Amelia explains how best to manage agency & contract recruiters to ensure great candidate experience, how recruiters should think about specialization, and how to assess talent for remote work.
00:00 Rob: Welcome back, all of you talent acquisition pros out there in podcast land. I’m so glad you’re tuning in once more. My name is Rob Stevenson, and I am again tucked away in the cozy, cozy, most salubrious confines of my recording studio here at Hired HQ in the cool grey city of love San Francisco, California. If this is your first time tuning in, welcome to you. Could not be happier that you’re here with us. And I guess I will give you a little bit of a background. All you really need to know is that, every week, I bring in my favorite people in the recruitment space, sourcers, diversity program managers, directors of recruitment, HR people, you name it. I get them in here and they do one thing in particular: Talk Talent to Me.
00:43 Rob: And this week on TT2M, yes, this podcast is so essential we have an acronym now, I brought in the Senior Recruiter for Mesosphere, Amelia Cellar. Amelia has been with Mesosphere for a few years now, and she’s seen it all. She started over there when they didn’t even really have a product or a name, and so she had to get real creative with how she sold the opportunity and how she changed that, whether she was talking to a technical talent or sales, marketing, other sorts of roles. She also has a lot of really great ideas on how exactly you should use contract recruiting or agency recruiting, what you can expect of them, what the shortcomings are, and how you can manage them to both set them up for success and make sure that you still deliver a really great and scalable candid experience. So there’s all this and more are coming up for you in the next half hour of recruitment-based audio content, and I cannot wait for you to hear it, so I will just get out of the way and get down to business. Without further ado, please welcome Amelia Cellar, Mesosphere’s Senior Recruiter.
01:58 Rob: Amelia Cellar.
02:00 Amelia: Hi.
02:00 Rob: Hi. Senior Recruiter at Mesosphere is here. Amelia, how are you?
02:04 Amelia: Doing good. How are you?
02:05 Rob: I’m really good. This is my third podcast episode of the day. I am really cranking ’em out here, and once I do, then I can not work for three weeks. [chuckle]
02:14 Amelia: Sounds nice. Thanks for squeezing me in.
02:17 Rob: No, thank you for… You’re doing me a favour, thank you for being here. I’m so thrilled you’re here. For the folks at home, before we get into it, can you explain a little bit about what Mesosphere does?
02:28 Amelia: Yeah, so Mesosphere is an infrastructure software company. I’m not the most technical, so when I describe it to people who aren’t from the infrastructure world, I just say that our product is called DC/OS, it stands for Datacenter Operating System, and it’s just like it sounds, an operating system for the data center, whether it’s on-prem or cloud or hybrid environment. So just like your phone or your computer has an operating system that makes it super easy to use. That’s what DC/OS does, it automates the data center.
02:54 Rob: Got it, okay, so lots of really technical roles, probably.
02:57 Amelia: Yes, very deeply technical roles on the engineering side, down to the kernel level. The kernel of our operating system is called Mesos. It’s an open source project that our co-founder, Ben Hindman, created at Twitter and they open sourced it. That was 2007 or 2008, and so Mesos runs the back end of Airbnb, Twitter, Netflix, eBay, PayPal. It’s actually like six years ago now our co-founders Ben, and Flo, and Tobi decided to essentially commercialise this open source project and bring the efficiency and scalability and automation that Mesos provides to all these big tech companies to the companies that aren’t the Twitters and Airbnbs of the world that can’t hire this small pool of Mesos experts that are out there, but still wanna benefit from what they’re doing and not have to re-invent the wheel and build everything internally.
03:42 Rob: Right, right, makes sense. So you’ve been there for four years or so now.
03:47 Amelia: Little over four years. Yes.
03:49 Rob: So you’ve probably hired for just about every role.
03:51 Amelia: Every team at Mesosphere, yeah. I started… When I started, there was no product. We didn’t have the name DC/OS, but probably about 25 or 30 people. Half the company was out of our Hamburg office, which we still have, so it felt really small, no product, I loved that.
04:09 Amelia: It was the true, traditional start-up experience.
04:13 Rob: Wait, so the product is Mesos, right?
04:14 Amelia: The product is DC/OS.
04:16 Rob: Oh, okay.
04:16 Amelia: It runs on Mesos. Mesos is like the core of DC/OS.
