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The Speed to Hire Show - Optimize High-Volume Hiring with a Structured Interview Process

The Speed to Hire Show – Optimize High-Volume Hiring with a Structured Interview Process



Episode 6 – Erica Mendelson, University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame, founded in 1842 and officially charted by the state of Indiana in 1844, has grown exponentially over the last 150+ years. Recruiting and hiring strategies on campus have evolved along with the needs of the university. New technology and hiring practices help to assist the talent acquisition team keep up with the demands of high-volume hiring year-round.

With hundreds of open requisitions to fill and tens of thousands of applicants to screen, talent acquisition specialists at the University of Notre Dame rely on a carefully structured hiring process to keep the process fair, fast, and effective. 

This episode of The Speed to Hire Show features Erica Mendelson, Talent Acquisition Specialist at the University of Notre Dame.

Key Takeaways

  • [12:42] Empower candidates to tell their story – implementing video interviews helps candidates show their fit and skills, speeding up the hiring process by revealing high-quality candidates faster
  • [15:25] Improve time management while screening more candidates – adopt early screening practices that allow you to widen the talent pool to avoid missing out on top talent
  • [16:25] One-way video interviews reveal top candidates you may have passed over – implementing a convenient way to learn more about more candidates quickly and easily ensures top talent isn’t overlooked due to time constraints
  • [18:06] Streamline collaboration to make more confident offers – collect feedback from hiring decision-makers from step one to make better-informed decisions faster
  • [26:04] Boost employer branding content – help candidates connect with your brand by using social media channels to show off your culture and open roles

Video Transcript

JOSH TOLAN: So first of all, Josh, just tell me a little bit about yourself and Nuss Truck. 

[MUSIC PLAYING] – All right, Erica, so tell me a little bit about yourself and your role at Notre Dame. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah. So my name is Erica Mendelson. I am a talent acquisition associate at the University of Notre Dame. We currently have one sourcing specialist, who kind of just focuses on finding people for us or helping us with those really tough roles that are very niche to the university. We also have seven other recruiters, and we’re currently hiring an eighth. So we have a pretty big team. 

But just in the last year, the university had 22,000 applications. We filled about 750 roles, and out of those, we used Spark Hire 123 times, saving us hours and hours of being on the phone and helping us kind of streamline our process a little more. 

JOSH TOLAN: Sure, sure. That’s great to hear. So seven or eight recruiters. How many hiring managers would you say you’re supporting with that team? 

ERICA MENDELSON: The team or me personally? 

JOSH TOLAN:  I guess both. Yeah, maybe you personally first. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Me, personally, I’m probably, at one time, helping about 30 to 40 hiring managers with multiple different roles. 


ERICA MENDELSON: Typically, I have about 40 jobs open or active at a time, whether that be posted, and we’re actively sourcing for candidates. Or it’s closed, and we are talking to candidates and getting through the process of interviewing. 

JOSH TOLAN: Got it. That’s a lot to handle for one person. 40 different roles, just as many hiring managers. A lot of applicants. That’s a lot going on. Tell me about, generally, what types of roles that you’re recruiting for. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah, absolutely. So our team has different groups across campus. We do have two people who are more centralized. One person is with our development office or university relations, and they are a massive team of a few people. So she focuses fully on them. And then Michael, he has all of IT. So they are very, as most people would know, specialized and niche. You really need to know that group. 

Everyone else on the team has many different groups across campus. My largest group would be administrative assistants across campus. That group is, I’m guessing, about 300 different roles across campus under that umbrella, and then I have groups such as the Snite Museum or School of Architecture or the provost’s office. Those roles, while all at the university, vary so widely in what they need. 

So that makes my job a lot of fun, that I get to learn a lot about a lot, essentially. 

