Episode 18 – Megan Flanagan, Coro
As a leading provider of modular cybersecurity, Coro places a paramount focus on reliable solutions, recognizing the critical importance of safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring safe information sharing. With a commitment to excellence in security, Coro employs state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures, from robust encryption protocols to comprehensive threat detection systems.
By proactively addressing potential vulnerabilities and staying at the forefront of security best practices, Coro ensures that its workforce management and hiring solutions not only empower businesses but also offer a secure environment for the management of sensitive information.
Coro leverages advanced technologies and intuitive interfaces to enable businesses to create agile and responsive cybersecurity strategies. Coro takes a similar approach to the hiring process, maximizing its use of innovative hiring technologies to create a seamless experience for hiring managers and candidates. Leaning into the efficiency of an effective and easy-to-use applicant tracking system, the talent acquisition team at Coro has been able to scale its hiring process.
This episode of The Speed to Hire Show features Megan Flanagan, Chief People Officer at Coro:
- [4:23] Adapt hiring tech and processes to ensure a seamless experience as you scale – adopting new hiring technology and processes is essential to ensuring a seamless experience as you scale, allowing your organization to efficiently handle increased volumes of applicants, streamline communication between hiring teams, and leverage data-driven insights for making informed hiring decisions.
- [6:23] Prioritize a seamless candidate experience with a “buttoned-up” screening process – facilitating a seamless candidate experience involves meticulously structured assessments, clear communication, and respectful interactions, ensuring candidates feel valued and respected throughout the hiring journey, ultimately enhancing your employer brand and attracting top talent.
- [9:05] Utilize innovative technology to clarify job roles and optimize candidate alignment – you can optimize candidate fit and satisfaction by employing advanced job profiling tools and candidate assessments, ensuring precise job descriptions, aligning candidates’ skills and aspirations with organizational needs, and fostering a mutually beneficial employer-employee relationship.
- [12:38] Make role clarity and alignment a focus of the full recruitment process – incorporate detailed job descriptions, conduct in-depth interviews to assess candidates’ skills and cultural fit, and provide comprehensive information about the company’s values and expectations, to ensure candidates fully understand the roles and are well-aligned with the organization’s objectives from the very beginning of the hiring journey.
- [15:16] Use data and collaboration to refine recruitment and build trust – by analyzing recruitment metrics, identifying patterns, and collaborating closely with hiring teams and candidates, you can enable data-driven decision-making, streamline communication, and foster transparency and trust between all stakeholders involved in the hiring process.
- [16:32] An exclusive look at Coro’s hiring process – here’s a look at how Coro scales the hiring process for growth while ensuring all job roles and expectations are accurate and clear from before jobs are posted through offer acceptance.
JOSH TOLAN: Well, Megan, thanks so much for joining me. Would love if you could tell everybody a little bit about yourself. Yeah. Absolutely.
MEGAN FLANAGAN: So my name is Megan Flanagan, and I currently am the chief people officer at a SaaS-based cybersecurity company by the name of Coro. I’ve grown up in the technology industry. So I started my career very early on in large-scale market research data companies, like the Nielsen company and IRI, and then I went to work for a company out of the Silicon Valley and AdTech called Rocket Fuel and really started learning how to be a progressive HR partner.
And from there, I’ve worked with a lot of different startups globally and, have really found a niche of coming in and helping organizations frame not only their people framework but also utilize data and technology for how we craft our employee experience and really partner with the business on that.
And at the end of the day, I grew up as a recruiter, so I’m always a recruiter at heart and really involved in recruitment. Awesome. And tell me a little bit about Coro. Yeah.
So Coro is actually a cybersecurity company, and we were founded by Israeli founders. And what we do is we specialize in cybersecurity for the mid-market and in the small business owners. So We’re really finding our niche. We’ll see a lot of people in the education industry or people in manufacturing construction or people that own franchises that aren’t the big players, and they don’t have an IT department.
They don’t have someone to help, you know, catch any any threat of their their business. And so our platform gives them all in one modular solution that allows them to protect their business.