04:20 Rob: Okay, got it. So no product when you started.
04:23 Amelia: No product, but Mesos existed, so…
04:25 Rob: So you had a name. There was a…
04:28 Amelia: There was not a name for the product.
04:29 Rob: Oh. [chuckle]
04:29 Amelia: There was a name for the company.
04:30 Rob: Okay, I got it.
04:31 Amelia: But basically, the open source project is what drew a lot of people to want to join. They had heard of Mesos itself and our co-founder, Ben Hindman, was the creator, and so since he was at Twitter, a lot of the folks, the engineers from Twitter who had built Mesos with him came over to Mesosphere, so we had this group of really expert engineers. So in order to get some money coming in the door early, we basically sold professional services for Mesos itself, and then, while we worked on the product DC/OS, and then about six or seven months after I started, we launched DC/OS.
05:04 Rob: Got it. So you’re on the phone with candidates, or you’re in candidates’ email inbox. And there is no product, and there’s a name, but… What do you tell them? How do you sell them on the company?
05:16 Amelia: In an email, I still had to stay pretty vague. We were a little bit undercover at the time, but I basically sat down with a bunch of folks at the company. I was actually a contractor through my old company called BINC, and one of their big things is, before you send one single email, sit down for a week with the client and figure out what the value prop is, and it would usually be like a five to 10 slide deck explaining basically, to candidates, every part of the pitch. What are we doing? Why is it unique? What’s the tech stack? What’s the vision? And summarise at the end, so it was very formulaic.
05:54 Amelia: So I did that for Mesosphere through BINC when I started as a contractor before I went full-time, and basically [chuckle] it was probably the longest value prop I’ve ever made, just to try to understand what was going on ’cause it was the most deeply technical product I’d never worked on, but it was essentially commercialised Mesos. So take this technology that all the hot tech companies were building their entire… It still runs 90% of Twitter’s infrastructure. Everything is running on Mesos. And basically, that is… It was at that time containers were starting to take off. Five or six years ago, it was… No one really… It was the hot thing, right? People were just starting to use containers, so that was a big selling point for people as well.
06:34 Rob: Okay.
06:35 Amelia: Even if container orchestration is really only one part of what Mesosphere does, and I still correct people on that. Yeah, I think that was a big buzzword for people, and for a while, people thought we were the third place container orchestration product. But we’ve come a long way to getting people to understand it’s a lot more than that.
06:54 Rob: Yeah, yeah, okay. And then, so on the technical side, there’s a pitch there for people who, they get it, they’ve at least heard of the co-founder maybe or they’re like, “Oh this is the person who invented it. That’s interesting to me.” When you go out to hire for the more traditional, non-technical roles, how do you spin that?
07:14 Amelia: Yeah, that’s an interesting question. I think, for the non-technical roles, the business side obviously is a little more compelling. We’re an Andreessen Horowitz company, a Khosla Ventures company. We have… I mean, I can’t go into the details, but strong revenue and we’ve, like I said, come a long way in the market. So I do mostly sales and go to market and marketing, hiring, and all of that. And these days people do know the name and it’s still something that’s interesting to them. And then also, we hired a new CEO recently, so it’s like second chapter of Mesosphere, which a lot of people are excited about, getting in for that.
07:50 Rob: Mesosphere 2. Yeah.
07:51 Amelia: 2.0, yeah.
07:52 Rob: Right. The sequel, “This Time, It’s War.”
07:54 Amelia: Yeah. We’re going up, now, against a lot of the bigger players in the market, where it’s like, we like to call it a little David and Goliath situation. So it’s fun. It means that we made it to the right point, and now it’s time to…
08:08 Rob: Shift into gear.
08:09 Amelia: Yeah. Exactly.
08:10 Rob: Yeah, and actually, the way you described that, that sounds like not even specifically to Mesosphere, that’s probably how you would pitch candidates of those different ilks anyway, right? What do people, what do engineering people traditionally care about? They wanna work on a cool technology that’s imminent and interesting and new. What do salespeople care about? They wanna know that the business is strong. Is there a sales opportunity? Are other people having success selling this? What is the revenue, right?
08:38 Amelia: Yeah, and we… Yeah, I hate to brag, but yeah, we have all three of those. That’s actually…
08:41 Rob: No please, brag. There’s a microphone in front of you, it’s why you’re here.
