Manan Shah

collaboration in recruiting

This is a guest post by Nadiia at Chanty team. Read more about her at the bottom of the post.

Team communication is important for a reason. Everyday conversations help team members establish healthy relationships and streamline information sharing while improving the way people collaborate.

Today employees interact with each other both in-office and remotely via technology. Unfortunately,  teams often underestimate the power of team communication tools. Employees don’t know about their valuable features or just can’t make them work. As a result, communication issues arise, making successful team collaboration impossible.

Working in a recruitment team? Take a closer look at the team messenger you’re using. If you don’t have a clear understanding of your responsibilities as a team or fail to stay organized while multitasking, chances are you are not using the team chat to its full capacity.

In this article, we’ll give our best advice on how recruiters can make the most of team communication tools. Well, here we go.


The watercooler for departments


Any team is bound to fail until its members are working in silos. This is particularly true for the hiring process, as it requires making collective decisions and involves collaboration between different team members – from recruiting managers to higher-ups. The question is how to always stay in touch and keep everyone on the same page. 

Phone calls are too time-consuming, emails ­­– too passive. One way to do that is to use a robust and collaborative candidate tracking system along with team chat apps with instant messages are like a fresh wind when it comes to streamlining internal communications in recruitment.

Team communication tools help to connect employees and thus to avoid the silo approach which hampers effective hiring. It’s like a big virtual room where every worker has a possibility to talk and be heard.


Dialogues where people share company news and general updates are important, as they tell team members about what is going on in the company now. However, employees shouldn’t forget about ‘cup of tea’ conversations too. As J. Samoilenko points out: “Informal conversations are more difficult and important than you might think when it comes to colleagues communication. Most teams use communication apps for water-cooler conversation, where off-topic jokes, banter, and chatter can take place in addition to work-related discussion.”

Single notification center for HR tools

Successful recruitment requires staying up to date all the time. It’s easy while using two or three tools, but may become a pain for the recruiter drowning in notifications.

social media notifications

Image source

Hiring top talents is a battle, and modern companies understand it. To win and hire the best, recruiting managers strive to follow trends, use technologies, and software that have emerged in recent years.

Applicant tracking systems, emails, recruiting tools accumulate incoming information. Does it take a tremendous amount of time to keep everything on track?

Take a deep breath and start using team communication tools as your notification center. Business messengers like Slack, Chanty, Flock or other Slack alternatives get you covered offering numerous integrations with third-party apps.

Every update from online employment resources, latest changes made to Google Docs by your colleagues or task management notifications are sent to a single place, so it’s easy to catch up or find the necessary files if needed. If you want to have a moment of peace, you can always set ‘Do not Disturb’ mode and choose a time when nothing will distract you from focusing on what’s really important.

Team communication 101

Want to keep track of your dialogues, phone numbers, job applications, work documents in the team communication tool, but feel overloaded and miss out? Probably, it’s time to figure out how conversations are structured in modern team communication tools.


Team chats usually divide communication into public, private and one-to-one conversations. Let’s consider the benefits of the first two types for your recruiting team, based on Chanty best practices and personal experience.

recruiting team conversations

Communication within a recruitment team via Chanty team messenger


Public conversations are visible to all employees of the company. Any teammate can join them and access the message history. At Chanty, we have around 40 public conversations that help teams and departments to stay on the same page. Check out the way we handle our public conversations at Chanty.


‘General’ is the company-wide conversation where we discuss the most important information, share updates and reports and schedule team meetings. It includes all employees, so that everybody stays informed on the latest company news.


‘Recruitment’ organizes discussions or processes that relate to the various aspects of the hiring process. Here people develop effective recruiting plans and strategies, share timely reports on current recruitment activity. Besides, every team in our company has its public conversation called ‘Marketing’, ‘Design’, ‘Support’, etc. so that employees of any department can join them and take part in discussions if necessary.


Apart from work-related conversations, informal communication takes place in public dialogues too. E.g. in ‘Random’ team members feel free to send funny jokes and share cute cat pics. At this stage, our team chat tool helps break down the communication barrier between departments and individual employees.


Tip: Pin important messages or files to find them in one click.


Private conversations are more project-specific. They keep focus on the particular tasks and include only those employees who work on them.


As recruiters are responsible for developing and updating job descriptions, private conversations like hiring-dev’, ‘hiring-qa’, ‘hiring-marketing’ help them with this task. It’s a perfect place to create a well-crafted job specification for each vacancy, defining job-related skills, desired experience and responsibilities required for an open position. Having a clear understanding of who your recruiting team is looking for, it takes less time and more fun finding stellar candidates who match best for the position opened.


In CVs’ recruiters share applicants’ documents and discuss who is the top talent. Every recruiter explains why this or that candidate should be invited for an interview, and it allows to avoid unconscious bias, which can be a problem in the recruiting process.


Tip: Use a system of star ratings to vote for the most promising candidate.


Tired of switching multiple apps and want to get the updates asap? Integrations in your team messenger help to connect multiple services in one place, automate tasks and benefit from trigger-based notifications. All employees need to do is to connect third-party apps they use on daily basis to any conversation in the team chat app.


Our recruiters integrate their Chanty accounts with different additional tools like applicant tracking systems, task managers or Giphy-like services. As a result, connecting apps allows them to stay in one place while getting all the important information and status of their hiring tasks.


Tip: Integrate your team chat app with a video conferencing tool to hold video interviews right in the messenger.