JOSH TOLAN: Totally. And how do you manage all that? What’s the process for learning about all those different roles, because they do vary so much? 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah, so we typically try to do intake meetings with our hiring managers. So once we get a job pushed through to us, I try to get about 15 to 20 minutes with the hiring manager just kind of asking, give me your purple squirrel. Who would make the best candidate for this role? Tell me a little bit about what you hope to add to this role from the previous incumbent. Or maybe if it’s a new role, where do you see this growing? Is there room to grow? 

And they kind of just give me everything, all their red and green flags. This is definitely what we don’t want. This is what we do want. And, fortunately, we do have websites for every group across campus. I try to spend a little bit of time on those just kind of learning what they’re passionate about, what really motivates their department, and what they do, which is very helpful. 

JOSH TOLAN: So when you say websites, you mean the sites that anybody could come to on the internet to learn more about that department? 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah. So if you just go to the University of Notre Dame backslash and enter one of the groups, they all have a website dedicated to each department, which is really helpful not only for us but for candidates who want to know a little bit more. 

JOSH TOLAN: Sure, sure. And, yeah, when you’re covering that wide range, you have to know what the department does, what current things they’re working on, maybe some things related to their values versus a different department, what’s important to them. So certainly a lot to manage. And in those intake meetings with hiring managers, are you also coming up with any type of interview quit or the questions that you want to ask, or is that kind of part of the red flag-green flag discussion? 

ERICA MENDELSON: So we typically talk about that once the job’s closed, and we kind of look at what our candidate pool looks like, and then that we say, if somebody is moving from Texas, we want to make sure that they know that this is not a remote job. Or we need them on campus or whatever it may be. And that’s how we build our question sheet of what to ask the candidates based on what our pool looks like. Of course, also to meet those minimum qualifications that we’re really looking for. 

JOSH TOLAN: And I know before Notre Dame, you were also at another higher ed institution, so it seems like recruiting for universities is kind of your jam. So tell me about some of the unique challenges that come with recruiting at a college or university. 

ERICA MENDELSON: I would just say the overall environment of a university and how things are done is just so different from, I even hate to say, the outside world or the corporate world. 

JOSH TOLAN: Sure. Yeah. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Things on a campus or a university like Notre Dame are done with such intention and have such thought behind them that we want to make sure everything that is being done is just as intentional for the next step. I also think that maybe it’s helpful, and this is my personal opinion. I’ve never worked outside of a university setting. The work-life balance is so much better, and that’s not a con, which was what you kind of asked for, what are the challenges? 

But I just think– 

JOSH TOLAN: Well, I think you make a good point. At a university, one, there are a lot of processes. Right? And you need to adhere to those processes. And there are lots of stakeholders, so you need to have a really structured process in order to keep everybody in the loop. And I think, too, the thing with a university, especially one like Notre Dame, is there’s a brand to uphold as well, not that there isn’t one at a corporation as well. But your typical university probably has a much more well-known brand than your everyday company that the majority of people have never heard of. 

So I think in that, that creates challenges in that you have to stick to a lot of structure, a lot of processes. You’ve got to make sure that the way you run your hiring process not only isn’t hurtful to the brand but actually lifts up the brand and makes it in line with all the other things that the university is doing to uphold its brand. So I think there’s a lot there. 

Tell me, at Notre Dame, what does the hiring process generally look like, at least for the roles you’re recruiting for? 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah, absolutely. So across the board, and this might be different than what you would see in a corporate setting, we wait until the job closes before we even reach out to any candidate. So if we post the job and it’s open and active for applicants to apply for two to three weeks, we don’t touch or talk to any of the applicants. 

So let’s say you apply on the first day. You wait two to three weeks before you even hear anything, which in some cases can be a little bit frustrating, and we totally understand that. But in other cases, we want to make sure that we have everybody before moving forward. Keeping everything very consistent is key for us. We want to make sure that we have everything streamlined and consistent for every candidate. 

From there, we talk with the committee. I will usually give a few names or a few resumes and say, hey, these are my yeses. Here are a few maybes. You let me know, though, who you think, because your office, you know your environment, who you feel will be a really good fit. From there, we do Spark Hire. 