JOSH TOLAN: Very cool. And how big is the company now?
MEGAN FLANAGAN: Yeah. So we’re about three hundred employees. We have the corporate offices.
Our main corporate offices are located in Tel Aviv, Israel. That is actually where all of our research and development takes place. And then we also have another corporate headquarters in Chicago. Where it is the headquarters for our sales and our BDR function. And then we also have engineering offices in the Ukraine and London. And we have a marketing office in New York, and we have various employees who work a hundred percent remotely throughout the world.
JOSH TOLAN: So it’s safe to say you guys are pretty much everywhere.
MEGAN FLANAGAN: Yeah. We are. We really are. We are everywhere. We’re on several continents for sure.
JOSH TOLAN: That’s very cool. And when did you join the company?
MEGAN FLANAGAN: So I joined the company almost two years ago. So I came in when we were still a little under a hundred people.
But we had the beginning of an amazing sales team in Chicago, but we knew that we were going to, you know, hire at least a hundred people and build a Chicago office and really came in to help us not only build cargo but put a global perspective on the people organization and also build a people team.
And what was ultimately for the business you know, in talking with the executives. What was the catalyst for deciding, hey, we’re gonna spin up a Chicago office. We need to bring in ahead of people. You know, what really sparked that for that?
Yeah. I think the head of people position, it just is a bonus that it was located in Chicago. It was really in need not just from sales, but from a global perspective to have a person that could come in and scale an organization.
If you haven’t been in the shoes of going from one hundred to two hundred and two hundred to five hundred and five hundred to a thousand, it’s very different growth plan, and you have to have the ability to come in at a startup level and see what we have and actually really build for the future. I think our use of technology with Camille is a great example. It was one of those things that we really wanted to get in place in ATS one that would evolve with us and grow with us. What would you say is different?
JOSH TOLAN: You mentioned going from a hundred people to two hundred people, two hundred to five hundred. What were you what would you say are some of the big differences that you see at those different phases of growth?
MEGAN FLANAGAN: At the phases of growth, you have to be able to become more automated. And when we’re a hundred people, I just keep thinking of viewing, you know, you can write interview notes.
I think of, like, my engineering teams around the world. It was really easy for them just to have somebody come in, have three people meet with them, for them to meet in a conference room, decide who they wanna hire, and not utilize any technology. And that works when you’re hiring, like, three or four people a quarter. But when you’re doubling team size, tripling team size, you really have to utilize the technology, and also you to think of the not now, but the where are we gonna be next year.
And that’s a very different perspective.
Because usually, even if you work in a thousand-person company, you’re coming in and you’re doing that day-to-day work. Right? Like, it’s the company’s established. You have your processes, maybe you’re improving them or adding new things or tweaking or launching new products.
But you’re basically, you know, at that company, when you’re a hight grossing company that’s making such significant change, you really always have to be thinking of what’s next and constantly be working a step ahead. And that is one thing I’ve really learned too. I love it. I embrace it, but it’s really important to keep that in mind because you can’t just go with the status quo because you’ll be just left behind.
JOSH TOLAN: And I imagine, you know, as the company grows, you know, you’re bringing a lot more hiring managers into the process. There’s constantly interviews, going on, and you’re at different stages of every single hiring across all these jobs with all these different people involved. So it probably becomes, you know, a pretty big lift to manage that and keep it all coordinated while ensuring that hiring process is running smoothly. So you get somebody fast, but also so the candidate has a positive experience as well.
MEGAN FLANAGAN: Yeah. Yeah. And I think having a great ATS is really important to the candidate experience and, you know, there there is the buzzword of, like, candidate experience. And I feel like it’s changed even now.
Like, the market’s very different. And if you’re a great developer or a great salesperson, you know, you have several options of places to go. And so we really have to from that first time you click apply to the time that, you know, you start your first day, it’s really important to have that experience and to have it be seamless and to have it be buttoned up, I think back, you know, to decade or ago where it was all about we brought the candidates in. And we were recruiters and we would bring them in for the interview days and shuffle them around, and we’d have beautiful presentations and folders.