Recruiting employees is a hard and time-consuming task. It requires members of a recruiting team to always stay in the loop and keep in touch 24/7, operating seamlessly and as quickly as possible.


One of the best ways to boost efficiency in your recruitment process is to start using a team communication tool. Team chat apps help recruiters keep all the parties of the hiring process informed, updated and operating efficiently. Moreover, they ensure seamless collaboration from anywhere in the world, serving as the center of a team workflow.


What team communication tool does your recruiting team use? How does it facilitate the recruitment process in your company? If you have some actionable advice you want to share, feel free to drop a comment.

This article was written by:

Nadiia Sheveleva is a part of the marketing team at Chanty – a simple AI-powered business messenger and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. When not at work, you can find Nadiia learning French, reading books and knitting. You can follow Nadiia on Twitter @NadiiaSheveleva
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February 8, 2018
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In this newest series, Flowing Conversation, we bring you a series of Interviews with exceptional recruiters and talent acquisition people. For our very first interview, we sat down with Virginia – who has more than a decade of recruiting experience under her hat with companies like Google, Sonos & Spotify and most importantly, has been advising us building the product that our users love. In her latest adventure, she is the Director of Talent for Whiteops.

Here’s excerpt of our conversation


M: I am a bit of a tools nerd and always the first questions I ask is – What is your toolset?

V:I use a number of strategic tools to find the right people for the roles I’m recruiting for.

  • Entelo: I really like Entelo where I can find a candidate’s web presence and email them in a very engaging and personalized manner.
  • Vettery: Vettery is great! It has a lot of great candidates that are either active or semi-passive. They may not be aware of my company when I reach out, but most people on the platform are open to hearing about new and exciting roles.
  • BuiltIn: BuiltIn is one of my favorite sites for engaging with passive talent. It not only helps us source great candidates, it also allows us to get our name out to the local community.
  • Networking: A lot of people take networking for granted but it’s one of the most valuable sources of great talent. When I make a move to another company, it’s not uncommon for a number of contacts to get in touch regarding opportunities we may have available. It is essential for recruiters to be empathetic and natural networkers! Word of mouth travels fast and is challenging to track from a metrics standpoint, but so much of our success as recruiters depend on those relationships.


M: If you had to pick one KPI that you judge your own performance on, what would that be?

V: NPS score for candidates – I also think looking at employee NPS score and each hire’s  success at the company over time is a valuable indicator of how well I’m recruiting.

NPS score directly reflects the candidate’s experience. Even if the interview doesn’t result in hiring that person, it is imperative that they feel we are genuinely interested in them and help them out in every way we can. A high  NPS score starts a virtuous cycle of recruiting. Providing a great candidate experience can lead to someone we have to reject from the process coming back to us later or referring friends that might be a good fit. The world is a small place and a good candidate experience ensures that we are known as a company that cares.


M: What is your email outreach strategy?

V: I like to send tailored messages and be as engaging as possible. This is what I like about Entelo – you’re provided with each person’s publicly available profiles, including personal websites and blogs, which can give you a lot of added insight quickly. I often use this info as a way of trying to connect with recipients in the first few lines. I also set reminders for myself a week out, so I can check to see if I’ve heard back from someone yet and if not, reach back out. I usually send three emails total over the course of a month before setting a 4-6 month reminder to try circling back. I definitely don’t want to annoy the person I’m contacting, but want them to know I’m seriously interested in connecting with them.

I typically reach out to 10-20 passive leads per week. I know the number probably sounds low but I make sure that I am absolutely certain each person I contact is someone I think would be an amazing fit for the company. I also craft each email personally. For the kind of roles I hire for, quality is so much more important than quantity. The top of the funnel pipeline is kind of a vanity metric. One of the biggest challenges is getting the team to unlearn traditional recruiting practices and focus on best practices, which requires understanding exactly what they need before we start interviewing candidates. If you’re clear on the role and expectations, it’s absolutely possible to bring in the right candidate quickly. Comparing and contrasting candidates to figure out what you’re really looking for only wastes time. The closer to a one-to-one ratio (one candidate in, one candidate hired), the better. The goal is to hire the right people for the right roles, not interview the most people for each role.

(Read – A recruiter’s guide to email sequences.)

M: Do you think job boards’ influence going to decrease?

V: Absolutely. I think they’re obsolete and really don’t add any value anymore. Relationships, networking, and reputation seem to be bigger driving factors for finding the right candidates or them finding the right companies.

As I touched on previously, one of the metrics that I focus on is interview-to-hire ratio. A healthy interview-to-hire ratio means that I am finding and bringing in the right candidates right away with the hope of finding the right person immediately rather than spending a lot of time interviewing and comparing candidates. It really is like finding a needle in a haystack. It is so much more productive to source candidates we think would be a great fit and focus all our energy in delivering an exceptional experience to them.

(See how Fusioncharts decreased their time to hire by 40% and dramatically reduced manager time spent interviewing by moving completely to sourcing and outbound recruitment process.)


M: How is the recruitment organized at White Ops?

V: We try to be as streamlined as possible. There’s still work to do there, but it’s gotten much better. Helping hiring managers understand what they need, how to identify it, and helping them feel comfortable making a final call based on each candidate’s qualifications and fit to the role, rather than comparing and contrasting candidates to one another as a way of figuring out what they want is something we’re working to be better at.
(Virginia has an exceptional blog post about this – you should probably give it a read.)

M: What is your favourite candidate experience moment that you congratulated yourself on?

V: This is when I was working at SONOS. I was looking for a Sr CRM Applications Manager. Our requirements were a bit unique and thus finding a candidate was not easy.

