Every interaction with an organization shapes the candidate experience: searching for jobs on the career site, applying for a job, communicating with a recruiter, interviewing with a hiring manager, all the way through determining a start date.
Providing a positive, engaging experience at every stage of the journey for a single candidate is hard enough. But, managing this for thousands of candidates to fill hundreds of roles? Now that’s a feat.
This topic of combining speed and scale with a personalized approach is what prompted our Community Conversation between Grace Cecilio, Manager of Sourcing & Talent Acquisition at Dexcom, and Jason Cerrato, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Eightfold AI.
Here’s more from Cecilio, who unpacks how her team uses talent intelligence and actionable data to inform decisions at every stage, from sourcing qualified candidates to personalizing communications and setting realistic expectations with hiring managers. (Ed note: This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.)
Dexcom’s Journey: High Tech, High Touch
Jason Cerrato: Every organization is different. How is the talent acquisition team structured at Dexcom?
Grace Cecilio: There are three layers within our talent acquisition team. We have recruiters, sourcers, and talent acquisition leaders.
We also have a new function: talent acquisition operations, which will create the foundational processes and systems for our ever-growing needs. We’ve always operated as a startup with a “get stuff done” mindset, but now we need to make repeatable and scalable processes.
Mostly, we are a centralized team that partners closely with business leaders. So in this sense, it feels embedded.
J.C.: What does the candidate experience mean to you at Dexcom? What does it mean to you personally?
G.C.: Our North Star is the customer experience, which we want to be reflected across the employee and candidate experience.
The connection to the product and mission attracted me personally to Dexcom. So many of us have family members affected by diabetes. I get heartwarming stories from candidates daily.
J.C.: Can you tell us about Dexcom’s journey over the last few years?
G.C.: We’re dealing with a different talent landscape. It’s fast-paced and competitive.
In the past five years, we’ve grown 30 percent year-over-year, from 2,000 people to 6,000 people. It’s a rapid pace of growth.
Candidates are picky, and they have lots of options. They’re doing their research with their network and online. They’re looking for companies that will care for them and treat them with respect.
The journey we are on is ensuring we are filling requisitions with engaged, qualified, and talented people. Most recruiters have 30+ requisitions on their plate at any given time, requiring the right tools and technology to double our productivity, change behaviors, and help people be more confident with the decision-making process.
J.C.: What tools or process updates have generated the most impact?
G.C.: The most impactful technology we have implemented is the AI-powered career site and its matching capabilities. From the get-go, when the candidate lands on the Dexcom career site, they can upload their resume and automatically get matched with a job instead of searching through 400 open positions worldwide.
We want to attract high-performers to work for us. Who has time to go through a lengthy application process? We want to make it quick and easy.
Within the platform, the calibration tool within Eightfold helps us in the intake meeting with a hiring manager. Calibrating a role provides us with match scores of the top five or 10 candidates we can use as a benchmark.
J.C.: In your process, who is involved with calibration?
G.C.: I love this question. We’ve fine-tuned this process, but our sourcers and recruiters lead the intake meeting. With their knowledge of the business group, the sourcer or recruiter fills in the calibration form on Eightfold with as much information as possible.
Within the meeting, the biggest bang for your buck is to show a hiring manager how small the talent pool is and align expectations.
When you calibrate your requisitions, there’s a higher chance for a candidate to get matched.
J.C.: How are you using analytics to guide decision-making?
G.C.: I can check on how my requisitions are doing. If I tweak a job description, I can see how much traffic it’s getting. If other requisitions get a lot of hires quickly, how can I emulate what that recruiter is doing?
The career analytics and talent analytics dashboards are handy from a sourcing team perspective. We can see the flow of the funnel: messaging, response, and open rates. And we can see which of our niche positions needs more applicant flow.
We’re also using the diversity dashboard even more, which helps us work closely with ERG teams. We get a lot of questions about our approach, so the data helps drive those conversations.
When engaging candidates, Eightfold goes beyond matching jobs to people. The AI can also match content to candidates to refine who would be the best-targeted audience for that particular campaign.
J.C.: We talk about going high-tech so you can go high-touch. What has this freed you up to focus more on?
G.C.: The hardest part is writing a good message and less so compiling names. I can focus more on developing strategies for pipelining and creating custom personalized outreach plans. How can I create meaningful conversations with the talent community versus just sending them a general email?
There’s also something to be said about email as a first touchpoint, but we’re also able to test out texting candidates, which gets responses faster. Again, we just need to make sure to keep it short and sweet and, of course, professional.