The Modern Recruiter series: Recruiting inspiration from ThoughtWorks

I saw this recently on LinkedIn and immediately was impressed. In an otherwise boring world of hiring where recruiters just say “we are hiring”, this post felt like a breath of fresh air.

What I’m talking about?

This LinkedIn post from Rakhee, a recruiter at ThoughtWorks:

To give you a quick overview, a candidate wrote a detailed blog post on how he finally got a job at ThoughtWorks after 3 failed attempts:

  • In his first attempt, he was given a feedback to work on the resume. No interview, no phone call.
  • Second time, he received a screening call but again was asked to improve his skills.
  • Third time, he received a screening call and was invited to a pre-recruitment activity called “Hiring Workshops”. These are a new way created by ThoughtWorks for their tech team to interact with potential candidates and offer some free guidance on improving their skills (that matter to ThoughtWorks very much)
  • After the hiring workshop, ThoughtWorks picked the candidate for further interviews and finally offered. Needless to say, the candidate didn’t think twice before joining.

Modern Recruiter lessons: What can we learn from this?

The first and obvious lesson is –

When you can’t find enough skilled talent, groom talent.

Many companies I know continue to look for experienced candidates endlessly, without any effort to find high potential candidates that can be skilled relatively easily.

The next lesson, which is difficult to achieve for most companies is

Reject candidates in a smart way

Often, recruiters are unable to respond to every candidate. It is obviously bad, but what is worse is they just reject candidates bluntly without offering any empathy and encouragement to apply again in future.

Full marks to ThoughtWorks here. They rejected the candidate thrice, but everytime they ensured the candidate stayed in touch and in fact, was more determined to work there. Google is also known for similar ways of handling their candidates (in fact a very large number of their hires were rejected at some point in the past).

The third lesson, and the most important, here is on thinking process.

Don’t be afraid of trying new things

Hiring workshops are an interesting way for ThoughtWorks to not only groom talent but also create a lot of good will. Most companies would have thought of the short term ROI of such workshops, given that they would take the valuable bandwidth of their developers. But ThoughtWorks ventured to try it out and as per Rakhee, “Hiring Workshops have completely changed the game for them.”.

Hope this sparked a thought or two?

Will be back with the next update in The Modern Recruiter series soon.

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This post is a part of The Modern Recruiter initiative to help hire better in 2020 and beyond. 

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