08:44 Amelia: When I went from being a contractor to a full-time, that’s part of why I decided I had contracted through my company, BINC, for a few different start-ups and learned a ton in each of them, but really got a lot of perspective on, if I was a candidate, what would I be looking for, and what are my check marks that I need to have to make a full-time move? And so Mesosphere hit all those boxes, basically like what you just summarised there.
09:08 Rob: Yeah. Yeah, got it.
09:09 Amelia: And especially when I started out, I was just doing tech recruiting and I really wanted to pitch engineers on a product that would be extremely challenging. And what that has meant over the years is that we hire really intelligent people who are great to work with, and love to be challenged. It’s definitely not easy, whether it’s engineering or sales. Our product is so technical that even our account execs, they’re folks with 15, 20 years of infrastructure software experience because that’s the only way they’re gonna ever figure out how to sell this product, is if they know a lot about the space already.
09:40 Rob: Right, and they gotta talk to VPEs and really technical people too as part of the sale, I imagine.
09:45 Amelia: Right. And there’s a lot of different entry points for our product because it does so much. So we’re working on building out sales plays to make all that easier, hopefully, so we can hire more sales folks. But yeah, I don’t think that any job at Mesosphere is easy, just ’cause of how technical the space is. But like I said, it attracts really great people to work with.
10:03 Rob: Right, right. So you’ve hired for every department, where have you settled out four years later?
10:10 Amelia: What do you mean?
10:11 Rob: Are you still hiring for every department?
10:13 Amelia: Oh, yeah, I am. I love the variety. I’m still focused mostly outside of engineering, but I do some technical roles, like tech writer, sales engineer, or solutions architect, but just not strictly for the engineering team, but I’m happy to do that too. I just love having the variety and getting to work with different managers, especially folks that I’ve hired over the years, and getting to see… It’s very rewarding. I think that’s part of why I stuck around at Mesosphere for four years is, getting to work with folks and see them do well, and then get to help them build out their teams too.
10:46 Rob: Right, right. Have you enjoyed being able to hire for a lot of different roles ’cause it keeps interesting or, in your opinion, is it better for a recruiter to specialise?
10:56 Amelia: I’ve thought a lot about that, and I’ve seen a lot of my recruiter friends start to specialise, and I think that that is a wise choice after you’ve had a solid foundation of recruiting for a lot of different things. For myself, after four-plus years of having a lot of variety, and kind of being a generalist, I’ve been thinking about, what would I wanna specialise in? And for me, I think I wouldn’t want to. I’d wanna stick with the startup thing and have… It’s just never a dull moment. And getting to learn new things in different types of businesses. But for some people, let’s say they are super into design and they’re a recruiter and they wanna work just on design and marketing hires, I think that’s probably maybe a better, safer way to go, work for a bigger company. But for me, where I am, I’m not sick of the startup chaos yet. I think it keeps things fun.
11:50 Rob: Got it. So you’re probably used to a lean recruiting team, then, if you’ve been there for that long and you’ve recruited for… Yeah.
11:54 Amelia: Very lean. Yeah, the most we ever had was three or four full-time recruiters. And I’ve seen the team, obviously, evolve a lot over the last four years. But right now, we have two full-time recruiters, basically me on the [12:09] ____ side, and another recruiter who’s awesome on the engineering side, and then we have our senior director and a coordinator, and everyone just has a lot on their plate, and our senior director has recs that she carries as well. And we have a couple of contractors that we can spin up and dial down as needed which, in a start-up, it’s proven really valuable to have folks who, when things get a little bit lighter or when they’re heavier, sometimes we’re just drowning and those people are like life-savers. It’s another way you can kinda sneak by without the official headcount approved, but get a few more resources helping out.
12:45 Rob: So you’re in favor of adding contract help and the hired gun to your, to the team?
12:51 Amelia: I’m actually for it. I, at first, was a little bit hesitant because I wasn’t sure that they would be able to pick up on the process and had a lot of the context and background information on what’s actually going on at Mesosphere because they are remote employees, and they don’t come to all-hands, and things like that. But because they are… We’ve been able to hire super experienced contractors, they know the art of recruiting in and out, and that can carry you a long way where, if you maybe you don’t know the answer, but you know exactly either how to get it or how to at least smooth the conversation over until the person’s satisfied. But they’re very experienced, and they’ve brought a lot of their own style, which works, I think, in terms of onboarding and all of that, that’s where I get a little bit like, let’s make sure that everything is a seamless experience for candidates, that’s always been a big thing for me, is the candidate experience. And I treat every recruiter screen, every email, every on-site whatever, as if the person is writing a Glassdoor review immediately after.
