EP 44: Salesloft - Refining Processes With Data and Collaboration (With Amber Schwartz, Director, Talent Acquisition)

May 31, 2023
Read Time
Min Read
Table of Contents

AI software built for Recruiters

Start free trial

Download our free Recruitment Signals report!

Download

All-In Recruitment is a podcast by Manatal focusing on all things related to the recruitment industry’s missions and trends. Join us in our weekly conversations with leaders in the recruitment space and learn their best practices to transform the way you hire.

Transcript

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Lydia: Welcome to the All In Recruitment podcast by Manatal where we explore best practices, learnings, and trends for leaders in the recruitment space. If you like our content, please subscribe to our YouTube and Spotify to stay tuned for weekly episodes. My name is Lydia and joining us today is Amber Schwartz, director of talent acquisition and Salesloft.

Welcome, Amber. Good evening to you, and thank you for joining us.

Amber: It is an absolute pleasure to be here, Lydia.

Amber’s Journey Into The Talent Acquisition Space

Lydia: So Amber, walk us through your journey in the talent space. I understand you've spent a little more than a year at Salesloft now, and you've climbed the ladder quite fast.

Amber: My journey in the talent acquisition space started right out of college at a large staffing agency, and then transition to a smaller regional agency, where I have the opportunity to lead our on-site teams that one of our largest customers. And that ultimately led to my transition to in-house recruiting, and specifically have been within the SaaS space for seven years. And then I’ve been working at Salesloft for just over three and a half years now.

Lydia: So, what are the takeaways that you've had working in an agency that you've brought into your positions in-house?

Amber: I think, first of all, starting as an agency provides an excellent foundation. The training that you can get, especially at a large agency is incredible. But also the skills that you learn and how to communicate it at several different levels, communicating with candidates, customers, salespeople and other recruiters.

That skill is sort of invaluable when you go internal. But also, I think there's a level of sales. You're selling opportunities for companies that you're not even a part of. And so, being able to do that, it makes it a lot easier when you're now a part of an organization and really understand what makes it so special by being there. It makes that selling to a candidate on why they should join us a lot easier.

Adapting to the Changing Talent Market

Lydia: What are some observations that you made about the demand and availability of talent during these three years? Do you have any interesting insights that you could share?

Amber: I joined Salesloft in January 2020, and I’ve truly seen the evolution of Salesloft growing from a 400-person company up to 1000.

So, we have been along for not only this evolution and change of Salesloft, but also, quite frankly, it’s been one of the most disruptive three years for the talent market. And so for us, we had a very short pause in 2020, post COVID. Where we weren't necessarily doing a lot of hiring, we were in that wait-and-see period - the “Are we going to be at home for two weeks?” “Are we going to be at home for two years?” we don't know. And then we saw a pretty steep uptick towards the end of 2020. And then obviously, 2021 was a significant year of growth, not only for the company but specifically for the talent acquisition organization.

I took over that team in 2021, and the market for recruiters when you're trying to build a team to be able to serve the business and the business's needs, was extremely challenging. But I think one thing remains the same, regardless of the market, if we want to define it as an employer market or candidate market, you still have to be a great place to work, in a place that attracts talent. And I think that that's something that I'll call out over the last three years.

It doesn't matter who's got the upper hand, a company should always be focused on putting their best foot forward as it relates to candidate experience in the process.

Lydia: You came in January 2020, right? So, in that transition, having that sales mentality, as you mentioned earlier inside the organization, what was the culture like trying to maintain that sort of culture during that period of disruption?

Amber: I will say, specifically to SalesLoft, while in 2020, at some points were certainly difficult, it was also a propelling event for our company. Because our software became a “maybe specific to early adopters within the tech space” to “almost a must-have for all companies” as they transition their teams remotely and had to come up with different ways of how they engage with customers or from sales leaders. How are they managing these teams of STRs that they were so used to being able to sit next to and coach? They needed to come up with new ways to be able to serve their employees, and also their customers. Salesloft just happened to be that solution that was a great fit to be able to meet all those needs.

