Kelly discusses how she knew that her CEO cared about prioritizing people, the in-house systems and processes that Calendly is focused on improving, the undeniable wonders of stop, start, continue, and how Kelly and her team have implemented this habit.
Rob Stevenson 0:05
Welcome to top talent to me, a podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the front lines of modern recruitment. We actually want to understand the themes of someone’s life, we want to understand how they make decisions where they’re willing to take risks and what it looks like when they fail. No holds barred completely off the cuff interviews with directors of recruitment to VPs of global talent CHR OHS and everyone in between once I went through the classes and the trainings and got the certifications through diversity inclusion, I still felt like something was missing. Talent Acquisition. It’s a fantastic career, you are trusted by the organization, you get to work with the C suite and the security at the front desk and everybody in between. And everybody knows you. I’m your host, Rob Stevenson, and you’re about to hear the best in the biz. talk down to me.
Rob Stevenson 0:59
Here with me today on the podcast is the head of recruiting over at Calendly Kelly Minella. Kelly, welcome to the show. How the heck are you today?
Kelly Minella 1:06
Thank you doing great excited to be here and chatting with you.
Rob Stevenson 1:10
Yeah, I’m excited. You’re here as well, not only because I love the tool Calendly. I use it all the time. And I remember like in one of my very first jobs. In addition to the other marketing responsibilities I had, I was also acting as like SDR for the inbound marketing leads. So an inbound marketing that you would have come in, and then I would have to do the qualification call and then figure out if they were a good fit and set them up with sales people. And this is back in like 2012 2013. And I would just have to do all this guessing I’d be like, Are you available at any of these six times. And I remember thinking to myself, this sucks, I should just be able to book directly on someone’s calendar. And years later, Calendly was born and my dream came true.
Kelly Minella 1:51
I’m right there with you.
Rob Stevenson 1:52
I love it. And I need to spend some time talking about Calendly at the top, because if anyone out there is listening and doesn’t use it, you need to because you’re just wasting so much time just like playing Go Fish with people’s availability. I have a Calendly link in my signature. I have it I have like a text shortcut for for it to be auto populated in emails. I love this tool. It saved me tons of time. And it should save you tons of time out there in podcast land too. So huge shout out to your company. Did you have experience with Calendly before you joined the company.
Kelly Minella 2:26
So I had experience as a invitee, meaning I’ve received people’s links and scheduled but for whatever reason, didn’t think to connect the dots and implement it myself until I joined the company. And I could kick myself for all the reasons you just said, if you’re not using it, like it’s such a time saver. I can’t even remember what it was like trying to schedule time with candidates or having hiring managers scheduled time with candidates without it. So yeah, it is a wonderful product. And when I talked about it, I’m like, gosh, it seems like this just simple idea. And I’m like, Why didn’t I think about that, but thank goodness that took did and created the tool? That’s fantastic.
Rob Stevenson 3:02
Yeah, exactly. And part of the recruiting process is this need to basically pitch the candidate on why they should want to work for your company, why it’s like a good product or a good service. And that happens just automatically, because presumably, you’re scheduling people for interviews, and it’s a Calendly link, right? And then they click it and then like, Oh, if they didn’t know, if you don’t know now, you know, right? And like, Oh, it worked. It worked the whole interview process. I don’t need a 30 minute conversation about why this tool is good. I just saw how it works in my own inbox.
Kelly Minella 3:33
Yeah, agreed. It’s so funny. We’ve had plenty of candidates say that they found out about our company because of interviewing or just scheduling time with someone through Calendly. And they were like, This was such a like, seamless, simple process that I loved. So let me go do some research. And they’re like, Oh, this is a legit company. And they’re hiring. And it’s just funny that the tool itself actually brings us candidates.
Rob Stevenson 3:56
Yeah, it’s fantastic. And also, I have an AI podcast to like I talked to some really complicated companies, but I adore the ones where it’s just like, you can get it in a sentence. It’s like it immediately makes sense. I’m not saying that Kelly’s not complex, I’m sure there’s a lot of technology. I don’t understand behind the scenes, but you don’t need a PhD or you don’t need like a long, multi paragraph boilerplate to understand what the company does. It’s like it just makes sense right away. That’s probably why it’s been successful.
Kelly Minella 4:23
Yeah, great. It’s just the ease of it is so wonderful. The experience, it’s just it’s seamless, and it’s easy. And it removes just that friction that I know a lot of people I’ve experienced it when they haven’t used it or haven’t been able to use it.
