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    Improving TA Processes, Connecting Recruiting to Brand Experience, & More: Talk Talent to Me March ’24 Recap

    March’s episodes of Talk Talent to Me feature a few episodes with a lot of insights. These leaders share ways to spearhead company growth, bridge gaps in talent acquisition, and so much more. 

    1. Russell Weaver, SVP of Talent Acquisition at Paramount

    Russell is a seasoned talent acquisition professional with years of experience leading recruitment teams across various industries. In this episode, he shares how the shift from linear media to digital media has transformed the industry and what recruitment can learn from outsourcing channels. 

    Russell also explains how increased employee engagement results in better outcomes, why more information is better for candidates, and how Paramount plans to leverage AI to create opportunities in recruitment. 

    “There is something fundamentally fractured still with [talent acquisition] processes and technology. I think we have to get back to basics  to make sure we are doing things that allow us to connect to that high-performing talent.” 

    Listen to the full episode.

    2. Doreen Ghafari, VP of People at AllTrails

    Doreen shares how she and her team spearheaded a period of significant growth for AllTrails, which resulted in more than quadrupling its staff in just over three years. She also shares the value of making recruiting efforts an extension of the brand experience, why talent acquisition is so much more than putting butts in seats, and the importance of building a solid foundation of systems and processes during periods of hyper-growth. 

    Doreen also touches on the benefit of treating values as a core competency, data-driven frameworks for performance evaluation, and what a holistic approach to recruitment looks like.

    “AllTrails is a beloved brand. People tend to have delightful experiences with the app and the site. We wanted our recruiting efforts to be an extension of that. We want people who come to AllTrails to interview, even if they don’t get the job, to reflect fondly on their experience.” 

    Listen to the full episode.

    Want more insights into recruiting tips and trends?

    Tune into Hired’s podcast, Talk Talent to Me, to learn about the strategies, techniques, and trends shaping the recruitment industry—straight from top experts themselves. More

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    AI Leads to More Human-Centric Recruitment & Hiring (What!?)

    Leading the way to streamlined & people-focused processes

    AI is more than just an ongoing buzzword. It’s the future of HR. We’re seeing more and more talent pros incorporate AI into their recruiting processes. But can it truly lead to more human-centric recruitment and hiring? Yes, it can.

    Our partner Teamtailor agrees, adding, “This shift reflects a widespread recognition of AI’s power to optimize HR metrics and streamline hiring tasks like resume summarization, interview question creation, and job description crafting. This transformative impact is prompting a strategic rethink of talent acquisition.” 

    This efficiency will, in turn, allow talent pros to get more strategic and focus on what matters most – building relationships with top talent. 

    Related: How to Use AI in Recruitment: Insights from Activision Blizzard’s Talent Sourcing Director

    Hired predicts AI will free up HR to focus on ‘human’ aspects of their role.

    “While industries like marketing, sales, and finance have undergone a profound evolution from AI over the past few years, the recruiting sector has only recently begun to recognize the advantages it brings to areas such as recruiting, onboarding, and employee monitoring, “ says Jon Dobrowolski, Hired VP of Product. 

    Related: Hired Conducts AI Audit to Ensure Bias-Free Hiring 

    “As organizations tighten their focus on cost reduction and strategic growth in the coming year, they will entrust activities such as sourcing talent entirely to AI to surface the best candidates– freeing up valuable time for HR professionals to upskill in understanding how AI can ‘co-pilot’ alongside them, and truly focus on the strategies and initiatives that improve the employee experience. 

    This could include paving possible career paths for people in an organization, boosting employee recognition/morale, and implementing new benefits and ways to cultivate a positive workplace.”

    Karen Weeks, Chief People Officer at Obviously on Hired’s podcast, Talk Talent to Me

    “AI will push us to nurture and build relationships within our networks more honestly and authentically. AI may streamline some processes or tasks but we’ll see a renewed focus on relationship-building as a major point of difference in recruiting and hiring.”

    Listen to the full episode.

    Related: AI in HR, People-Centered Approaches, & More: Talk Talent to Me October ’23 Recap  

    AI and candidate experience 

    In Hired’s webinar, Bold Predictions & Benchmarks: Master Tech Hiring in 2024, Collective Health’s Director of Talent and Recruitment, Dana Dillard emphasized human-centric recruitment as essential. 

    “There needs to be a balance in how we operate going forward. Many of us are working with much leaner teams. We have a lot fewer folks on our teams and a lot fewer resources. So we do need to think about how to work smarter, not harder.” 

    She explained how her team uses AI from an efficiency standpoint to enhance the candidate experience. “We supplement sourcing strategies, get ideas of how to write boolean strings or search strings, and consider positioning language to attract candidates.” 

    On the Hired platform, AI is used to create a more personalized and engaging candidate journey through the power of real-time feedback. In a typical job (or talent) search, job postings get hundreds of applicants, with 80+% being a complete mismatch. This is bad for productivity and a poor use of each party’s time. 