So, while I do think there certainly was an adjustment, you're taking a company where people are looking at the culture as being in the office and getting lunches and it's easier to maintain a culture when it's right in your face, and you're around your colleagues. And so, I think the most challenging part is, was in a year and a half ago. We're starting to lose that - ‘’we're post COVID” in some sense - and now we're trying to be focused on what the future looks like. And how we make sure we keep our employees engaged.

I think a bit of the work from home like, “This is so much fun,” it's starting to wear off. Let's be honest, no one wants to be on a virtual happy hour as much as we did probably in early 2020 and 2021. It was still a new thing. So, I think that's been the most disruptive stage, which is just our company has grown significantly, and how do we make sure we're maintaining the values and the culture that it's now having to evolve?

Involve Hiring Managers Earlier In the Process

Lydia: Because you’ve seen these changes in the past three years, has that contributed to your approach toward talent acquisition?

Amber: In my evolution at Salesloft, I started as an individual contributor working with our managers. As I took on the global function of TA at Salesloft, I applied the things that worked well for me and helped our team members adapt them in their own way.

For me, what has accounted for much of my success is my relationship with managers and the desire to be a true partner rather than just a support function. That’s something we’re really focused on.

Especially in tough or competitive conditions, hiring is a team sport. When a role is open, it doesn’t fall 100% on the recruiter. We have to be in partnership with our managers.

One thing we’re focused on today is getting creative with involving our hiring managers earlier in the process. At Salesloft, that means giving our hiring managers LinkedIn Recruiter seats and having them do outreach and sourcing alongside us. We set up cadences where we reach out on one day and they reach out the next day. We’ve seen really positive results and candidates appreciate feeling wanted by the hiring manager who reaches out specifically to them.

Their inbox is likely full of other recruiters reaching out, so getting creative in how we get in front of talent is important. The second piece is ensuring there’s a consistent message about why someone might want to work here.

Lydia: It’s nice to see the creative approach that’s been taken to reach out to candidates and the experimentation with outreach and sourcing itself. Do hiring managers who take part in this work contribute to the new cadence that you’ve set?

Amber: That’s a great question. I think there are certainly specific stakeholders who more naturally fell into this. For example, our sales organization was ready to jump in and create their own messaging. They were very excited about this. But we’ve also seen a lot of success on our technical recruiting side as well. It takes a bit more enablement, education, and assistance with writing outreach to make sure they are comfortable.

That’s a big piece in helping them understand the benefit and the data, like, “Hey, when we reach out ourselves, this is our response rate.” When we integrate a hiring manager within the process, it grows exponentially. You start to think of time to fill for a role. If we can be more intentional before a role is even open and use our hiring managers to start building networks of potential pipeline and talent, the decrease in time to fill typically gets a manager on board regardless of how uncomfortable they may feel. If we can fill the role 15 days quicker or whatever it might be, we haven’t faced much pushback when leading with data and clear examples of why it’s working.

I think it’s important in general to focus on what is working rather than what isn’t. I try to put on a pedestal what is working and make sure those leaders are engaging with other leaders across the business and sharing their success. It’s one thing hearing from me or one of our recruiters about all the great things we’ve done, but having a partner or stakeholder talk to one of their peers and say, “This worked on my role” has helped us overcome any pushback we may receive from a manager.

Future-Proofing Recruitment With 3D Capacity Planning

Lydia: That’s great. This would also contribute to a different form of the process altogether, right? If you’ve got that set, you’ll see the results in a specific timeframe.

At least, as a leader of talent acquisition in your organization, you will also need to look into developing strategies. Not only strategies that fulfill business needs now but also those that will fulfill business needs for the foreseeable future.

So, what are some ways that you would think about future-proofing recruitment?

Amber: I think this is such a great call. It’s top of mind for me and I know for a lot of other TA leaders that I talk to. We’re all thinking about the roller coaster that TA has experienced over the last three years. It has been the most desirable profession and every company needed so many different recruiters. At one point in 2021, it was harder to hire a recruiter than it was for a software engineer, which is mind-blowing.