Rob Stevenson 4:36
I try to make a point on this podcast for the episode not to devolve into a commercial for the company I’m featuring. I just can’t help myself in this case, because honestly, I love Calamy but having said that, we should move on to what’s on the side of the truck here the top talent in the truck and talk a little bit about recruiting at some point. So before we get into that, would you mind just sharing Kelly a little little bit about your background and how you wound up here at Calendly.
Kelly Minella 5:01
Yeah, I’d love to. So similar to many people, professionals, I landed into recruiting fell into recruiting. And started off on the agency side, I spent about two years really cutting my teeth trying to learn all the ins and outs, started on the coordination, dabbled a little bit in HR and the onboarding side. Then I switched into corporate recruiting. So I joined a company called AirWatch. And they were going through a really high volume hiring year. And we doubled in size. So it was really cool to be part of that type of, I guess, I would say volume, but speed, just the journey, it was cool to join at a point in time where they were on just such a awesome trajectory and getting to make that impact. So I joined AirWatch. And it was just a really exciting time in their growth journey. I then made a move to focus in on university recruiting and joined a bank was there for about 10 months and realized, Hey, I think that the way that I work in my style is more effective. And I feel like I’m better set up for success in the software industry. So I moved to a company called sales fusion. And that’s where I did both recruiting. But I also expanded my scope to take on the rest of the people world. So I was responsible for everything that happened once a candidate got into the door, and started with the company. And I feel like that gave me such a better foundation for me to be a more effective recruiting leader, because I just had that understanding now of, hey, it doesn’t just stop once they sign their offer, like what happens after that, and how can I take those learnings and make me be a better recruiting leader. So I was with that company for a couple of years. And that’s when I found out about Calendly. We were local to Atlanta at the time, and I saw that they had an open head of talent and culture role. So I applied and my first conversation was with our CEO, Toby Wattana. And it was fabulous. I remember calling my mom afterwards and being like, Mom, that was special. And the reason why and why it has remained special is how much priority he puts on people. One of our values is start with human and he does that every single day he did it from conversation number one to five and some change years later with me in the decisions that he makes in terms of priorities and valuing our people. So join the company, we were about 40 people at the time. And similar to my previous position, I was responsible for both the recruiting efforts, but everything that happened once you were in the door. And it’s been such a fun ride and journey to see that evolve. After a year, we started to grow. And I was able to hire on additional people, team members to take off some of the extra items from my plate that I can really focus in on recruiting and start building out a team underneath me. So fast forward to five years later, we’re over 600 team members strong. And it’s just been such a fun journey and experience to get to be part of that build.
Rob Stevenson 8:04
A long and winding talent and HR road you’ve been on here at Kelly, and I wanted to ask you about that investment in people you felt from Calendly as CEO, because I hear from folks all the time that things like culture, the emphasis on hiring at a really high quality investment in D and I all that stuff has to come from the top down. It’s not something that you can like convince a leader to care about later on. And so I always do love hearing about companies where that seems to be the case, what was the first time you got the sense that calumny CEO really did get it and care about the people part of the business immediately from the start?
Kelly Minella 8:41
So during my interview process, obviously I was asking, Hey, what’s priority? What do you need? What are the gaps today. And it was, we need to implement performance management for our team, right so that they have those type of check ins that are regular and consistent and can help drive their development as a team member, we need to establish our company values, and then weave them into our people processes. And so all these things that he was mentioning that needed to be a focus of this position, when I started, it wasn’t a hey, you have this list, go do it. He was part of it. And that’s what I thought was so special in the difference between those who say that it’s important and those who actually act on the importance of it and are part of it and truly prioritize it and their own work. And he’s a CEO of the company. So he was a just integral part, obviously, of all of those things and supported it. And I thought that was what was so great. He led by example, he supported it he championed in my work. And his direct reports then saw that they mimicked that behavior because they saw that how important it was and what a difference it was already starting to make. And it’s just remain that sense. And I mean, I just feel so lucky, right? I know that there’s some companies or recruiters who have shared that getting their hiring manager to prioritize and carve out capacity to do their part in the process is difficult. But if they see that their leadership’s doing it, they’re gonna do it too. And we have that. And it’s, it’s a blessing.