So I tell them, throw in everybody. It’s three to five minutes of listening to them, truly articulate why they want this job, why they think they would be a good fit, and why this career change. I send those to the entire committee, and I do tell them, don’t watch it the first time, just listen, to kind of erase those biases. And then the second time, take a few names out of that, what you heard and you love, take those names and then watch them to see if you can really see the passion in them, if they gave care, if they gave effort. 

And then from there, we invite them onto campus for another interview. And then hopefully from there, we make an offer and we have somebody great joining a team of other great people. 

JOSH TOLAN: Nice, nice. And with these hiring managers, it could vary wildly, but generally, what roles are they in? Are they department heads? Who’s involved in the hiring process from that side? 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah. So the committee and the managers really can vary across the board. Some groups are so large. Like our arts and letters department, they have two women who are consistently the first person that talks to the candidates. They’re always on the committee. They always know what’s kind of being handled within the department. 

It really just varies of, who’s going to be touching this position the most? Who’s going to be partnering with this person a lot? Who was maybe previously in this role? Who knows the person that was in this role? Who did a really good job? Can we add them into the committee? 

So I would say, a majority of the time, it is a manager of this person, but the committee is so varied. And it can be from people all across the university. 

JOSH TOLAN: Got it. And then as far as back to what you were saying about the hiring process, there could be a two-week delay, let’s call it, between somebody applying and actually you guys like kicking off the screening and interviewing process. Just to clarify, that’s for consistency purposes, right? You want to give everybody the same start date, essentially, in going through the hiring process – or is there another reason? 

ERICA MENDELSON: Well, there’s that, and then we’re balancing 40 to 60 jobs at a time. Two of my co-workers, they typically have more than I do. And if we’re reaching out to many people sporadically for all these different roles, sometimes things can start getting a little muddy, and we start to lose track of who we’ve talked to, what we’ve talked about. So it’s also for purposes of just pure organization. 

JOSH TOLAN: Got it. So it’s like a buffer, basically, to give yourself time, to make sure that you can dedicate the time that you need for all these different jobs and don’t have too much going on at once. 


JOSH TOLAN: So that seems like it probably presents some pretty big challenges just with regards to the speed of the hiring process. You’ve got a lot that you’re trying to balance, but you also need to make sure that you’re getting the most qualified candidates in front of your hiring managers. And with all that going on, you mentioned you’re using Spark Hire. How has that helped you speed up that process? 

So you kick things off when the job is closed after everybody’s applied. How does that help you now get people through the process a lot quicker? Because it would seem like with a two-week pause kind of in the beginning, you’re a little bit delayed, so now you’ve got to make up some time on the back end of the hiring process to make sure that you stay within a reasonable time frame. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Depending on the number of candidates that we have apply. There are only so many hours in the day, and we like to give each candidate enough time to really tell their story and articulate what they’re trying to convey in a cover letter or resume. So before we had Spark Hire, we were only doing a maximum of 8 to 10 phone interviews per job. So if 40 people applied, we’re only talking to a quarter of candidates. 

Even if there are more candidates who are probably great for this role or have all the qualifications we need, just pure time constraints kept us from speaking with them or being able to talk to them. Spark Hire has been so great in not only saving time but also helping us– if I talk to eight different people in a week– and I’m human. You talk to me at 8:00 AM versus 5:00 PM, and after a full day of work, you’re probably going to have a whole different conversation than if– so Spark Hire also keeps it consistent in– they’re able to watch and listen to what the candidate says rather than me trying to relay that message. 

So on top of saving hours of time on the phone and being able to include more high-quality candidates, we’re also keeping it consistent for the candidates and the hiring managers what story we’re telling on our side. 

JOSH TOLAN: Interesting. Yeah. So you’re not only standardizing it, because all the candidates are answering the same questions, but you’re standardizing the candidate’s experience because, to your point, fresh in the morning, after your first cup of coffee if you’re a coffee drinker, you’re probably in a completely different mindset than after– OK, I’ve had a crazy day of meetings. A lot of stuff going on. It’s 5:00 PM. I’m ready to go home at this point. The candidate is probably getting a different version of the recruiter just based on that, so it’s standardizing the candidate experience there. 