I think we did scale our TA team during that time to keep up with demand. Hindsight is 2020. Now we’re in a different market that’s maybe starting to stabilize. This is more along the lines of what the market is going to be and how companies are going to grow moving forward.

I think a big thing that we’re looking at is capacity planning. Knowing what our team is able to deliver, regardless of external factors, like what are the key metrics? And what should we be able to deliver? If we added an additional recruiter, they would be able to deliver this.

But I’m taking it one step further and looking at capacity in three ways: people, processes, and technology. Do we have the right roles within our team? Are we specialized or generalized enough to serve the business? Are our processes allowing us to have more capacity? Are they acting as intended? Because processes can be put in place to slow down certain areas or speed up.

And then the last piece is technology. How do we use technology to give us more capacity? There are a lot of tools on the market today that are allowing teams to think about more responsible scaling or the ability to expand or contract based on business needs at any time.

Lydia: That also brings me to my next question: the candidate experience. It’s one of those things that are ultimately top of mind as it contributes to the entire impression of the brand itself as an employer. Do you have an ideal hiring process in terms of speed and success rate? How would you define something that’s ideal?

Amber: I think “ideal” is a difficult word when we’re talking about the hiring process because it could look drastically different for Salesloft than for a different company of a different size. For us, our focus is on the candidate experience, regardless of what the process looks like.

However, at Salesloft, we don’t have the shortest interview process. I’ll be totally transparent. We have multiple steps in our interview process. However, we try to be extremely intentional about our steps. We believe that the interview process is an evaluation for both parties. We want to make sure they’re the right fit for us just as much as we want to make sure we’re the right fit for them.

With that being said, we do have metrics in place around speed and success rate. We look at offer acceptance and time to hire - the amount of time a candidate actually spends in the process. We also look at time to fill and how we’re performing against the business’s needs, such as vacancy rates. If someone leaves, how long will it take us to fill that role? Because in times like today, all teams are feeling a bit more pressure.

But I think with all of that, we’re able to have a longer intentional process because we’re really transparent about it. During that first initial call with a recruiter, we outline the entire process and send a follow-up email with the process outline. They know how much time they can expect and that it could take two or three weeks based on their availability. We’re pretty open and flexible and very clear on what we’re looking to identify at each step.

Data And Transparency: Keys To TA Success

Lydia: You mentioned that processes can be a double-edged sword. Some could slow it down and some could speed it up. So in terms of reviewing these processes, how do you go about doing that? How often do you do it? What is the source of information that you use? How does data play a part?

Amber: I think data is so important within the TA space. The need to slow down or speed up changes with the market.

When talking about TA processes, you’re never really done. What works today may not work two weeks from now. You’ve got to have a sense of flexibility and be prepared to adjust as needed. Be nimble as a recruiting team to meet the needs of the business and the candidate market.

I can think of a few examples of points in the process where you may need to slow down. That’s okay as long as it’s intentional and you’re being transparent about it.

Candidate experience is so much about making sure that you’re being transparent with the candidate and that they know where they stand at all points. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have feedback right after an interview. Recruiters should still follow up where they can and thank them for their time.

We understand that interviewing is a big time commitment and it’s exhausting. It requires a lot of energy. So even though we don’t have feedback now, I wanted to thank you for being a part of our process.

I think checking in when you say you’re going to check in is important. So much of it comes back to just being transparent. That’s what makes candidates feel like they’re being seen, heard, and their time is being valued as much as our interviewers’ time is.

Lydia: In terms of evaluating these processes internally, is there a mechanism in place to evaluate these processes?

Amber: So, I think one thing that we have started to do is introduce quarterly hiring manager surveys. Any managers that have made a hire or worked directly with recruiting can provide qualitative feedback. We combine that with a tool that creates dashboards around all of these different metrics within TA. We’re able to quickly see trends for the last six months or year over year and be able to pull back and say why.

I think it’s a combination of multiple things. Sometimes we’ll get a piece of feedback through a candidate survey and that makes the light bulb go off. You have to sit and say, “If one person is saying this, are they speaking for a larger group? How do we adjust for that or when do we not need to adjust?”

Ultimately, it comes down to a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data that will help us determine when it makes sense to jump in and change a process.