Rob Stevenson 10:05
Thank you for describing that I wanted to hear your experience there because I want folks listening to know what it sounds like when they’re in an interview or when they’re in those meetings to be like, Okay, now I have that assurance that this person isn’t just saying the right things that they actually do care, and then we’ll make the right investment make the like, do the right activities to support it? Absolutely. So what’s going on at Calendly? What’s been top of mind for you lately? What’s keeping you up at night from a talent perspective? As I like to ask folks?
Kelly Minella 10:33
Yeah, well, my favorite thing is there are no boring days at Calendly. And it’s the gosh, like, I wish, I wish there were more hours in the day, so I could do more of the stuff that I’m excited about. So we definitely are very focused on setting priorities. Another one of our values is focused wisely. So we really try to emulate that when it comes to all of our planning. So we are wrapping up q1, and I’m excited for all the work we’ve accomplished so far. But everything that we do have upcoming, it was a really cool planning experience for 2022. Going into 2023, when the planning was kicked off for the business, I had an opportunity to sit down and think, Okay, how do I want to approach this this year, and I was like, You know what, it shouldn’t just be all on my shoulders, this should be a team effort. And I need to ask my team, what matters, and have them be a part of it. So that when we go do kick off this work and do it, it feels genuine, they know why we’re doing it, and they’re excited about it. Because they had a hand in deciding that we were going to do this work. They’re not just being voluntold. So in September of last year, we as a group did a stop, start, continue exercise, and stop, start continue. For those who don’t know, is a just a brainstorming session, essentially, where you’re like, alright, what are all the things that I’d love for us to stop doing? What are all the things that I’d love for us to start doing? And what are all the things I’d love for us to continue doing? So we all got on a zoom, we pulled up a virtual whiteboard, a Google jam board, and put on some music in the background and spent, gosh, probably a good 15 to 20 minutes on each of start, stop and continue. And everyone just was putting their ideas. And we’re like, there is no bad idea. No too big idea. No too little idea. Just put it out there, right? Put it out there. This is your opportunity. And it was so cool that all of a sudden, just all the sticky notes, all the virtual sticky notes started showing up. And I was like, Oh, yes, well, yes. Well, I hadn’t thought about that. I love that. Or, oh, gosh, I agree we got to stop that. Right. So that exercise was a really special one, my recruiting operations manager and I then took that and put it into an impact matrix write strip all that sticky notes. We group them into similar themes or similar ideas. And then we’re like, okay, what is that? high effort, high impact over here? More strategic play, right? What’s that maybe low effort, high impact, like quick when we’ve got maybe low effort, but lower impact, like something to consider. And then that high effort, lower impact? Let’s think about that in the future. So went through that impact matrix, and it is really what defined our 2023 plan. So like I mentioned, we are off to the races. When it comes to that project work. There were two really big themes that came out from the exercise. And it was, hey, how can we either automate or optimize our recruiting processes? And then secondarily was like, Okay, how can we better the experience of recruiting but one for our candidates, but also for our hiring partners? Those were the two big themes that came out, and what really has, I guess, crafted the work that we’re doing today. So in q1, from a process standpoint, we took a look at our tech stack, and we’re like, alright, what can we be doing to make our recruiting process more efficient and optimized for the hiring needs for this year and for the future? So obviously, one of the big things that we implemented is Prelude. It is kam Lee’s complex interview scheduling solution. So most folks who utilize Calendly, they are very familiar with that one to one interview that it really is the solution for a candidate to a recruiter or candidate to a hiring manager type of call. But once you get later stage in your process, there’s typically those panel interviews or multiple back to back interviews that Prelude now solves for and it was something where the recruiting coordinators on our team, were spending a lot of time when it came to scheduling that component of our interview for candidates there’d be rescheduled, there would be confusion among timezones, working hours and who should be doing what who’s certified to do what? And so now that they’ve been able to implement this, all of those friction points have been removed. So in q1, we’ve already scheduled we call them loops, but essentially, interviews were scheduled over 500. I mean, that’s amazing. And just the ease and simplicity that our teams didn’t even know necessarily that this was happening behind the scenes. So I think they just realized, oh, This just felt smoother, there’s been less change, you’re getting things right. And it’s all because of the optimization of our tech stack and implementing Prelude. I mentioned, the other thing we really are focusing on is that hiring partner experience. So we want to make sure that we are setting our hiring partners up for success. And as a recruiter, it’s your full time job, you’re always focused on recruiting, but your hiring partners like your interviewers, your hiring managers, your executives, like they’ve got a day job. Hiring is just one component of it. So you need to remember that and do whatever you can, as a team to set them up for success and give them the toolkit to have a really productive interview and make a really quality hire. So one of the things that we put in place for this year is our recruiting SLOs. So service level objectives. And essentially, it is a way in which we are able to define the agreement between ourselves and our hiring stakeholders in terms of specific metrics, like response time, or completion of a certain step, right. So we decided to define those. And it was something that we realized, hey, we need to do this for ourselves. But let’s do it for all of our stakeholders. So that’s everyone from like I mentioned, executive team, our people partners play a role in the recruiting process. Our hiring managers, our interviewers, even our finance team has a element that they play within the recruiting process, including ourselves. So we went through and defined the action, the expected behavior. And if that was potentially missed, kind of what that escalation path looked like, and put it into place. And it was so well received, we realized that our hiring partners just didn’t know what was expected of them, right. Like it was in our head as a recruiting team. And we felt like, oh, it’s common knowledge, but not necessarily, especially if it’s the first time someone has participating in an interview process, if they’re a new manager being in that hiring manager role. And we realized we needed to give them this information to make it clear and set them up for success.
