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The Speed to Hire Show - Cultivate Candidate Relationships Early and Nurture Them Through the Full Recruitment Cycle

The Speed to Hire Show – Cultivate Candidate Relationships Early and Nurture Them Through the Full Recruitment Cycle

Episode 17 – Tracy St. Dic, Zapier

Zapier is a powerful automation tool that helps users automate processes quickly and efficiently. With Zapier, users can connect two or more applications and create automated workflows that enable them to get tasks done faster and without manual intervention. By eliminating the need for manual tasks, Zapier streamlines processes and empowers businesses to do more with less. With an intuitive user interface, Zapier makes it easy for even non-tech-savvy users to take full advantage of its capabilities.

Zapier is committed to cultivating a diverse and talented candidate pool for its hiring process. They actively seek out and build relationships with talent with a wide range of experience and backgrounds, encouraging those who are passionate about automation and software engineering to connect with the brand through multiple channels before open roles even become available.

This episode of The Speed to Hire Show features Tracy St. Dic, Global Head of Talent at Zapier.

Key Takeaways

  • [7:50] – Inspire future candidates by demonstrating the impact of their career path choices many candidates may know what they want to become in their career but don’t see the full potential of the steps they take along their career path. Showing them the impact of their choices can influence their acceptance of opportunities and offers.
  • [10:24] – Be proactive in cultivating candidates from the moment they become aware of your company – employer and brand recognition is the time you make the most critical impression on top talent. Build relationships with potential future hires long before jobs open to ensure you have a steady stream of strong talent to fill them.
  • [12:20] – Change your mindset and approach recruiting as “brand ambassadorship” – recruiting is not just about looking for candidates who fit your company cuture and role qualifications. Candidates need to understand how they fit into your culture and that expectations are mutually met.
  • [17:14] – Embed employer branding & talent attraction elements into your recruiting process – every stage of the full recruitment cycle should engage candidates and reveal essential information about your employer brand. This ensures only talent that’s truly interested in joining your organization funnels through the hiring process.
  • [25:39] – Align with your executive team to nail down the best potential candidates for any role – involve executive decision-makers in your hiring process by getting clear expectations about the essential roles you need to fill to hit team and organizational goals.
  • [29:20] – Turn hiring managers into brand ambassadors by encouraging authenticity – create a positive onboarding and employee experience and encourage hiring managers to authentically share what they love about working with your brand as well as some of the challenges.

Video Transcript 

JOSH TOLAN: Alright. Well, Tracy, thanks so much for joining me. Would love if you gave everybody an introduction, about yourself.

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. Hi, everyone. And Josh, thanks so much for having me here. My name is Tracy Saint Deek. I am based out of Los Angeles, California, and I am the global head of talent at Zapier.

But I actually started my career not in tech. So I can give a little bit of that narrative because I think it might be relevant later on. But I actually started my career as a kindergarten teacher in Brooklyn, Josh, with Teach for America. So for those of you who don’t know, Teach for America is an education nonprofit, and it finds develops and supports talented people across the country to teach for at least two years.

In a low-income or high-need school. And then the idea is that then those teachers continue impacting issues of education either inside or outside of the classroom. So I started there teaching an incredible group of students and feeling really urgent that the shortage of diverse quality teachers with severely impacting education. So I joined Teach for America as a recruiter, and that’s how I got my start in recruiting and talent and all of that.

I joined as a recruiter to find more great teachers, mainly recruiting students from colleges on the West Coast. To redirect their career path into teaching. And I led larger and larger teams there, led communications, marketing, early development programs eventually ran the whole recruitment team of Teach for America as SVP and a year and a half ago, I joined Zapier, which is another mission-driven company. So, that is me in a nutshell.

I’m fairly new to the tech industry, but I like to think that I’m able to bring a unique perspective about the work, which I’m sure we’ll touch on later.

JOSH TOLAN: Totally. Yeah. I well, I knew that you were at Teach for America on the talent side.