Using Data And Culture To Drive DE&I Initiatives In TA

Lydia: Let’s talk about diversity. How does DE&I really play into talent acquisition strategies in your industry? What might be some ways of going about implementing these initiatives or processes?

Amber: I think DE&I is extremely important, not only for TA but for the entire business. It needs buy-in and actions from senior leadership to truly play out throughout the organization. For us, it starts with looking at the data. Specifically for TA, we look at our hiring funnel and the pass-through rate. We look at what diversity looks like at the top of the funnel and how that population moves through the funnel through our different steps of the interview, ultimately resulting in who we hire. Then we look at trends to come up with initiatives based on the data.

For Salesloft, it’s okay if we don’t get it all right the first time because it’s also a learning process. As a TA team, we were very focused on how to increase diversity at the top of the funnel last year. That meant new partnerships and working directly with some of our ERG leads on expanding networks. We ran a new referral program specifically for underrepresented talent. Looking at the data from last year, we were able to significantly move the needle at the top of the funnel. However, we didn’t make as much progress at the bottom of the funnel.

So, when we saw that coming into this year, our initiatives changed. We understand that it’s important to look at the full funnel. We want to remain focused on attracting diverse talent at the top of the funnel but also make sure that talent is moving through the process at the same rates as others. That’s led us to look at whether there are parts of our process that aren’t as inclusive as we thought they were.

We’re focusing on interview training around implicit and unconscious bias and having our recruiters be advocates for that talent. They feel comfortable having uncomfortable conversations with leaders sometimes. That works for us at SalesLoft because of our culture. We’re comfortable having those not-too-easy conversations based on our culture and team philosophy.

But again, it’s a learning process. It’s also worth taking the time to listen to that talent internally to make sure we’re able to retain them as well.

Lydia: Attracting the top of the funnel would require more effort on employer branding and ultimately your EVP. So, what is your approach towards developing a strong EVP that aligns with your cultural needs and skills requirements?

Amber: I think as part of an EVP, we have a very strong employer brand at SalesLoft. But as it relates to an EVP, it’s something that should be reevaluated on a regular cadence, especially considering all the disruptions over the last three years.

What a candidate or employee values today is drastically different than what people were looking for pre-2020. So, evolving your EVP as your company evolves is important. The other thing with an EVP is that your company can be a great place to work but that doesn’t mean it’s the perfect place for everyone. It’s important to be really clear on what sets you apart from your competition and what current and future talent wants. Taking all those things into account to help influence your employee value proposition is really important.

Here at SalesLoft, we’re actually going through this exercise in the coming quarter. We’re asking ourselves if everything that we have out there still rings true and if it’s what’s most important to people. I think a lot of it is, so we’re not going to be changing things dramatically. But there’s an opportunity to refine because our EVP needs to be not only current state but also future-thinking.

Lydia: At the top of the funnel, attracting a diverse talent pool to SalesLoft and identifying who actually fits the company and what you can provide them is important. So, what are some traits that you look out for when you search for top talent?

Amber: Specific to Salesloft, it goes back to our values and ensuring there’s alignment. We want to make sure that the person is bringing something new and special to our team. How we do things is just as important as what we’re doing at Salesloft. We actually have a step in our process that is a core values interview. It’s an opportunity for a candidate to meet with two folks outside of the department they’ll be working in. The 20-25 minutes are spent talking about our values and why they’re important and how they show up at work.

We have a mixture of options for employees. They can opt into being in the office at our headquarters in Atlanta, our headquarters in London, or our office in Guadalajara, Mexico. We also have a hybrid option where you’re in the office for two days or less per week. And then we have the remote option.

I think being clear on someone’s motivations and how they work best is important. What works best for them and their team is taken into consideration. That’s something that’s top of mind for our wider people leadership team as well. How do we make sure that employees still feel connected to their immediate team and cross-functionally as well?

Leverage Technology To Supercharge TA

Lydia: Speaking about connectivity, technology plays a big role in connecting people remotely in the different working arrangements that we’re seeing now. There’s also been widespread adoption of AI into many aspects of business today. As TA professionals, how do you think AI can help?