Rob Stevenson 17:08
It’s an important reminder that whatever department you’re in, in the org, your value, and the difficulty of that function is not always clear to the other departments, right? Like, you know why your job is important. And you know, that’s hard. But especially for recruiting where it’s like you are offering this service to the rest of the company, they see kind of a finished product in the form of an interview process and a hire, and don’t see any of how the sausage gets made. So I love that you kind of codified this approach so that the rest of the team knew exactly what was going into it. Could you maybe give an example of you said there was okay. Action behavior and escalation in the case of the action, like doesn’t happen? I’m kind of curious to like, here, what is the thing when the engineering team was like, Oh, we’re so grateful. This is codified now, what was that thing that they were able to have insight into?
Kelly Minella 17:58
Yeah, I think it was just a better understanding of the impact that it may have, if you potentially don’t meet this timeline, right? Like, oh, I can see if there’s all the steps in this process that you have to follow. And once we really spelled it all out, I think it just showed like, so much of this is dependent on all of these other pieces meeting that expected timeline or expected behavior, that it just made it clear for them. And I feel like they saw like, oh, yeah, I can kind of see why if we don’t respond to a and this is on the recruiting team, if we don’t respond to a candidate application within a certain amount of time, how much that can really negatively impact their experience. But then once they do enter the process, if we aren’t giving them feedback in a timely manner, then that’s unfair to them, because they’re also investing time. But then for candidates that are also interviewing with other companies, you may miss the boat on the opportunity to hire a really quality candidate, because another company’s going faster, they’re sticking to their SLOs. Right? So it just, I think, spelled out the impact that either doing or not doing this can really have on this shared goal of just hiring right, like, we are partners in this effort. And so here’s what we’re gonna do, and here’s what we’re gonna hold ourselves accountable. But we need you to do that too. So we can hire the very best and be successful.
Rob Stevenson 19:22
Okay, yeah, that makes sense. What was it kind of like funnel visibility? Like, here’s just like a very clear look into what’s happening to get this candidate in the interview room with you and potentially turned into a hire.
Kelly Minella 19:34
Yeah, definitely. I think that’s a huge part of it, right? Here’s all the steps and here’s where we’re seeing that we’re not even able to make it to offer because a process is taking too long. And you may as an interviewer think, Oh, I’m just one step like me, maybe not going as quickly or as efficiently as I could isn’t really going to impact it. But if everyone has that same thought, and they’re all missing their SLOs, then it really it’s this greater like the sum have all of it that really does allow for us to not be able to get the candidates that we are targeting.
Rob Stevenson 20:07
Yeah, that makes sense. can we go back to the stop, start continue, because I don’t want to glaze over it. And part of the reason I want to speak about it is because I love a stop, Sorry, continue. And not just at work do you can do it in every facet of your life, you could do it for your diet, for your exercise routine, you could do it for your relationship with your partner, you could do it for friendships, you could do it for like a family vacation, like there’s not any thing like you do that I cannot benefit from a spouse or continue. So what’s interesting too, is that if you take only the stop, and continue parts of the stop, start continue, you painted a pretty good picture of everything that team is doing, right? If something is not listed on either stop or continue, then probably it should be a stop. But I love to that when you were saying, Okay, we have this the jam board open like the start one is exciting because like there’s no bad ideas, what does anything we might do and you can just prioritize not like you have to do all of them. But I’m just curious, could you share maybe a couple examples of things that I wish we could just look at all the post it notes, but could you share like, like, what were some examples of the things that you decided not to do with things that you decided that were going well, and things you decided you could start doing?