I found a really great candidate living in the Denver area. The role was based in Boston, and  generally, it’s  not easy to get someone in the  Denver/Boulder area to relocate because of the high quality of life and low cost of living in that area.

However, I reach out to him and managed to get him excited enough to have a conversation with the hiring manager about the role. During one of our conversations, I found out that his wedding anniversary was coming up so we paid to fly his wife with him to Boston over the time of his interviews.  We put them up in a hotel through the weekend so they could experience Boston and celebrate together and also surprised them with a bottle of wine, fruit basket and handwritten note from the team welcoming them to Boston in their hotel room before they arrived. We also made dinner reservations for them to celebrate their wedding anniversary that weekend.

Once they flew back to Denver, we had already sent them SONOS speakers to help continue their experience with our company. Around the same time, I had put together a recruiting event in Boulder where we rented out an Airbnb house and staged it with SONOS products. We had a number of engineers and recruiters there to talk tech and help with the experience. We had extended the candidate an offer over that time and after attending the event, he accepted the offer and relocated his family to Boston for the job.


Give me your three commandments of talent acquisition.

  1. Do the right thing
  2. Focus on a great candidate experience
  3. Forget the process – (This probably needs a bit of explaining. Virginia clarifies that too often we get stuck following a process rather than thinking outside the box. Process should not be a hurdle for innovation and creativity. It’s meant to add structure and clarity, but if there’s a better way to handle something, there should be enough flexibility to modify the process when necessary.)


Flowing Conversations is our attempt at bringing honest and jargon free conversations around recruiting, diversity and talent operations to you. If you like to read more interviews like this, subscribe to our newsletter. We promise we will never spam and send just one email to you every week.


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January 25, 2018
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Asking the right interview questions that give you insight into someone’s personality, ambitions, biases, and fears is a difficult task. Especially because interviews are designed as a mating dance for both sides, it is difficult to measure them accurately.
Recently, co-founder of Wingify, Paras Chopra started a really interesting tweet thread about favorite interview questions different people like to ask.  It’s a great exercise to help you take a peak in the interview practices of the smartest and best. Here are a few that we found really interesting.
Aakrit Vaish – Co-founder & CEO, Haptik
What do you like to do outside of work and spend half the interview discussing this.
Aakrit goes on to explain that following this question, he spends roughly 50% of the interview discussing this. It helps him understand the person holistically.
Ruhi Mahajan – Talent Acquisition – Kayako
Tell me about the last thing you did for the first time and when was it?
Ruhi works in talent acquisition at the leading support desk software makers Kayako. This helps her understand how readily can people go out of their comfort zone.
Gautham – Co-founder – Startup Village
What is the most important thing you completely reversed your opinion on when compelling arguments where presented?
It’s a sign of an intelligent and humble person who can absorb evidence and overcome the mental resistance of changing their opinion about something.
Anand Bhardwaj – Pocketaces
Our customers at Pocketaces are extremely creative with their questions! One of the questions they ask is
What is something you do better than your current manager and something that you manager does way better than you?
I am personally a fan of this questions. It gives you a great idea about a person’s proclivity to learn, their views about authority and humility.
Ofcourse, then there are some legendary founders who through their varied experience with the best and a diverse set of people, have developed models and questions to judge candidates. Here are a few we find incredible!
Peter Thiel – Co-founder of Paypal and Founders Fund, Author – Zero to one

What important truth do very few people agree with you on?


Peter talks about this in his book Zero to one. It is the single most incredible book that I have read about startups and technology.  To quote “This question sounds easy because it’s straightforward. Actually, it’s very hard to answer. It’s intellectually difficult because the knowledge that everyone is taught in school is by definition agreed upon. And it’s psychologically difficult because anyone trying to answer must say something she knows to be unpopular. Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.”
Brian Chesky – CEO, AirBnB
Give me an elevator pitch of your life
Brian asks the candidates to comprise their life in an elevator pitch and summarise it in three minutes! On the spot. He’s got a great reason.
I’m trying to figure out the formative decisions and experiences that influenced who you are as a person. Once I figure that out, I’m trying to understand the two or three most remarkable things you’ve ever done in your life. Because if you’ve never done anything remarkable in your life until this point, you probably never will.
Source: NYT
Neil Blumenthal – Co-CEO of Warby Parker
What was a recent costume you wore?’

One of our core values is to inject fun and quirkiness into everything we do. So we’ll often ask, “What was a recent costume you wore?” And the point isn’t that if you haven’t worn a costume in the last four weeks, you’re not getting hired. It’s more to judge the reaction to that question. Are you somebody who takes yourself very seriously? If so, that’s a warning sign to us. We want people to take their work seriously but not themselves. We also ask, “What do you like to do for fun?” The answer always speaks volumes of who that person is.

Source: NYT

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January 17, 2018
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what do you really want
One of the most fuzzy parts of a recruiter’s life is a meeting with hiring manager and recruitment team to understand the candidate requirements, team dynamics and defining the contour of the best person for the team. The hiring managers don’t always know whom they want to hire and there is always a discrepancy about what is it exactly do they want and how far can they compromise on the perfect candidate. It is also about expectations management. Quite often hiring managers want a unicorn but all data points to the fact that a stallion would do the job and unicorn will never be found. 
what do you want from me
After interviewing a few best of the breed recruiters and from my own experience, we came up with a list of things one should do in the intake meeting. The purpose is to create a framework where it can help you, your team of sourcers and recruiters as well as hiring managers to come on the same page and hire the best candidate is the shortest time.