13:47 Rob: Yeah, yeah, you should. Yeah.
13:48 Amelia: That’s how I think about it. And I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from candidates like, “I wish every company did interviews like this.” I’m like, “Thank you. Somebody noticed.”
13:57 Rob: Yes.
13:57 Amelia: My OCD is paying off.
14:00 Rob: Right.
14:01 Amelia: I’m a little bit of a stickler on process. I’m the one on our team Slack always being like, “Guys, don’t forget to do this.”
14:06 Rob: Right, right, right. Yeah, so people do come down on both sides of the agency recruiting fence, I guess, but the answer is probably just, it comes down to management. Are you able to delineate what their exact responsibilities are? Can we flip this on to build pipeline to source us names, and then, when it starts to get serious, then someone like you or someone from the team for whom they’re hiring takes over because there are conceivably… There are things that a contract recruiter might not know the answer to, right? That you would know…
14:39 Amelia: Right.
14:39 Rob: For just by virtue of having been in meetings and heard the CEO talk at all-hands and that kind of thing. So how do you make sure that you can limit the amount of times where a contract recruiter is put in a position where they can’t really be expected to succeed, as in when they’re asked a nuanced question like that.
14:58 Amelia: Yeah, and I wanna clarify contract recruiter versus agency. We have contract recruiters who work for us like 40 hours a week and they just represent Mesosphere, and they are definitely more involved in knowing things, and they’ll run through the whole process. But these agency recruiters, yes, they worry me a little more. And we’ve found some that we love working with who, over the years, have at least tried to figure out what Mesosphere does, what our product is. But especially for a lot of… We have specific people who work for these senior account execs, they just know everyone and whatever specific geo they specialise in. But what I actually do is, I want them to be passed to me as quickly as possible, the candidates. So after the recruiter talks to them, they send in the submission and then I say, “Intro me.” That’s when I wanna put our brand on the recruiting experience, and I will keep the agency recruiter CC’ed, but typically, yeah, I definitely try to run everything pretty closely from there.
15:51 Rob: You take the reins at that point.
15:52 Amelia: It gets a little awkward at the offer stage sometimes, different agency recruiters will either let me handle it entirely, or they wanna be the middle man communicator about the salary expectations, and…
16:05 Rob: Is that just because they’re afraid of… If they get paid on a hire basis, they wanna make sure that they get it across the goal line or something?
16:11 Amelia: Yeah, that’s part of it, they wanna advocate for their candidates too. But I’m also advocating… I want a candidate to say yes right away. I’m gonna get them the best offer that I can. I kinda wish people had a little bit more faith that that was, the agency recruiters, that that’s my intention as well. I really don’t care if the candidate comes from an agency recruiter, or I source them, or they’re an applicant. Obviously, it feels a little better when you source them yourself. But at times, we’ve been in such a rush trying to hire people and so few resources. I’m like, “Whatever. Thank you so much, let’s get this done.”
16:43 Rob: So, when… If I’m listening to this, when is it a good time for me… Say I’m listening to this and I don’t have an agency and I have the lean recruiting team. When is it a good time for me like, “Okay, yeah, I can turn this on.”
16:53 Amelia: When you are drowning. [laughter]
16:56 Rob: Okay.
16:56 Amelia: We basically waited till… We always have been a bit under-staffed, I guess you’d say, on the recruiting team, which has kept me in high demand and kept things interesting. But what’s cool is that a lot of the hire managers that we have, they are super experienced. They have already contacts with recruiters that they’ve worked with in the past. So we can really easily, if we need to hire someone in a month, call them up. I think the urgency is a big thing when we have business-critical deadlines, then it’s worth the investment in the agency recruiter.
17:27 Rob: Yeah, okay, got it. When your recruiters cry uncle, that’s when you need to, alright, give them some backup here. And then, you… They are generating a pipeline for you and then conducting a diet phone screen, and then, do you have phone screen part two, but you are so plugged into the individual teams that that’s like, can be a little… Maybe a little more in-depth conversation?