And then I like what you said about — I find this often– whether it’s a university or whether it’s a company, really, any organization, that when you’re faced with a group of applicants that are all, on paper, seemingly qualified or a lot of them are qualified, you have these time constraints of, OK, well, I need to make a hire by X date, and in order for me to do that, I really only have time to advance X number of people into the hiring process. Otherwise, it’ll take me weeks to get through all of them, and then we’re going to be delayed. And we won’t get a person in time, or we’ll lose candidates to offers from other employers. 

So it’s interesting that you’re able to, essentially, widen the pool, so it gives you more swings at the plate. Instead of 8 to 10 people that are qualified going through your process, you’ve got 30 or 40 folks that now you’re advancing through the process. So, again, more swings at the plate, a wider talent pool. Do you ever find that you’re discovering maybe there’s somebody that you advanced in the process that previously you might have been on the fence about? 

I’ve got a lot of phone interviews going on. I don’t have enough time. This person is kind of in the gray area if I move them forward. And now you’re moving them forward, and you’re discovering, wow, that person actually is more qualified than I initially thought, because they’ve now had a chance to add context to their resume. 

ERICA MENDELSON: I was just going to add, there have been two different occasions when, if we had been doing phone interviews, there’s no way they would have gotten a phone call because of time constraint like I added. But when we were pitching Spark Hire, I would just go, it’s one more person. It’s five minutes of listening to them. Let’s just go ahead and throw them in. 

And they ended up becoming top-two candidates on multiple occasions. So we have found that this is really saved us time in finding quality candidates, too, because we accidentally skip over them. Some people just aren’t writers or don’t know how to create a really solid resume or cover letter. And sometimes they accidentally just get jumped over. This really has made such a difference in who we’ve talked to and how many people we’ve gotten to talk to. 

And then and then, vice versa, we think a candidate is very strong on paper. And they do the Spark Hire, and they tell us nothing. And we are really shown, maybe this isn’t as strong as we thought, and we move forward with other candidates who end up being a really great fit. So, yeah, I think this has solidified a lot of decision-making for us. Definitely. 

JOSH TOLAN: That’s great. And are there any other tactics that you guys are using in the hiring process, specifically on the back half, that is helping you speed up the process? Like maybe it’s your communication with candidates. Just curious how you’re keeping things moving along once you start advancing people to the Spark Hire interview and to the later stage interview. 

ERICA MENDELSON: So are you talking just post-Spark Hire? 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah, post-Spark Hire. Really, kind of once you close the job, and now you’ve got your list of people that you’re going to move forward with. How do you make sure that you’re keeping momentum? Because you’ve got the two-week pause in the beginning, so now it’s like, OK, when it’s go time, we’ve got to get people through this process. So just tell me a little bit about maybe your touchpoints or how you’re making that happen. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah. So fortunately, by this point, the committee is so eager to hire somebody that they’re also very on top of it, which is nice. Because by the time the job description gets pushed through, then we’ve had it posted for a few weeks. They now have an empty seat for a month to six weeks. So once they have the Spark Hire, they go in, they rate, they comment, and we all meet, and we talk about our top few candidates. And almost immediately, within a few days, we go ahead and shoot out emails letting people know that they did not move forward or that we are inviting them to an in-person interview, and we have those scheduled fairly quickly, within a week or two. 

From there, again, after we have met with everybody, we have another committee meeting, just kind of talking about what we heard, how we felt that everyone did, and what they said, and then we make a final decision and make an offer. So, fortunately, the back end is much quicker than the front end of decision-making. 