How to effectively profile the desired candidate?

In the intake meeting, it is your job to ask questions that helps hiring manager to spell out the desired candidate profile more efficiently. The mistake most of us make is to start with the questions like
  • How many years of experience should the candidate have?
  • What should be education/experience pedigree?
  • Salary structure?
  • What are the essential and good to have skills in the candidate?
  • A general idea about the team and the culture
This is a wrong starting point. Ofcourse all of this information is important. But, asking these questions directly, leaves the room for ambiguity and also limits your understanding of the role and more importantly the true expectations of hiring managers. Here’s how the best recruiters take the intake meeting.

Probe about the work not the keywords:

Pros don’t jump to keywords. They rather ask the hiring managers the real work profile. What will the hired candidate do everyday. What would be performance metrics and what is expected out of them.
Instead they ask: What would the hired candidate achieve in 30 days, 90 days and 360 days?
This  gives you a much better idea of who the ideal candidate is for the job, not the hiring manager’s idea of ideal candidate for the job. The answer to this question will tell you what would it take for the candidate to do the job.

Ask about the people they will work with and not cultural values:

Culture is really really hard to define. Most people define culture as a set of words, or a bunch of vague statements like “We like to have fun at work” etc etc you know the drill. If you really want to understand and communicate about a company’s culture and where the candidate would fit in, ask about the people they will be working with. Instead of asking about culture, pros ask about people.
Who would be the teammates candidate would be working with and what makes them unique in the team?
Following this, you should discuss expected experience, salary range and cultural aspects of the team.
So here’s a simple questionairre that you should fill out with the hiring manager before you take out your sourcing chops and start reaching out to candidates.
  • What should the ideal candidate will achieve in 30 days, 90 days and 360 days?
  • What will be the careers development path for the ideal candidate in the organisation in next 3-5 years?
  • What is the compensation structure?
  • What are the likely organisations where the ideal candidate currently works?
  • What are the skills that candidate should have and what should have they achieved?
Answer to these questions will lead you to candidate persona and you can create a candidate persona based on this template, share it with the team and start sourcing.

Sample intake form

For an exercise, I am sharing a sample form with you. Let’s try it for a UX Design Lead you are trying to hire.
What should the ideal candidate will achieve in 30 days, 90 days and 360 days?
  • The ideal candidate would understand the current design process and will be completely integrated with product, design and engineering teams.
  • Candidate would grasp the current design language and how we see it evolving in the future.
  • You will collaborate with the product marketing team to push one campaign out of the door and be in the creative control of the campaign
What should the ideal candidate achieve in 90 days?
  • Conduct 1on1 meetings with the design team
  • Take charge of Performance Reviews and OKRs of your team
  • Represent UX team in weekly all hands meetings.
  • Create a plan to evolve our design language for next 3 years
What would the ideal candidate achieve in 360 days?
  • A new and improved design language is ready for the product, marketing and everything in between
  • UX team has evolved and grown to 8 members and you keep your hiring pipeline healthy and churning
  • You have developed a clear design evolution plan and have an execution strategy in place
  • You are a member of internal product team that takes charge of final product decisions
It’s as simple as that. We would love to know if you have any hacks you employ to figure out what hiring managers (really) want.
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December 12, 2017
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girl with a stop sign

Here’s a thought. Next time you have an opening, don’t publish it on a job board. I MUST BE CRAZY! Or maybe not. Hear me out….

What have we done ’til now?

We have posted jobs to hundreds of job boards. A lot of the new job boards are pretty neat though! We see applicants start rolling in. We solicit referrals and maybe source a few people if the situation demands it. I call it the reactive way — where the thinking hard about what kind of a candidate we want starts after the candidates start rolling in.

Imagine what would happen if we turned the whole process around and first laid out exactly what we want. The first thing we do is figure out — like really figure out, the kind of candidate we want. Maybe even use a candidate persona before we start sourcing candidates.

There is an acute scarcity of talent out there. The really great people are already sitting somewhere and doing great work- passive candidates can be a gold mine. They probably don’t hang out on legacy job boards anymore. And by not reaching out to them, we are not even dipping our toes in the best waters! Sure there are a few amazing candidates who come to you via job boards but those are the exceptions, not the rule.

Show me the numbers

In a hypothetical world, if you were only relying on applicants, to hire one person, you would need 100 applicants. If you are only sourcing, you would probably need around 20 sourced candidates and if you were taking in only referrals, you would need close to 10 candidates to make one hire.

However, we use job boards because they help us get to that number faster right? It creates a false sense of security that you are reaching out to a great number of candidates to fill your pipeline and will land on a perfect unicorn at some point. 

Let’s take a hypothetical role that you need to fill. Let’s say it’s a great tech startup that started 5 years ago and raised series B funding and needs a new product manager. You have three options. Post jobs to generic job boards (i.e. Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder etc.). You will have one call screen and two rounds of three interviews each. Here’s how you are going to spend your time in each of the ways.

The reactive way v the proactive way

You are going to end up spending 138 hours not counting the time you might spend coordinating schedules and interviews.

On the other hand, when you only source candidates, it takes only 20 candidates to hire one person. Most importantly, all of these candidates are highly qualified because before you reached out to them, you had a look at their profile and if you have a decent grip on your organisation’s needs, all of these people are highly qualified for the job.

To get to 20 candidates, you will have to reach out to 200 candidates(if you do normal email/inmail campaigns) or only 60 candidates if you are using drip email sequences (hattip: You can use recruiterflow to source candidates, find email ids and run campaigns seamlessly). It takes exactly 6 minutes to find a candidate and reach out to them with a super personalized email. (Yup, I counted!)