17:53 Amelia: Mm-hmm. I don’t always do a second recruiter screen ’cause I feel like, for the amount of money that we’re paying them…
18:00 Rob: They should be able to do that.
18:00 Amelia: They should, and they… We’ve made it clear to them, you need to get us this information on the screen, not just spend five minutes talking to the person. So at that point, I trust my hiring managers to go in there and talk to them at that point. I want the recruiters to earn that percentage fee that they get on all these hires.
18:17 Rob: Right, right.
18:19 Amelia: But I’ll end up talking to the candidate between a phone interview and an on-site, or after the on-site… Obviously, at the on-site, ideally, if they are being flown out or come to the office.
18:28 Rob: Right, got it.
18:29 Amelia: A lot of my candidates are remote since I do a lot of sales and services hiring, so sometimes I don’t even get to meet them until they’ve already started, which is why I always get myself invited to Sales Kickoff and any of the events that we have around the office to meet the new folks when they finally come in, and they’re like, “Remember me?” And I’m like, “Oh yeah, I do know that name. There you are, I’m glad that you made it.”
18:52 Rob: Yes. Right, right. There’s a real person here in the actual office.
18:55 Amelia: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
18:55 Rob: Remote hiring is kind of a different animal too, because if we’re hiring you for remote and you’re gonna be working at a satellite office or working at home, there’s probably a different line of questions you have to ask, right?
19:09 Amelia: Yeah, definitely, you have to dig in a lot more. We try to do every interview with Zoom with video. We’ve paid the price for not having someone either meet face-to-face or do a video interview. Pretty much all the teams now, we have to have the hiring manager go meet the person and they’ll fly to wherever the candidate is ’cause it’s usually cheaper and take them to a lunch or dinner. There is one team we have, the support team, where nobody meets them, but we have more layers to the interview process and more technical challenges and things they have to go through before we get to that offer point.
19:46 Rob: Sure, sure. What about the actual, your remote worker, what is your work step? Are you gonna be doing this job from a coffee shop? Do you have a lot of other responsibilities during the day you’re gonna have? Are you gonna be available on Slack at all times, or what’s… How do you evaluate the things that you wouldn’t need to ask if they were coming into your office at 9:00 AM every day?
20:12 Amelia: Yeah, there are different expectations for different types of remote workers, like people who are in the field, they’re setting their own schedule a little bit, and that’s why we hire super senior folks for the sales roles. But folks like on the support team, yeah, we’ll make it very clear they’re gonna be on call. We also have an office in Germany and folks all around the world, we have people in China and Australia, so we do have to be pretty clear about whether you’re in the San Francisco office or not, sometimes you’re gonna have to take late calls and a lot of people at Mesosphere do that and… We do provide flexibility, like when you need to work from home, or you need to go to pick up a package, or whatever it is, we are down with the flexibility, as long as people are comfortable. Like I said, we have people taking meetings pretty late at night, talking to China or wherever, and it’s just part of being a… I would call us a distributed company out of the 350 or so employees, say about only 150 or so are in San Francisco.
21:15 Rob: Yeah, yeah, that’s great.
21:17 Amelia: Yeah. We do a lot as a people team and HR and everything to try to make sure that everybody on the remote side feels just as included. And I’m not one of those people, but I do think that we have a lot of really tight-knit remote teams, thanks to Slack. [chuckle] And thanks to Zoom. And we’ve always had the office in Germany from day one ’cause two of our founders are from Germany originally, so just from the beginning, we’ve always had… We knew that all the meetings had to be 8:00 AM or 9:00 AM, if they were gonna be company-wide. We always have hangouts, right now now Zoom, on every meeting that we have. So we try to keep everyone included, we send everybody swag, we make sure their laptop is there the day before they actually are an employee. We have our IT team, bless their hearts, they’ll do onboarding at all hours of the day. They’re like, “Please just make it on a Monday.” [chuckle] “That’s all that we ask.”
22:08 Rob: Yeah, yeah.
