Gusto is a cloud-based payroll, benefits, and HR management software solution on a mission “to create a world where work empowers a better life.” While its core product offering is payroll processing—it automates and simplifies payroll for 200,000+ small and medium-sized businesses that otherwise don’t have support when it comes following complex tax, labor, and compliance laws—it offers a range of other products that cover medical insurance enrollment and administration, commuter benefits, 401k contributions, workers’ compensation insurance, and more.
As a company in the HR space, Gusto is centered on the human experience; and offering a thoughtful, intentional, and equitable candidate experience is a priority for their team. (Gusto’s recruiting team is called the “Invite Team”—one way they’re reintroducing humanity into hiring.) When the company’s customer base grew 2x during COVID, they knew they needed to support that base more than ever. They needed talent to help them serve their customers as they navigated an unprecedented time.
Josh Salazar oversees Recruiting Operations for the company. Josh lent a hand to the customer engagement team and then to the sourcing team. As a sourcer, he had a record-setting month in the middle of the pandemic: he won Gem’s “Candidate Whisperer Award,” with outreach messages that saw 49% reply rates and 35% interested rates.
Josh says that Gem was a significant partner in that success. “We’ve got a remarkably strong employee value proposition at Gusto; and thoughtfulness and equity have always been baked into our process.
Gem helps me become ever-more-familiar with prospective candidates’ interests and investments. What types of outreach work best for what roles, for what levels of experience? What content sees the most engagement? A/B testing with Gem has helped me hone in on the most effective outreach strategies. I’m giving talent the information I know, thanks to data, they find valuable.” What’s more, with Gem’s automated follow-ups, “we’re conducting world-class candidate nurture at Gusto.”
“Gem isn’t just a sourcing tool. It’s a tool to broadly buff your recruiting game in every aspect. We’ve got full-cycle recruiters using Gem right now. Our hiring managers have their hands in it.”
All that outreach and nurture is critical for building an exceptional team of first-rate talent—and a diverse one. Gusto sees plenty of inbound applicants; but “we want our workforce to reflect both the world and the companies we serve,” says Josh. “That’s an incredibly wide range of businesses, of demographics, of schools of thought, of visions. We serve coffee shops and we serve tech companies, and we want a workforce that can mirror that breadth.” Gem’s analytics give Gusto greater visibility into funnel representation, allowing his team to identify “what groups don’t have much representation at a particular stage. Are certain groups falling out after certain stages?” The team at Gusto has set aspirational goals around diversity: “We’re striving to increase the representation of certain employee populations across teams, roles, and levels based on the research we’ve collected on the existing talent pool. Gem is not only informing those targets; it’s also helping us track how we’re trending.” That means ensuring the team is reaching out to the right talent, and ensuring equity through the rest of the funnel.
“Talent Pipeline ensures there’s not a single candidate that ever falls through the cracks or gets stuck in a stage. We’re right there with them the whole way.”
While Josh uses Gem for top-of-funnel activities when he’s sourcing, he also notes that Gem “isn’t just a one-function focused tool. It’s a tool to broadly buff your recruiting game in every aspect. We’ve got full-cycle recruiters using Gem right now. Our hiring managers have their hands in it.” One of the products the team loves helps full-cycle recruiters stay on top of active candidates in their pipelines. “I watch my recruiters start their days in Talent Pipeline,” Josh says. “It’s a terrific way for them to orient themselves first thing in the morning: Okay, here’s where I am today. Looks like some scorecards got submitted last night for my team. Let’s move those stages. It’s a great tone-setter for action items on the day; and it ensures there’s not a single candidate that ever falls through the cracks or gets stuck in a stage. We’re right there with them the whole way.”
Moreover, the team “is delighted by” Gem’s Pipeline Analytics, a module in Gem’s Talent Compass that allows teams to view their entire talent pipelines at a glance. With every open req, sourcers and recruiters can “pull data that shows historical passthrough rates for that role. Recruiting can set a spot-on expectation for what that search is going to look like: Here’s what the phone screen-to-onsite, the onsite-to-offer, the offer-to-offer-accept ratio has historically looked like for this role. It’s so powerful for a recruiter to be able to say to a manager: If this is what your goal is, here’s where we’ll have to put our best efforts. Here’s how we can best partner with you. So Gem far surpasses sourcing and sequencing capabilities.”
“Recruiters are using Candidate Rediscovery to find candidates we’ve already built relationships with, who are vetted, diverse, and likely to move through our funnel more quickly than cold-sourced talent is.”
Josh says he saw an immediate shift in how searches begin when the team opted to mine Gem first for qualified candidates. “We’re talking about foundational practices,” he says. “Recruiters are using Candidate Rediscovery to find candidates we’ve already had touchpoints with—whom we’ve built relationships with—who are vetted, diverse, and likely to move through our funnel more quickly than cold-sourced talent is. In Gem, we have immediate visibility into each person’s history with us—who last reached out to them, how far they made it through process, why we weren’t yet a fit for each other.” And, Josh adds, when the team unearths candidates in Gem who did well in process in the past but whom they haven’t had any interaction with for a while, they have current data to re-engage with. “Gem refreshes candidate data every month. We don’t have to go looking for current prospect information anymore; it’s just there. So every reachout is not only personalized; it’s current. It meets the prospect exactly where they’re at.”
The ultimate goal of Gusto’s Talent Invite Team is to build a representative workforce, “and there’s no doing that without a combination of pipeline-building—which is also relationship-building—and exceptional candidate experiences.” Gusto’s team has always known that having an equitable and human company culture “means having equitable and humanizing systems and processes to support it. That’s where Gem has showed up strong for us,” Josh says. “It’s one of recruiting’s greatest partners. It helps inform our talent strategy from the ground-up.”