You will phone screen all 20 of them, maybe interview 15 of them in the first round and 12 of them in the second round. Overall time spend would be 60.75 hours of interviewing! You just saved more than 50% of your leadership team’s time to interview candidates.

Sourcing candidates can save more than 50% of your interviewing time and thus it is worth the extra time and effort.

 The problem with proactive recruitment…

While you may say that it is recruiter’s job to make sure that only the most qualified applicants get ahead in the process. It is extremely hard to do this a usual business environment. Recruiters face pressure from the hiring team to get more qualified candidates in the pipeline and very soon settles in the comparison mode instead of evaluation mode. Out of 100 applicants, it is just so easy to pick top 50 or 60 candidates among them and get started with the interview process. It takes a huge amount of discipline and determination to make it work.

How to align your team to this goal

Most recruitment teams focus on the number of candidates applied/sourced, number of interviews, candidate dropoff rate and offer rejection rate. However, if you want to help your team become super effective; make an interview to hire ratio as your top priority (Thanks Virginia for this suggestion). That will align your recruitment team to not just push more candidates in the pipeline but push fewer but really awesome candidates through the pipeline.

A case in point

World’s third largest charting company- Fusioncharts (loyal users of RecruitlerFlow) has recently embarked on an ambitious expansion plan and were struggling to hire fast enough to meet their goal. With their extremely high hiring bar, it wasn’t easy to find great people in a hyper-competitive market and that’s when they turned to proactive sourcing. Instead of publishing their openings everywhere, they stuck with their own careers site and LinkedIn. The team got heavily involved in sourcing the right candidates and they saw their time to hire drop by 40% and time spent interviewing drop by 60%!

So the next time you are hiring for an important role, maybe ditch the job boards and go the proactive way. It’s worth an experiment!


The article was originally published on Socialtalent blog

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December 11, 2017
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Find hidden developers
Sorry about the clickbaity headline but now that you are here, riddle me this.
Did you know that there is StackOverflow is a truly open source platform where you can query their database in SQL format and get an output of all the developers who contribute to StackOverflow?
Developers are notoriously difficult to hire. I tell my friends – “If you search hard enough, you will find god but not a great developer”. Jokes aside, the pain with hiring amazing developers is that some of them can’t be found at all the usual places. Least of all LinkedIn.  The usual recruiting playbook doesn’t work very well with this community. They have an aversion to job boards and reaching out to them on LinkedIn generally doesn’t really work very well.
One way we find developers is building boolean searches on google and going through specific sites like GitHub and StackOverflow. It takes hours and has a really low signal to noise ratio.  However, there is a better way to search stack overflow than building boolean queries. You can generate SQL queries to query For example, let’s say you are hiring developers who have experience with python in Bay Area, you get about 135 top notch developers. Going too wide, let’s go a little narrow and find everyone talking about Django in Bay Area. You get a list of 18 incredible developers from companies like Google, VMWare and some people who have written professional books on programming! I could not find 6 of these developers on LinkedIn. That means if you sourcing only on LinkedIn, you will be missing out 1/3rd of a qualified candidate database.
Wanna try it out yourself?
Remember, if you are looking for people in a particular language, make sure you include all the different versions of the language. That way you won’t miss out on some great candidates.

Query to source python developers on stackoverflow

             SELECT u.Id AS [User Link],
             FROM Users u
             JOIN (
                    SELECT DISTINCT UserId
                    FROM Badges
                    WHERE LOWER(Name) IN (‘python’, ‘boost-python’, ‘cpython’, ‘ipython’, ‘ipython-notebook’, ‘python-2.6’, ‘python-2.7’, ‘python-3.x’, ‘python-3.6’, ‘python-asyncio’, ‘python-3.5’, ‘python-datetime’, ‘python-decorators’, ‘python-docx’, ‘python-imaging-library’, ‘python-3.4’, ‘python-idle’, ‘python-mock’, ‘python-module’, ‘python-internals’, ‘python-multiprocessing’, ‘python-multithreading’, ‘python-requests’, ‘python-sphinx’, ‘python-unicode’, ‘python-xarray’, ‘python-3.3’, ‘mysql-python’) AND
                          Class IN (1, 2, 3) AND
                          TagBased = 1
                  ) tag_badges
             ON tag_badges.UserId = u.Id
             WHERE LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%bay area%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%san francisco%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%santa clara%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%san jose%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%silicon valley%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%cupertino%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%palo alto%’

Query to source Django developers on Stackoverflow

             SELECT u.Id AS [User Link],
             FROM Users u
             JOIN (
                    SELECT DISTINCT UserId
                    FROM Badges
                    WHERE LOWER(Name) IN (‘django’, ‘django-admin’, ‘django-cms’, ‘django-class-based-views’, ‘django-forms’, ‘django-models’, ‘django-migrations’, ‘django-authentication’, ‘django-celery’, ‘django-allauth’, ‘django-queryset’, ‘django-socialauth’, ‘django-testing’, ‘django-users’, ‘django-rest-framework’, ‘django-orm’) AND
                          Class IN (1, 2, 3) AND
                          TagBased = 1
                  ) tag_badges
             ON tag_badges.UserId = u.Id
             WHERE LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%bay area%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%san francisco%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%santa clara%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%san jose%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%silicon valley%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%cupertino%’ OR
                            LOWER(Location) LIKE ‘%palo alto%’
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November 28, 2017
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Boolean search on google to source candidates from stack overflow is an extremely inefficient way of searching candidates. The google’s algorithm runs on incoming hyperlinks and thus it will automatically surface candidates that have links to their answers and where people spend more time. This is not necessarily the best way to unearth candidates. Here’s why.