22:09 Amelia: But yeah, it’s definitely an effort to try to keep a company like that that’s this small on the same page, but thanks to all these tools now, it’s a lot easier than it was four years ago, that’s for sure. [chuckle]
22:18 Rob: Yeah, yeah, of course. And then talk about just blowing up your candidate pool. If you can… You’re not… You’re suddenly not like, “Okay, there is only 450 site reliability engineers in San Francisco, so if we blow it with this person, we have reached out to one-four-hundred-and-fiftieth of the market.”
22:37 Amelia: Yeah, and that’s definitely changed in the last few years at Mesosphere alone. At first we were like, “We only want engineers either in Hamburg or San Francisco.” And then, just because of how insane it’s gotten in the city, we’ll hire anywhere in the US, anywhere in Europe. We have, not entities, but payroll in a lot of different European countries set up. So, yeah, it’s great. When I hear a hire manager say, “Anywhere in Europe,” Like, “Oh okay, great. Okay, now I’ll find you a product manager. But in Hamburg, I’m not sure that the exact product manager you need is there.” [chuckle]
23:10 Rob: Yes, yeah. Has that always been a part of the culture or was there, at a certain point, it was like, “Okay, we need to find people, and it’s more important that we find them than we find them here?”
23:20 Amelia: Yeah, there was definitely a pivotal point where we were like, “Okay, if we need, let’s say, Kubernetes experts, they’re everywhere, and we are gonna hire them wherever they are. And we’ll set up payroll wherever they are. Sorry, Finance.” [chuckle] But yeah, I think that that’s helped us a lot, and I think we’re continuing to move towards, we’ll hire remotely as long as we can, like I said, figure out the best way to keep communications going company-wide. It’s something that we’re looking at right now is, we have, for example, we have all-hands, obviously, used to be every week, now it’s more like once a month. But looking at, we do AMAs, for example, so you can ask, basically, executives any questions either anonymously or not anonymously. We obviously prefer people put their names, but we’re kinda looking at that, and is that a good communication tool? And there’s a lot more, I think, that we can do to make people who are remote feel a little bit more a part of the company, but we’re in this transition stage where we’re looking at what’s next, is it… Where do we wanna focus our hiring right now?
24:28 Rob: Right, got it.
24:29 Amelia: But it’s definitely… I’m not sure if other companies are realising this, but [chuckle] San Francisco is not really the best place to be hiring engineers right now.
24:36 Rob: No, no, and it’s just the future of hiring. It’s becoming less and less important for someone to be physically in your presence. And so, this is like a growing… This is gonna be the skill of recruiters, like “Have you hired for remote before?” Do you think, is that fundamentally different, or is it just different questions you ask? Is the sourcing different? Is this a new skill set, or is it just like, “Okay, now you have the luxury of not being beholden to a 20-mile radius?”
25:05 Amelia: It’s definitely, there’s obviously a skill set and a personality type that’s going to thrive in a remote environment, and I don’t think it’s entirely on the recruiter to figure that part out. I think, on the recruiting side, there are some questions you can ask, obviously, and even just really being honest with someone if you have enough rapport with them of like kinda asking them, “Do you really think you’re gonna thrive in an environment where you’re working from home every day?” Because it is difficult.
25:32 Rob: It’s not for everyone.
25:33 Amelia: It is not for everyone, and we have a remote Slack channel where all the remote people talk about the challenges of working remotely. I mean, it is for sure real. But on the other hand, when I was hiring, example, for the support team, I think that’s an area where, obviously, a lot of people are shifting the idea of customer operations, they can work from anywhere. So I’ve had a lot of candidates pitched me on Boise, Idaho. That seems to be an up-and-coming place for where techies wanna move. [chuckle]
26:00 Rob: Really?
26:01 Amelia: Yes.
26:01 Rob: Are they de-locating there? Are they locking in their West Coast salary…
26:05 Amelia: Yeah.
26:05 Rob: And then going to the bread basket states?
26:08 Amelia: Mm-hmm.
26:09 Rob: It’s smart.
26:10 Amelia: It’s smart, yeah. One of my candidates was telling me, “The housing market went up 12% last year, and Boise is gonna go up 17% this year.” He was trying to get me to buy a house there. [chuckle] I’m like, “Actually, it’s not a bad idea.”
26:21 Rob: Yeah, right.
26:22 Amelia: Because I think even outside of work-related stuff, people don’t… In San Francisco, from my friends, they’d… It’s kinda hard to imagine settling in and buying a house and growing a family here. So I think it’s actually perfect timing that the world is coming to a point where, “Yeah, we can do things more remotely, figure out where you wanna live in the world, and you can find a company who will hire you to work there, if you’ve got the right skill set.”
