Software Executive Magazine

December 2017

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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Page 21 of 43

I N S I D E A M A S S H I R I N G D A Y Sisti has a tested process for promot- ing these hiring events since Abacus- Next started hosting them four years ago and it doesn't require a massive advertising budget. Posts on Linke- dIn, job boards, and Facebook usually do the trick. The company also relies on employee referrals to share the open house within their networks. Lezama estimates about one-third of candidates at mass hiring events are from referrals. The company has hosted as many as three events in one month, but about six per year is typ- ical. Once candidates show up to the AbacusNext offices for a mass hiring event, the process is as methodical as shipping code. Lezama says this methodology starts with a mentality that is the opposite of typical hiring practices. AbacusNext assumes 100 percent of candidates are 100 percent qualified with 100 percent of the skills the company wants. She compares it to a college admissions process — Stanford assumes all applicants have 4.0 GPAs because otherwise students wouldn't even try to apply. The day starts with homegrown questionnaires and customized sur- veys. Candidates aren't given much instruction — just like they aren't giv- en much detail in the event invitation — as a way to fur- ther test soft skills. The tools used for this portion of the screening also test hard skills, but the company places more emphasis on soft skills. "We're filtering for peo- ple who are able to think on their feet, who are able to articulate properly, who are able to improvise, and who are able to represent themselves. If they're not able to do that, we don't want to hire them," says Lezama. After soft skills tests are administered, she gives an overview about the company. Her presentation includes informa- tion on decision making processes, management styles, operating hours, and individual performance measures. Candidates are encouraged to leave at any point if the fit isn't right. At past events, some have left when they found out some departments start at 6 a.m. to accom- modate East Coast clients. Some have left when they found out the company conducts seven-year back- ground checks and credit reports. And that's the inten- front of as many candidates as pos- sible without wasting time flipping through resumes. Diana Sisti, director of talent ac- quisition at AbacusNext, purposely doesn't give too much detail when she promotes the company's next hiring event. Her LinkedIn post in August 2017 about an upcoming mass hiring event asked interested candidates to bring "your best you, two copies of your resume, three professional references, and a cover letter describing why you are a valuable contributor to a tech- nology organization." The flier lists a date, time, address, and directions to free parking. It's recommended, but not required, to RSVP. There is a para- graph describing how Lezama will give an overview of the company during the open house, and it includes a handful of example positions available. Some candidates might be skeptical based on this limited information, and that's just fine with AbacusNext. "All of those candidates that read our postings and decide not to make it into the open house because it may be suspicious or they just want to wait and hear about it from someone else, they never get hired here. That is the first process of pre-selection," says Lezama. The company wants to hire out-of-the-box thinkers who are open to out-of-the-box hiring methods. One candidate admitted it sounded like a multi-level marketing scheme. AbacusNext doesn't have time to worry about candi- dates it might miss because of the unconventional nature of its process. After four years of hosting open houses, Lezama and Sisti know if they can get 60 candidates in the room that they're going to hire about 25 to 30 of them. At a recent mass hiring event, 36 candidates showed up and 14 were hired. Considering's research, it would take the average company about 333 days — al- most a full year — to hire those 14 people. In the fast-paced technology world, 333 days may as well be a decade, and that's why AbacusNext keeps perfecting a process to hire in bulk. Sisti does occasionally hire on an individual basis too. In fact, it's not uncommon for her to onboard multiple candidates in a week. But overall, the company has found its most successful hiring formula comes from bringing in "classes" of new hires from open houses. A B A C U S N E X T YEAR FOUNDED: 1983 RECENT ACQUISITIONS: May 2017 Office Tools February 2017 Cloudnine Realtime Results Software May 2016 Gavel & Gown Software INC. 5000 RANK: 795 EMPLOYEES: 350+ 3-YEAR GROWTH RATE: 571% 2016 REVENUE: $45.5 Million HEADQUARTERS: San Diego, CA EXCLUSIVE FEATURE STAFFING By A. Sorensen HIRING FAST TO KEEP UP WITH RAPID CLOUD GROWTH SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM DECEMBER 2017 22

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