Customer Story

Lyft

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Lyft Increases Productivity per Resource by 4x with Gem

Lyft is an on-demand transportation company founded in 2012 with the mission of “improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.” It develops and operates the Lyft mobile app, which services ride-sharing, scooters, bicycle-sharing, and food delivery, all of which are available to 95% of the U.S. population and select cities in Canada. By the time of its Series G funding (2017), the company was valued at $7.5B. Lyft is currently the second-largest ridesharing company in the United States, occupying about one-third of the market. Recognizing the importance of top-of-funnel recruitment efforts, the company recently doubled-down on sourcing, shifting some of its headcount and resources from the recruiting function. They hired Jay Patel as their Technical Sourcing Manager to help grow the sourcing team.

I told leadership, ‘Look, if I’m going to be the sourcing manager, if you’re hiring me to build out an efficient team, then I’m just not as useful to you without Gem. So I need you to commit to this tool to make the decision worth it for both of us.’ I haven’t even been at Lyft a year and we’ve grown our sourcing function alone by 300%, because we have Gem doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the background.
Jay Patel
Jay Patel
Technical Sourcing Manager

Location

San Francisco, CA

What they do

Ridesharing

Website

https://www.lyft.com/

Size

5,000+ employees

ATS

Greenhouse

Gem product

CRM, Compass

Pain points / Challenges

  • Lacked a single solution for email follow-ups
  • Too much manual work for processes like getting a prospect into the applicant tracking system, cross-referencing, or emailfinding
  • Little visibility into recruiting metrics like the success of outreach campaigns or passthrough rates in the hiring funnel

Results with Gem

  • Sourcers and recruiters can set-and-forget sequences rather than sending one-off emails, increasing productivity per resource by 4x
  • The team can one-click upload prospects into their ATS, see the entire history of a prospect’s interactions with the team, and use the email addresses that Gem automatically finds for their outreach
  • Sourcers can track open and response rates to derive best practices for outreach, and recruiters can use passthrough rates to optimize their hiring funnels—especially when it comes to Lyft’s diversity initiatives

Jay came to Lyft from Dropbox, where Gem had been an essential part of his workflow. He told the company he wasn’t going to make the move unless Gem was included in his offer. “I told the leadership, ‘Look, if I’m going to be the sourcing manager, if you’re hiring me to build out an efficient team, then I’m just not as useful to you without Gem. So I need you to commit to this tool to make the decision worth it for both of us.’ I haven’t even been at Lyft a year and we’ve grown our sourcing function alone by 300%, because we have Gem doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the background.”

”The Great Benefit of Gem is It’s Essentially a Multiplier”

Jay says that, from a sourcing perspective, the most obvious benefit of Gem is in the numbers. “I worked as a recruiter at LinkedIn; and I was part of the team that helped develop LinkedIn Recruiter. Even then, we never did any sequencing; we never followed up with anyone. If we came across your profile, we reached out to you once, and that was it. When you’re focused on hitting quarter goals, there’s no room for a long-term mindset. And that’s the great benefit of Gem: it’s essentially a multiplier. Once you have the ability to sequence the folks you’re reaching out to—to have a second, third, fourth email auto-send—you’re increasing productivity per resource considerably. Now one sourcer is doing 4x the reachouts. So right there, just at the top of the funnel, you have this enormous ROI. As a sourcing leader, it’s basic math: do I pay for three more resources, or do I pay for a tool that costs the equivalent of one resource and quadruples the productivity of the staff I already have? Like it or not, the question of how to be the lowest-cost operator is always there for staffing orgs. And Gem has been a huge piece of establishing efficiency on the team I was tasked with building out.”

“With Gem, we upload prospects into our ATS with a single click, and sourcers can immediately see the whole history of that person’s interactions with our team. When you’ve got a staffing team of 200+, there’s bound to be a lot of overlap in who’s viewed a person, who’s reached out, and other actions taken on a candidate. So the team was thrilled with that visibility.”

