Drought In California Leads To Flood Of Applicants

Challenge

Assembling a skilled, passionate team to fight the drought

With business tripling in 2014, the need to more rapidly grow the team to address water resource stress around the country became an urgent priority for WaterSmart Software. The company’s small but nimble hiring team had to find a way to more rapidly identify and recruit new team members in order to support them in their mission to change the way the world uses water.

Solution

Jobvite Hire

Jobvite Hire’s centralized platform, social media features and streamlined, collaborative workflow empowered WaterSmart employees to work closely together to scale the recruiting function and meet the company’s growth goals.

Results

108% staff increase in six months

After implementing Jobvite, WaterSmart grew from about 12 full-time employees to 25, hired numerous interns and developed a plan to expand their staff even more, all with a reduced time-tohire. As the company continued to improve its customers’ water-use efficiency across the country, its recruiting efficiency kept apace through a data driven approach that was anchored in the Jobvite platform.

 

WaterSmart Desktop

A Company on a Mission

WaterSmart is a company that’s been fueled by a passion for conservation since its very beginning. Interested in learning more about their personal water use, founders Peter Yolles and Rob Steiner reached out to utility companies looking for a way to measure water consumption. Despite promises to provide that information, the water suppliers never delivered. Yolles and Steiner decided to take matters into their own hands and create a platform for curious consumers to track — and ultimately, reduce — their water usage. Since then, WaterSmart has developed a program that uses analytics, behavioral psychology and cloud technology and has saved users over 1.7 billion gallons of water — a number that grows steadily each day.

As a result, environmentally conscious job seekers began to pour in by the dozens. This would pose a significant challenge to any company, let alone one with only a handful of employees. With so many interested candidates, WaterSmart’s manual applicant tracking system (ATS) — which consisted of compiling candidate information in a Microsoft Word document — was rendered nearly useless. With the urgency of growing demand for WaterSmart solutions, the company needed a recruiting solution that could help sift through the deluge of applicants in order to fill open positions quickly and efficiently. After hearing a colleague from an executive development group sing Jobvite’s praises, Yolles decided to test it out. After seeing how well Jobvite’s capabilities matched WaterSmart’s growing needs, he rolled it out to the entire company.

 The Floodgates Open

Interest in water conservation has skyrocketed in recent years, especially in the drought-stricken state of California where WaterSmart is based. “Ever since the governor of California declared a drought emergency, people have begun to understand how serious this problem is and how critical it is to deal with now,” says Jeff Lipton, Director of Marketing at WaterSmart. As the drought stretched on and people began hunting for solutions, WaterSmart increasingly found itself in the media spotlight.

WaterSmart_portal_tablet

Using Jobvite’s ATS to Draft the Team

First and foremost, Jobvite served as the complete, centralized recruiting platform that WaterSmart had never had before. “Previously, there was no one place to store candidate information,” Lipton says. “We had to search through Word and Excel documents or keep track of email threads to pull up data.” Now, employees use Jobvite as a centralized repository for employee information — which has proved useful in some unexpected ways. “On several occasions we’ve found that a candidate who isn’t a great fit for a particular role turns out to be ideal for another; in those cases, their application and interview history can be easily handed off to a new hiring manager, which has led to several hires in different positions than what candidates originally applied for,” Lipton says.

Another recruiting hurdle was WaterSmart’s size — before Jobvite, the company only had about 12 full time employees, none of whom focused solely on recruiting. “At an early-stage startup, everyone wears multiple hats,” Lipton says. “Even our software developers need to act as hiring managers.” Jobvite’s social media features provided an easy, intuitive way for employees to share open positions within their networks, allowing them to find their inner recruiter. “Jobvite even allows you to search your network for specific job requirements and matching job titles, which really allows you to hone in on a specific audience,” Lipton says.

And Jobvite’s collaborative workflow allows multiple people to process applications and communicate with each other, ensuring that the entire team is in sync. “We have a very consensus-driven hiring process, and before Jobvite, coordinating notes from various team members was challenging. But now, everyone can easily track applicant statuses through the pipeline and jump in at any time to leave notes on specific candidates,” Lipton says.

A Revitalized Recruiting ProgramWaterSmart_mobile

Since adopting Jobvite in early 2014, WaterSmart has gone from about 12 full-time employees to 25, with plans to increase to 40 by the end of 2015. They’ve also hired multiple interns. Not only has their team size increased — their turnaround time has improved as well. “Before Jobvite, job applications would sometimes sit around untouched for months,” Lipton says. “Now, our average time-to-hire is about 55 days.”

“Jobvite has directly helped our company mature,” Lipton adds. “It has encouraged our team members to work together to source talent, comment on applications and engage in the recruitment process as a whole.” And at a company where employees across departments are tasked with recruiting, a streamlined hiring process means that time that would have been wasted on inefficient and tedious recruiting tasks can now be focused on working towards their ultimate goal — preserving the planet’s most precious resource.

About Watersmart Software

WaterSmart Software uses mobile and online tools to help water utilities educate and engage their customers to save water and money. WaterSmart offers a turnkey, cloud-based analytics and engagement platform that makes it easy to improve water-use efficiency by 5 percent in as little as 12 months. Come help us change the way the world uses water.

"Previously, there was no one place to store candidate information, we had to search through Word and Excel documents or keep track of email threads to pull up data."

Jeff Lipton
Director of Marketing, Watersmart Software

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