    Conversely, candidates who sign up for Hired find out whether they are a good match for opportunities on the platform and get feedback on how to improve their profile. Transparency in salary ranges and expectations plus comprehensive profiles help make the process more efficient.

    Candidate preferences are forward-looking and drive more sophisticated matching. This saves candidates significant time and changes an often tedious and demoralizing experience.

    The intersection of AI, skills gaps, and talent availability

    In the way that computers and word processing technology tools rapidly became a standard in nearly every workplace in past decades, our partner Workable believes AI will do the same. According to Workable’s Senior Content Strategy Manager Keith MacKenzie, “While the way we use it continues to be in flux, we’re entering an era where knowing how to use some form of AI technologies will be a normal expectation of any candidate’s skill set regardless of the industry they’re in. 

    The rapid evolution of AI has opened up numerous skills and competency gaps through the system as companies rush to incorporate AI technologies into their workflows. Meanwhile, those who build that technology will continue to be in high demand – which means the availability of talent is a major concern, especially for tech companies.”

    Getting started with using AI to support human-centric recruitment 

    Thinking about incorporating AI into your workflow? We encourage you to embrace the change and welcome AI as the ultimate enablement tool to do more with less. Consider it your partner, not your replacement!

    In a past webinar, The State of h(AI)ring – buzzword or boon for HR?, Jon Dobrowolski advised leaders on getting started with AI. He says, “With any technology implementation, you have to focus on the outcomes and driving enablement. There are goals, strategy, and KPIs. If it helps you achieve against those, you should keep it. If it is interesting but not necessarily moving the needle, you don’t want to keep it around for long.” 

    Tools to support human-centric recruitment 

    With that said, many HR and recruiting tools have AI built right in. Hired is one such offering—AI and machine learning have been ingrained in the product from the start. From candidate vetting and ranking to personalized recommendations and general experience improvements. More recently we’ve incorporated generative AI into both the candidate and employer experiences.

    We also appreciate like-minded companies bringing AI-led solutions to market to make recruiters’ jobs easier, clearing a path for more thoughtful work. 

    Our friends at Teamable, the supercharged Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) solution, incorporate AI at almost every touch. It uses AI to power inbound applicant ranking and personalized messaging at scale. Time-saving solutions like this give recruiting teams hours back in their day for those 1:1 human-centric recruitment connections that make the work meaningful.

    Going back to Jon’s advice, he encourages talent pros to be intentional. He advises against using AI for the sake of having it. Instead, he recommends, “Take the time right now to form an educated opinion on what will be helpful and begin to ideate. As you do, tools will come to market and you’ll feel that’s exactly what you were looking for.”

    Related: ChatGPT in Recruitment: How to Unlock its Power, Increase Efficiency  More

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    DEIB in 2024: No Longer Important in Tech Hiring?

    One step forward, two steps back: the consequences of deprioritizing DEIB initiatives

    It’s common knowledge these days that companies that prioritize DEIB initiatives are more successful. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) foster innovation, drive company growth, and entice the best talent. Yet, as companies reduce budgets in response to hiring market shifts, DEIB initiatives become ‘nice-to-haves’ as opposed to ‘must-haves.’ 

    In an interview with a Forbes contributor, Abi Williams, founder of Lead Not Lag, encourages accountability to drive DEIB forward. She says, “There are consequences for not hitting revenue numbers or for not shipping products in time, so why not for teams or leaders that aren’t driving inclusion efforts? Accountability and the prioritization of DEIB need to happen both top-down as well as bottom-up.”

    Often, DEIB is mistaken as a short-term initiative or even a trend. Instead, it should be infused with long-term strategy during both the good years and the tough ones. Cultivating DEIB takes commitment and consistency. Without that, we risk progress in team diversity and lose the benefits that come with it.

    Hired predicts deprioritizing DEIB positions and goals reduces progress in tech team diversity.

    First, Indeed reported a growth of DEIB job postings of 56.3% from September 2019 – 2020. LinkedIn reported 168.9% growth in Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer positions from 2019 – 2020. 

    Then, 1 in 3 DEIB professionals lost their roles in 2022, according to a study by Revelio Labs.

    “Mass layoffs of DEI professionals and less investment have meant that DEIB initiatives have seen significant rollbacks in the last two years,” says Hired CEO Josh Brenner. “With public policymakers scrutinizing DEIB programs more closely, organizations that were nominally committed will prioritize it even less in 2024. 

    Those who continue to foster safe spaces for open dialogues, be transparent and accountable to DEIB initiatives, and encourage inclusive representation will be best positioned to benefit from a stronger talent pool and increased innovation (McKinsey 2020).”

    Unfortunately. 20% of tech employers surveyed told Hired they plan to deprioritize or discard ‘Diversity Hiring Rate’ as a recruiting metric in 2024. On the plus side, 27% said it was one of their top hiring KPIs in 2024.

