Lever: The New Hiring App for Hypergrowth Companies

March 13, 2015

We talk a lot about startups recruitment at OpenView, and what a Talent Acquisition Function should look like as you start to scale a tech business. One important piece that comes with that is leveraging technology. Yes, recruitment technology exists, and it plays a crucial role in allowing you to crank up your recruiting to keep pace with growth in a smart, scalable, and sustainable way.

The First Things You Should Do When You Get Serious About Ramping Up Hiring

  1. Determine when you need to switch from hiring contract recruiters to developing your own team in-house. For more details and tips on making that decision, see my colleague Rose’s post, “When Is it Time to Hire a Recruiter?”
  2. Decide what type of recruiting technology you need to adopt. Let’s face it — that Google Doc you’re using to keep track of candidates may be helping you tread water, but it’s doing nothing to get you ahead of the game (not that I don’t love Google Docs). Taking a bare-bones approach may work for a while, but at some point trying to juggle an increasing number of candidates and openings this way is going to get out of hand and you’re going to need to invest in some sort of central applicant tracking system (ATS). Otherwise, you’ll start dropping the ball. Plus, you’ll be missing out on simply too much valuable information and data that can help you a) engage with far more candidates over longer periods of time; and b) gain deeper insight into your recruiting/hiring processes, making it easier for you to continuously refine and improve them.

How do you choose an ATS? Luckily, tech recruiters do a pretty good job of staying on top of solutions in this space and it’s likely that after someone comes on board, they’ll be familiar with a particular system and have a preference for what they’d like to use. Keep in mind, however, that your ATS isn’t just for your recruiter — it’s for your hiring managers, as well. Whatever technology you choose to implement should be easy enough to use for everyone in your organization involved in the hiring process, regardless of how familiar they are with the world of applicant tracking.

Lever: A Major Step Forward in ATS Technology

I’ve both seen and used quite a few CRMs and Applicant Tracking Systems in my day, especially given that I started my SaaS career over at Bullhorn (a recruitment CRM). I’ve seen everything from the bad to the mediocre, and I’ve been waiting a really long time for a truly great solution. But now my wait is over, because I found Lever. If you’re up for renewal or looking for new applicant tracking solutions, it’s time to look them up. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Lever is for everyone: This is not an ATS that’s recruiter-friendly only. The truly impressive thing about Lever is that it’s a system every hiring manager won’t go crazy trying to use (read: it’s a system they’ll actually use).
  • LinkedIn integration: This might not sound like a big deal, but trust me, it’s a huge step. Not just for recruiters actively sourcing and trying to parse candidates into a system, but for any organization that values referrals and wants to make it easier for employees to make them. With its LinkedIn plugin, Lever allows recruiters to pull details from candidate LinkedIn profiles and import them directly into the ATS. Hiring managers and other employees can do the same thing, so now they can easily make referrals without having to wait on their contacts to send them their resume. Why is this different? Because no one else has it!
  • User experience: By this point you’d think a focus on design and UX would be a given with any new technology, but unfortunately that’s not always the case in the world of recruitment solutions. Lever is the first ATS I’ve seen that actually takes into account how the user lives in the system. It’s not just about color schemes and fonts, it’s really about the ease of use once you’re in it and how you — as a recruiter, hiring manager, or coordinator — can move from one piece of the process to the next. You can do everything from tag candidates, track and send emails, manage postings, delay emails, and much more. In my experience no other ATS solution pays this much attention to the flow for the user.
  • Pipeline management: One of the major hassles with many applicant tracking systems is that they don’t follow the same pipeline flow for actual recruitment (and it’s very rarely customizable). You really need to be able to see where every candidate is at every stage in your process, and that includes having access to information after the job is closed (for way down the road, if needed). The whole point of this tool is to make sure people and jobs aren’t falling through the cracks. With Lever, what you see when you open your dashboard is exactly what you’d see if you were to write out the step-by-step flow of a standard recruitment process. It seems pretty simple, but it’s something that’s often overlooked.
  • It scales with you: One of the main problems with many ATS solutions is that they’re very focused on a specific market. For instance, one ATS will focus on being useful for smaller companies, but doesn’t necessarily work when you try to scale it. Others are meant for larger corporations or are agency-specific. This can be a huge point of frustration considering that successful recruiting naturally leads to company growth. Lever is the first ATS I’ve seen that really has the potential to grow with you. Whether it’s the prospect lists, pipeline management, integration, data and analytics, or access to older information, this is a system that can support you as you grow.

Choosing your recruitment technology is a big decision and ultimately every company has a variety of options to determine the best fit for them. As you make your decisions, don’t be afraid to demo and shop around. There are plenty out there and they all have a lot to offer. Lever is just one option, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for all of us to see what we’ve been missing!


Recruiter, Sales & Marketing

<strong>Katelyn Lagarde</strong> is a recruiter at <a href="http://www.cloudhealthtech.com">CloudHealth</a>. She was previously a Talent Specialist at OpenView.