How Pandora Leveraged Recruitment Events to Hire Against the Clock
When Pandora expanded its operations into Atlanta, GA, they entered a whole new world of recruiting local engineering talent. Facing the challenge, they staged multiple visionary tech recruitment events in which they interviewed more than 300 prospects in just two days, and made offers to 80 candidates. As well as being the catalyst to more than doubling their initial hiring targets, the event was fundamental to reducing time-to-hire from an average of 90 days to 45-60 days.
Leveraging Avature, Pandora was able to cultivate a pool of top-tier product and technical talent in the Atlanta area and target this base with automated, yet personalized, emails in the lead up to the event. An intuitive system of tags, tasks and workflow management was used to stay on top of the high volume of activities involved in organizing such a big event.
Pandora Radio is a leading music streaming service that is operated by Sirius XM Radio. Available in the United States and Canada, as well as selected regions around the world, the service tailors playlists based on the user’s tastes and traits using their Music Genome Project.
The Recruiting Challenge
In February 2018, Pandora announced it would expand its operations in Atlanta, GA, with an aim to bolster their presence in the region by hiring new product and engineering staff to complement the small sales team already operating in the area.
They planned to connect with local talent by staging a recruitment party. They would invite 200 people to the networking event, which would include live music, food and drinks, and would give Pandora hiring managers and recruiters the opportunity to interview candidates to fill 30 technical roles.
Even under normal circumstances, entering an unknown landscape and engaging with a large volume of engineering and technical candidates would be an intimidating task. However, these difficulties were amplified by Pandora having just seven weeks to organize the event.
How Pandora Staged Their Recruitment Event
Pandora utilized a variety of Avature features to devise a turbocharged strategy to tackle the considerable challenges involved in inviting 800 highly-specialized prospects to their first event.
Competitive Intelligence Pipeline & Identifying Prospects
The first step to targeting the appropriate Atlanta-based candidates was to cultivate what Pandora called a Competitive Intelligence Pipeline. This involved market mapping competitors in the region and identifying which of these had technical and product-focused talent with whom Pandora could engage. These contacts were then uploaded into the Avature platform.
With this database cultivated it was possible to use Avature’s dynamic lists to filter prospects so that only those who fulfilled certain requisites were included in the pipeline.
Pandora’s recruiters were then able to analyze this pipeline and identify prospects which corresponded with their individual job profiles and introduce them to their own pipelines.
Email Campaigns & Phone-Screening Forms
Email campaigning formed the backbone of Pandora’s pre-event communications and helped them to create excitement in the lead-up to the event.
These communications were automated and spread out over a number of separate waves of contact, first introducing Pandora’s presence in Atlanta and upcoming job openings. In the following weeks, they targeted those who hadn’t responded to the first contact and started to create a buzz about the upcoming event, while detailing further information about employment opportunities.
Complementing these campaigns were Email Template Tracking reports, which allowed recruiters to easily ascertain how many emails were opened and which candidates were actually clicking through to learn more about the event. This data allowed recruiters to shape their communications depending on individual candidates’ actions.
A couple of weeks before the event, Pandora began to stage phone screens with the candidates that had replied to emails. Before this, they leveraged Avature to set up tailor-made screening forms to help establish if candidates were a good fit for the company culture, as well as confirming important details such as availability to work in the region and attend the on-site interviews.
It was crucial during these outreaches to routinely update the status of every individual to accurately follow the progress of each progress, and to ensure they received the correct automated correspondence. All of this can be automated with customizable Avature workflows, saving the recruiter time and nerves.
“It’s really great to have Avature email templates on hand, which I can tweak and edit to fit my needs as I go along. In these outreaches I included news articles and media links, which were invaluable in enhancing Pandora brand awareness as we moved into the Atlanta area”
Miryame Krogmeier - Sr. Sourcer - SiriusXM and Pandora
Utilizing Tags to Differentiate Candidates
Tags were an invaluable tool to Pandora recruiters, who used them to identify different candidate types and prioritization for invitations, and thus tailor their communications. For example, the VIP tag was popular to earmark outstanding candidates. It allowed recruiters to prioritize them in email campaigns, and to offer white glove service.
Staying Organized with Tasks
Pandora recruiters used tasks in Avature as a way to keep track of the many moving parts involved in organizing a large-scale recruitment event in such a condensed time frame.
These tasks were automatically linked to calendars, which allowed recruiters to easily prioritize activities or manage various deadlines. This included reminders for email outreaches or to follow up with VIP candidates.
The advantage of this tool is that it allowed recruiters to channel their tasks into one system, which made it much simpler to stay on top of such a large project.
“The Avature platform, with its comprehensive range of features, was invaluable in staying organized, follow what was happening with candidates at different times, and ensure we were engaging with them in the right way.”
Anastacia Flores -Director of Recruiting Operations - SiriusXM and Pandora
The metrics that Pandora garnered from the event emphasize the success of their strategy and the way in which they leveraged Avature to connect with hard-to-find, local talent. They more than doubled their target of filling 30 positions by hiring 67 candidates. This was especially impressive given the inherent difficulties involved in recruiting technical profiles. The event also proved to be a catalyst in reducing time-to-hire from an average 90 days, to just 45-60 days.
The event was so successful that Pandora repeated the feat twice again over the course of six months and recruited more than 200 staff in 2018. This included 100 technical and product employees, as well as filling other roles such as HR, legal and finance functions.
As well as acting as a launch pad to engage with high-caliber candidates, these recruitment parties helped Pandora firmly establish themselves within the Atlanta community. They began to receive referrals from those that had attended the events, and also involved themselves with the diverse local music scene as well as local government.