    Hired’s survey also revealed that 31% of tech employers do not have a person or team dedicated to DEIB. However, 65% predicted they would a year later. 

    Why DEIB? It’s important to jobseekers and employees

    It’s not just corporate and social responsibility. When defining “diverse” in terms of education, background, race, gender, experience, etc. the majority of surveyed tech workers, 63%, said working on a diverse team was a top priority to them. 

    Ready to invest in achieving DEIB goals? Download our eBook, 10 Things You Can Do to Reach DEI Goals, for actionable steps.

    Want more women in tech?

    We frequently hear from employers, partners, and the industry at large that we need more women in tech roles. But according to a 2023 CIO article, half of the women who enter the tech field leave by age 35.

    Besides competitive compensation and benefits, the three most important things to surveyed female tech workers are: 

    1) the option to work remotely, 

    2) work-life balance, 

    3) career growth and advancement 

    Because women prefer remote work and flexible scheduling, as do many other tech workers belonging to underrepresented groups, the more employers insist or pull back on remote roles, the harder it will be to recruit, retain, develop, and promote them into leaders.

    Related: Want to Hire More Women? Focus on Performance Feedback

    Renewing focus and committing to DEIB 

    When planning how to attract more talent from underrepresented groups, our partner Workable cautions organizations from relying too heavily on a singular strategy, such as inclusive employer branding, diversity-centric recruiting events, or incentivized employee referral programs. 

    According to Workable’s Senior Content Strategy Manager Keith MacKenzie, “Diversifying one’s employee base is a broad strategy that can’t be solved with one or even more than all of the above. There are numerous variables in attracting more ‘underrepresented talent’ – for instance, what aspects of underrepresentation is a company hoping to address? 

    Going into 2024, companies will increasingly recognize DEIB as four distinct elements of an overall strategy. As the overall concept of DEIB matures, the strategy of attracting underrepresented talent will increasingly be addressed differently through each of those four lenses.” 

    Getting buy-in from stakeholders

    To illustrate the importance of DEIB initiatives in your strategy to stakeholders, Abi Williams recommends emphasizing the common goal. “A positive and engaging work environment, happy customers, and excellent revenue numbers. Investors want ROI on their investments. And ultimately, really investing in your DEIB goals is going to get you to all of these goals.”

    How are tech employers planning to find underrepresented talent in 2024? 

    Overall, surveyed employers indicated their top five tactics include: 

    Inclusive employer branding (46%)

    Diversity-centric recruiting events (44%)

    Employee referral program with incentives (42%)

    Internship and mentorship programs (37%)

    Collaboration with diverse communities and networking groups (37%)

    When broken down by the number of employees, smaller companies (1-299 employees) are prioritizing inclusive employer branding while larger companies (300+ employees) favor diversity-centric recruiting events. 

    Only eSMBs (less than 100 employees) broke from the pack to include flexible work policies and diversity-focused job portals in their top five (tied with some of the other tactics). 

    Hired helps companies of all sizes with recruiting events including virtual candidate events and coding challenge campaigns as part of our employer branding solutions.  More

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    Want to Win Top Tech Talent? Align with Candidate Preferences

    The tug-of-war between remote and in-office work continues. Just when we thought the work-from-home lifestyle might be here to stay, companies increasingly called employees back into the office. Regardless of their current working environment, Hired data shows tech workers value work-life balance while remaining ambitious. 

    Hired predicts companies that integrate candidate preferences with the organization’s needs will win the most top talent.

    In late 2023, Hired surveyed 1000+ tech workers and 250+ tech employers about tech recruiting and hiring topics. When asked what’s most important to them in a job (besides competitive compensation and benefits), tech talent responded: 

    Related: 2023 Survey Results: Top 3 Benefits Ranked by Engineers (Besides Salary) 

    Why would employers’ organizations continue or expand remote work? 

    Employers’ top four survey responses were: 

    1) To secure top talent who prefer its flexibility and autonomy 

    2) Improved work-life balance 

    3) Access to a broader talent pool 

    4) Increased productivity

    Work from Home (WFH) vs. Return to Office (RTO)

    Our partner Teamtailor believes the remote work era will continue to shape policies and recruitment strategies for a thriving workplace. They feel companies offer remote work primarily to improve work-life balance. 

    Related: How to Onboard Remote Employees Really Well: Free Checklist Template 

    Teamtailor says, “As we step into 2024, it’s evident that remote work is firmly entrenched in the professional landscape. With 54% of HR leaders expecting stability in their remote work policies and a notable 57% recognizing its positive impact on employee engagement, the future of work embraces a balance between flexibility and organizational needs. The focus on fostering a healthy work-life balance, particularly to attract autonomy-driven talent like Gen Z, is a strategic move being embraced.”