I did not know that you started it as a teacher, though. That’s a nice story.

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. It’s funny. I feel like I’ve talked to there’s a couple of people on the people team at Zapier who also had their start in education. And it feels like it’s disconnected, but it’s really not. I mean, so much of education is saying, you know, we believe in the talent of people.

We believe that people have the potential to do great things. It’s identifying talent. It’s nurturing talent. It’s ensuring that talented people can be successful.

And so when you think about teaching, whether you’re doing with kindergartners or college students or thinking about an employee in a company, it’s the same thing. Right? Identifying talent, nurturing talent, and ensuring that those people can thrive and do the best work possible.

So, it feels it seems just connected, but I think there’s a really strong connection between teaching and feeling passionate about talent and the work that talented people can do.

JOSH TOLAN: For sure. Yeah. I’ve never heard that perspective, so that’s certainly unique, and I can definitely see the parallels. So we’ll certainly dive into that a little bit later.

We’d love to know more about Zapier what the team looks like over there and what you guys have been up to since you joined.

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. So Zapier is a no-code automation platform, and our mission is to make automation work for everyone to really democratize automation and to make it feel less scary and less technical.

So it’s software that empowers users to connect the apps that you normally would use at work, say your Slack and your Gmail and your Mailchimp and your Facebook and all of these other things.

And it allows you to create automated work for workflows with the power of AI as well. And so the idea at Zapier is that we should be able to allow everyone access to this technology so they can set up automations to do the tedious work for you, and you can focus on the work that humans do best.

So that’s Zapier, the company. We’ve been in existence for a little over a decade.

And as I said, my role there is the Global Head of Talent. So I lead talent acquisition, talent intelligence, and sourcing, employer branding, and any related diversity recruiting partnerships, and then also our internal mobility strategies and pathways and our internal talent work too. Very cool.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. I think Zapier is universally across the tech spaces, like, the one tool that teams can’t live without. I know here internally at Sparks, that we use it to connect everything.

Like, it’s it’s used in sales. It’s used in marketing. Customer success, we use it, even on the recruitment side with some of the apps that we use for hiring. So, it’s certainly well-ingrained in the tech space. And, pretty much like a mission-critical tool, I would say, for a lot of companies that are relying on it to power automation across our system.

So the growth has really been awesome to see over the last ten years. I feel like we were an early Zapier user, and the company has just taken off, and it’s been awesome to watch from the sidelines. So I’m excited to be talking to you about it.

What does the rest of the talent team look like? What’s the makeup?

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. So we have five functions. So we have tech recruiting and business recruiting, which is G and A, leadership recruiting, talent strategy and operations, which is our enablement team and then talent attraction, which is sourcing an employer re-brand work and diversity recruiting partnerships. So those five functions.

JOSH TOLAN: Very cool. And do they all report to you or are there different leaders? Yep. Okay. Cool.

TRACY ST. DIC: Yep. They do. They all report to me, which gives me a really nice view of our end-to-end recruiting process.

JOSH TOLAN: Totally. Yeah. You’re not in a silo. You had this holistic view of everything, that you’re doing, which is great.

So I’d love to learn more about, you know, your transition from teach for America much different space than, you know, Zapier in the tech world. So I’m curious, first of all, what was the catalyst for that move?

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. That’s a great question.

So I was a teacher through Teach for America for almost fourteen, fifteen years, and I really, really loved it and really enjoyed my work there leading large recruitment teams, across the country to recruit teachers, to teach at low-income schools.

But I also felt like I was really interested in talent as a lever for a number of different things, talent as a lever for the impact you wanna see on the world, talent as a lever for innovation in different companies and organizations. And so, somebody that I worked with that Teach for America, Brandon Samut, actually is the CPO at Zapier, he’s the chief people officer.