And now it’s taking that experience and bundling that into technology. Like, was my interview easy to schedule, did I have good communication?
So we have a very defined process where we let the hiring managers choose a few different people to be in their interview team, but we have a people person interview every candidate that we hire at Coro. And when I meet with candidates, the one thing that I really wanna tell them is thank you. By the time they’ve made it to the people interview, they’ve invested in five hours at least. They’ve gone through three interviews or so.
They’ve researched the company and I share it’s really important for them to interview us as much as we’re interviewing them and to thank them for the time that they invested. And at times, employers sometimes forget that. That we are competing with other people and It shows a lot about your culture and what it’s gonna be like to work there. Your recruitment process should really mirror that.
JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. And I think you bring up a really interesting point, especially in today’s market and with a lot of companies going remote or hybrid, like you mentioned, before you bring candidates into the office, there was a lot of, a lot of the candidate experience was around, like, wowing them with the things you’re able to offer and the office culture and, you know, walking them through a beautiful workspace and things like that. All, you know, employers thought at least, and I’m sure candidates did as well that factored into ultimately the decision. But now with a lot of companies and more of a remote environment, that’s not really the priority from a candidate experience standpoint.
Really what you can do to demonstrate how your organization stands out versus other employers is run a really sound process, right, and impress the candidate from the standpoint where it’s like, wow. You know, I think he used the phrase buttoned up. You know, that company really has it together. It seems like they’re very in sync in order for them to be so in sync.
That means they must have good collaboration internally and strong leadership. They’ve been communicative with me. They’re appreciative of my time.
In all of those things, it sounds like what you’re saying or what really makes a company stand out today, whereas you know, in the past, like, I remember this as well when we’d interview people at Sparka, we bring them to our office. It’s like, oh, like, here’s the kitchen, and there’s beer and the LaCroix in the fridge, and like, you know, there are all these people high-fiving on the sales floor and it’s like you don’t have those same opportunities to show outside of the business. So a lot of it now has to show through your process, if that makes sense.
MEGAN FLANAGAN: Totally. And don’t get me wrong, we are able to showcase, like, the fun things, but it is really candidates who are looking for something I wanna say more meaningful. And one thing that we’ve really tried to do is utilize Comeet to really create job descriptions in role clarity. I think that’s really important through the process and where you know, at times, we’ve had a few candidates that have said, you know what? This isn’t for me.
And we’re so appreciative of that because it’s like, okay, great. Like, let’s, let’s have that now. Before you start — and you’ve been here for five or six months and you realize this isn’t what you really wanted to do. I think we’ve seen a lot of that actually with some of our BDR hiring.
You know, people, it’s an entry-level job. We’re super clear about the expectations of the role. Like, you have to make this amount of calls a day. This is what the promotion path looks like, and you’re going to be in this role for a year.
We actually do bring them into the office to shadow and see what it’s like to be on the sales floor. And we’ve had a few people that say, you know what? Thanks so much for bringing me in and like such a great clarity in the interview process because I don’t really wanna do that. And, like, how great?
That’s wonderful. Like, that’s why we have an interview process, and even down to marketing roles, it’s really important that when we hire people, they know what’s expected of them because ultimately I don’t think anybody enters into a job partnership with wanting to do a bad job.
And so people I want people we want people anybody that joins Coro to really know, okay, in the first ninety days, this is what I need to do to be successful. Here it was listed in the job description. This is what I went through in the interview process. These are, you know, my expectations.
And I think that’s really important to the process. And honestly, we wouldn’t be able to do that without the technology.
We’re really able to share job descriptions. We’re able to also store job descriptions. You know, we can easily reopen a job. We’re also able to look at candidates and say maybe not for this role, but a different role.
We actually had somebody in our marketing team that we interviewed for, like, a different type of channel role. And we were like, oh my gosh, she would be excellent here. But it was, you know, two months or so after her first interview, but because we had those notes because we that information.
