Loni Spratt is the recruiter evangelist at Entelo, a hiring platform. Loni tells us how they hire at Entelo, and what most companies get wrong about hiring.
Jacob Shriar: Hello everyone, I’m Jacob Shriar, Growth Manager at Officevibe and today I’m with Loni Spratt who is the Recruiter Evangelist at Entelo. Loni, thanks so much for being here.
Loni Spratt: Hi. Thank you for having me.
Jacob Shriar: Awesome. So let’s get right into it. I’d love to just dive deep and learn a bit more about you first then obviously we’ll talk about Entelo but why don’t you tell me or tell everyone I guess a bit about your background?
Loni Spratt: Sure. Well, my background, it’s kind of an interesting road how I came to where I am today. I started off in the entertainment industry as a Junior Manager, like basically in helping to place a roster client into like film and TV projects which is like completely different from what I’m doing today but it got me in the area of matchmaking in terms of you know, jobs or people. From there I went to an engineering recruiting company on the agency side and I was a Technical Recruiter for close to five years. And then most recently I’m in Entelo which is a startup, we’ll talk about it in a little bit, and I’m the Recruiter Evangelist here which is basically overseeing all of our internal recruiting then you know, we pretty much tripled since last year in size and on our very aggressive growth track and that’s where I am today.
Jacob Shriar: Great, awesome. Thanks for that. So, yeah, now let’s talk a bit about Entelo and what it is. I’ve heard it being called the Tinder for recruiter which is a cool way to kind of explain it but maybe if you can take you know, as long as you want and just talk a bit about Entelo, what it is, why anyone would want to use that and thinks like that.
Loni Spratt: Yeah. Okay, so I’ll talk about the Tinder side of it and then the company in general. So we are basically an online recruiting firm that leverages big data, predictive analytics, social recruiting to basically help companies build their chains and we focused initially on technical hires and now we’ve kind of ventured off and we’re now in you know, focused on technical as well as sales, marketing, even some finance but basically we pull in all of these data on people that’s all out there on the web and pull it on into one platform. So makes a recruiter’s life much easier when recruiting because they have all these data on you know, particular person all in one place.
The Tinder side of it is actually our mobile app which is outside of our core platform and that is an app where if you have the main kind of core products of Entelo, you can access the mobile app accessing all of your list of candidates and basically use it like Tinder to just scroll through and give a candidate swipe up for a thumbs up, swipe down for a thumbs down and just hammer through you know, hundreds of candidates at a time. So very much in the same being as Tinder.
Jacob Shriar: Well, yeah. Thanks for clearing that up. I guess that says much more to complex and I give you credit. Why don’t you tell me a bit about what the culture is like a t Entelo? I’m sure it’s obviously, you know, you understand hiring and recruiting very, very well but just talk a bit about the culture there and kind of what it’s like to work there.
Loni Spratt: Yeah, and I mean we are in the recruiting base, I mean HR technology, recruitment technology. So since we are in this industry in making a recruiting software product, we should probably get recruiting right internally and so it’s been a really great focus of hours to really kind of experiment with a lot of different things, to really kind of master our internal recruiting practices so that we can then pass on everything that we’re learning to our customers by just make a really make a good experience all around for our employees as well as our potential candidates and prospects. So the culture right now is we are San Francisco based startup. We are in SOMA which is a really good location. Startups can have a lot of different company cultures. Everyone thinks, “Oh, it’s a startup,” and they think all startup cultures are the same. Well, that’s not really true.
There are startups where everyone is really young and they’re working crazy hours all day and they have a pool table and a ping pong table in the middle of their office and there’s this very young environment. People are working 16, 18 hours a day and they’re, you know, not working straight the entire day, right? They might be having a pingpong tournament like on Wednesday at 2pm, right? And so that’s kind of culture and those are some sort of cultures and then there’s others that are like a little bit more similar to ours and that we consider ourselves I guess the mature startup. You know, a lot of our employees have small children and have families and so it’s very, very much not the culture of just hanging out in the office for 16 to 20 hours a day and it’s very much more traditional for business hours and being very productive and so we like to call it working smart and so we, you know, basically cramming 60 to 80 hours of work into 40 hour a work week, right?
