult to push diversity initiatives as they’re typically in a hyper-growth stage. This leads to many companies seeking to hire someone who fits the same mold, so to speak, of existing successful employees. Which is, of course, detrimental for diversity.

On the other hand, many of our attendees felt that recruiting shouldn’t be the only ones actively trying to bring in diverse candidates. Instead, it needs to come from the top of the organization. One of my favorite companies, Gusto, has been very open and driven to their diversity goals, which they recently published in September 2018 (along with a six-month follow-up of how their team is doing). While these goals specifically pertained to engineering, they can apply to all teams in an organization.

Based on their success, you can see the power of having the top of the organization make a stand and force change through ambitious goals

Lack of Data

Data is something that’s lacking in recruiting, especially when it comes to diversity. This is in part because there’s no reliable tool to track it which means that employees must self-report– which can often be uncomfortable or inaccurate.

Our attendees discussed this at-length and how to potentially leverage tools and their ATS, but diversity is a sensitive topic for everyone, despite how important it is for a company’s future success. For example, McKinsey conducted a study that evaluated diversity levels at 366 public organizations and found that ethnically diverse companies were 35% more likely to outperform their competitors in terms of profitability.

Despite the lack of data or support from the top, every single recruiting operations leader agreed that bringing more diverse individuals into the company is important!

Thank you again for all of our attendees! It’s been great seeing our dinners continue to grow bigger and bigger, and we can’t wait for the next one!

Want to join us for our next dinner? Please email us at to sign-up and join our community– which includes access to our Talent Innovators’ Group!

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