    As for why companies are bringing workers back to the office, another ATS partner, Workable, suggests it is a pragmatic decision some companies are making based on a multitude of reasons. This includes collaboration and teamwork, innovation, mentoring, and development.

    Workable’s Senior Content Strategy Manager Keith MacKenzie explains, “Today’s workers have more options not to commute than they did before the pandemic. The return-to-office conversation is positioned in the community as a polarized battle between remote and on-location work. But it’s much more nuanced than that. In 2024, many of those nuances will start to rise to the surface, including the establishment of hybrid work as a standard.”

    Hired’s CEO on hybrid work

    In a recent feature on the Talk Talent to Me podcast, Hired CEO Josh Brenner reflects on shifts in the workplace environment. He says, “I was really thinking it was going to be remote forever across all companies. Last year, I was scratching my head realizing we’re not seeing that in the data anymore. Companies started to pull people back into the office”

    He sees hybrid work as the dominant model now, a result of talent taking a stand against a full work week in the office. “There are strategic things that are good for being in person. And there are benefits of having flexibility and the ability to focus at home.

    The challenge with the hybrid is that the companies need to hire people in the local area where the offices are.”

    This reduces their available talent pool, limiting the quality of talent they can reach and the diversity of candidates they can bring in. Josh explains, “During the pandemic, companies were able to bring diversity of thought, background, gender, and age. With a focus on hybrid, it’s far more limited.”

    Related: 4 Ways to Keep Company Culture Alive in Remote & Hybrid Work 

    The future of work is flexible 

    Tammy Dain, former Senior TA Consultant at Axiom, founder of Recruiting Rabble & Talent Collective echoed the emphasis on work flexibility in a past Talk Talent to Me episode. 

    She says, “I think the use case for flexible work and a flexible workforce is needed because of what we’ve seen happen with the workforce. So I think it’s just a trend we’re going to continue to see grow and grow.” 

    Start with transparency

    The best way to align the needs of the business and tech worker preferences is to begin with transparency. When candidates are approved for the Hired platform, for example, they create a profile, which is more comprehensive than resumes. It includes skills, experience, salary expectations, as well as preferences, and even “dealbreakers.” 

    Related: Hired’s 2023 List: Top Employers Winning Tech Talent 

    This drives better matches between employers and candidates, which translates to 60%+ response rates and better efficiency in the hiring process.

    Related: What Happens When TA & Hiring Managers Unite? Best Practices from One Medical, NBCUniversal & More  More

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    Boomerang Hiring? Be Careful – It’s a Risky 2024 Recruitment Strategy

    What the data says, where the pitfalls are, and how to address damage from layoffs when hiring Boomerangs

    Seeing good employees leave is tough, whether it’s through resignations or layoffs. Seeing good employees return through boomerang hiring, is ideal. Unfortunately, many of the layoffs we’ve seen recently were not handled with care. So the odds of getting those boomerang employees back when it’s time to ramp up hiring again are lower than some organizations may assume.

    Keep reading for the data we uncovered on layoffs and rehiring, plus advice on how to promote a positive employer band and communicate transparently with candidates.   

    What are boomerang employees?

    Boomerang employees are individuals who leave a company for some time but later return to work for the same organization again. Perhaps other opportunities were not a good fit or they are enticed by the company’s new direction. Sometimes it’s through an acquisition or merger, or a former employee is purposefully recruited to lead a new project or vertical. 

    Hired predicts boomerang hiring of laid-off workers is an unreliable 2024 recruitment strategy.

    In late 2023, Hired surveyed 1000+ tech workers and 250+ tech employers. More than 50% plan to increase their headcount budget in 2024. 

    While 68% of tech employers say they’d feel confident re-hiring employees laid off from their companies, only 15% of currently unemployed tech workers say they “would definitely accept” a job offer from an employer who’d laid them off. That’s a pretty low number for people likely looking for work.

    Data also showed that 36% of laid-off unemployed tech workers would decline a job offer from the company that released them. Meanwhile, 44% said they would accept. (The rest are undecided).

    Those currently employed are less forgiving. The survey revealed that 46% of laid-off employed tech workers would decline a job offer from their former company while only 27% said they would accept.

    Related: Cost of Vacancy: Why Hiring During Downturns is a Good Idea 

    Hired’s CEO on companies planning on boomerang hiring

    In a recent Talk Talent to Me episode, Hired CEO Josh Brenner discussed layoffs and companies pursuing boomerang employees. He says, “There are a lot of benefits to boomerang hiring of employees. They’re vetted in the sense that you’ve already made the decision once to hire them. They clearly have a value fit with the company and were a strong contributor to the team. There’s obviously a lot less ramping up needed to get them back into the company. 

    I understand why companies would be excited about having people back. I know a lot of companies across the board had to make extremely tough decisions when making these cuts.”