And I started to learn a little bit about Zapier and their mission to make automation work for everyone. And I saw a through line in the work that I feel is important. Like, at Teach for America, my goal was to ensure that education was accessible to all that all children had access to a quality education regardless of their background, and we often think of education as the great equalizer.

Well, when you think about the workforce moving forward, especially now it’s AI, it’s automation, it’s how you can leverage technology. And those that can leverage it, that can use it, that can understand it, are going to have access to many more opportunities in the world, in their career, in their life, right, than people who don’t.

And that’s just the direction that, you know, our workforce is going. And so when I think about Zapier’s mission to make automation work for everyone, That’s really everyone. It’s the entrepreneur who’s trying to start a business.

It’s the small mom-and-pop shop. It’s, you know, bigger companies. It’s enterprises. It’s everyone.

And so I was looking for another mission-driven organization, but also an opportunity to push myself with different talent challenges in different ways.

JOSH TOLAN: It’s awesome. Yeah. Two mission-driven companies, and I like the parallel between them of, you know, on the Teach for America side. It’s about you know, equal access to education for all in, the Zapier side, it’s about access to automation and leveraging tools that Historically, and workflows that historically would need to be built by, you know, someone with an engineering background, and now anybody can do it.

Like, you know, I’m not an engineer myself, but I feel very confident and Zapier and the ability to do a lot of different things, which is really cool, and I feel like that’s, you know, fueled a lot of the growth of the company.

As you think back at Teach for America, what were some of the bigger challenges that you guys would face regards to your hiring.

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. So Teach for America recruitment is, I would say primarily focused on college recruitment because the idea is to start early to get young people into education to for that really to be the foundation of their career. And so I would say a vast majority of our focus in college recruitment that we did recruit professionals across the country as well. So that is a really unique space to be in.

College recruitment for anybody who has done it is has its own set of unique challenges. You have to start early. You have to be proactive.

You’re not just recruiting seniors in their spring semester trying to get a job. You’re really thinking about juniors. Are you starting to cultivate them to look at your company earlier? Sophomores, freshman.

I think so many of the big fame companies now are starting even earlier, middle school, elementary school. How are they planting the seed about their company, about their company’s work admission? As early as possible because they know it’s a long game to get someone to say, yep, I want my first job or first career to be with your company.

And so at Teach for America, I mean, we were really faced with two different challenges in that space. One is in college recruitment. You have to start really early and proactively. And for Teach for America specifically, we’re asking people to commit at least two years of their lives to go into the teaching profession.

Like, Josh, you gotta convince people to do this sometimes. There is a teaching shortage in this country. And so when you think about the college students that I would work with, you know, they’re on their path to become a lawyer or a doctor or a software engineer, and they’ve been working towards this.

That’s their major. That’s all the clubs that they’re in, etcetera. And so to plant the seed and say,

“Hey, you can become a lawyer, but have you thought about becoming a teacher first? What would be different about your career, what would be different about your passion for your career and for, you know, the impact that you can have in your life if you started your career in teaching?”

And so you’re literally thinking about taking people off of the career path that they and maybe their parents wanted them to be on and sidestepping that and changing it and helping them redirect their passion to something that they could have a huge impact on teaching students in classrooms, who are brilliant and then, figure out how that actually continues to enhance their career down the line.

So if you were to become a lawyer or a doctor down the line, you have a foundation of working with low-income communities and understanding the issues that our communities face.

You just have a different sort of foundation. So to recap, you know, with Teach for America, not only were you starting early proactively with college recruitment, but you’re also thinking about the teaching profession and how you have to convince people to go into teaching. We are thinking about college students who have been on a career path to become a lawyer, to become a doctor. And, you know, maybe that’s what they’ve wanted, that’s what their parents might have wanted for them.

To be able to plant the seed and say, “Hey, like, you can still do that. Have you thought about teaching first?”

What would be different about your career if you did teaching first? What would be different about your on the world, what would be different about the skills that you can build, what would be different about the perspective that you can bring into that profession?

