Terra Soloski knows her stuff.
She spent nearly a decade working as a Recruitment Manager (then Branch Manager) for Robert Half International in Cali. Plus, she’s a mom. In our book, that makes her extra awesome. After taking a brief hiatus to spend some much-deserved quality time with her two young kids, Terra leveraged her amazing network to score a gig as a full-time remote recruiter with Knock.
Heard of them? If not, just wait.
Knock was founded by founding team members of Trulia. Yes, THE Trulia. But instead of listing properties for sale, Knock lets homeowners trade in their homes.
For anyone who wants to make a move but doesn’t have the money to buy a new home before their old one sells — Knock’s home trade-in program is the solution you’ve been dreaming of. They help your find your new home, buy it outright on your behalf with their cash and move you in before selling your old home on the open market.
Now there’s no need to go through the hell of repainting the living room, finding a seller or cleaning up every single day until the deal is sold (they even advance an extra $10K on both the old and new homes to cover repairs, and settle with you at closing). 👍🏽
And they’re growing fast. Knock first launched in Atlanta in the summer of 2015, and just last month they launched their first new market in Charlotte. Not only that, Knock will open in ten more markets by end of 2019 and plans to go public by the end of 2020.
Terra clearly has her work cut out for her. We sat down to find out exactly how she keeps up!
Tell us a little bit about your biggest recruitment challenges and how Breezy helps you solve them.
One of the things we love about Breezy is the questionnaire. Being able to ask questions during the application process to better understand a potential candidate’s skill set helps us screen them in rather than out. It’s hard to do that using most tech, which is designed to screen candidates out. Now we can screen for what we want.
Do you have any selection-process pro tips you can share with our readers?
I have triggers set up where candidates automatically go into a Recruiter list and get automatically booked into my Calendly.
Volume is the main challenge for us and it’s a good challenge to have, but it’s also time-consuming. By the end of 2018, we will have listed 100 jobs total, all with Breezy.
Identifying potential candidates by using stage actions helps us move candidates through more quickly and helps us be more responsive to all our applicants. We want every single application to be touched. We let everyone know we receive their application. We have automatic emails going out to let them know their application has been received and we get a lot of “thank-you’s” in response to that.
The questionnaires, stage actions and the ability to populate emails that go out automatically are the game-changers for us.
How much of your recruitment process is focused on creating an awesome candidate experience?
At Knock, the candidate is immediately responded to. This is important to us as it speaks to our ability to make an impression. And for candidates who are happy, employed and just looking at jobs from an opportunistic standpoint, this really matters.
Being able to show our respect through an immediate response is impactful and surprising. We want them to say, “Wow. I’ve never seen that before!”.
What does the future of recruitment look like?
The future of recruitment is about making it a great experience for everyone. It’s a competitive environment so you want to offer respect from that very first application.
It’s all about putting yourself in the job seeker’s shoes. Maybe they’re really interested in the job. Maybe not. You always have to take their perspective and show your respect for the position they’re in. Things are getting more competitive and even if they’re not the right fit, they could refer you to someone who is, but only if they have a good experience.
Unemployment is at a historic low and things are getting more competitive, but I think you always have to assume you’re competing. You always have to be ready to put your best foot forward. It’s something that’s very important to us at Knock.
In fact, it’s part of our values. You can see this on our career page with our culture acronym, POPSICLE. We really try to live that.
What are the recruitment and hiring workflows at Knock where you see teams using Breezy?
I like to centralize everything in Breezy because if I’m unavailable I want everyone to find the information they need. All our emails go through Breezy and we use the @-mentions to share info. I even copy/paste Slack messages in Breezy!
I learned a long time ago that documentation is important for a lot of reasons. It’s key to creating a reproducible message and ensuring all the info is in one central place instead of having to switch back and forth from Slack, email, etc.
It just makes everything easy for everyone.
How much time would you say that Breezy saves you overall (pre-Breezy vs. now)?
That’s hard to quantify! If I had to screen and look at every application and we receive, so about 30 for every open position, and we have 8 open positions per week, that’s 4 hours a week.
That’s a lot if you ask me!
What are your best insider tricks for engaging potential candidates?
Actually, just recently I had a candidate who had an offer in hand from another real estate company and I just asked her directly, “With these two offers in hand, where does your heart lie?”.
She said she liked the fact that our Director of Operations asked her about her hobbies and what she likes to do in her free time. She said she knew she would fit into our culture because she would be treated as a person, not just another cog in the machine clocking in every day.
That’s important. People want to feel like they’re a valued part of something bigger. For many candidates, they’re not just evaluating the offer and the compensation, they’re evaluating the culture.
What’s the fastest hire you ever made?
Actually, it might be the same woman I’m referring to that we were competing with another offer on!
You have to move more quickly when you’re competing with another offer, but you still have to do your due diligence. After all, you don’t want to cave under the pressure and make the wrong hire!
But on this one, we were moving very quickly because she’s great and we all really believe she’s a good fit. She had five phone interviews and one in-person interview, and I completed all her references, all within 7 days.
At Knock, you can’t get hired without interviewing with one of the members of our founding team and we practically hounded her! But I did warn her. I called with a heads-up, “You’re about to receive a lot of calls, but it’s just because we like you!”.
Do you have any personal passions or side projects most people might not know about?
I’m passionate about being healthy in mind, body and spirit. I do yoga and pilates. I also like to cook and I stick to a plant-based diet. I also coach my kids’ soccer and baseball teams. I like being physically fit and healthy. I try to embody that for my kids and my community.
And when they try to stop me from going to the gym, I remind them I’m a better mom when I work out. I’m doing this for you too, kids!
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