    Even so, Josh explains how trust is a key connection talent has to companies. Josh believes the companies that handled layoffs with care will “have a much easier time hiring those boomerangs back. They live the values they talk about as a company.” 

    Related: 2023 List of Top Employers Winning Tech Talent

    However, he’s observed more often than not that employers did not do right by employees when making job cuts. “The companies that handled those layoffs poorly will have a very small chance of getting any of those employees back. 

    They have their challenges cut out for them. Not only are they not going to be able to get the boomerang employees back, but they really need to focus on their recruiting efforts.

    Because those companies now have employer branding issues. People talk, use social media, and check company review sites like Glassdoor and Blind. Talent teams now have a hard job within those companies to rebuild trust with jobseekers.” 

    Empathy in talent acquisition

    Echoing Josh’s sentiment of being responsible when laying off employees, Interviewology founder Anna Papalia shared advice for TA teams in a past episode of Talk Talent to Me:

    “[TA teams] also going through layoffs and at a moment’s notice could be on the other side of the table interviewing. And with that comes, I hope, a great deal of empathy. Asking themselves, ‘How am I treating candidates and applicants right now? How would I want to be treated if I was going through this process? 

    Because looking for a job can be dehumanizing. It can feel so uncertain and it’s incredibly stressful. And as talent folks, we tend to forget the power we wield and just how difficult it is to be on the other side.”

    Related: Your Guide to Build Sustainable Tech Talent Acquisition Strategy 

    Boost success with employer branding 

    In a tough market and amid the threat of layoffs, brand reputation may become fragile. So what can teams do to boost employer branding efforts and uphold a positive reputation? 

    In Hired’s survey, “an emphasis on employer branding” was the top answer when we asked small and medium-sized employers what they planned to increase in their hiring strategy for 2024. Employers with 10K+ employees listed it second, behind (tie) “employee referral programs” and “offers of competitive compensation and benefits.” 

    So, this is the time to showcase your company’s authenticity and how it lives its values. Hired supports employers by creating turnkey events to empower company recruitment efforts. 

    Get your team in front of tech talent

    Chase partnered with Hired to host a Virtual Candidate Event aiming to attract Backend, Frontend, and Cloud Engineers in the UK. The event proved to be a powerful way to promote the company’s brand and engineering culture. Within 24 hours, Chase invited 9 candidates on site! 

    Reflecting on the event’s impact, TA Lead Mike Lewis said, “I thought it balanced really well between the tech story and how we are real people.” 

    See how Hired helped Bark and Wayfair promote their tech teams to talent with similar Virtual Candidate Events.

    Related: Looking for more employer branding ideas? Download 8 Ways to Hire Faster & Build a Better Employer Brand: TA Leaders Tell Us. 

    A healthy pipeline benefits from a CRM

    Bolster larger employer branding activations with regular communications to talent already engaged with your company. A CRM is a great way to manage this, and many these days have innovative features to help streamline your efforts. 

    Teamable is one of our favorites here at Hired. They integrate with your ATS to keep records enriched and up-to-date based on publically available data and use AI to personalize automated messages at scale. Keeping past talent engaged will make it more effective to source from this pool for future hiring needs. 

    Rebuild trust and communicate growth potential to candidates

    In Hired’s survey, 41% of employers who’d had layoffs within the last two years agreed layoffs had hurt their company more than the economy. 

    Communication is key to supporting a positive employer brand and fostering trust during layoffs. In a recent webinar, Bold Predictions & Benchmarks: Master Tech Hiring in 2024, Hired’s SVP of People Strategy, Sam Friedman explained how employers effectively communicate with candidates.

    “Candidates are coming in with more research and more questions than ever before. Recruitment teams need to be prepared.”

    Sam even recommends having some bullet points ready. “I always tell people not to give a wrong answer, just to give an answer. If you have to get back to someone, that’s okay. But you should be prepared for that question and you should prepare your interview teams as well.”

    She explains it all comes down to being open and honest about the company’s health. “Why did this happen? Was it performance-based? Is it something around a miscalculation and strategy, or was it a pivot? Make sure there is consistent messaging and leadership visibility. 

    Then, hopefully, you’ll be able to highlight financial stability. If you’re not at the financial stability, then perhaps it’s visibility into the strategic roadmap and how you’re going to get there. Make sure you are highlighting the industry or market environments as well.” 

    Over 60% of tech workers surveyed by Hired said they plan to get a new job in 2024 due to concerns about the future of their role, team, or company. Are your top employees among them? Or, are you prepared to recruit them to your team?

    Transparency and authenticity are your friends here. Hiring teams need to acknowledge the layoff, explain how the company is working through it, and share how it will move forward. It’s key to giving candidates confidence in the organization. More

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    Daemon Cultivates a Culture of Feedback & Collaboration for Successful Hiring

    Sixth in the Tech Employers Leading the Way Series

    Editor’s Note: Tech Employers Leading the Way recognises companies that innovate and work to improve the hiring experience for both their hiring managers and the tech candidates they seek. In this series, we’ll dive into what works for them, and what they’ve learned, and share it with our readers. Sharing these stories and learnings supports our company vision to make hiring more equitable, efficient, and transparent.

