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In Conversation: Colet Coelho, Head of Talent Acquisition, Recruit CRM

HireIQ: Women In Tech - Colet Coelho

Hire IQ by HackerEarth is a new initiative in which we speak with recruiters, talent acquisition managers, and hiring managers from across the globe, and ask them pertinent questions on the issues that ail the tech recruiting world. 

Next up in this edition is Colet Coelho, Head of Talent Acquisition, at Recruit CRM. Being Women’s History Month, we wanted to understand the diversity mandates at Recruit CRM and more importantly, as a woman in tech, what would Colet like to change for welcoming more of such awesome women into the tech recruiting space. 

Settle in, and let’s get to it!

P.S. If you missed the first edition of HireIQ where we sit down with Charles Rue from IHS Markit, you can read it here 🙂

HackerEarth: A lot of recruiting jargon has made headlines in the last two years. Candidate experience, remote hiring, employee burnout, and of course the ‘Great Resignation’. If you had to pick one jargon/phrase to attach to the future of ATS platforms, what would it be and why?

Colet: If I had to pick a jargon out of the mentioned, I would pick two—candidate experience and remote hiring. The candidate experience we design reveals a great deal about who we are as an employer. Prospective workers will judge our company based on their experience with the recruiting process, and a negative applicant experience will discourage future job seekers from applying. 

Although, providing an excellent candidate experience can be a problematic aspect of the remote hiring process. Enhancing the overall candidate experience in remote recruitment is a vital function of an Applicant Tracking System. ATS platforms automate hiring while streamlining this entire process.

Recommended read – Remote Work And Recruitment: An ATS Story

HackerEarth: How have your internal hiring policies changed in the last two years? Since DEI has been a priority in the tech world, have you initiated any new processes for improving inclusion at your workplace?

Colet: Our hiring policies have been pretty consistent. Since we have always been a remote functioning organization, the last two years haven’t affected our recruitment methods too much. 

Our organization has a fair distribution of employees from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and locations spread across the globe. We host regular meetings with all our employees where everyone is heard and allowed to present their views forward. 

To create an inclusive culture, starting at the very beginning is critical. We preach, advocate, and encourage inclusivity as an essential component of our organizational principles. We’ve started sharing it on our social media, websites, and in interviews so that any potential employee is aware of our inclusion goals. 

We have also begun to streamline the recruiting process by enabling candidates from various community outreach initiatives, job fairs, and hiring consultants to participate. This guarantees that we have a varied range of abilities.

Inclusion at the workplace is pointless if people are not valued for who they are.

The pronouns that a person prefers are entirely up to them. We will begin to include a section on the pronouns employees prefer on their identity cards. In addition, we will guarantee that all of our job descriptions include gender-neutral language.

HackerEarth: As a woman in the tech recruiting space, what are some of the changes you would like to see in how companies attract talented women? How about expanding the conversation to include the non-binary community, and if yes, then how can recruiters begin to do that?

Colet:  Flexibility is one of the top perks a firm can offer an employee, not just to women but also men.  As a woman in the recruitment sphere, I’d like to see companies offer women more flexibility regarding where, when, and how they work.

Flexibility for women in tech

To attract non-binary candidates, recruiters can start by allowing a range of pronouns in different areas. Leaving gender boxes unfilled or providing the opportunity to add additional gender or pronoun categories in both paper and online HR forms/platforms will encourage non-binary employees to apply as well as feel like they belong in the workplace.

HackerEarth: Data has become an important tool for recruiters today. In your opinion, what do you think are the three most important markers/data points that recruiters should be looking at when hiring? Additionally, do you think there is a data point that recruiters are overlooking?

Colet: The three most important data points that recruiters should always consider are quality of hire, cost-per-hire, and time-to-hire. 

While assessing hiring quality might be subjective, it is probably one of the most critical criteria to monitor. Poor performance can indicate that you have an individual performing the wrong job, regardless of how quickly you fill a role or how much you lower the hire cost. 

The cost per hire is simply the money spent on recruiting in a given year divided by the total number of hires made. The recruiting costs vary for every organization, so it’s a good idea to benchmark the typical expenditures for various jobs in your firm. The time-to-hire metric measures how fast an applicant progresses through the various phases of the recruiting process. 