The team at Lyft loved their newfound efficiency, Jay says. “There were three features in particular that people were immediately excited about. The first was the ease of getting a prospect into our applicant tracking system and of cross-referencing. With Gem, we upload prospects into our ATS with a single click, and sourcers can immediately see the whole history of that person’s interactions with our team. When you’ve got a staffing team of 200+, there’s bound to be a lot of overlap in who’s viewed a person, who’s reached out, and other actions taken on a candidate. The team was thrilled with that visibility because it not only tells them who they can reach out to, it also gives context to their outreach. The second feature is that Gem surfaces emails, which saves the team a ton of time. And the third, of course, is the ease of maintaining constant communication with prospects without having to type out a brand new message for each touchpoint.”

Beyond the efficiency of automation, there’s the intelligence sourcers and recruiters can draw from Gem’s analytics. One of the great things about Gem, Jay says, is that team members can derive value from its data in a number of ways. “There’s no consistent way that people are using it, but Gem’s analytics are definitely used widely. Some folks are happy just looking at their own passthrough rates and figuring out how to improve their individual pipelines: How many messages have I sent this month; how many replies have I gotten; how many reachouts have converted to phone screen? Other folks are benchmarking themselves against their peers. They’re dropping into Gem and looking at their teammates’ messaging. What messages or sequences are seeing high open and response rates? How do I derive best practices for my own outreach from that data? There’s a lot of data available in Gem; and whether you’re figuring out how to be the best sourcer on the team, or you’re just trying to best yourself every quarter, that information is there.”

“That’s the great benefit of Gem: it’s essentially a multiplier. Once you have the ability to sequence the folks you’re reaching out to—to have a second, third, fourth email auto-send—you’re increasing productivity per resource considerably. Now one sourcer is doing 4x the reachouts. So right there, just at the top of the funnel, you have this enormous ROI.”

Using Analytics for Funnel Optimization and Strategic Positioning of Resources

What Jay appreciates most about Gem’s analytics is that it’s proved out his hypothesis that sourcing is a crucial standalone function. “Because I can search by channel,” he says, “I can see the difference in efficiency between sourcers and full-cycle recruiters who have to do their own sourcing. It’s no surprise that when you allow someone to specialize, they produce better results. If you were to look at our numbers in Gem, you’d see that sourcing as a source channel provides 3x more hires than a recruiter does. That should tell you something about the importance of sourcing. Of course, Lyft isn’t going to slow down the recruiting function, because we’re still heavily reliant on applications and referrals. Those are fruitful channels for us. But your source channel is the only part of the funnel you can actually control. So with Gem, we’re able to identify what the right mix of sourcing and recruiting is within the larger organization, and determine which pipelines would benefit from what ratios.”

Another area in which Lyft has seen great value with Gem is in diversity hiring. Lyft’s diversity goals are “super ambitious,” Jay says. “Higher than industry norms. My expectation is that 25% of my team’s pipeline at the top of the funnel be candidates from diverse backgrounds. Because you can’t control the diversity you get through applicants and referrals; but you can certainly be intentional about it when you’re sourcing. And if you bring in women and underrepresented folks at the top, there will be a percentage of them that end up in the stages you want them to. I use Gem’s Pipeline Analytics and its integration with custom fields in Greenhouse; so I can pull reports around gender and ethnicity and look at passthrough rates.”

“My expectation is that 25% of my team’s pipeline at the top of the funnel be candidates from diverse backgrounds. Because you can’t control the diversity you get through applicants and referrals; but you can certainly be intentional about it when you’re sourcing. I use Gem’s Pipeline Analytics and its integration with custom fields in Greenhouse; so I can pull reports around gender and ethnicity and look at passthrough rates.”

Jay says the biggest signal of Gem’s success at Lyft is in usage. “It’s embedded in both the sourcing and recruiting team as a fundamental part of their workflows, which tells us everything. People are only going to use a product if they see the benefit in it. The team is experiencing efficiency. They’re seeing the importance of nurturing candidates over the long term—sending updates on Lyft 8, 9, 12 months out to keep prospects interested in the company. As for me,” Jay says, “I’ve only been able to build this reachout and nurture machine because Gem exists. Gem helps you work smarter instead of harder, and achieve more with fewer resources. And from a leadership perspective that’s terrific, because it means you can spend your recruiting budget in other areas—events, LinkedIn job posts, whatever the case may be. It makes the entire sourcing and recruiting function far more dynamic in terms of how we can conquer challenges.”

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