Kelly Minella 21:17
Okay, so one of the, it had the most duplicates of sticky notes and checkmarks is we have this manual recruiting tracker. And it was something that I created previous companies ago that I was like, Ah, I don’t really know how to make this tool work for me. So let me just create a Google Sheet, essentially, of we’re going to track all of our data here, because then I know I can control it. And it’s accurate. And I can understand it. And I don’t have to worry about trying to figure out this tool, essentially my applicant tracking system. So I took that with me from my previous company, put it in place here. And when you’re hiring 20 or 30 people a year, it works. Not when you’re hiring 400 people a year, that is not scalable. So that was the number one thing is that the team really wanted us to move off of this super manual tracking system and get into a actual tool and having our tools work for us, not against us, right making sure that we had super healthy data so that our tool when we did run reports worked. That was the number one thing and we’ve been able to make really big strides in terms of getting off of this manual tracker and getting on to a tool.
Rob Stevenson 22:25
Did that sting that your your awesome spreadsheet was no longer beloved by the team?
Kelly Minella 22:30
No, because I was over it to realize that it was inefficient. And it was one of those things where I was like, I just don’t know when I’m going to be able to prioritize this. And this year is the year of prioritizing these things. Because I see just the noise that I’m getting from the team and how they’re like, hey, we’ll do this. They understood the value, but they’re like, long term, if we can get off of it. Like we’re raising our hands to participate. Let’s get off this thing and make our tools work for us.
Rob Stevenson 22:59
Got it. Love that. Yeah, glad you weren’t precious about it. Like you know, it’s time, it’s time to time to grow up from this thing. I would also love for you to share a continue what was something that’s going really well.
Kelly Minella 23:09
So there’s a lot of stickies on here about things that we do that we think set us apart in terms of the candidate experience, some of our secret sauce that they’re like, we can’t stop doing this right. One of the things that we do is when it comes to the offer stage, we actually send a we call offer recognition kit to every person that we extend an offer to regardless if they accept the offer or not. And we try to do an immediately upon extending that offer just because we’re like, hey, we want to celebrate this you got to this stage, we know how much work you’ve probably put into this time energy invested. And we want to celebrate it because this is a great thing to get excited about. So that was one of the things that should have bought as the team was like, We got to keep that going. They see what value it provides.
Rob Stevenson 23:53
What’s the offer recognition kit, like what’s in it.
Kelly Minella 23:55
So it has a theme of celebrating so a confetti Popper, right, like, glitter towel, we branded glitter, we actually have a book that when you open it, there is a video that starts playing and it’s our CEO congratulating you on your offer. We have a commonly branded gift card that we say, hey, take a night out on us celebrate, you know you made it this far, and a few other things as well. That is a really nice touch.
Rob Stevenson 24:21
I love that because that is often pushed back to after they accept the offer. Right? And it’s like, okay, we’re not going to celebrate this unless you agree to work with us. But getting an offer is cause for celebration. It’s like, okay, you wanted to work here, potentially enough to go through this whole process. And we’ve basically said, You’re the one you’re the one we want to work here. So why wait, why wait for them to sign the dotted line. Also, it’s not as exciting. One phone call and DocuSign is not a super exciting moment, you know, which is usually how most offers go out.
Kelly Minella 24:53
Exactly. Yeah. And we want them to see part of our goal just in terms of the candidate experience that we provide is that it should be is the best glimpse they can get to what the team member experience is like at countly. And that’s really what we’re trying to serve.
Rob Stevenson 25:05
Yep, makes sense. I want to get into candidate experience too. But I feel like I’d be remiss if we didn’t round out the stop, start continue referencing, what’s a sticky note from the start column that you’re particularly excited about that maybe you decided there’s a million things in the column that you could do. But surely you chose only a few of them are the best ones. What’s the one you’re most excited about?
