One of my favorite companies to learn about is Netflix. I guess since I have been addicted to their product since 2008, I am always curious as to how the company continues to raise the bar. One of the product deliverables I am obsessed with as a client is the ability of the platform to know what I might want to watch next.
Think back to a time before Netflix. Maybe you just finished a series about the English dynasty that led to the crowning of Elizabeth the I. You might find yourself a little depressed that the series came to an end but decide to find something equally as appealing. Prior to Netflix, clients would stand in the isles of a Blockbuster, aimlessly looking at titles to find something of interest. Some might engage an employee to get recommendations but the value of that recommendation was largely dependent on a mutual love for royal drama series. The chances you would walk out of the store with a series you would enjoy was roughly 50/50.
Now, let’s think about how Netflix approaches this problem. The platform recognizes that you completed a three season series on the subject in a recent binge watching weekend. Rather than hopelessly scouring the list of titles in the Netflix library, the platform suggests five new series that are similar to the one you just completed.
You didn’t have to ask anyone for help or wonder how in the world you’d replace the characters you fell in love with. Netflix just knows what would be the best recommendation for you. For me, it saves me time and the headache of trying to determine which series I should benge next. It’s right there on the screen and all I have to do is play.
The amount of data Netflix gathers from its users is one of the key components in its success and profitability. It has evolved from its first attempt to cater content based on general themes to ranking your homepage with recommendations by genre, topic, time period and even what’s trending with other users similar to you. Each piece of data is gathered in real-time to enhance your experience and create committed customers.
If Netflix did not gather and act on client feedback quickly, it would have suffered the same fate as Blockbuster. Ironically, Netflix made an attempt to be bought by the once movie giant after the .com bubble burst. It has now not only outlived the giant but also become one of the leading platforms for video content.
The feedback loop in the recruiting process is equally as important. It must be as quick and efficient as possible to ensure the sprint is successful. When you place feedback requirements and deadlines, you will begin to notice slight efficiencies early on. It’s when both the recruiter and the hiring manager solidify their partnership and commitment to achieving success in the sprint that the fun really starts.
- Managers become trained to know that in order to see more candidates, they have to open slots in the WIP limit with feedback.
- Recruiters become addicted to moving candidates through the process to close positions and collect points so they create innovative ways to hold managers to the deadline.
- Candidates benefit the most by enjoying a quicker hiring process or by receiving the necessary feedback to grow in their career.
Feedback in Sprint Recruiting
One of my favorite quotes about feedback in the AGILE process is from Henrik Kniberg and Mattias Skarin. In their book Kanban and Scrum: Making the Most of Both, the authors provide this great advice:
To enable short feedback loops both during and after sprints, recruiting teams can leverage the common language that creates mutual understanding between the hiring team and the recruiting function. The point system helps set the definition of success and facilitates constant communication and collaboration to ensure that the right roles are being focused on. Recruiters can use the value of the job (points) to create a call to action for both teams to commit to frequent feedback to keep the process moving. Frequent feedback is vital for recruiting teams to understand whether they are going in the direction as expected and defined by the client.
When you or your team feel the need to back off of the feedback deadline, I’d encourage you to press even harder. The breakthrough occurs when you begin seeing positive trends in the number of points you can obtain during a sprint. Additionally, the efficiencies born from the frequent feedback loop become almost addictive. More time will be spent sourcing the right candidates, based on timely feedback from the managers which will translate to not only a more engaged recruiting team but also much happier clients.
Sprint recruiting is designed to cultivate and enforce a culture of constant and candidate feedback. The culture of sprint recruiting has helped our team achieve goals we did not think were attainable. It is definitely one that will either make or break your success in implementing the sprint recruiting methodology in your organization.
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