Obviously it’s a startup so we’re all available online after hours and if need be but our culture is really much work hard, play hard but play hard, you know, there’s a time for that right outside for business hours. So that’s kind of our environment and the people in terms of the type of cultural fit for us, it’s, you know, we – I feel like it’s very cushy to see but we just hire like good and nice people, like people that care I guess, right? And I know that like every companies probably tries to say that but it’s really super important for us, I mean people are just very genuine here. I’ll discuss in a little bit how we hire cultural fit but everyone pretty much has very similar personalities when it comes to attitude mentality and it’s just you know, overall just good people, from our CEO all the way down to you know, a contractor that’s working for us. So that’s kind of a little bit of our kind of cultural environment.
Jacob Shriar: Cool, yes, thanks for sharing that. And actually, I guess we can talk about that now but I’m assuming you guys really get hiring so hopefully you can share some tips with everyone listening, but I’d love to learn how you guys hire there, you know, in kind of what are some of the things you look for and some of the advice and best practices that you can share of how you hire internally.
Loni Spratt: Yeah, absolutely. So, one of the things that’s really important to us is that everyone that we bring in not only can get the job done but that is a very strong cultural fit for us. And I feel like sometimes it can be harder to find people that are good cultural fit versus to actually do the job. A lot of people think like, “Oh, it’s really hard to find someone you know, that fits this role,” and they’re focused so much more on the responsibilities and what they’ll be doing and they focus so much there that they don’t look at, some companies don’t even look at cultural fit at all really and then you know, they experience problems down the line but for us, cultural fit is just as important as job fit and so pretty much weigh those things out equally.
Some if someone comes in and basically aces all of the interviews that are based on the position and the responsibilities and their skills and what they’ll be doing, if they aced all of that but not pass the cultural fit, we won’t hire that. It’s just period, right. And so there’s certain things that we do to help with cultural fit. So it’s starts actually from the very first phone screening. So the very first phone screening that we do with someone regardless of what position it’s for, it’s focused pretty high level. Basically letting them know what our environment is, what are company is, finding out a little bit more about their background and it really listening for that cultural fit.
And so I ask questions like talk to me about your current company environment, what do you love about it. And then they list down all the things that they really like and then I’ll follow that question up with you know, no environment is perfect, right? So what would you change about your current environment, what would make it better, just so that I can hear from their perspective you know, what’s potentially lacking in their current company environment and kind of see what that is and then kind of see how both of those answers over what we have here. And so a lot of times you can get a lot of insight into what a candidate, what kind of environment a candidate drives in just by asking those two questions.
And then if it’s not clear from their most recent position, then I might ask like if it seems like they’re wishy washy on their current position, I’ll say, “Okay, think back to like every single company that you’ve worked with in the past, what was your favorite company just in terms of company environment and culture. What was that company?” And then they’ll say, “Oh,” and you can usually hear it in their voice, they get lit up when they think about it and then they say, “Oh, it was this company that I worked out right at a college,” and you know, you just hear it in their voice and then you just basically get them to dive deeper as to what they really enjoyed about that company environment and you pick upon those things. And a lot of times, that might match what we have going on here and it might be very similar and so that’s going to let me know that well, this person could be a really good cultural fit or he could be like, wow, that’s not at all what we’re like here and this person probably isn’t going to like it based on what he said.
So that really gives me a lot of insight in that very first phone screen and then once they pass go you know, through the rest of their process which typically is you know, a call with the hiring manager and then from there we’ll bring them on for an on-site interview where they can meet the team, see the office environment, meet their members of the team that they’ll be working closely with and then during those interviews, each person focuses on something different so that we really maximize our time in interviewing process. It’s terrible from a company’s perspective to have every single interview were asked the same questions when you’re not getting an idea because you’re getting the same answers from every interviewer basically and then it puts the candidate in a really boring interview process because he’s just keep getting asked the same question over and over by everyone that they’ll meeting with. So we have this interview sessions before any candidate comes on site to really get all get on the same page as to who’s going to focus on what. And it’s on my role on these on-sites are usually to focus strictly on company fit, cultural fit and make sure that that all is aligned.