Let’s say developer A is a real rockstar working on python and django framework. This means that s/he will probably have a lot of questions and answers on django and python that will be linked a lot. However, they might even have answered just one question on nodejs! So s/he is not the nodejs champion you are looking for. But when you write a boolean query, these users will get higher search rank compares to someone who has written a few nodejs answers but doesn’t rank so highly.

Thankfully, the awesome folks at stack overflow let users query their internal database in an SQL format that can give you specifically people who have written answers/asked questions for nodejs! However, SQL is not as easy as boolean and most of us recruiters and sources have been so obsessed with boolean(i hate it if you ask me!) that we have never even taken a second look at SQL based stack overflow database.

Boolean search ranks users based on their total inbound links(not a very good proxy for skill, or overall ranking) instead of the community points they have earned on a particular skill.

How to use SQL query to source candidates on stack overflow?

Head on over to SQL query generator for data.stackexchage,

Step 1: Create Location Filters

Enter Locations that you want to search these users for. Remember, that in stack overflow location is a free text field. So when you search Bay Area, also include places like San Francisco, San Jose, Silicon Valley etc etc. You can even put countries. By our estimate, there are close to 400,000 different locations in stack overflow! Besides, a lot of users have kept their location empty so there’s that to struggle with as well!

Step 2: Enter the skills you want in this candidate and skill level

Enter the languages these candidates have used. These languages are specific tags that are used to make questions and answers more organized. It is important to understand the format that stack overflow uses. Like nodejs will return results but inputs like node.js, node js etc won’t return any results. As you start typing, the page will automatically suggest the tags and these tags are the ones used by stack overflow.

Two rules to remember for language/skills input:

  1. Don’t use skills other than the ones suggested to you. That is the exhaustive list of all the distinct tags in stackoverflow.
  2. Make sure you input all variations of the language/skills you want to find. There are more than 15 python related tags in Stackoverflow. Select all of them for best results.

On the bottom of the input field, you will see an option to select badges. You can filter users by those who have earned a gold, silver or bronze medal in the particular language you are searching. If you leave it empty, it will search for all the users.

Gold badge: User must have a total score of 1000 in at least 200 non-community wiki answers to achieve this badge. A total of 7k gold badges are awarded to users. One user may have multiple gold badges.

Silver badge: User must have a total score of 400 in at least 80 non-community wiki answers to achieve this badge. A total of 22.6k silver badges have been awarded (at the time of writing this)

Bronze badge: User must have a total score of 100 in at least 20 non-community wiki answers to achieve this badge. A total of 116k bronze badges have been awarded (at the time of writing this)

So if you are looking for django developers who have the silver badge, just write django in skills filed and select silver in the “skill level”. It will give you the users in a selected location who have a silver level badge in Django!


Step 3: (optional) Select behaviour badges

This part is really optional. There are a bunch of badges that stack overflow awards its users based on their usage pattern. You can read all about the stages here.

Step 4: Head over to data.stackexchange

Once you have generated the query, click on the button at the bottom that says “Copy query and go to data.stackexchange”. You will be redirected to the following page.


Step 5: Run the query

Enter the query title and paste the copied SQL query in the large query input box. Once you have pasted the query there, click on Run Query box at the bottom. Based on the number of results, it might take a few seconds or maybe even a few minutes to get the results. You can also download results in a CSV.


Let us know how you have succeeded sourcing developers on stackoverflow and let us know in comments.

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October 30, 2017
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robot holding binary globe

I recently saw this tweet from Matt Charney

I am just too wary of the term “AI powered” and the illusion it has created. A whole bunch of products are calling themselves AI powered and doing the same old. I am not saying that everyone who claims to be AI powered are peddling the same old shit in a new package, it’s just that, a whole bunch of them are. The ones who are probably doing genuine work, don’t peddle magic. They know they are far from true AI and understand what it would take to get there.


How to figure out something is truly AI or not?

Peter Thiel said in an interview that “When people use the word science, it’s a tell, like in poker that they are bluffing.” I feel the same way about “AI-powered.” I hear a pitch that says we are going to solve/revolutionize an industry with AI — I turn my BS filter on. However, we are at a stage where we can solve some very specific and real problems with AI. Think AI-powered scheduling, or an AI-powered tool that can assist physicians in locating a tumor in a medical image. So the question is —

What exactly can AI do and what it can’t? (At least for now)

To find the answer to this question, we need a better understanding of what really AI is. There are two kinds of artificial intelligence. The first is artificial narrow intelligence, that can solve a well-defined problem and needs a whole lot of data of past experience to learn how to do that. All AI that we see today is weak AI or narrow AI at most. This means that with weak AI, we are pretty close to automating specific repetitive tasks that do not require heavy cognitive abilities.

On the other hand, there is the holy grail where we need to be to make humans obsolete – artificial general intelligence – where machines have a consciousness and sentience. We are still quite far away from this.

What does this mean for all of us in recruitment and TA?

This seems to be a burning question — “Would we still have our jobs or would we be obsolete?”. I wish there was a simple answer but like most things in the world, there isn’t any.

