04 January 2011

Recommendations for starting up with Jobvite

Earlier today, I answered a Quora question and thought I'd also share the answer here.

We're getting ready to use Jobvite at our company, any recommendations for starting up? - Quora
(Question byline:) Want to make sure we're starting out using all best practices

Mason Wong, 4-time customer of Jobvite, lead implementation of Jobvite at 3 employers, furthered configuration of Jobvite at the 4th.

A lot depends on what your starting point is, whether this is your company's first ATS or you're migrating from an existing ATS, as there are both technical and process considerations. Many of the tips that initially come to mind are actually not Jobvite specific, but would pertain to any ATS implementation. Here are some of my recommendations:

* Gain as much executive sponsorship up front as possible. Ideally, your CEO prioritizes the recruiting function and is willing to personally announce the implementation and later encourage hiring managers to use the system and encourage employees to submit referrals through the system.

* Jobvite is most powerful when its entire eco-system of recruiting collaboration tools are fully implemented. This means utilizing shared candidate notes, and also the in-app interview scheduling function, which in turn delivers the link of the interview evaluation form to each interviewer, which in turn allows for candidate eval data to be automatically shared with the team of interviewers (hiring mgr, recruiter, other interviewers), which in turn encourages thorough questioning and consistent documentation, and allows for a complete set of data be available during the offer request approval routing process.

* Try to keep the candidate workflow configuration as simple as possible. Don't build too many custom interview types or too many evaluation types. Done right, it's very powerful to build a few of your own custom competencies into a few interview eval forms for certain jobs in specific interviewing steps, but done wrong, it can become a system configuration train wreck that's difficult to untangle.

* Similarly, try to keep your approval routings as simple as possible. Be mindful of the order of your routings, i.e. HR may want to approve an offer's compensation before the hiring VP authorizes the offer. Creating approval routings based on the exact mgmt reporting line per hiring manager is technically possible, but a real bother to keep up to date. Easier to just have a handful of VPs to choose from a drop down menu than pursue an overly complex set of approval routings.

* I suggest allocating no more than one headcount per requisition. So, when you hire one person into a requisition, close the req, don't keep using it for further hires into similar roles. If multiple openings of the same role are to be concurrently opened, build non-publicly-posted reqs as headcount placeholders. While managing the applicant pool in the one publicly posted req, as each person is hired, move that candidate to a non-publicly-posted req and fill those first. It sounds complicated, but it ends up being much easier to manage and later report on than untangling a req filled with multiple hires.

* I suggest creating separate reqs for alternate locations of a req. That way, you can link location-specific external job postings to your location specific req posting, and manage separate applicant pools without mixing up location/travel issues.

* If you are migrating from an existing ATS, carefully plan the transition steps, to minimize any possible down time between freezing your old ATS data and having it migrated into Jobvite, and turning on your new Jobvite configuration.

* Use the Company Jobvite function to frequently remind employees about submitting referrals to various reqs. I send out a new message every other week. It really works.

* Hopefully, most of your recruiters, and many of your hiring managers, will really like how Jobvite works. Quickly take advantage of their enthusiasm and encourage them to help evangelize further adoption of Jobvite from others.

* No matter how well you plan, how much you train people, and how much executive sponsorship you get, assume there will be some percentage of hiring managers who need hand holding with the new system, and some percentage of employees who won't activate their accounts. That's not a system fault, that's just human nature.

Send me a message if you have follow up questions that I can respond to privately. Good luck!