And so that’s basically how we handle the interviewing process and I think a good point kind of mention here is that most companies especially newer companies that are hiring for the first time, hiring their first team members, they’re so focused on what they’re trying to do, they’re trying to grow, they’re trying to make a really great product and so they put so much emphasis on what can this person do for us, right? And they really neglect the other side of the claim which is what can we do for this candidate, right, and so what we try to incorporate in our interviewing process is really diving in and really finding out why the candidate is interested and working first on what the candidate wants to get out of working for us, like what are they trying to do, why does this make sense in their career right now, what are their long term goals and how will this fit in and how can we help them reach their long term goals even outside of Entelo if that makes sense. And so it’s really putting as much effort to seeing if we’re a good fit for them versus you know, them for being just a good it for us. So really we treat, you know, we treat those two things the same.
Jacob Shriar: Awesome. Thanks. Thanks for going to so much details. That was cool. You might have already answered this in your last question but just in case maybe you give them some other advice, I’ll ask it again, I’d love to get your opinion on what you think companies usually get wrong in the hiring process and then the second part to that would what advice would have to give them to to start getting it right?
Loni Spratt: Yeah. So I would say number one, when we’re talking about cultural fit and kind of company culture know that, one of the big things that companies sometimes get wrong is they haven’t identified what their company culture is, right? If you ask – if you just go and do a and ask five people of the company, what is your company culture, like they get five different answers, right? And because it’s really from the perspective of that person but everyone is not on the same page in terms of what their company culture is and who is a good cultural fit, right? And so we, as a company know really like to make sure that everyone knows, like this is the kind of company culture that we’re striving for and these are the type of people that you know, culturally fit well with our type of environment. We just make sure that somewhat is that everyone is on the same page of what that actually is and it’s different for every single company and it doesn’t have to be some elaborate, you know, manifesto, right? It’s just you know, could just be a couple you know, sentence or two about what the company culture is, right.
A lot of people put it on their careers page or their about us page on their company websites to really you know, give insight into what that cultural fit is and I think companies that do that are getting it right. So I would just say you know, biggest fault number one and we’re most of them will you know, for sure just identifying what that is in the beginning and then two, after that like, you know, the next, I guess fault would be not screening properly for that cultural fit. So maybe yes, they know what their cultural fit – their company culture is and they know what a cultural fit looks like in their company but they don’t know how to properly screen for that or they don’t make time to screen for it. They just focus so much more on kind of person who do the job, what’s their track record of success and all that and they don’t ever touch upon the company culture side of things and so I would say that you know, that’s probably the next biggest fault that people have. And then third, I would say lastly is just not having the right tools emplace to help them identify this.
So there are a lot of different tools out there that you can track things like this. Most ATS systems have something within the platform to kind of outline a good cultural fit or they have it as part of like the interviewing score card or something like that. There are some other tools out there, there’s a ton of tools that are based on personality assessment like, you know, does this person match a really good salesperson and it’s very generalized and then there are tools are that are very specific to your company. One tool we’re actually testing out right now is called Job Page and they are like a friend of you know, a friendly startup of a friend of ours and so we are actually testing this out for us internally and what their platform is basically a different seen on the traditional personality assessment. And what it does is it basically teach your entire company and it matches people that are coming into the hiring process as a good company cultural fit.
So it goes beyond just a general personality fit. It goes into will this person fit in on the team that they’ll be working with based on all of these data, right? Which is super cool and fascinating and we’re going to be testing it out to see you know, how accurate it is and you know, they’ve been testing out with lots of different companies and it’s like, I want to say like 80 to 90% accurate on all the tests that they’ve run over the history that they’ve been doing this, it’s just fascinating.