Amber: I think that as TA professionals and really anyone in the workforce today, we have to get comfortable and accept that AI is here. Those who aren’t able to adapt and adjust are probably going to get left behind at some point. For us, there are a few ways that we’re trying to experiment with AI today.

One thing is that when you’re thinking about writing a new process or coming up with a project, the hardest part is just getting started. Using prompts to outline what building a new interview training would look like and then being able to take that as a foundation and make it your own can be helpful.

In the same vein, writing candidate outreach and getting creative with it can be helpful. Job descriptions are time-consuming but so important. If there’s a way that AI can step in and help our managers articulate what they’re looking for, that’s helpful.

AI can be used is to help recruiters become more knowledgeable about the roles they’re recruiting for. Most of us have never worked in those specific roles. So, asking questions and learning more about those specific domains or expertise so that you can have a meaningful conversation with an expert or candidate is another way that recruiters can start to utilize AI.

Lydia: Recruitment technology, when it comes with AI technology, has the ability to shorten the amount of work that you do. So, Amber, what has been the impact of recruitment technology on hiring in your experience?

Amber: I think the impact of recruitment technology has been huge. It was great at a time when we were extremely busy and had a larger team. But it’s just as important, if not more so, now that we’re trying to do more with less.

Identifying where technology can enhance our candidate experience and hiring manager experience while also allowing us as recruiters to focus our time in the most impactful places is important.

I’m a huge proponent of utilizing technology in different ways. There are so many new and interesting tools coming out on the market today. I think it really propels a team. If you’re comfortable jumping in and embracing technology, it’s going to allow you to outpace others as well.

Lydia: What might be some ways that you use data from recruitment technologies, such as an ATS?

Amber: I think it goes back to our earlier discussion about whether we need to evaluate our processes and interview process. One way to use data from an ATS is to look at things like the drop-off rates of candidates. For example, it’s common for us to have a technical offline for some of our technical roles. We’ve often been able to use the data to influence decisions on whether it’s the right assessment or if we’re asking someone to take too much or not enough time.

In general, using data from an ATS gives us more data points to make sure that the decisions we’re making are the right ones.

Be Curious and Learn from Others in TA

Lydia: These data points come in a shorter timeframe. So, you get to experiment quicker and become more agile with technology. What advice would you give someone starting out in talent acquisition today?

Amber: I think the most important thing is to be curious. Ask questions, whether that’s in candidate calls or getting to know people. People love talking about themselves and things that they’re passionate about. So, make sure that you’re asking those questions. Also, really integrate yourself into the wider business and ask questions from across different departments to truly understand what they do and what’s most important to them. I think if you have that business acumen and curiosity, you’re going to be successful, not only in TA but also in whatever you might choose to do if you don’t choose to stay in TA for your entire career.

Lydia: Well, thank you very much Amber for your time and your insights into how to structure a talent acquisition function in the midst of all these disruptions that we see today. And also this emphasis on process and how to streamline that using technology, data, observations, and engagement internally as well as externally. I’m sure the audience listening in would want to find out more. So, what’s your preferred platform?

Amber: Thank you so much for having me, Lydia. It has been an absolute pleasure sharing all of these insights. The best place to find me is on LinkedIn. It’s easy. Just search for my first and last name, and you’ll see that I am the Director of Talent at Salesloft. So, it’s super easy to find me there.

Lydia: Excellent. We’ve been in conversation with Amber Schwartz, the Director of Talent Acquisition at SalesLoft. Thank you for joining us and remember to subscribe to YouTube and Spotify to stay tuned for more weekly episodes of All In Recruitment.

Sourcing candidates shouldn't be hard.

No credit card required
No commitment
Start Free Trial

Explore how Manatal can Fit
your Business

Receive an overview of Manatal platform from a product expert.

Get started with Manatal

Our 14-day free trial allows anyone to explore the platform without commitment, while our team is committed to providing support and guidance throughout the process.
Data migration from your existing recruitment software
Team training for a fast and smooth onboarding
Transparent and flexible pricing without lock-in contract
Highest security protocol as standard (SOC II Type 2)
24 / 5 support availability via live chat
All-in-one platform covering all your recruitment needs

Transform the Way You Recruit Today.