JOSH TOLAN: Got it. So you’ve got eager hiring managers that need somebody in the seat, so they’re ready to roll as soon as you press the go button on the back half of the interview process. When you guys have those meetings to review candidates, are those predetermined? Like, OK, we have to meet within X days of these Spark Hire interviews being completed. We have to meet within Y days of the final interviews being completed. How is that structured out to make sure that it’s not like, oh, a week passes here or there, and now our candidate pool is dwindling because people are finding jobs elsewhere? 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah, and I don’t want to say that never happens. Because there have definitely been times where I’m poking the committee, hey, people are dropping like flies. They’re finding other roles. And sometimes that happens, right? 

We’re working with people who are working also with research and going across the globe to fight poverty and hunger. Maybe that’s a challenge we can add to what’s it like working with the university. These people, they’re so intelligent, and they’re so driven. They’re doing so many great things internationally that sometimes I do have to send an email to the candidates and say, hi, your hiring manager’s in Germany, and he’s going to be there for a week. So we will touch base after he gets back. 

That does happen on occasion. But typically, I’ll just talk with the committee and say, we want a positive experience for these candidates. Can we please reach out to them by the end of next week? And I will let the candidates know somebody will be in touch with you by the end of next week. 

After Spark Hire and we have kind of made our list a bit shorter, I try to touch with the candidates once a week just to make sure, we’re still considering you. Committee’s still meeting. Your hiring manager’s in Germany, whatever it may be. Just so they know. We don’t have a set day of — OK, they just finish their Spark Hire. Now you need to make a decision in three days. Like I said, because the committee sometimes is just working on so many different things, it would be almost impossible. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yep. And so it sounds like you’re in great communication with your candidates and giving them status updates, which helps keep them engaged in your process and hopeful. Like, OK, I’m going to hear back soon. I’m going to hear back soon. So that’s great. Have you guys incorporated anything– I saw that you guys have a great Instagram about working at Notre Dame. There are a lot of pictures and quotes and stuff up there. 

Do you guys weave any of that content in your communications with candidates? 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah. So I actually run our Instagram account. 

JOSH TOLAN: Oh, you do? OK, nice work. 

ERICA MENDELSON: I’ve said that a few of my other coworkers have a few more jobs on campus. That’s why my job load is a little bit less, is because I am also leading in Facebook and Instagram right now. And, yes, we try to tie those in. Hey, we’re so sorry you did not get this role. Here are some great places to check back. Typically, Instagram is at the bottom of all of our emails. 

I’m trying to use that platform mostly just to convey what a positive environment we have here on campus– our benefits, things that people just really wouldn’t think about. I say all the time, when you think of the University of Notre Dame, you think of, what, highly intelligent people, a really great school. 

ALEXA: Erica, here is your reminder. 

ERICA MENDELSON: I’m so sorry. 

JOSH TOLAN: No, you’re good. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Alexa is reminding me to– 

JOSH TOLAN: No sweat. That happens to me all the time. 

ERICA MENDELSON: –water my plans. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah, yeah. No worries. That happens to me all the time. I feel like my watch starts talking to me. I say the wrong thing, and my watch thinks I’m talking to Siri or something. And it starts talking out loud on calls. Happens all the time. It’s just the world we live in now. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah. I constantly need tech to remind me how to do things differently, like watering the plants. I apologize. I don’t remember where I was. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. No worries. One of the things that we found to be helpful here and I’ve seen other organizations have a lot of success with, especially if there’s like gaps in between steps in the process and you’ve got to keep candidates bought in, of course, giving them a status update is going to be helpful. But the more that you can weave some of the content that you’re creating on Instagram and Facebook and then into that communications helps get them even more bought in, especially if you can make it specific to maybe the function that they’re applying into or the department that they’re applying into or if you can include videos from employees that already work in those departments. 

It’s like, hey, your hiring manager’s in Germany, so it’s going to take a little bit a couple few more days for them to get back. But we will get you a status update. In the meantime, we thought it’d be helpful to share this video of somebody else in the department talking about what it’s like to work at Notre Dame. Boom. You send the link to Instagram, and then they’re scrolling through the rest of your content. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Absolutely. And out of the last two years, 566 of our applications referred back to Facebook or Instagram as their referral point, and 91 of those people were hired. So it just goes to show that it’s just what today is. People just want quick information. They want it at their fingertips. 