So that’s something that we’re looking into willing out long term but just you know, the very idea that we would invest in even something like that just shows how important you know, company culture is for us and I think anyone that is you know, really interested in this, I think in terms of company cultures is like the company that just really gets it’s right, I mean company and culture is like one of their core values as an organization and they just have really amazing hiring and recruiting practices around company culture, a lot that I kind of researched and looked at and kind of try to incorporate here at Entelo but they are kind of we’re at the forefront of all of this and they get it really right and a lot of their recruiters we’ll be there and say like, exact of those is like a good model to kind of follow. If companies aspire to get to that, you know, I think they’ll get in play.
Jacob Shriar: Awesome. Thanks. Yeah, I’m a huge fan of Zappos so actually I did an interview I guess like this with someone from Zapo and incredible, incredible content. My last question for you I guess is just, I want to learn a bit more about some of the issues you ever see you guys have going on at Entelo like maybe in terms of like employee wellness or like community building or things like that. If you can talk a little bit about of the things that you guys do to kind of keep employees engaged and healthy and things like that, that’d be great.
Loni Spratt: Yeah. That’s a great question. So like I said, we’re you know, our cultures all about working smart, right? Not having a good you know, work life balance even though that is so cliché and I know it is and a lot of companies like to say, “Oh, we strive for work life balance,” and they really do not, right. They have people playing on 80 to 100 hour a weeks and yet they’re saying, “We strive for you know, work life balance.” Here in Entelo, you will not see anyone here before, you know, 7 or 8A.M. and you’ll probably won’t see anyone here after 7P.M., right. So we really try to allow people to work you know, the hour that seems to be good [inaudible 0:19:50] have flexible work schedules which really helps in terms of maintaining that work life balance.
We also, because we do work hard during core business hours, we like to also play hard, right, we have to have a little fun and so we do company outings. We do once a month we do like after hours work event that’s optional for everyone to attend and we’ll try fun local bars and restaurants in San Francisco and just all you know, leave at 4:30 on a weekday and then just go and hang out and then we do, also we do half day off sites, we actually have one tomorrow and this is where we’ll take off that like 1P.M. and then go for a fun off site and it’s very team building, very collaborative, get to know everyone especially at the rate that we’re hiring, there’s no people coming in every month so these off sites are really good to kind of get outside of work and really engage with other people in the company that might not be directly working with on your team. So it gives it an opportunity for the sales people to interacts and hangout with the engineers and marketing and customer success, etcetera and so those off sites are fun way that we do have.
We have things internally like obviously cater lunches and we you know, it’s not pizza, right. We are bringing in lots of local kind of even organic food and just trying all different types of food but healthier options to help kind of what the healthy aspects of things. And then we also all get a Jawbone Advance to like monitor our sleep and steps and things like that. So we all have a Jawbone Advance and we’re all doing basically friendly competition with you know, basically shooting you know, reach their goals based on what they’ve said and usually most of us are trying to do 10,000 steps a day and sleeping anywhere from seven to eight hours a night and so the Jawbone like tracks all of that for us and there’s like a leader board and things like that. So that’s another fun way that we’re trying to incorporate, healthy things in.
And then we do like also like active outside things too, so like a couple of weeks ago, all the guys in the company went across the street and play basketball. They all left like 5 and then just all play basketball and then the girls, you know, the ladies in the company were like, “Oh, we want to do something like that,” and so we had a day were all of the ladies went to take a Yoga class or Pilates class or bar method class. And so it’s kind of a fun active off sites. So we love to incorporate lots of those of those types of things in just to one, preserve our company culture and get everyone working together and kind of team building, but then also to promote healthy lifestyle as well.
Jacob Shriar: Very cool. Sound like a pretty fun place to work. I guess we’ll pretty much end it here but Loni, just want to thank you so much for taking some time to chat with me. This is a lot of fun, Entelo, incredible company. I’ve done a lot of reading on you guys. Very nice clients and seems like a very cool product and from what I’m hearing today, sounds like a very smart, very smart, very well-designed company cultures. So, thanks so much and hopefully we can do this again soon.
Loni Spratt: Yeah. Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Jacob Shriar: All right. Take care.
Loni Spratt: Thanks.