The total amount spent on recruitment in a given year divided by the number of recruits is the cost per hire. Again, the recruiting expenses differ from one organization to the next. Therefore, it’s good to benchmark the average expenditures for various roles inside your company.

Data points to improve your tech hiring process

A critical marker that recruiters occasionally tend to neglect is the source of hiring.

Knowing where your best candidates and applicants are coming from is quite helpful, especially when it comes to recruitment marketing. With this indicator, you can discover those sources and channels that bring in the most qualified candidates for your available positions.

Recommended read: The Great Resignation In The Tech Industry – How To Prevent it

HackerEarth: One of the questions we love asking tech recruiters is – when it comes to skills versus experience, what would you choose and why? What are some of your trusted markers for a skill that you would use to gauge a developer’s competency when hiring?

Colet: While I’m constantly emphasizing soft and hard skills as a recruiter, I can’t ignore the importance of work experience to evaluate a candidate. Therefore, when I search for an ideal candidate, I am looking for a combination of the right personality, soft skills, technical or hard skills, and practical industry experience. 

Although, a lack of corporate experience is not an indicator of poor potential, especially when hiring youth. The ability to work in a team structure, make decisions and solve problems, communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization, and plan, organize and prioritize work are skills I focus on evaluating when hiring. 

My usual evaluation method is looking at past projects and giving real-time assignments to measure a developer’s expertise when recruiting.

HackerEarth: Let’s talk a bit about workplace culture 🙂 In the era of hybrid, how do you suggest companies can keep up employee morale and boost engagement?

Colet: I truly believe that open communication and prioritizing employee well-being are the way to maintain morale at work. Honest communication facilitates trust, and employees who have faith in their supervisors to act in their best interests are less stressed during times of transition and uncertainty. Considering employee mental health is also a critical factor in ensuring high morale, especially concerning feelings of isolation and the rising risk of burnout. 

Ultimately, leaders cannot just guess or intuit what would make staff feel the most upbeat and engaged. They are the only ones who can tell you what works for them.

So I suggest that companies solicit constant input from employees through employee engagement surveys to gather personal knowledge and then develop a curated strategy that tailors efforts to people’s preferences and requirements.

HackerEarth: Recruit CRM also helps companies with sourcing. What are some non-traditional modes of sourcing you have seen your clients use in the recent past that you think have great potential? Alternatively, do you think there are untapped platforms that tech recruiters can use to their advantage?

Colet: I’ve seen clients use quite a few non-traditional methods of sourcing that have turned out to be quite the successes. For example, sourcing through social media and Boolean searches. Social networking has evolved into one of the most effective tools for hiring today. LinkedIn, Github for developers, and Behance for creatives are the most well-known professional platforms. 

However, popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are valuable tools. I feel like Quora and YouTube are two such platforms that haven’t been tapped by recruiters yet but can prove to be of great help in finding potential employees.

Recommended read: Boolean Search Strings – 5 Essential Tips For Recruiters

HackerEarth: And lastly—a piece of advice for recruiters around the globe to navigate the pandemic-induced ups and downs of the recruiting business. 

Colet: The last two years have been tough on recruiters. The pandemic and its consequences decimated some talent acquisition teams, piled additional pressures on others, and proved to be a historic change agent, as virtually recruiting and onboarding a remote workforce became the norm for many. 

Since virtual hiring is here to stay, I would advise recruiters to focus on making virtual recruitment as streamlined and fine-tuned as possible using an ATS. In addition, a common challenge resulting from the pandemic is the difficulty in filling job openings.

The difficulty in getting applications is an excellent opportunity for some clever employer branding. 

Take advantage of this chance to establish your employer brand and set your organization out of competition. Address the main worries of your present workers and future applicants by assuring them that your firm is solid and helpful.

Colet Coelho

About Colet Coelho:

Based out of Mumbai, India, Colet heads the Talent Acquisition team at Recruit CRM, aiming to bring the best talent onboard and scale the current team of 50 to over 150 in the next 2 years. Here is her LinkedIn.


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