Before I proceed any further I want to state that I am no expert in AI. Also, most things I would say here about AI will probably stay valid for next five years but definitely not beyond that. Most predictions are wrong(don’t’ believe me? See what McKinsey had to say about mobile technology) in the long run but we can see what’s right ahead of us in the short term.

With these caveats let’s see if AI is going to replace recruiters and talent acquisition specialists. The answer is both yes and no. AI will definitely take over the most mundane and repetitive parts of our job like Scheduling or maybe even application screening. But is that all a recruiter does?

What exactly is a recruiter’s job?

If you spend more than 50% of your time posting your openings to the plethora of job boards, gathering applicants and manage the recruitment process (i.e. — scheduling and coordinating interviews), I’ve got bad news for you. Your job will be taken over by machines — for the most parts. Matt raised his hand because he understands what exactly is the job?

  1. Understand the role: A recruiter first needs to understand the role in the context of the organization and the culture. Build a brand and act as the first gatekeeper of who comes in for the interviews with the team. Your true measure of success is not the no. of candidates interviewed but your interview to hire ratio!
  2. Be a friend of the candidate: This is what sets great recruiters and great sales reps apart from each other. This was suggested to me by my good friend and earliest users of Recruiterflow — Mawulom. Your job is to build a relationship with the candidate and be the friend they need in their careers transition. Allay their apprehensions and fears of a new environment and make sure that they understand that it’s a great move for them.
  3. Negotiate the interview process: It goes without saying but managing an interview process is not about scheduling and pushing everyone to come to a decision. It is about managing expectations of the hiring team and making sure that the implicit biases don’t come in the way of hiring a great candidate. It is about making sure that you don’t miss out on stallions searching for the elusive unicorns. Viriginia at Spotify recently drove this point home in a brilliantly done blog post and so did John from recruitingdaily.

These three are the jobs that require general intelligence. We face these situations every day and they pose a different challenge every day that can’t be tackled by the most sophisticated AI we can see today. This is the JOB and that’s why someone like Matt, didn’t put his hand up getting tired of all the BS that is peddled in the name of AI.

<end of rant>


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October 24, 2017
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Good folks at Financesonline have awarded recruiterflow the Rising Star and Great User Experience Award for 2017.  They must be pretty smart to see this so early!





Joking aside, this is a major achievement for us. HR and recruitment software experts at financesonline have  pegged recruiterflow as one of the top software for recruitment and ATS software.

Our unique approach to applicant tracking and sourcing solutions that make it really easy for recruiters to attract and engage top talent. Recruiterflow’s ability to sync with email communication, giving all hiring team members access to such important emails caught everyone’s attention in the expert panel. But most of all, the experts have deemed the solution’s user-friendly interface as a key feature, enriching candidate experience by customizing all hiring processes. These and more have led FinancesOnline to honor us with its 2017 Rising Star and Great User Award for best HR management software.

But it doesn’t end here the prestigious B2B directory has also bestowed on the product the honor of including it on its list of best HR software. This only confirms what we knew all along, that Recruiterflow’s unique design and ease of use would truly make an impression on experts and users alike. To make matters even better, their team of experts distinguished Recruiterflow as one of the top performers in their HR management software category. Readers relying on expert advice to make the best software deals already know these awards are reserved exclusively for systems that automate core operations but don’t require deep IT knowledge; and such that are adopted and appreciated by users really fast.

They were impressed with recruiterflow’s ability to engage candidates and sourcing features. Our recently released campaigns feature has powered sourcing for customers and have outperformed traditional email campaigns by 50%! BTW, have you tried our drip campaigns for recruitment yet?



Use Recruiterflow to source candidates with super personalized drip email campaigns that convert 2.3X better.
Get Started for Free.

Learn More about Recruiterflow

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September 7, 2017
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Recruitment drip marketing isn’t just the latest buzz term, but a lot of savvy sourcers and recruiters have woken up to its potential. They’re taking a page from the sales reps playbook and using it with some astounding results.

What Drip Marketing Is

A drip campaign is a series of touch points (usually email) delivered automatically to a highly targeted prospect at predefined intervals. It is the weapon of choice in the war for talent.

As recruiters we’ve been using blast email campaigns way too long now. Why should your cold-blast email be a worthy of a response? Such email blasts are not only useless, they also punish your employer brand. Candidate expectations have changed, and our methods to attract them need to change with the times.

Imagine how much better would it be if you could send super-personalized emails to your star prospects right in their primary inbox. Bid adieu to this archaic, age-old process of email blasts and take a more human approach to it. You don’t need to “cast a wider net” and get more and more applicants. What you need is a process that achieves human touch at scale.

When you are reaching out to more than 10 people in a day, balance scale with personalization. Super personalize the first email outreach and then let machine take over rest of the touch points.

Unlike the other kinds of recruitment email campaigns, the only metric of success in a drip campaign is that of replies. Getting a reply means you need to be compelling enough for the prospect to take the effort out to type out a response and hit the send button.

How to Write a Compelling First Email Touchpoint That Prospects Might Reply to

Your communication needs to be aligned with your employer brand, but here’s a no-nonsense way to go about it. There are three parts to crafting your first touchpoint email.


This is all that the recipient will see before they open the mail and make a split-second decision whether to open it or not. You get only a few words to make an impression. The Gmail iOS app shows only the first 36 characters of subject. Make them count! A great subject line is half the work. Most people I have interacted with write subject lines as an afterthought — there couldn’t be a bigger mistake. You don’t want to write an epic like Lord of the Rings and name it “A tale of hobbits, men and elves.”

