My favourite question to ask is “why?”. Why are we doing something a certain way. Most of the time I’m thinking “There must be a better way”. Better usually means faster, and that’s where automation comes in. I love automation as it saves me time. Less time doing boring stuff, more time being creative.
I’m currently focusing on two tools for automation; Zapier and Calendly.
I love Zapier. There are so many things you can do with it to make your life so much easier. Tiny little things that in the end saves you a lot of time. It works just like IFTTT (If This Then That) but better. Basically, you can connect various web apps with each other to create a chain of events. I’m mainly using for admin and to aid my sourcing.
One of the very first things I did when I started my assignment at Toca Boca was to scrape all Unity meetup groups within Europe as I know we will be recruiting a lot of game programmers over the next few months. I then set up a zap (that’s what a task is called in Zapier) so that every time a new person signs up to the group, they will automatically get added to my list in Google Sheets where I keep the scraped data. This is by far my favourite zap of all time! I used this a lot when I worked at TV4 too, so even though I hadn’t started sourcing for Game Programmers just yet, I knew I would be later on so might as well get it up and running.
There weren’t any problems with the setting up or running of the zaps, that all worked fine albeit a bit time consuming. I mean I did scrape 20+ meetup groups and set up equally many zaps. But once it’s done it’s there forever, so totally worth it.
It’s a bit too early to make any real conclusions, but we’ll see how valuable meetup groups are when looking for Game Programmers.
Another thing I set up a zap for was to speed up the admin process when creating new contracts. We had a master document for the contract, and each time we needed to create a new contract we just found the places in the document that needed updating, fields such as name, address, salary, start date etc. It didn’t take that much time, but you could quite easily miss a place that needed updating and it did take a little bit of time filling it out correctly. My main concern was that it was easy to make mistakes, missing out a piece of information or accidentally formatting the document.
At Toca Boca we are using G Suite. I was more used to Office and therefore unsure of how to create templates using Google Docs. So I did some quick googling to find out if, and how, you could create templates. Found it, and sorted it. That was step one done.
The second half was to automate the population and creation of contracts. I created a quick Google Sheets, each column representing the missing information in the contract. Done! Then I simply used Zapier to connect the two documents. Now you simply need to fill out the Google Sheet with all the data about the new employee and finish by writing “YES” in the column titled “Create Contract”. Et Voilá! A new contract with all information has been created and ready for you to pick up! This will save us a lot of time in the long run.
But I didn’t stop there. Once the contract is created, it needs to be sent to our administrator who will add it to the e-signature system and send it to the employee to be to sign. So I added a third step. As soon as a new contract is created, an e-mail goes to our administrator with the contract attached and the e-mail address of the employee to be is in the body of the e-mail. Again, quite a simple task automated, saving us time in the long run.
We are now looking at other ways we can use Zapier to speed up some of our processes.
I’ve always wanted to use Calendly, but have either not had a proper use case for it, or not had the budget. But now, finally, I have both!
The very first step in our recruitment process is a phone screen with me. Rather than sending a bunch of e-mails back and forth to find a time I set up a calendly link where the candidate can simply pick a time that suits them. As we are an international company, recruiting from all over the world, this also helps a great deal with time zone issues.
As I mentioned in part one, at Toca Boca we use JazzHR as our ATS. Within Jazz, you can customize your workflows and assign e-mails and/or tasks to each step. I set up the workflow so that as soon as an applicant is moved to the “Phone screen” stage an e-mail will automatically go out to them asking them to pick a time for the phone screen. Once they have picked a suitable time, this then magically appears in my calendar. Awesome!
But that’s not the best part. The best is that anyone, who has been given access to the system and the particular recruitment, can move the candidate to that stage and the e-mails goes out with me as sender, no matter who moves the candidate. This means that the hiring manager, or someone else from the team involved in the process, can easily screen candidates in the ATS and let me know which ones are interesting, without having to email, slack or come talk to me. This really does speed up the process.
Now, this all sounds great, doesn’t it?
But it wasn’t completely pain-free. One day I got to work, had a look at my calendar and my afternoon was pretty much empty, which sounded great to me as I had some stuff I needed to do. Then all of a sudden a phone screen booking appeared, and then another one, and another one. Before I knew it, my afternoon was pretty much full!
What had happened was that I had set my calendly up so that anyone could book a session after just 4 hours, enabling them to do same day bookings. I had lost control over my day :/ And a few days later, I discovered I had also forgotten to prevent anyone from booking me during lunchtime (can be set up in Calendly). One day without lunch = lesson learned.
After the “losing my afternoon”-issue I have now set my calendly up so that you can’t book a session with me for 12 hours. This means that when I open my calendar up in the morning it won’t change unless I change it. I have also blocked off an hour for lunch each day.
So when I decided to set up something similar for scheduling calls with references, I knew how to set it up 🙂
What I haven’t yet looked into that much is what Calendly integrations there are in Zapier, or what other apps I might find useful. It can literally connect 1500+ apps with each other, so I have not finished exploring. I know there are some Github connections that I haven’t had a play with yet. And you probably know how much I like sourcing on Github.
My next post, part 3, will focus on optimization and my plans for the future.
My name is Sofia Broberger and I’m a freelance sourcing and recruitment consultant focusing on IT/Tech recruitment.
I have a background in teaching and really enjoy combining my experience as a teacher with my love for sourcing. I’m available to give tailor-made workshops and lectures/talks on sourcing, tech recruitment and employer branding.