So at Teach for America, the unique challenge was helping people see that their impact didn’t have to be just their major and that their impact didn’t have to be just that one job that they were gonna for the rest of their lives, but it could actually be a number of different experiences that eventually got them to where they wanna go, but potentially with a different perspective and a different impact.

And so those were the unique challenges to Teach for America. And I think what that really taught me is that it’s not a given that everybody wants to do the job that you wanna recruit them for. Right?

Like, I thought Teach for America was amazing. I was recruiting people to go into it, but it took a lot of convincing. A lot of, It’s it’s almost like sales. Right? Like, we know recruiting is like sales in a number of ways.

You have to plant the seed. You have to cultivate people. You have to show them what it could look like if they were to do this job. You have to tell them all of the pros.

You have to be honest about some of the challenges, and you have to build those relationships over time. So that’s one of the things that I really took from my experience at Teach for America in any recruiting is that every opportunity to cultivate a candidate matters from the very beginning.

And that’s why I often think about, what we do at Zapier and what we’re trying to build at Zapier is end-to-end recruiting from the very beginning, their first brand impression of the company.

JOSH TOLAN: Yep. I love that. And I think, you know — I love that quote, first of all, and I think, you know, with Zapier, it’s different. Right? You’re in the tech space.

You have a company that people want to work at and it’s a desired place to work and exciting jobs. And, you know, you’re in the tech space, which, you know, has a lot of hype around it as well. So it’s probably different from Teach for America, and that from that standpoint you’ve got people that, you know, are already excited about the opportunity and maybe have already been thinking about how they want, to work at Zapier.

But it sounds like you guys are still taking that proactive approach to give yourself a competitive edge. I’m curious you know, what are some of the things that you guys are doing to make sure that you have that, like, end-to-end cultivation of those relationships and are train the candidate all along the way to plant the seed early and eventually, you know, bring them home, hopefully, as a Zapier team member?

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. I have to say joining Zapier in the tech space was so different for me when we, you know, looking at the data for my first few months on staff, and it’s like, woah, we have, like, a ninety-five to a hundred percent acceptance rate. Like, I’ve never seen that before, and Zapier is a great company. We have, you know, a really great brand, generally.

And so people it was rare that people would turn down our offer. And to me, that was just so different and so surprising, not because people didn’t believe teaching was so important, but that it it might not be the right fit for them. Right? Like, there are a lot of challenges in the teaching profession.

And so I do think that this approach and this mindset of having to cultivate candidates every step of the way does make a big difference. Especially now, Josh, where there are a lot of people looking for a job. There aren’t a lot of jobs on the market. We know hiring has slowed.

I think it’s so sad and unfortunate when you see companies sort of take advantage of that. And it’s like, well, like, all of these candidates will apply, and, you know, we’re just gonna go through them in a bulk way and try to get to the best candidate that we can.

Where I think this is a perfect opportunity for companies to really think about recruiting as brand ambassadorship in times of high hiring volume and in times of low hiring volume. If you think of recruiters and everybody in the recruiting process, as a brand ambassador for your company, I think it changes the power dynamic.

So you’re not just a recruiter and someone needs to impress you to get a job, you hold all the cards, but you need to impress it. Like, you need to ensure that they wanna work here and that they are going to wanna say yes to Zapier.

Our team’s mission is to inspire people from all backgrounds, to say yes to Zapier. And so when you think about it that way, it really does change the approach of a recruiter on our team and our sourcer and everybody who works on our talent acquisition team, as well as our hiring managers and interviewers, is that this is a two-way street.

It’s a really different approach and calculation. I think especially in this job market and what we see when, you know, companies are ghosting candidates or don’t feel like they have to provide that personalized tailored experience.

We don’t get it right every time for sure, but we really try to ensure that once people walk away from the hiring experience at Zapier, whether they got the role or not, they have a more positive impression of us. They have a more positive impression of the company, and they’ve really seen our values play out throughout the process.