We were easily able to get in contact with her. We provided her with a great experience.
And, we had a great role for her. Now she’s an employee.
JOSH TOLAN: That’s great. And a lot of that, you know, she probably, you know, was re-engaged with you guys and ended up taking the job because of the experience she had the first time around. And then so even though she didn’t end up getting that initial job, she was still so impressed by the company, that she was motivated to take another role, which, you know, ended up being a better fit anyway.
I’m curious about the role clarity side you mentioned – how are you incorporating that into your process? Like, at what point are you telling candidates, you know, here’s what to expect in your first ninety days, or here’s what you’re measured on when you come on board, you’re a BDR, you’re gonna have to make this many calls. All that type of stuff. Where are you putting that in your process?
MEGAN FLANAGAN: We put it through the whole process. So we spend a lot of time doing what, we call like a hiring workshop in working through the job.
So it’s not just the hiring manager saying, okay, like, let’s reopen the job or I pulled a job description. We have really, you know, we have a focused conversation on what are you looking for? What are the requirements of the role, and it’s not the recruitment kickoff? It is let’s define this role and success in the role.
And then we have the actual recruitment kickoff with this strategy. And so we do really interview to that job description. And from the very first phone screen, really sharing with candidates is what you’ll be doing. Are you comfortable with this?
Even with, you know, engineering, it’s really important for people to understand work local. And they’re working with people in the UK. They’re working with people in the US. I mean, our engineers work day and night.
And so when you join that team, in London, it’s important to know, what you’re joining. And so we really try to give a really good description of not only the clarity but the expectations of the role and what our work environment is. It’s kind of like, you know, you don’t wanna move on from that initial screen either if you’re not a fit for compensation. And I’m not talking just, you know, a little here or there, but, like, if it’s really not gonna work out, like, let’s not waste our time I think that’s something that’s important too.
When you think about scaling in your question from one hundred to two hundred or one hundred to five hundred, like, we have to be really smart about our interview process. And we really rely heavily on taking the time to do a really thorough in-depth prescreen with the recruiters, and I know we use Camille to really look at our conversion rates and what it takes to get somebody through the process and build our funnel because, you know, we’re hiring managers. It’s, you know, in sales, they need to be making sales calls and engineering, they’re creating products and they’re super everyone’s super busy.
So we wanna make sure that the time that our managers spend in the process is really worth their while and that it’s our goal as a people team is that they always have a choice. They always have a choice in candidate so that they get a candidate pool where they’re like, oh my gosh, I don’t who I wanna choose.
JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. That’s great. I think there are two things there that you said that really stand out to me. First is when you’re scaling very quickly, you can’t afford to be taking two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, one step back when it comes to the people that you’re bringing on board. And so the interview process, and the hiring process as a whole has to be really thorough, both to ensure that you find a qualified that’s gonna do the job, but also that there’s really good buy-in from the candidate in total transparency about what the expectations are from your side and what they should expect when they join the organization as well.
And that’s how you keep taking those two steps forward versus two steps forward one step back and how you go from a hundred to two hundred, two hundred to five hundred, very quickly. Right? If you’re constantly having to go back because retention’s low because you’re not getting that buy-in earlier on in the hiring process, you’ll never be able to hit the growth numbers and support the businesses of talent acquisition team like you need to. And then the second thing you said, which I think is really important for a lot of teams to keep in mind is that you know, hiring managers are super busy.
They’ve got their regular day-to-day jobs. So busy. You know, that they’ve gotta keep up with On top of working with the talent acquisition team to hire people to come on to their team and join their team and help them do all the things that they need to do. So how, you know, can you give some a glimpse into the way that you work with your hiring managers and help instill the disciplines of your hiring process with them?
MEGAN FLANAGAN: So we are very we try to really have everybody utilize Camille and get the feedback in, and we have a process But it’s also really getting smarter about how we hire. So we have data from, you know, the last twelve to eighteen months.
