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Keys to Recruiting Success with Dialpad

Technology is truly revolutionizing the way we work. From streamlined communications with Slack to Wework’s shared workspaces—there’s an influx of new companies constantly innovating the future of work. 

Dialpad is no different. Dialpad brings simplicity to the professional phone experience with features that make us most productive, when and where they work best.

As Dialpad continues to grow, finding quality tech talent is becoming more of a top priority. In our latest webinar, we spoke with Dialpad’s Director of Recruiting, Kirk Okenquist, to learn how they’ve been so successful with their technical recruits. Read on for the highlights.

How do you foster that recruiter/hiring manager relationship?

As a recruiter, building trust with your hiring manager is about more than just taking an order. It’s important for recruiters to establish that trust with their hiring managers by using data and their professional knowledge of the marketplace. Oftentimes, hiring managers have unrealistic expectations for the candidates they’re looking for—recruiters need to push back, respectfully, to encourage more communication in that relationship and help their hiring managers understand the candidate market.

Recruiters should prioritize alignment; sit down and make sure they’re 110% on the same page as the hiring manager. What is the profile we’re looking for? Oftentimes recruiters will engage with candidates that don’t even fit the profile the hiring manager is targeting. Make sure to find common ground with your hiring managers. They need you just as much as you need them. It’s important to establish that in that relationship. You’re not just there to execute, you’re there to engage and coach the hiring manager on what you can and can’t deliver on and set those expectations.

What are the key skills you look for in candidates?

Teachability is a big one. Testing a candidates’ coding ability at the front end of the recruiting process will help you test their problem-solving ability. But we’re not focused on whether they get the problem right, we’re more interested in how they’re attacking that problem and whether they’re open to feedback and being coached on their approach. HackerRank has been especially helpful for us during the coding assessment and video CodePair sessions, to really nail into this. So that we know this candidate we’re bringing on-site is definitely going to pass by a certain percentage the whiteboard sessions they have to complete.

How does your team put together your coding assessments?

When I got here I got to work with 2 engineers who were very passionate about our current HackerRank assessments. But I put together some data and found that they weren’t very challenging enough and the types of candidates we were bringing onsite, the population was failing. We had 3 assessments, now we have 7. Breaking it up by different levels of qualification/experience/background per candidate, measuring the success of those assessments with our HackerRank Customer Success Manager. Internally, working w/ the different stakeholders and looking at the pass-through rates and how these upfront assessments are helping us save time, save candidates time. And continuing to calibrate and align on that proper background.

How do you ensure you’re bringing the right candidate on?

Again, it goes back to calibration and alignment with your hiring manager. Ensuring everyone is on the same page about what is most important for the candidate is a great start. 

You should also take a look at your process and content. Does it resonate with who you are targeting and why you are targeting them? Continuously assess your process and look for ways to optimize. You can do this by A/B testing everything. Recruiting is such a heavy lift so try to automate as much as you can.

When you do find the right candidate, don’t take no for an answer. Obviously, don’t be rude. Know that there are ways to be tactful. You need to keep in mind there’s a lot of noise in the marketplace. Send multiple messages. If you’re adding value to their career and their career trajectory they’ll notice you. If you stay relevant with them you will eventually get that yes. Be mindful of their background, who they are, where they worked, where they went to school. The customization and the way you reach out to candidates, the humanistic style of approaching them–it won’t go overlooked. You have to get creative in this candidate-driven market. 

How important is your talent brand?

If you’re going to spend all this time and effort with sourcing you need to be mindful of your brand. In my experience, talent brand is massive. I’ve worked at companies where we’ve brought on a dedicated marketing person just for the talent brand and it’s done wonders.

If you’re just getting started, I’d say a great place to start is by looking at your company web page. Try to understand the story it’s telling your prospective candidates. Who have you included in the pictures? Is it an inclusive message? 

The same goes for your career page. Are you sharing stories from current employees? Don’t underestimate the power of sharing these stories. Candidates want to hear experiences from their peers. Candidates don’t always want to hear from a recruiter. Those stories land a 100 times over when it comes from one of your employees. If you’re a smaller company looking to establish your brand you’re at a strong advantage. Set it up today. Just make sure the story you’re telling carries over to a larger theme of who the company is, what the company is about, what those cultural aspects are that make it great. Everything should tie back to the company’s culture, what you’re trying to build and what the vision is. Another channel to tap into is social media. Candidates will take a look at your social media presence so it’s important to stay active while remaining authentic.

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