And our hiring philosophies are really based on those values. And that’s sort of what drives us to ensure that we’re offering a strong candidate experience.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. That’s great.

I think the thing that a lot of companies miss, is when the market changes, right, whether, you know, people refer to it sometimes as an employer market or a candidate market. And I think, you know, what a lot of companies miss is you’re at the strategic level, things should more or less stay the same no matter what the market looks like. Right?

You should still be leaning into the same values and principles from a talent acquisition standpoint no matter what the market looks like. From a tactical standpoint, that’s where things might change, and you might need to take a little bit of a different day-to-day approach just based on the volume of app applicants you’re getting or you know, what the market looks like.

But I think that’s where a lot of companies fail is they they let the the strategic side kinda bend to the way of the market.

And then that’s what I don’t think, you know, allows companies to have repeatable success with their hiring. And when the market turns, you know, they’re they tend to be on, like, the bad side of hiring when the market turns because you maybe created some, like, candidate resentment on the market, but not a lot of positive sentiment about your brand. You don’t have candidates coming back to you that didn’t take the job the first time around, and now you’re trying to pull them back into your pipeline.

So I think it’s super important to really lean into what are the values like you said, and the principles from a strategic level. And that can’t change no matter what the market looks like.

So I think you guys are doing a really good job of that. I’d love to hear some examples of some of the things you guys are doing to be proactive throughout the process and build those relationships.

Like you said, plant the seed early. What are some things you guys are doing over at Zapier?

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. One of the things that I love about the structure of my team at Zapier, which I think is different than a lot of talent acquisition talent acquisition functions is that we have employer branding and talent attraction embedded in talent acquisition.

Sometimes employer branding, talent branding is with the comms department. Or the marketing department even. I’ve seen it differently at a number of different places, but to me, it makes a ton of sense to embed it within talent because again, you’re thinking of into end. So you’re not just thinking about how do I find?

How does my sourcing team find a top candidate for this engineering role? But you’re really thinking and asking your question how am I attracting people to come to Zapier proactively to want to do the roles that we have that we’re hiring for? And so I think it very much speaks to a proactive approach and a longer-term approach as well. If you’re narrowly focused on I’ve gotta fill these recs, I’m gonna open the app.

I’m gonna get five hundred applications. I’m gonna find one. You’re really missing out on the bigger picture to build your brand as a company and to build a talent flow into your company that can be beneficial for years to come. And so some of the things that we’re doing in our talent attraction space is number one working with partners who are specifically focused on underrepresented groups.

And I think that it’s so important that we did that in my work in Teach for America. It’s one of the things that is really core to my talent philosophy is that incredible talent is everywhere.

It’s also one of the reasons why Zapier is remote, by the way, is because we don’t wanna just pigeonhole ourselves into certain cities or certain countries that we really do believe incredible talent is everywhere, and that can come from a variety of backgrounds and identities too.

And so we have a number of different recruiting partners that we work with to, not just put on job boards and to, again, get candidates but to also provide value by doing things like talks and mentorship and hiring fairs and just finding different ways to engage with potential candidates way before we might even have a role open for them. So that’s one.

The other thing that we’re doing is we’re just ensuring that our content is telling the story of who can fit in Zapier. So it’s not just putting up, you know, things on Glassdoor, but it’s also really thinking through what is all of the collateral. What’s the story that we wanna be telling candidates in terms of who could be a great fit for Zapier?

And we work on that with our CEO and with our executive team as well. We wanna ensure that the people that we’re bringing in know what Zapier is if it could be a good fit for them. And in some cases, Zapier might not be a great fit for them. For example, If they don’t wanna work remotely, that’s not an environment that they thrive in, that fear is not gonna be a good fit.

So we think that if we can put those messages out there much sooner, It also increases the chances that we’re getting people coming to us who are a strong fit.