And, like I was saying, when you think of Notre Dame, you think of athletics. You think of a really great school, with highly intelligent people. Sometimes people just forget, I could work there. I can also be impactful, and really make an impact on not the university, but the world in what we do here. So that’s kind of what I was trying to highlight on Instagram and in a fun way. So hopefully that comes across. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. No, that’s amazing that you guys have attributed that many applicants and hires to those sources, and I think it tells you that there’s a lot of value in posting that type of content and in places where your candidates already are. Of course, they can come to the Notre Dame’s careers page and browse the website and probably go down a rabbit hole of content, but ultimately, if you’re able to deliver that bite-sized content in the places they already are, perhaps they give you a follow because they see something pop up. 

And then a few weeks later, you guys pop up again, and that’s when they happen to be looking for a job. And they’re like, hey, to your point, I can work at Notre Dame. I can make an impact there. I’ve seen a few things on their Instagram over time. Here we go. And so I think that’s really amazing that you guys are heavily invested in those channels. 

Outside of Instagram and Facebook, is there anything else you guys are doing along the employer branding side to get content like that in front of candidates or are those the main two platforms? 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah. So I try to post as much as I can on LinkedIn. The University of Notre Dame has its own LinkedIn page where you can find every job that we have ever posted there. But same thing. I like to take large graphics, and fun graphics with big wording. I’ll send it to all of our recruiters so they can post it on their personal LinkedIns. 

We also post on a ton of job sites. But one of my favorite ones is called IrishCompass. It’s for Notre Dame alum, any Notre Dame alum. People who’ve graduated 30 years ago to people who graduated just this past December, they’re added to this community. And we post our jobs that have a bachelor’s degree minimum because all of the people that are alumni have a bachelor’s degree or something more. 

And it’s almost like LinkedIn, where if they’re interested in coming back and working for their alma mater, or they just never thought about working at the university, can be notified, hey, you just graduated with your accounting degree. We have an accounting position that’s for new beginners or whatever. Newcomers. Why don’t you apply? 

And I feel like that is a really unique tool that Notre Dame has that we can utilize, especially looping around back to our alumni and kind of helping them feel more tied into the university in a different way. 

JOSH TOLAN: 100%. Yeah. I didn’t even think about that. That’s huge that you have that. It’s like a talent pool just sitting there where people that have a certain degree and they’re coming from Notre Dame, that’s something that I think is very unique to university, that companies don’t have an alumni network of people that study there that they could just tap into and constantly market open roles to. So I think that’s awesome. 

So you guys are posting similar stuff that you’re doing on LinkedIn and Facebook, but it’s just more targeted since you, essentially, know who all these folks are. 


JOSH TOLAN: That’s great. That’s great. So tell me a little bit about, what are the goals for you guys this year. What are some of the things that you guys are trying to improve upon? 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah, absolutely. So we’re constantly trying to better our process. Like I said, the front end can be a little bit slow, so we’re working on that. We just got a new VP, Heather Christophersen. She’s unbelievable. She has these big dreams for human resources as a whole, not just the talent team, that I think is going to be very innovative in not just the university setting, but talent and HR across the market. 

One thing we really want to look into is being more creative in how we’re touching candidates globally. So Indiana, people in Indiana, people who live in South Bend, they know Notre Dame. They grew up going to Notre Dame games. They grew up visiting the campus, and they want to work here. 

Like I said before, we’re trying to touch those people who maybe never even heard of Notre Dame but have the talent, and the drive and the skill and the ambition that we want here on campus. I think that’s going to be one of our big goals. And then just filling more positions. We’re seeing a growth of admin assistants on campus. 

There is no longer just the typical secretary that you think of. They are really driven people who are maybe running these really crazy events for VP and provosts and deans, or they’re also helping with research. So they’re not just admins, they’re people who are helping organize mass events for campus that we invite really notable people to. 