And we really look at the conversion rates to see what’s working and what types of recruiters work best on what role, what roles we also, as you mentioned, we have to work really fast. So we’ve cross-trained our entire recruitment team. Like, all of us can recruit for another position.
And a lot of times, we actually double-team things. So, like, right now, we’ve kicked off some new engineering roles in the UK, and I’m, you know, we have our US recruiter working on just getting a pipeline and helping screen candidates so that we know that when we get I I don’t wanna, like, necessarily give away your numbers. Sure. But once we talk to fifty engineers, we’re gonna fill this position.
And we know what looking at fifty quality prescreens looks like. And so to wrap this all up though, to get it with, like, how do we use this to work with our managers is we’ve really built trust with them to say, like, not only are we great, like recruiters, we find people, but, like, we’re super data savvy, and we’re really considered of your time. And also, it’s really important to run a process us. And so we talked about, like, how we have the recruitment screen, and we really set the stage for you know, do you meet the qualifications?
Do you understand the role? And then we have a defined interview process that the hiring manager has agreed to on where they’re interviewing for skill set. They’ll have a peer or, you know, they have a defined interview team that goes to interview for further skill, and then the people team does an interview focused on culture fit, and then we wrap up and do a knowledge share. So a lot of times we’ll interview the top three to five candidates.
And then we all come together as a team and do the knowledge share, not only is the knowledge share so valuable for actually hiring that particular candidate But it’s really valuable for us getting smarter because we know now what everyone looks for. And then when we come together as a team and we collaborate, we know what we all want. And again, it’s just making our recruiter smarter.
So I do think that managers really appreciate our partnership and our dedication to actually really running a thorough process and then utilizing data.
To help make their process smarter, and we’re constantly trying to make it better for them.
JOSH TOLAN: Yep. I love that you guys are so data-driven. You know, I think that makes your hiring us, like you said, rather predictable because you know, I need to get, you know, we need to source.
We need to get this many number of applicants or candidates at the top of funnel to yield through the recruitment screen. And then we need and so you know at each step kind of what the benchmarks you need to hit for specific roles, which then allows you to back into a strategy to make sure that you’re hitting those certain parameters and know whether you’re on or off track for that role, which allows you to be very communicative then with, and I also love that you guys, you know, with the knowledge share like you said, you’re learning about how you all are evaluating candidates and what you’re looking for.
And by having that, you know, whether you continue you’re continuing to hire for role or another role in the future with the same hiring team, you’re able to kind of view, you know, some of the interviews through the lens of what you know different people on the team are looking for, and you’re able to bring that. So maybe you come to a knowledge share and it’s like, you say to a colleague, hey, you know, John, I know you really look for this in a candidate for this role. This stuck out to me in the interview about that, and I wanted to share that with you because maybe John didn’t get that in his interview.
But you knew to have your ears open, for those things that he’s interested in, and that’s important to him. So I think it, you know, fosters a lot of trust in that way. Well, I think it just starts to build trust for the new hire in the onboarding process. And so people want to be set up for success.
And when you have your peers as part of the interview team and you’re all set together and you’ve made a collaborative hiring decision and you’re all bought into to a person that you’re hiring. It just begins with that person starting in onboarding, in a positive manner. Cause there’s never anybody that’s like, oh, why’d we hire this person or who hired. We’ve worked at places sometimes where maybe that’s happened or sometimes where that maybe has happened in past, but really nobody ever questions our hires, and we all really feel not only bought in but almost a little bit of ownership for their success because you’re like, well, like, I interviewed that person.
Like, they’re gonna be successful. We all interviewed these people and we feel very, confident in them joining our organization.
MEGAN FLANAGAN: Totally.
JOSH TOLAN: And I think from the candidate’s perspective too, it has to give them a you know, a boost or a sense of confidence in coming into the organization when they know, hey, I went through this process.
I interviewed with different people people team, the hiring manager, peer interview, all these people were involved in the process. And they all gave the thumbs up to hire me, and they were all on the same page. And it was a tightly run process. And so for the candidate, that has to give them a good sense as well.