Kelly Minella 25:25
Our recruiter knowledge base. So one of the biggest things that showed up in the Start Page was the idea that we needed to document all of our processes. So admittedly, most of them lived in my head that I then communicated to new team members as they joined, and I on boarded them but hadn’t really documented. And so we’re like, you know, it’s time to prioritize that. So we have documented all of our processes from start to finish with accompanying help videos and how tos. And essentially, if our team wins the lottery tomorrow, and we say bye to countly, that someone could come in and truly replicate our process from start to finish, and no one be the wiser that they hadn’t been encountered before. Because the experience would be just the same for both our internal partners and our external candidates.
Rob Stevenson 26:12
Okay, that makes sense. So is the content going to kind of come from the team in general? Are you all going to commit to contributing something? A lot of it is knowledge that is living in documents or spreadsheets or in your head? Is that a team effort to sort of make it like a wiki? Or how are you managing to source the content?
Kelly Minella 26:29
Yeah, absolutely. team effort, for sure. Right now, we are utilizing Google Drive. But we are looking to actually, as a company, implement a company intranet that we’ll be putting it on that in the future, but right now, so Google Drive in their Google Docs. And we had a whole project team dedicated to this, one of our recruiters was a project lead. And they really outlined what are the different phases within our recruiting process. But what are other things that if you were to join the team, you’d love to have documentation and just the know of how to do something? So we outlined everything that we wanted to have documented down to like best practices? How do we work with one another best practices around communication, even with our team on Slack, so have outlined our entire base and what the content should be? And now we’re going through that process of really documenting it and then doing across the full team sharing it out and having everyone give their input? Right? Because we did find because things weren’t documented, everyone had different ways of approaching things, we kind of all ended up in the same result. But we’re like, oh, we haven’t considered that. But it’s how we should do that consistently across the team. So that’s been a really fun learning opportunity, even for myself.
Rob Stevenson 27:39
Totally. And that probably helps with the SLO revisit as well. It’s like, let’s make sure everyone’s on the same page, we had this expectation or understanding that we were all doing things the same, but unless it’s specifically called out or referenced, especially as the team grows, there’s no way to expect that that’s the case.
Kelly Minella 27:55
Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, it’s how everyone has a shared understanding, right? You’re like, okay, if I’m entering into a hiring process, and in partnering with a hiring manager, or hiring managers partnering with a recruiter, they know what’s going to happen, there’s no surprises, and it’s how you’re able to make it be just such a faster, more efficient process when everyone knows what they’re doing.
Rob Stevenson 28:17
Yep, yep. Okay, so we had stop using the old rickety sheets, we had, start making a knowledge base and documenting the processes and continue the white glove approach of sending the little gift kit when someone gets an offer. Love that seems like a splendid and successful stop, start, continue.
Kelly Minella 28:38
Rob Stevenson 28:39
If anyone out there listening wants to send me just stop, start continue for this podcast. I’d love to see it. I dare you, I dare you to tell me to stop doing. Now, that’d be fun. I should do that constantly. Because I say I’m an acolyte of this stop, start continuing. But in any case, let’s get into this this candidate experience piece as well, here, Kelly, because I know you spent a lot of time thinking about that. In particular, you can control the candidate experience that has felt from the actions of your recruiting team, right, like you can train your own team, you can set expectations. But now you have an interview panel. Now you have hiring managers, you have people who are maybe interviewing for the first time, or whose don’t have a lot of reps experience in this. And their ability to do a good job also impacts candidate experience. So I’m curious how you make sure that candidate experience is still at a really high level, even when it’s not happening directly from the Talent Team.