    Hired’s List of 2023 Top Employers Winning Tech Talent highlighted companies across a variety of segments and industries creating tech hiring processes and experiences embracing principles such as equity, efficiency, and transparency. 

    Among those leading the way is Daemon, a people-first tech consultancy seeking to better the world through digital transformation. 

    Resourcing Manager Wayne Taylor shares how Daemon values feedback to improve the hiring process and uses Hired to maximise the impact of its Talent Team. 

    About Daemon

    Both internally and externally, our vision and North Star ambitions at Daemon are clear to see. We want to use technology to make the world a better place.

    Now these aren’t just words on our website, these are built into our ways of working, engaging with our employees, and communicating with candidates.

    As a value-led business, we hire by our values, as well as partner with clients based on shared values. Your technology skills are secondary to your values and cultural fit for us as we can support you in your technical journey.

    “What I love about Daemon is they hire for future potential. Daemon sees beyond what is written on your CV…they see potential and invest in that potential. That was one of the best things I noticed in the interview stages.”
    Daemon Software Engineering

    See what else our Daemonites have to say about the Daemon culture. 

    [embedded content]

    Tell us about a process you implemented to improve candidate experience and the hiring process.

    At Daemon, we have a heavy feedback culture internally and with our clients to enable continuous improvement and progression for all parties. Our interview process is no different.

    Around 12 months ago, we introduced a document to the process. This allows our interviewer community to have a one-stop place for all the tools required to interview. 

    Editor’s note: standardising the interview process is a good DEI hiring practice as well.

    It contains interview questions (prompting responses highlighting each of our values), feedback on the candidates from previous interviews, and any “flags” to look out for, as well as space for them to record the candidates’ answers to their questions and the overall feedback.

    Introducing this to the process allowed us to capture feedback almost instantly. This reduces the need for the hiring manager/talent team to have a further catch-up meeting with the interviewers to gain feedback, as everything is shared on the doc. 

    This has improved our candidate experience and decreased the time it takes for candidates to get through our process too. It took our time to hire to under 20 days in most cases. 

    Related: 3 Ways You Should Use C-Suite to Recruit Tech Talent (+ Free Templates), Want to Run Better Interviews? You Need a Pre-Interview Meeting (Free Template)

    What are some of Daemon’s strategies for maintaining a strong employer brand?

    There are a few strategies we use to build and maintain our strong employer brand.

    We make sure we’re on the right channels, like Hired, where the top talent is, and keeping Daemon at the forefront of our target candidates.

    Being very responsive, timely, and engaged ensures their experience on these channels is better than our competitors. Efficient hiring is very important to us. 

    We have a very vibrant and energetic brand and we want to make sure this is clearly visible to those interested in Daemon. 

    Making sure we have a strong LinkedIn presence, which not only focuses on client-related content but also our culture. We do this through blogs, videos, podcasts, charity initiatives, events, etc. 

    Sharing our People stories is very important to us as we are a people-focused business. It’s natural for us to tell Daemon stories.

    How has collaboration between hiring managers and TA teams improved efficiency?

    Collaboration and teamwork are at the heart of all things we do at Daemon, whether it’s client and internal projects or improving internal processes.

    As a Talent Team we have regular meetings with our interviewer community to discuss what went well the previous month and any iterations to the questions. These are upvoted and chosen by the interviewers themselves to ensure consistency, even with different interviewers conducting the interviews.

    There are two interviewers on each culture interview. The purpose is to reduce the risk of unconscious bias, offer collaboration for the interviewers to agree on the outcome, and give an opportunity for feedback on the candidates interviewing.

    For our technical interviews, our Principal Consultants have a monthly Town Hall. This is a platform to talk openly with the executive board and collaborate on interviewing techniques. Again, this offers a repeatable and consistent process.

    Related: Technical Assessments for Recruiting & Hiring Tech Talent 

    Overall, we are really dedicated to having speedy recruitment processes, from the first conversation to onboarding.

    Hired is certainly one of those tools. It makes the first conversation much easier, enabling us to move faster.

    We recently introduced a new HRIS (Bamboo) which works as an Applicant Tracking System. It also allows a consistent and efficient onboarding experience for everyone who is offered a role at Daemon. 

    This includes everything from clear offer letters to a welcome note with the relevant onboarding forms for completion online. This removes our paper footprint and ensures candidates and colleagues have accessible documents from day one and throughout their time at Daemon.

    How has Hired supported your hiring strategy?

    Hired has been instrumental in us making tech hires over the last 24 months we’ve been working with them.