You know, I think a lot of companies — it’s a recruiter if that sometimes, and a hiring manager interview, and that’s about it. And all they know really is the HR person or the recruiter and the person that’s gonna be their manager, and they weren’t really exposed to other people throughout the company and saw that those other people weren’t involved in the process. So it’s a little shaky when they come on board because, like, I don’t really know anybody. Like, does everybody want me here?
Like, you know, it’s kind of that awkward feeling And so I think when you have that, like, key-based approach, it really gives them more confidence.
MEGAN FLANAGAN: Totally. They start day one and they know familiar faces, and they have an idea too of what’s expected of them. And yeah. So I think it is really important.
I think that has been really part of our success too with if having that ownership in the hiring process, it’s not just one hiring manager, especially as we get more senior into more senior roles or roles that are working cross-functionally, it is important that they meet all their peers and or counterparts and really have that inner department buy-in.
JOSH TOLAN Yep. Yep. And, you know, I know we didn’t really discuss this, I guess, at the top of the episode.
But one question I do have is, you know, your role. Like, obviously, talent acquisition is a function of your role, but I know from your title, it’s probably a bit more broad than that. So maybe just a quick overview of all the areas that you cover as a people leader.
MEGAN FLANAGAN: Yeah. So as a people leader, talent acquisition is only one filter of my role. So I oversee All of our people operations, which we lump together is the operations. So HRRS, our payroll, our legal compliance that that I put in people operations, our health our benefits, and that’s really important when I say benefits not only in the US, but it’s really important that we have a global benefit structure and we have a global benefit strategy. So that’s also under people operations.
And then my next bucket that I oversee is our play experience. And so we do that through HR business partners across the world that support our different functions. We have four people who are dedicated to TA and then six people across the world who are dedicated to the operations and business partnering with the organization.
JOSH TOLAN: Got it. And that’s what I was really curious about is you’ve got TA and you’ve got employee experiences, two big functions under your umbrella.
How do the team members who work in those different areas collaborate? Right? Like, your TA team is all about the experience as part of the hiring process. But there has to be some type of bridge to the true employee experience.
So how are they working together to ensure, like, the candidate and then the employee gets that same you know, smooth experience, positive experience, you know, depending on where they’re at in the life cycle with you guys.
MEGAN FLANAGAN: Yeah. So one of the things that we’ve done is we really integrated talent acquisition with our business partners as well. So at times, it’s been maybe the organizational design of you have talent and then you have HR.
And they really don’t work very well together or really in tandem or it’s like talents out there hiring, taking orders from HR. They’re letting them know they’re filling positions.
And we have like an overall perspective of really looking at talent. And so our recruiters also were with our HR business partners as part of, like, the role definitions in really making sure that we have the right roles. They do a lot as well in the comp sector and in working with comparative and, like, competitive analysis too because we have to make sure we’re paid right in the market. But the market’s always changing, so they run our comp data, they’re getting the data from our from what’s in the market.
And also, they’re out there interviewing people. So they interview a lot in the market and work really closely with their HR business partner for that business unit to make sure that we have the right roles to find that we’re finding the right things in the marketplace in really that that is a big bridge there. We’re in on the people team, we love a little project. So every quarter, we have three to four really big people projects that we work on.
And we have different leaders for each of those projects, and then we intertwine the teams. So it’s not just like recruiting or, HR business partners, but everybody’s part of one of these people’s projects. It is ultimately one of our big corporate goals. Got it.
So are those like OKRs basically that roll up to the current objective? Yeah. Yeah. Got it.
JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. Very cool. Yeah. Well, Megan, this was awesome. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about Quorro.
You and I obviously go back years So I’ve known you well before this fall, but, super pumped to have you on here and hear about everything that you’re up to and just Absolutely. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much.
MEGAN FLANAGAN: Thanks. Thank you so much for having me and you can’t see enough great things about just the ease of coming in the way it’s been able to work with us and the use of technology, and, you know, we wouldn’t be able to scale without an ATS. So That’s great. It’s been very helpful.