Another thing that we’re doing on our team is, we’ve launched talent communities So this allows people, to come, you know, if they come to Zapier, they stumble upon us. They don’t see a role immediately. That’s a good fit for them, they can sign up for one of our general interest forms. And that puts them into our talent community. We also have events that bring people into our talent communities. And again, these is supposed to be value add for a candidate.

So it’s like resume workshops. The one that’s upcoming is a workshop on negotiating your salary and negotiating your offer. So we’re trying to ensure that we’re providing value add to candidates for them to interact with our talent acquisition team in different more informal ways. Again, before we even have a role open.

Once people are in our talent communities, then they get, you know, newsletters from us. They get opportunities that are opening up for us. Opportunities to go to things like our Zap Connect, which is our, big yearly event for all of our Zapier users. So, they’re not just interacting with talent acquisition. They get a chance to interact with Zapier, the company, which ultimately will make them a better candidate for us and also as you can imagine, get them to know us as a company.

So all of our tactics, whether it’s the, you know, the things that we do with our diversity recruiting partnerships, our talent communities.

It’s all in the service of us getting to know candidates, but candidates getting to know us as a company and us is in some cases individual people.

So those are some of the things we’re doing proactively. Internally, we also have a number of systems. We have a tagging system in our ATS where we’re able to ensure that any candidate who gets to a skills interview or a final stage with us is considered for other roles down the line.

So we have different categories of candidates based on their interests, based on their roles, based on their skills. And so when a new role opens, we look to our talent communities. We look to our candidates who have been through our process before that we’ve tagged to different opportunities. And we look to our recruiting partners, those are the three first places that we look. And ideally, we already have a proactive pool built anytime a role opens.

We’re also doing this on the leadership front as well. As you know, leadership hires, director plus hires, are just incredible candidates, and timing can sometimes be everything when it comes to hiring with leadership. Right? It’s like not only do you want the right candidate for you and you wanna be the the right experience for that next person.

But when you have people in leadership roles at different companies, the timing has to really match up. And so we’re starting to take a much long approach to candidate cultivation for leadership hiring as well, getting to know candidates, getting to understand what they care about. So if the right opportunity comes up, we already have that proactive whole built and ready to go.

That not only lessens time to fill and time to hire, of course, but that also ensures that that relationship, that trust has already been built and that we’re able to move more quickly and get more in-depth with candidates earlier on in the process because we’ve already had those interactions.

So again, it’s about building that relationship, not just with us, but with the company over time and sometimes over years.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. A hundred percent. And I love how you tied that back time to hire because that’s exactly where I was gonna go with this is that because of a couple of things you’re doing, one, by nurturing these relationships and getting started with candidates early and just pulling them into the orbit of Zapier, not necessarily with an open job, in mind for these candidates.

You start to build that relationship. So when you go to start hiring and, you know, folks are seeing those open jobs or you’re reaching out to them. They already know who you are. They know what you’re about.

It’s much quicker, you know, to get them engaged and bought into the process. And I think that’s where a lot of companies fail with their sourcing strategy as they wait till we have a job opening, and then it’s like, oh no, we don’t have a pipeline. Let’s go spam people on LinkedIn and see, you know, see who will bite and then they get, you know, terrible response rates and, you know, the candidate pipelines dried up, and then they can’t hire somebody quick enough because they just don’t have enough momentum.

And so starting that, you know, nurturing early, with some of the things that you guys are doing that aren’t even Kastan, you know, come and work for us right now. You know, it builds that database, builds that pipeline, builds those relationships. So when you do have an opening, you have a lot more hand-raisers that are ready to move through the process quickly.

And then along the same lines, by putting out the content that you guys are putting out and giving people, you know, that you brought into your orbit, exposure and education around what Zapier is all about.

Not only have you built that relationship so they can move fast because they’re gonna raise their hand as soon as you have a job open, but you’ve also educated them. So if there are people who don’t feel Zapier is a good fit, they just don’t engage.