    We have access to high calibre candidates who we might not have been aware of if we hired through other means.

    The efficiency of the platform and ease of use are so helpful. That includes the information you receive upfront on the candidates to the ability to conduct very specific searches based on a range of demographics. With the number of hires we’ve made through the platform, we as a Talent Team really trust the quality of the candidates on Hired. 

    Lastly, but by no means least, is the support from the Hired team through the assigned Account Manager and Account Directors. All of them provide great feedback and updates on industry trends. 

    Check out all the featured tech employers in the series so far: 

    Firstup Puts People First to Help Companies Speed Up

    One Medical Focuses on Authenticity in the Candidate Experience

    Veho’s Multi-Faceted and Candidate-Centric Interview Process for Better Alignment

    Cisco Turns Talent Acquisition Professionals into Talent Advisors 

    AutoFi Showcases Culture & Employee Development to Strengthen Employer Branding More

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    Early-Stage Recruiting, Being an HR Visionary, & More: Talk Talent to Me February ’24 Recap

    Listen in on February 2024 episodes of Hired’s Talk Talent to Me podcast for insights into:

    Being an HR visionary with Lorraine Ortiz, First Internet Bank Chief People Officer Lorraine Ortiz

    Early-stage recruiting with Jamie Sterrett, Primary Ventures VP Talent 

    “Human energy” in HR with Julie Flowers, Chevron Director of HR & Talent Development 

    1. Lorraine Ortiz, Chief People Officer at First Internet Bank

    In this episode, Lorraine dives into staying comfortable versus trying something new, what she loves about HR and the recent developments in the industry, and why being future-ready is among her top priorities. She also discusses how to cultivate resilience in the workplace and create a culture that facilitates constructive conversations.

    Listen to the full episode.

    2. Jamie Sterett, VP of Talent at Primary Ventures 

    Jamie offers insight into what it takes to be an early-stage recruiter, how talent professionals can level up the entire function of a business, and when companies should consider bringing on a full-time in-house talent resource. 

    “Early-stage recruiting is not for everyone. When you are the first recruiter somewhere, you are wearing all of the hats.”

    Listen to the full episode.

    3. Julie Flowers, Director of HR & Talent Development at Chevron

    The performance of any organization is unquestionably linked to its ability to tap into the “human energy” encapsulated in the talents, approach, and potential of every team member. In this episode, Julie shares pearls of wisdom from her 26 years with Chevron and offers insight into how the technology, high standards, and ethics at Chevron appeal to Gen Z candidates. She discusses how talent development boosts morale and improves company culture and why she believes HR is the human energy in progress that leads to success.

    “As a leader, I need to [encourage, support, and reward]. As an employee, I’ve got to want to learn and grow. As a company, I’ve got to show that we’re building that type of culture. [Continuous development] takes all three of those things.” 

    Listen to the full episode.

    Want more insights into recruiting tips and trends?

    Tune into Hired’s podcast, Talk Talent to Me, to learn about the strategies, techniques, and trends shaping the recruitment industry—straight from top experts themselves. More

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    Need A Technical Assessments Do-Over? How To Assess Tech Skills

    Technical interview alternatives for better skill-based hiring outcomes

    In today’s competitive job market, talent acquisition teams and engineering leaders face a significant challenge: losing valuable job candidates due to rigid technical assessment exams. While these exams aim to ensure candidates possess the necessary skills for the job, they may inadvertently deter qualified individuals or overlook their potential. So how should you assess tech skills?

    As leaders in talent acquisition, it’s crucial to consider alternative approaches that prioritize skill-based hiring while addressing the limitations of traditional technical assessments.

    Why traditional technical assessments fall short

    Technical assessment exams have long been a staple in the hiring process for engineering roles. However, relying solely on these exams has its drawbacks:

    Barrier to Entry

    Technical exams can intimidate candidates, especially those who may excel in practical skills but struggle with standardized testing formats.

    Limited Scope

    Exams may only assess theoretical knowledge, overlooking candidates’ ability to problem-solve, collaborate, and adapt to real-world scenarios.

    Bias and inequality

    Standardized exams can perpetuate bias and inequality, disadvantaging candidates from underrepresented backgrounds or those with non-traditional education paths. Live-proctored assessments also create stress and anxiety while asynchronous assessments do not. It’s also more conducive to the candidate’s schedule if they need to work around current employment and time zones.

    Advice to employers from a Senior Engineering Manager on assessing tech skills

    “It’s important to understand what an online technical assessment can and can’t do,” says Hired Senior Engineering Manager Dan Baker. In an interview with Exponent, an online tech community, Dan said, “Know that using technical assessments will not be the thing that provides an automated answer whether the individual is right for the role.”

    When using an asynchronous product like Hired Assessments, Dan says “When employers play back the candidate’s work, they’ll see if the candidate is within the acceptable range and how they executed problems. Review the approach they took and see if it makes sense to you. Look for the use of coding patterns that demonstrate expertise.

