If You Want Recruiting Success, Treat Your Interview Experience like a Product
Whether you call it a ‘war for talent,’ a ‘job-seeker’s market’ or something else, it’s clear that growing companies need good talent. Even if a company finds good people, though, it’s the employee experience and learning systems that actually produce world-class outcomes.
Mike Mason, the VP Product at The Open Application Network (OAN), used this mentality of supporting every employee when he started the journey to reinvent The OAN’s employee experience. Working with Bloom to take that idea and turn it into a full-fledged ‘product,’ Bloom helped Mike and The OAN scale out their team with two new executives and four strategic hires.
Reverse-engineering the problem
“We realized that if we wanted to accomplish the things we aspired to, we needed the best people in the world working on customer problems. And it didn’t feel like we were there.”
Once it became clear that the company needed a fresh take on hiring, Mike needed to define what the ‘best people in the world’ meant for them. Mike knew he needed candidates with strong values alignment, but also realized that the types of talent they wanted (digital natives) wanted to be paid, feel connected to a mission, and continue to learn on the job. If these smart people didn’t feel they were learning or experiencing new things, they’d move on to another company that offered better development opportunities.
This realization that top talent wants a top-notch experience led Mike to realize he, and The OAN, needed outside help from someone who could help them build the foundation and hire the people leader who would own the process going forward.
“We were relentless in terms of creating value for our customers: building products, bringing them to market, and collecting data. But we weren’t doing that in our own office space. We knew we wanted to get to a point where this is an internalized skill, but also admitted we can’t engage in a 6-month search without doing some foundational preparation.”
Making it happen
When it came to choosing someone to work with, it was clear that many organizations could help The OAN source a top-tier head of people. The key differentiator for why The OAN chose Bloom was Bloom founder Avery Francis’ mentality around building a truly unique and productive employee experience.
“One of the reasons we picked Avery was because she’s aligned on this idea that you’re a corporate athlete. Your scarcest resource is not your time, it’s your energy. So employees should go through meaningful periods of energy expenditure at work, but then you should stop and recover that energy.”
Once it became clear that Avery and the Bloom team could help with both talent searching and laying the foundation, the OAN team was ready to get to work.
A plan of action
Since a key goal for The OAN was building internal capabilities while searching for a leader to take the reins, Mike worked with Bloom to develop a dual-pronged approach.
Internal communications, feedback, and training
Despite Mike’s excitement about a new employee experience ‘product,’ members of the senior leadership team had concerns and questions before charging ahead. Instead of trying to convince them of the idea, Avery had conversations with every The OAN leader to learn how they viewed employee experience and to hear their concerns.
The feedback process helped get senior leaders on board with the project and also uncovered growth opportunities in how the business itself operates.
“Bloom’s work with our senior leadership team was immensely valuable for us — she highlighted gaps we were unaware of by listening to and identifying negative patterns during 1:1s with leaders and hiring managers. It’s really hard to do this without an objective presence.”
While Avery was consulting with The OAN to gather feedback and develop the employee experience foundations, Bloom was looking for the right person to join as head of people. In this instance, Bloom’s in-depth knowledge of the tech community was critical.
“Avery and her team really understand the tech ecosystem and who the players are. She can navigate things a lot better than someone who doesn’t have that insight.”
With the additional realization by the senior leadership team that they needed to re-think marketing, Bloom also activated a successful search for a new VP of marketing who could take the employee experience ‘product’ and run with it to develop stronger customer-facing marketing.
From working with Bloom, The OAN sourced two key executive hires — a head of talent and a VP marketing — and built out the foundations of an employee experience that feeds directly into how The OAN services clients. Mike shared “The work with Bloom was so strong that the company started another engagement — passive recruiting on a recurring basis — so that The OAN can continue to bring people into their ecosystem. This has already resulted in four strategic hires”.
“Avery and her team helped us understand what our needs are. The best part about working with Avery is she can help you understand what you don’t know.”
One more thing — At Bloom, we support companies who aren’t ready to hire a full-time HR or Talent but need the leadership on an interim basis. We do the nitty-gritty foundational work like implementing the best tech, tools and processes that are infused with your org’s values. Read this article and still need help? Bloom’s here for you. Book a no-obligation intro call with us to ask more questions and learn how we can help you out as much, or as little, as you need. Book a call with me, Avery, here.