SmartRecruiters Blog

Don’t Just Use it, Super-Use it: SmartRecruiters with Chris Webber

Chris Riche-Webber runs professional services in Europe for SmartRecruiters. That means he’s away from home at least 10 days a month, on-the-go and optimizing from the UK to Malta. Today we bring you his top tips for getting the most from SmartRecruiters and your hiring team.

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We caught Chris during his two-day jaunt to Berlin where he’s certifying a small group of customers as administrators in the SmartRecruiters platform. When we met, the roll call included Tipico, reBuy and International SOS among others.

Chris knows all too well the pains the people in this room experience, and he comes equipped with solutions to the intricate situations our HR heads face while getting to know the platform.

“I was a recruiter for several years,” explains Chris, “first with Barclays and then Royal Bank of Scotland before I moved into the engineering industry with BAE Systems and Cobham. So when I train people on the system I definitely know what they’re trying to achieve and the difficulties they face.”

He’s seen how the wrong technology can breed an atmosphere of complacency that eventually leads to employees working outside the system, so part of his job implementing SmartRecruiters is getting everyone back on the same page.

“As a recruiter, I have experience in poorly configured systems,” he says. “I know how much of a block they can be and how the team, especially recruiters and hiring managers, get used to just working outside the system with shortcuts or workarounds.”

This is a guy who’s ‘been there’. And by ‘there’ we mean frustrated. Frustrated with obtuse tech that clunkifies your work with superfluous clicks and endless glitches.

It takes a guy who’s been there to restore the faith in tech to a team that’s been disillusioned by ill-fitting solutions. So if anyone can make you believe again, it’s Chris.  

What’s a good way to get people used to working around the technology, to come back and work within it?

Avery Dennison is a great example of adoption across a company with over 25,000 employees and 50 countries. This manufacturing giant implemented our hiring solution over the course of nine months, and they’ve really reaped the benefits of their extensive roll-out process. Managers and recruiters login consistently and their hiring process is more collaborative now.

If I could point to one thing in their implementation process that made it so successful it would be their efforts to educate their team, not just on how the product works, but why it’s important. People need to know the why as well as the how.

Your job now involves an insane amount of time on the road, can you give us a pro tip for work travelers?

I always pack my trainers so I can fit in a run in every city I visit. It’s a great way to see a new place, especially when you are on a tight schedule.

What’s a common mistake users make with SmartRecruiters?

Not staying up to date. Administrators and Super Users should make it a priority to educate themselves on the latest updates in the system.  We make these updates four times a year so staying abreast of the seasonal releases is important for your knowledge of our system.

Look for the webinar notifications and remember they’re recorded so you can always watch them when it’s convenient.

What’s one thing that has surprised you in these training sessions?

I’ve done more trainings than I can count – with all kinds of companies, but no matter how many I do, people have new questions. I’m always impressed by how specific, detailed and thoughtful the questions are. It shows how our customers are really engaging with the product – They have goals and want to reach them.

If a company is deciding who should be the administrator, what qualities should they look for?

That depends a lot on the company, but something to consider is that this person will have to wear different hats. One second they will be discussing building an API-driven career site and creating screening questions the next. Jumping between these two personas is key.

What is one way the average SmartRecruiters user could optimize their usage today?

Start by looking at analytics and see what that tells you. Are recruiters not moving candidates through the system? Are hiring managers taking too long to give feedback? Identify potential problem areas then talk to people! See what’s going on! The data is only one part of the story, you also need context.

When you include your people in the solution they are more likely to use it. It’s simple but easy to forget.

Let’s talk analytics. What are the pitfalls when it comes to reporting?

The reports can tell you so much but they are only as good as the data you put into them. It’s important to update everything in real-time. Educate your users on the perils of data gaps.

What kinds of conversations can you start with these analytic reports?

One of the most interesting resources is our sourcing analytics. This feature is available right on the dashboard and it gives you data on the volume and quality of candidates you are receiving from different job boards. From there you can track your company’s investment and make informed decisions about where you want to advertise.

Maybe one job board is more expensive but delivers more quality candidates. Sourcing analytics will help you justify and explain this investment. And that same piece of data can be used to negotiate with media providers.  

In 2015 Linkedin lost their case against data scrubbing, is that going to start making a difference for our customers in the coming year?

A lot of vendors are excited this door has opened to enrich their products. For us, it means being able to make use of the vast amount of data LinkedIn hosts without navigating a lot of settings or walls.

What is an important feature people underuse?

Candidate comparison. This feature allows you a side by side comparison of candidates according to your hiring team’s ratings and feedback. Anyone looking to boost collaboration in their hiring process should start taking advantage of this.

What is a feature people are usually delighted about? Like a little extra thing that makes people happy?

Delayed rejections. It means if a recruiter knows right away that a candidate isn’t a good fit for an open position they can send a rejection that doesn’t arrive to the candidate immediately. This way the candidate feels consideration has been taken regarding their application instead of just bouncing them away.

As a recruiter, this is something I wanted 10 years ago. Being able to update your candidate lists all at once and forget about it is such a gift. It used to be that you would have to remind yourself later but sometimes things fall through the cracks and when that happens you give the candidate a negative experience. So this one small feature has really made a difference in the day-to-day, both in terms of efficiency and candidate relationship management CRM.

Top three tips for new admins.

  1. Stay on top of releases.
  2. Constantly talk to users and get feedback.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try new things!

If you are interested in a certification class please contact us here!

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