26:42 Rob: Yep, and you can log in when you’re good and ready. [chuckle]
26:46 Amelia: Well, yeah. Sometimes you’re on call, and it’s kinda crazy, but I think that’s a small price to pay for an affordable place to live.
26:56 Rob: Yeah, yeah, no, I totally agree with you. Boise, Idaho. Hot tip. Who knew?
27:00 Amelia: Yeah. Boise, check it out.
27:02 Rob: Do you have any… As we creep up against optimal podcast length, do you have any hot recruiting takes you wanna leave our audience with?
27:09 Amelia: Oh gosh, hot recruiting takes. I would say, this is one thing that I learned from my old company, BINC, and I wanna give a shoutout to [laughter] Boris, and James, and Bobby, and Kan from BINC, because they definitely gave me the foundation of what a good recruiter is, and now it comes very naturally to me, and when people say things like, “I wish every recruiter did interviews this.” I’m like…
27:33 Rob: They don’t?
27:34 Amelia: “Why dont they? It’s really not that hard.” But I think for me, what I learned from BINC, and this was a situation where we’d be six to 12-month contracts on-site, we were embedded recruiters, but it was, we had to make this many hires per month, it was very metrics-focused, it was… We have to make the client happy, provide value every single day. Let’s say a candidate came in from a referral or whatever, you still have to figure out a way where you’re gonna provide value for this candidate. But because we were always on such tight deadlines, one of the things that, I think, when you become an internal recruiter you let slide a little bit more is basically not putting your foot down on obstacles that you see in the candidate in the interview process. So let’s say you know that the interviewers are not calibrated on what the role is, you could be like, “Well, just put a few more candidates through the on-sites and one of them will get through even though they’re not really calibrated.”
28:28 Amelia: And it’s easy to let things like that slide, and that’s how roles end up taking forever to fill. And what I really liked about BINC and the executives and team leads there, is that they would sit down every week, no matter what, and list out, “You wanna know why we aren’t filling this role? Here’s why, we’ve identified these reasons, here’s the solutions. Which one are you willing to… What are you willing to change right now? If you’re not willing to change any of these things, then we’re not gonna be able to fill this role, or we won’t work on it.” So there was like a little bit of a different kind of approach. But yeah, something I think is really important to keep reminding yourself is, don’t just let things slide and hope for the best. If you see an issue, bring it up, come up with solutions, obviously.
29:08 Rob: Yeah, and it’s standing up to the talent team a little bit. It’s like, “Hey, what are we doing?” If you’re not treating these candidates with… If you’re not giving them the best interview process possible, what are we doing over there? We’re just generating a pipeline for you to do nothing with it. And that’s been my favourite thing to do as a marketer is, march over to sales and be like, “Hey, why wasn’t this lead worked? What am I doing all day? If I’m generating these names for you and they’re just sitting, collecting dust, then come on, get your act together.”
29:34 Amelia: Right. And it’s really important to have those relationships with your hiring managers. So that’s also why I’ve loved Mesosphere and stuck around for so long, is ’cause I have this relation, so I can go up to our VP of Product and be like, “Ed, I need an answer on this.”
29:46 Rob: “Come on, Ed, you’re killing me.”
29:46 Amelia: “Come on! What are you doing here? Let’s whiteboard this.” So yeah, I think that that goes a long way in being able to have those very direct conversations and fix the problems, and not just, like you said, bring in candidates when you know that something is wrong.
30:01 Rob: Yeah, yeah, absolutely, yeah. Alright, I love it. Stand up for your talent team, stand up for yourself. This is important. Make sure that all that hard work you’re doing is going to good use. Well, Amelia, this has been a blast. You’re a total delight, and I’ve loved chatting with you about all this stuff, and I guess I would just say thank you so much for coming in and recording with me. This has been really great.
30:19 Amelia: Thank you. That was fun.
30:20 Rob: Yeah, absolutely. And to all of you out there in podcast land, I’ve been Rob Stevenson, Amelia Cellar has been Amelia Cellar, and you’ve all been amazing, wonderful, darling talent acquisition pals. Have a spectacular week and happy hunting.
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