    I am seeing a shift away from purely LeetCode-type questions to ones based on a framework including a file system to find the bug, fix it, create a file, and add a new pattern.

    That’s where we see candidates’ creative thinking. We see how they interact within an existing structure. That’s infinitely more valuable – the ability to show how candidates will perform in the role, rather than whether they can do bubble sort or Fizz-buzz.”

    Making the case for skill-based hiring

    To address these challenges and attract top talent, talent acquisition leaders can advocate for a shift towards skill-based hiring. Research indicates 75% of employers use some skills-based hiring to discover new talent, with nearly 55% using role-specific skills tests.

    Emphasize real-world skills

    Highlight the importance of assessing candidates based on their practical abilities to perform job-related tasks rather than solely relying on theoretical knowledge.

    Diversify assessment methods

    Encourage the use of multiple assessment methods, such as coding challenges, portfolio reviews, and technical discussions, to provide a more holistic view of candidates’ capabilities.

    Prioritize problem-solving and collaboration

    Emphasize the value of assessing candidates’ problem-solving skills, creativity, and ability to work effectively in teams, which are often more indicative of on-the-job success than exam scores alone.

    Reduce bias and promote equity

    Implement strategies to mitigate bias in the hiring process, such as anonymizing assessments, utilizing diverse interview panels, and providing alternative pathways for candidates to demonstrate their skills.

    Foster continuous learning

    Emphasize the importance of ongoing skill development and learning opportunities for both existing employees and job candidates, ensuring alignment with evolving industry trends and technologies.

    Alternatives to the traditional technical exam interview process

    When it comes to assessing technical skills for a specific role, it’s essential to consider a variety of alternative methods beyond traditional technical exams. Here are some effective approaches:

    Real-world projects

    Assign candidates a real-world project relevant to the role they’re applying for. This could involve building a small software application, solving a particular coding challenge, or designing a technical solution to a problem. 

    Real-world projects allow candidates to demonstrate their technical abilities in a practical context, providing valuable insights into their problem-solving skills, coding proficiency, and ability to deliver results.

    Code reviews and portfolio assessments

    Request candidates to submit samples of their previous work, such as code repositories, projects, or contributions to open-source projects. 

    Conduct code reviews or portfolio assessments to evaluate the quality of their code, adherence to best practices, and ability to write clean, maintainable code. This approach provides a comprehensive overview of candidates’ technical skills and coding style.

    Pair programming sessions

    Conduct pair programming sessions during the interview process, where candidates collaborate with interviewers on a coding task or problem-solving exercise. This interactive approach allows you to observe candidates’ coding abilities in real-time, assess their problem-solving techniques, and evaluate their communication and collaboration skills. 

    Pair programming sessions also provide candidates with the opportunity to showcase their thought processes and receive immediate feedback.

    Technical discussions and whiteboard challenges

    Instead of relying solely on written exams, engage candidates in technical discussions and whiteboard challenges during the interview process. Present candidates with hypothetical scenarios or technical problems related to the role and evaluate their ability to analyze, strategize, and articulate solutions. 

    This approach assesses candidates’ critical thinking skills, domain knowledge, and ability to communicate complex technical concepts effectively.

    Behavioral interviews

    Incorporate behavioral interviews into the assessment process to evaluate candidates’ soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. Ask candidates about their past experiences, challenges they’ve overcome, and their approach to solving technical problems. 

    Behavioral interviews provide valuable insights into candidates’ ability to adapt to different situations, work well with others, and contribute positively to the team dynamic.

    Ready to rethink how you assess tech skills in your interviews? 

    By leveraging these alternative methods to assess technical skills, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of candidates’ abilities, strengths, and potential fit for the role. Each approach offers unique benefits and insights, enabling you to make informed hiring decisions and build high-performing teams capable of driving innovation and success.

    By championing skill-based hiring practices, talent acquisition leaders can create a more inclusive and effective hiring process that attracts diverse talent and fosters innovation within their organizations. Ultimately, prioritizing candidates’ real-world skills and abilities over standardized exams benefits both employers and jobseekers, leading to stronger teams and better business outcomes.

    In conclusion, it’s time for talent acquisition and engineering leaders to reevaluate their approach to technical assessments and embrace skill-based hiring. That includes more than just specific hard skills.

    By focusing on candidates’ practical abilities, problem-solving skills, and collaboration potential, organizations can unlock the full potential of their talent pool and drive success in an increasingly competitive landscape.

    Hired helps employers of all sizes assess tech skills

    There are many ways to assess tech skills in candidates. Hired offers an asynchronous product that can be bundled with the tech hiring platform. Employers also use it in coding challenge campaigns to tap into qualified talent in new markets or for hard-to-find skills or roles. Hired helps companies plan, promote, and execute coding challenges, completely turnkey. How may we help you? More