In my personal experience, mentioning the recipient’s name in the subject line, mentioning a recent blog they wrote, or an award they won, delivers really high open rates. Generic subject lines like “We’ve got an opportunity” or “Openings at Acme Inc” have abysmally low open rates.

The Connection

The second part of an email is establishing a connection. This is the first thing the recipient will read after they have read the subject line. Keep them engaged. If you had mentioned their blog post in the subject, continue with a comment on that or just compliment them on their post.

This is the point where a recipient will decide whether they want to reply to the email or not. Humans tend to remember the beginning and end of the emails much better than the parts in the middle. How you open a conversation plays a big role in your conversion rates. In an experiment, a group was given 20 words to read and had to recall them afterwards. The experiment concluded that people could recall words in the beginning and end really well but not so much for the words in the middle.

Ask them something

Now that you have established a connection, you ask them something. Be upfront and clear in your message. If you already have an open position for the candidate, just tell them. Be precise about the position and what would it entail. Ask for their time over the next 2-3 days (create a sense of urgency) and close.

How to Personalize the First Email Touchpoint

I remember when an email could mail merge the recipient’s name and organization. It used to be called personalized email (this just made me realize how old I am!). However, now that this kind of personalization is ubiquitous, people feel they are spammy and they expect more. So what are the best way to personalize an email?

Find something in common

Familiarity breeds trust. Our brains are hardwired to treat familiarity with a favorable disposition. For example, if you see a person is a football fan, mentioning your favorite team or player can go a long way. To find common interests, look at your prospect’s interests, hobbies, alma mater, of even the kind of memes they love.

Another way is to find a mutual connection. This has worked really well for me. Check out this brilliant message sent to a prospect by a Google recruiter.  Your prospect is leaving their footprints everywhere on social media. All you gotta do is find it and use it!

Compliment them sincerely

Has your prospect recently won an award, got a promotion, or their company has achieved a major milestone? Congratulate them. Flattery preempts our brains to look at the message more favorably. Compliments warm up a cold outreach! Don’t be superficial in your praise. Be earnest and genuinely interested in their lives.

Talk about their work

It is quite possible that you found someone through Github, Medium, or even just a tweet. Mention this. Say how you found it interesting and comment on it. If possible, comment in a way that elicits a response. Raising a question is a great way to do that.

Here’s what a great first personalized email might look like. It’s better to keep experimenting on it and find the way that works best for you.

Strategy for Subsequent Touch Points

If the first email did not get you a great response despite of your carefully crafted super personalized email, don’t lose heart. It’s always the second and the third touchpoint that generates best conversions. These emails make sure that you stayed on top of recipient’s mind. Two things to note

  • It is better to send the subsequent touch points in the same thread as the first one. It helps you maintain the context.
  • In the interest of time and scale, it is not necessary to super personalize subsequent touch points. You can send these emails completely automated.

For the second touchpoint, pick up where you left. Politely say you don’t know if “you missed the earlier email.” Reaffirm your value proposition with a blog post or even a Dribbble page that was a result of some exceptional work done by your team. See example.


In the third touchpoint, if possible involve the hiring manager or a senior member of the team. If the prospect hasn’t replied to both the emails, but opened and read both of them, s/he just needs a little bit of a push to get over the edge. Sending an email from the hiring manager is a great way to do this. The hiring manager can explain a bit more about the role and challenges to get them excited about the role!

The hiring manager and the prospect are people in the same trade and can form an instant connection. The email instills confidence in the prospect’s mind that you really want to talk to them. It’s hard to say no to that.

The final outreach is where you keep the door open for a future conversation while still trying to get a response. Keep it professional but also make sure that candidate feels like you are really interested in them and want to talk to them.

Dos and Don’ts

Drip marketing is fairly easy to understand and execute. However, for the uninitiated to get started quickly, I’ve put together a list of basic dos and don’ts. It’s primarily distilled from my own experience and experience of others that I have worked with.


  • Keep the subject line short, especially since most email are now read on mobile devices and only 36 characters are visible on gmail iOS app
  • Always think from the recipient’s perspective. Much easier said than done!
  • Use the prospect’s name at least twice. Preferably, once in the subject line.
  • Be brief. Everybody hates long emails. My advice: Keep it shorter than 100 words.
  • Be sincere and sound like a human who has a genuine interest in them
  • Double check on the content and see if the mail merge has properly filled out the data
  • Space out your touch points based on how warm or cold the prospect is. A general best practice is to wait for 3-4 days before sending a follow up email.
  • Put in a strong call to action.
  • Generally most replies come with the second and third mail. Keep the email chain short. We have seen great results with four or five emails.
  • Determine a strategy on how you will balance scale with personalization.
  • Write all the email is one session. Best way to make sure that they have a tone of continuity.


  • Don’t think that mentioning a name and organization means you have personalized outreach
  • Don’t overdo it. Overdoing can be really hurtful to your brand. Your campaign should not involve more than 10 touch points for sure.
  • Don’t neglect to give enough information for recipients to decide.
  • Don’t go solo. Involve your team in this. Ask hiring managers.
  • In the zeal to personalize, don’t use the prospect’s name more than four times. That just makes it awkward.
  • Don’t think you deserve a response just because you spent so much time finding out about them. It’s a tough trade!
  • Don’t go overboard with praising the candidate and their fit in your team. Remember, you might end up saying no to this candidate. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.

This article was originally written for ERE media.

Use Recruiterflow to source candidates with super personalized drip email campaigns that convert 2.3X better.
Get Started for Free.

Learn More about Recruiterflow

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September 6, 2017
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