But on the flip side, for those people that do align with what appears all about. It’s like not only are they raising their hand, but they are ready to sprint through that hiring process, with you because, you know, you’ve done such a good job of telling them what the company’s all about.

And so they don’t have to go through that discovery throughout the hiring process, which often either drags out the process as they’re still learning. It doesn’t leave a, you know, give provide a lot of context for interviews and candidates don’t know enough about the company.

And so that can really, really slow down the process. And also, at the end of the day, waste, you know, your time as well if, like, a candidate realizes after a couple of interviews are midway through the process, you know, what this is a good fit. So in both of those circumstances, you know, it’s good for you and for the candidate. So, I love what you guys are doing with that.

Now what I’d be to learn from you is, you know, you’ve built out, you know, a really strong team at Teach for America. You’ve got a really strong team at Zapier, like you said, with specialists focused on employer branding and attraction that’s pulled into talent acquisition versus living somewhere else.

So, what advice, you know, would you give to somebody else in a TA leadership role maybe that doesn’t have those resources at their disposal and some of the things they can do, to get started in cultivating these relationships with candidates?

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. That’s a great question. So I think, you know, from a strategic standpoint, if I was giving advice to a TA leader, I would think it starts with the landscape analysis.

Right? Like any strategic vision does — is thinking about who is naturally coming to you and who isn’t? When you post a role, where are those people coming from? What countries?

What demographics? What other companies are they coming from? Who is naturally attracted to your company and who isn’t? I think that gives you a really good place to start because then you can ask yourself, you know, in alignment with your executive team.

Is this who we want coming to us? Are these people the right fit? Right? Are these where we wanna get talent?

Is this pushing our company in the direction we want it to go? So if you’re a global company, but most, you know, eighty percent of your applicants are coming from the US, that tells you something.

Right? Like, okay, we wanna be global. That’s important to us. That’s important to our mission. We need to start looking elsewhere. So I always would say start with that and really be honest with yourself is who’s coming to you and who isn’t.

And then aligning with your executive team too is who is the best fit for us? Are there different are there different skill sets that we want? You know, Zapier is, you know, a company that is now midsize. We’re about eight hundred staff members strong.

But we still like to operate with a lot of flexibility, and agility that a startup would. And so sometimes people coming from startups or people who have founded their own companies have some of the similar skills and mindsets that are important for Zapier. That gives us a clue as a talent acquisition team where we should be focusing our efforts.

So I think that’s number one. I think number two is there are a lot of basic and even free things that you can do to support your brand.

You can put content on LinkedIn. You can train your recruiters, but also your hiring managers who are invested in bringing great talent as well, to be ambassadors, whether it’s social media, whether it’s at different conferences, or doing things like podcasts.

I mean, if you really wanna put your brand out there, there are a lot of ways to do that and people to interact with you and interact with your brand in ways that are natural to every person in your company, not just your talent acquisition team. So making not only hiring a team sport, but also employer branding a team sport would be one way to do that.

I think the last thing, that I would really think through is you know, your hiring experience speaks for itself. And so and word gets out. Right?

So if you want to build your brand over the long term, really look at your hiring experience and your candidate experience and ensure that that is incredibly positive, inspiring, encouraging, and empowering to your candidates at every step of the way.

Ensure that it’s inclusive, obviously ensure that it’s non-biased, but really ensure that candidates walk away from the experience saying, “I didn’t get this role, but I would love to work for your company in the future.”

They’re gonna tell their friends about that. That is going to be what’s gonna set the foundation for that word-of-mouth. It’s so important when it comes to companies and and what people, you know, where people choose to take their career next.

JOSH TOLAN: Yep. Great. I think there are three great points. You addressed you know, the high-level strategic vision for the whole company, you address how to get your team, you know, getting your team involved and the importance of that. And then you also address, you know, the candidate experience side as well.

