January 18, 2016

Workable – Greece Grows More Than Just Olives

I don't know exactly why, but when software grows and becomes enterprise-ready, it invariably starts to suck. It seems this is exactly what happened to JobScore which Zemanta used until recently to track the hiring process. It might have been a cool product once, but when JobScore people got used to the smell of enterprise money their product started to gain weight and become unusable without extensive training at some exotic location.

We'd been enduring JobScore's enterprise-grade workflows for some two years before Tomaz said to me some time last year: "Hey Dusan, I can't use that JobScore shit anymore. I've found better alternative." At that time I was no longer managing Zemanta engineering, but I was curious nonetheless what alternative to JobScore he had found. It was partially because I was still occasionally hiring people for my product management team, but primarily because I couldn't imagine a better alternative to JobScore. I did a small research about JobScore alternatives at the time when JobScore was being pushed on us by some external recruiter, but I could only find JobVite, Resumator, and a few similar monster applicant tracking systems that were even more enterprise-ready than JobScore.

Workable, the alternative to JobScore, that Tomaž found, is definitely not enterprise ready. It is straight-forward to use, tailored to the hiring process in place at most modern start-ups, and developed in Athens. Maybe it's this latter fact that has defined how Workable has approached the problem of recruitment tracking. Given high unemployment rate in Greece, I imagine there are hundreds of candidates applying for every open position. Consequently Workable's user interface resembles Tinder a bit in its efficiency at moving candidates either to the next stage of the hiring funnel or sending them a rejection notice (a side note: I'm happily married so I don't have a first hand Tinder experience, but I've been peeking over shoulders of those who do on several occasions).

Workable in action. The mock image is from www.workable.com

In most start-ups hiring involves collective decision-making. But except for hiring managers, the hiring process is for most people get-in-get-out activity that interrupts their regular programming, customer support, or product management work. Workable does great job at providing all the relevant information about the candidate so that the interviewer doesn't need to bother anybody as he or she prepares for phone screen or on-site interview. CV of the candidate, cover letter, remarks from hiring manager, and links to LinkedIn, GitHub, and other web profiles are neatly organized and readily available.

At Zemanta we have strived to make hiring decisions based on facts and not on some pre-conceived notions or prejudices. An essential ingredient to achieve such outcome is writing opinions down and letting them mature for a few days. Workable provides a nice note-taking environment with adequate safeguards in place that notes of one interviewer don't influence other people involved in hiring process before the hiring committee takes place. Good note-taking capabilities are important for another reasons - candidates tend to resurface. A year or two down the road they spruce up their GitHub accounts and get you hooked, but then you look at the old notes from their hiring interviews and remember why they weren't a good match in the first place.

Candidate profile includes all the required information to prepare oneself for a phone screen or on-site interview. The mock image is from www.workable.com

If this review sounds a bit fanboyish, it's because I really want you to change how you manage hiring process and become more brisk about it. My personal goal when it comes to hiring is to move the perspective candidate from the initial application or sourcing to an offer in two weeks. This doesn't just give you an edge compared to other employers, but also sets the tone with the new employee that your company is fast moving and expedient. Workable is a great assistant to help you manage hiring process at speed. Especially if you are a VP of Engineering at an ambitious start-up, Workable can help you with many hiring chores so that you can focus on the only thing that matters - hiring awesome people who will make great addition to your team and make everybody more successful.

About Cleanshelf

Cleanshelf is the leading SaaS spend optimization solution focused exclusively on tracking, controlling, and benchmarking subscription SaaS applications. Cleanshelf’s cloud technologies help companies save up to 30% on their SaaS spending by automatically identifying unused, underused, or unmanaged licenses and subscriptions.

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Cleanshelf serves dozens of clients, including Drawbridge, Revinate, Dynamic Signal, Qumulo, and Service Rocket.

Tagged: SaaS, Workable

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