Kelly Minella 29:35
Yes. So one of the ways that we are hoping that it is a consistent high level candidate experience to your point, even if it isn’t a recruiter led conversation is through interview training. So we actually have implemented a requirement at Calendly that the executive team supports of everyone who is an active interviewer regardless if you’re an interviewer or hiring manager must have got through our interview training certification course. So it’s something that we, it’s homegrown, right? So one of the many projects that my team took on actually last year was, hey, what are the things that we need to be sharing with our team members when they’re going into these conversations to set them up for success? Admittedly, interviews aren’t just a normal chat, right? They have anxiety attached to them, there’s nervousness. So what can we do to help both our hiring managers and our hiring partners put their best foot forward, that’s really going to allow the candidate to do the same. So interview training is what came to mind. It’s a three hour interactive session where we go through things like explaining to them, Hey, this is candidate experience. And here’s all these things that maybe you hadn’t thought of that can actually really impact both positively or negatively, that candidate experience and we even have stats of one bad candidate experience can lead to XYZ in terms of percent decline of offer acceptance, and someone exiting a process. So we’ll go through can experience we deep dive into unconscious bias, we deep dive into compliance and ethics for interviewing, we even talk about the ways in which we evaluate candidates, right? How important it is to be consistent to be fair, and equitable. So it’s so interesting that even some of our more seasoned hiring managers who have hired at companies previous to currently they come in, they’re required to take this training. And we’ve had them tell us that, Oh, I found out about this, and I kind of didn’t, like Oh, me and but I’ve hired before, and 10 out of 10 times leaving, they’re like I learned something new today, or I feel like I forgot about that thing. And now I’m refreshed, we even have them do a roleplay exercise as part of it. And we prompt them someone plays a part of the candidate, the other person plays a part of the interview, or they follow these prompts. And it’s an opportunity for them to practice these things that we just taught them in a low stress, low pressure situation so that when they are on an actual interview, they’re able to do it and have a really constructive, positive, productive conversation that’s mutually beneficial to both sides. So interview training has made a huge impact on our quality of hire. And I think the satisfaction of our hiring partners that count like.
Rob Stevenson 32:15
Now you can have a robust, thoughtful interview training program like it sounds like you do. How do you make sure someone takes what they learned from that and is actually living it and practicing it, when they go into interviews where you maybe don’t have visibility into what’s happening in that room.
Kelly Minella 32:34
That’s where you need to be getting candidate feedback. So currently, we do a candidate feedback survey through our applicant tracking system for anyone who makes it to that later stage in our interview process. We want to understand from them what their experience was, right? And so we are constantly reviewing that feedback to learn, okay, what areas or departments, are we getting really high and positive feedback from? What are they doing that we can learn from and stop, start continue going? What can we continue and double down on right? And then where are maybe some areas where the feedback isn’t at the level that we want it to be? Or there’s constructive feedback that we can take, go to those hiring partners, and share with them and work through these things with them? And what are you doing adjustments we can make to our own hiring process? Over time, we’ve really been able to streamline it to the just truly required steps for both sides to feel like they’re having an informed decision. But not these three month long processes where you’re talking to 20 different people, how can we have the most efficient, yet thorough process for both sides to make the best decision?
Rob Stevenson 33:42
Kelly, you have been on a roll here. And unfortunately, we do have to start winding this down. But before I let you go, I want to ask you about your own sort of career development and aspirations seems like you really love Calendly and your role right now, as you think of your future in the space in recruiting and HR and talent. How do you envision it for yourself? Do you have a perceived trajectory? Or how are you planning to move forward and progress in your career?
Kelly Minella 34:08
I’m just so excited about all the opportunities ahead. I think back to when I joined Calendly. And I look at me now or if I told myself then what I would have accomplished at this point, I would have shocked myself. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been able to take on and learn from. I think I’m most excited about just everything I still have to learn, taking on a new challenge in the past used to be kind of scary for me. And now I know I’m surrounded with a leadership team that just champions my work and I know I’m set up for success. So things that I’m looking forward to are continuing to scale this organization, how we will continue to position ourselves as a place of remote first excellence and what that even means for the future in terms of international hiring, moving into building out a college recruiting program and internship program, I’m excited for the recruiting events that we’ll be looking to participate in this year and in the future. So there’s just, there’s so much opportunity, I get so excited about all of it. And I know that it just makes me a better recruiting leader. I think it allows me to even share the love in terms of that experience building with people on my team, I don’t need to take it all on, we can all do it together, everyone benefits from it. And so I’m just really looking forward to everything that I’m going to be able to continue to learn and just to continue to better my skill set and expand my toolkit.
Rob Stevenson 35:34
I love that approach. That definitely sounds like a great way to carry on. And Kelly at this point, I would just have to say thank you so much for being here. We have so much more to talk about, we’ll have to have you back on and when you want to do that there’s a Calendly link in my email that you already have. And you can throw time on my calendar anytime you want. So I will look forward to that. But for now, Kelly, I’ll just say thank you so much for being here. This has been a delight chatting with you today.
Kelly Minella 35:58
Thank you I really enjoyed my time and looking forward to booking on that link.
Rob Stevenson 36:05
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