So I think those are three angles, that are a great place to start for anyone. And I’m really interested in the second point that you made about getting hiring managers and even the broader company involved in employer branding and, being ambassadors for the company.

Because you know, as I posed with the question, you know, for teams that are a little bit leaner and don’t have the resources, they need to activate these other people in the organization to be an extension of the talent acquisition team because they can’t do it all themselves so for those folks that are trying to activate hiring managers and even broader, you know, the broader employee base, what would you suggest to them? To get that buy-in?

TRACY ST. DIC: Well, I think one thing that you can do to start is that you know, ensure that you have, as you said, have buy-in from people. Everybody is invested in bringing great candidates and potential colleagues to your company. Right?

But people might not have the time or the inclination to help you talent acquisition leader really build that. So one of the things that I like to start with is ensuring that anybody who’s gonna be a brand ambassador for your company… And I say brand ambassador loosely. It’s not like a formal title. It’s just anybody who’s speaking about your company, anybody who’s, you know, sharing on social media about your company, you know, one really feels like they can do so authentically.

They can share, you know, the highlights of the company. They can even share some of the challenges of of company. Candidates see right through, you know, those glossy talking points. Right?

And so the most important thing And I think the easier thing is just to ensure that any person on your team, any person in your company who wants to share more about the company is able to do so authentically and obviously focused on highlighting some of the great reasons why they’d wanna come work here.

Right? So we try to look for for opportunities to encourage people at Zapier to do that. When they first join the company, for example, when they’re going through onboarding, obviously people are really excited then and they might wanna share like, hey, I’m starting to work at Zapier. Like, that’s something natural that people share.

So how can you ensure that that onboarding experience is so great that not only are they sharing an update that they’re working at Zapier, but they’re really excited to share why they’ve loved working at Zapier the past couple of weeks.

And so as a talent team and as a talent leader, it’s up to me to work with my other functional partners at Zappier to ensure that the experience people are having are great. And then they naturally wanna share about it.

Similar to any big event or we have all company retreats at Zapier. Our events team worked so hard to make that an incredible experience. And then we encourage people to say, yeah, share about your experience with your network, share about why this was an incredible experience for you and what you loved about this, and why this felt important for you. And share that outwardly.

So sometimes you have to kind of encourage people to share things they wouldn’t normally share, but the key is to always provide authentic experiences. So what they are sharing is really genuine and true to the company.

So I think that’s one place to start. And I think a talent acquisition leader can also think through, you know, what are the, again, specific messages you work going out there to people who you want to join your company? What would make them a great fit? What would help people thrive here?

And then there are natural things that you can do there to start putting that out on places like LinkedIn and Glass Store, etcetera, and some of those other platforms where you’re just getting your name out there and inviting others to comment or to add on or two. Yeah, build off of what you start. Yeah.

JOSH TOLAN: Good stuff. So if I was to summarize that, I would say. First, it starts with the experience that you’re delivering for your employees to make sure that they actually are having a good experience, and so they do want to talk about you and help. Then it’s about you know, proactively sharing with employees how they can help, and encouraging them to do so, but letting them do it in their own way.

So, you know, not giving them, hey, post this content on LinkedIn and share this exact upload of text. You’ve got ten people sharing out the same thing. It’s encouraging people to share their actual experiences in their own words. So it comes off as authentic to the market.

And then, you know, candidates, obviously, you know, can, like you said, see right through what’s authentic versus what’s not. So when you have employees, sharing things like that, it gives a more, you know, real picture of what it’s like to work there.

So really good stuff. Tracy, this is been awesome. I really appreciate you coming on here. It’s been great, to learn about your background, pre-Zapier, at Zapier, I think I mentioned this a few times during the call, but I’m a huge Zapier fan. So it was exciting to get the opportunity to learn more about the company and what you guys are up to on the talent acquisition side. So thank you so much.

TRACY ST. DIC: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. This was great then. Cool.

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.