World-leading Recruitment Software for Talent Acquisition and Recruitment Professionals.
900,000+
Recruitment processes managed.
10,000+
Active recruiting teams.
135+
Countries.
Bill Twinning
Talent Resources & Development Director - Charoen Pokphand Group
Manatal is the best ATS we worked with. Simplicity, efficency and the latest technologies combined make it an indispensable tool for any large-scale HR team. Since its adoption, we've seen a huge increase across all our key recruitment metrics. To summarize. it is a must-have.
Ahmed Firdaus
Director - MRI Network, Executive Search Firm
I've been using Manatal for the past couple of months and the platform is excellent, user-friendly and it has helped me a lot in my recruitment process, operation and database management. I'm very happy with their great support. Whenever I ask something they come back to me within minutes.
Dina Demajo
Senior Talent Acquisition - Manpower Group
Manpower has been using Manatal and we couldn't be happier as a team with the services this platform has provided. The application is extremely user-friendly and very well equipped with all the useful functions one would required for successful recruitment. The support team is also excellent with very fast response time.
Edmund Yeo
Human Resources Manager - Oakwood
Manatal is a sophisticated, easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, and cloud-based applicant tracking system that helps companies achieve digitalization and seamless integration to Linkedin and other job boards. The team at Manatal is very supportive, helpful, prompt in their replies and we were pleased to see that the support they offer exceeded our expectations.
Maxime Ferreira
International Director - JB Hired
Manatal has been at the core of our agency's expansion. Using it has greatly improved and simplified our recruitment processes. Incredibly easy and intuitive to use, customizable to a tee, and offers top-tier live support. Our recruiters love it. A must-have for all recruitment agencies. Definitely recommend!
Ngoc-Thinh Tran
HR Manager, Talent Sourcing & Acquisition - Suntory PepsiCo Beverage
I am using Manatal for talent sourcing and it is the best platform ever. I am so impressed, the Manatal team did an excellent work. This is so much awesome, I am recommending the solution to all recruiters I know.
Bill Twinning
Talent Resources & Development Director - Charoen Pokphand Group
Manatal is the best ATS we worked with. Simplicity, efficency and the latest technologies combined make it an indispensable tool for any large-scale HR team. Since its adoption, we've seen a huge increase across all our key recruitment metrics. To summarize. it is a must-have.
Ahmed Firdaus
Director - MRINetwork, Executive Search Firm
I've been using Manatal for the past couple of months and the platform is excellent, user-friendly and it has helped me a lot in my recruitment process, operation and database management. I'm very happy with their great support. whenever I asked something they come back to me within minutes.
Dina Demajo
Senior Talent Acquisition - Manpower Group
Manpower has been using Manatal and we couldn't be happier as a team with the services this platform has provided. The application is extremely user-friendly and very well equipped with all the useful functions one would required for successful requirement. The support team is also excellent with very fast response time.
Kevin Martin
Human Resources Manager - Oakwood
Manatal is a sophisticated, easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, and cloud-based applicant tracking system that helps companies achieve digitalization and seamless integration to Linkedin and other job boards. The team at Manatal is very supportive, helpful, prompt in their replies and we were pleased to see that the support they offer exceeded our expectations.
Maxime Ferreira
International Director - JB Hired
Manatal has been at the core of our agency's expansion. Using it has greatly improved and simplified our recruitment processes. Incredibly easy and intuitive to use, customizable to a tee, and offers top-tier live support. Our recruiters love it. A must-have for all recruitment agencies. Definitely recommend!
Ngoc-Thinh Tran
HR Manager, Talent Sourcing & Acquisition - Suntory PepsiCo Beverage
I am using Manatal for talent sourcing and it is the best platform ever. I am so impressed, the Manatal team did an excellent work. This is so much awesome, I am recommending the solution to all recruiters I know.

Try Manatal for free during 14-day with no commitment.

No credit card required
No commitment
Try it Now