So I think also growing in those aspects and making sure that people know you’re not stuck in this bubble. We’re a super creative group. We’re a super creative university. We want you to grow professionally, and I think that that’s a story that we really are going to try to tell within the next year, just heavy communication. 

JOSH TOLAN: That’s great. And then just tell me a little bit about what technologies you’re using. We’ve talked about Spark Hire, but are you guys using an applicant tracking system as well? 

ERICA MENDELSON: So our ATS right now is PeopleAdmin. We also use SkillSurvey to help streamline our reference tool. Are you familiar with SkillSurvey at all? 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah, yeah, for sure. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Yeah. So it’s just an anonymous survey to references for candidates, and we feel we get really, really great feedback from those. They’re easy to read, and we can share those with committees quickly. So the time on those takes about 2 and 1/2 days, whereas calling references takes a week to get in touch with them and then have time to have those conversations. 

PeopleAdmin helps us kind of organize our jobs. Our managers seem to like it, and it’s easy for them to get into. So we allow hiring managers to help create the job posting. We want them to really use their words in selling this. We do give them a template just to kind of zhuzh it up because we get a lot of feedback, and we learn so much just in the job description. We felt like we didn’t even need to look anything up, which is what our goal is. 

We want, like I said, communication. We want them to know what they’re getting into. I’m trying to think. Those are our main tools. We also use HireEZ for sourcing. Like I said, we have a sourcing specialist. If we have a really tough role that we’re just not filling, or we’re not getting the candidates we thought, she’s a rock star at finding those purple squirrels and just having the conversations of coming to Notre Dame, which is great. 

JOSH TOLAN: Nice. So if I had to sum it up, first of all, I think you guys are doing a great job, but it sounds like like we just talked about, you’ve got nice tools and technology in place to really streamline the process, from sourcing to interviewing to reference checks, which helps speed things up along the way. Because it sounds like you’re able to do between Spark Hire and the reference checks, a lot of things, asynchronously, which helps cut days, if not weeks, from the process for you guys. 

You guys, we talked about in the beginning, have a strong hiring manager intake, so you know all about the role, all about the department, so when you’re speaking with candidates or putting out marketing communications about the roles, everything that you’re trying to sell– and then you guys have a strong hiring manager feedback loop, which is really important as well. So as you get through those stages, you’re making sure that hiring managers are getting back to you quickly. You’re staying in touch with your candidates throughout that process, and that speeds things up. 

And then I think the really awesome thing that, it sounds like, you guys are doing an amazing job of is just the content that you’re putting out. It does not only broaden your reach to pull people in and, to your point, maybe educate some folks that Notre Dame even exists, and there are opportunities here, or to alumni that, hey, why have I never thought about going back to the school I went to work? So I think that’s really good from a reach standpoint and from a marketing standpoint, to pull people into your funnel. 

But I think oftentimes the benefit that people overlook when thinking about content, employer branding content, is that it actually does improve the speed of your hiring process because it continually gets people to opt-in and nod their head yes and continually engage in your hiring process as they see more and more content throughout your communications or on those channels that align with their values or what they want to do or work-life balance. And so that helps them be more motivated as they’re going through your process and just approach the process with more excitement. 

So it sounds like you guys are doing some awesome stuff. I’m really impressed. It’s obviously been great working with you guys as well, and we definitely appreciate that support. And I appreciate you coming on. Is there anything else you’d like to add, or did I miss anything on the summary? I feel like we covered a lot about your hiring process and all the awesome things you guys are doing. 

ERICA MENDELSON: Well, first, I want to say thank you. I really appreciate you saying all those kind words about us and our team. Thank you. We work really hard on everything we do very intentionally. But, no, we love Spark Hire. We thank you and your team for always being there if we have any questions, so I appreciate you inviting me to do this. 

JOSH TOLAN: Of course. Thanks so much. 

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.