Cloudy Recruitment: How we Find the Best Talent

Cloudreach was founded in 2009 with the aim of being different, helping companies to embrace the power of cloud computing as an inevitable evolution of best business practice. This ethos of creating change spreads through our whole organisation, even to our recruitment process - notice that we don’t use the term 'HR'.

When on the lookout for new talent, I’m always keen to make the process as open and innovative as possible, which has meant embracing some of the very same technologies Cloudreach is centred on. We’re going through a period of rapid growth, so it’s a perfect time to give an insight into how we find the very best people to join our team.  

The emergence of social media has had a massive impact on the recruitment process for us at Cloudreach, making it easier to source and recruit talent in-house. A few years ago, I was using mainly recruitment agencies, but over the last year our team and internal processes have improved so much that it is more cost effective for us to do all recruitment in-house. It is also a company policy to not engage with any external recruiters. We source all candidates ourselves, using various social-media websites and job boards. We also use a very good applicant tracking system to help us keep track of all our applicants - a personal profile is created once you apply to a role and each candidate profile is individually assessed and reviewed based on their CV and cover letter before being interviewed by one of our expert recruiters.

One of the challenges I had, when using recruitment agencies, was that as we were building our own database of candidates on our ATS, agencies were introducing us to candidates already known to us. That caused a few issues in terms of solving ownership conflicts and this became counter-effective. Another was quality of candidates - we found that working in-house we get exposed to the company culture and likes and dislikes first-hand and can screen candidates much more easily, as opposed to be flooded with irrelevant CVs that still need screening before passing on to a hiring manager. We also find the cost of recruitment, as we perform it, to be much lower.

We do use independent job boards and some are preferred over others, of course, and I have to be really smart about which ones we pick in relation to the type of recruitment we are doing and in which region. It is definitely not a one-stop shop for good candidates. We have found that some search options and filters are not optimised enough and often provide quite a useless selection of candidates. You really need to spend a fair amount of time customising your saved searches and watchdogs in order to uncover relevant candidates. We find they are quite expensive for what they offer, especially when looking at licence fees for other European countries.

That’s precisely why we love LinkedIn, Xing and Viadeo. We are opening three offices overseas at the moment, and if it was not for those social media sites we would certainly not be achieving our hiring targets as quickly as we have so far. They provide a great platform to recruit and have uncovered some amazing talent. I also like the fact that you can see extra information on a candidate, such as references and interest, and more detail in terms of education and extra activities they might get involved in. There are a few exceptions to the rule, for instance in Germany, where using social media as a recruitment tool is slightly less favoured, but with the right message we still manage to connect with potential hires.

That being said, we don’t actively use Facebook for recruitment at the moment. We have a company page which we keep updated with fun social aspects of the company, but we do not tend to contact candidates via Facebook. The view is that it is a personal tool and not really a business tool. So many people put a lot of very personal information on Facebook, some which should not be used when deciding on whether or not to proceed with a candidate. It is dangerous and some things could also be completely misinterpreted. We think it is too intrusive in relation to the private lives of people and we prefer to stick to LinkedIn, Viadeo and other professional oriented platforms which are designed for connecting professionals online.

At Cloudreach we hire smart, interesting and enthusiastic colleagues - people we want to work with and who we all believe will contribute to the company’s vision for growth and success. We are strong believers of hiring against our company values and we place a lot of emphasis on recruiting "Cloudy" employees. We now have what we call a "Cloudy Panel", which is the last interview all candidates attend, either face to face or via Google Hangout. We nominated a few employees who we believe truly live our company values to represent the panel. One of these picked at random will then do a final interview with a potential candidate and will spend some time talking to a candidate about things not related to the day to day activities of the job but more in terms of soft skills, management style, working with others, handling conflicts and much more. This process has led us to great results in fulfilling our "value-matching" criteria.

Want to be part of our journey? Check out our current job listings here.