Part I — The backstory. The world’s top recruiting teams will be agile and much smarter than they are today
Even if you are familiar with the benefits of Agile Project Management principles and Kanban you are likely asking yourself why on earth would a recruiting technology company build Agile Task Management into the product? When you first look at our Task Management, you’ll say to yourself, “this is a simple way to create to-do lists”.
Precisely — but come on; there has to be more to this. Agile management was originally developed and adopted by software engineering, product, and operations sub groups within larger organizations. Very quickly these non traditional teams, began to out innovate, out maneuver and out perform not just their peers, but entire companies and at a velocity never before possible. These elite teams moved FAST. They were able to consistently execute with laser focus, were more organized, and they systematically crushed their competition. The Agile movement was born.
The exact framework that we built into our software is used by the world’s leading startups, technology titans, and organizations who have adopted lean operations management into their daily routines.
When I founded Loxo in 2012, I invested 18 months in an accelerated learning loop by immersing myself across a consortium of boutique search firms. Entrepreneurs call this phase of a startup Customer Discovery, I called it getting my ass kicked learning full-desk Executive recruiting. I stayed organized by using a combination of a Kanban board and OneNote. To my surprise, I was excited when I saw Agile in practice with not one, but two of the top boutique search firms in Colorado in completely different industry verticals. In fact, the President of an INC 5000 fastest growing company and leading recruiting firm in Denver, was such a fervent proponent of Agile that he required team members to take a SCRUM certification and had a Kanban board with sticky notes on their office wall.
Over the course of the next couple years of Loxo’s lifespan our team has completed thousands of sales discovery conversations and product trials with leading recruiting firms across the country. We validated that Task Management is absolutely core to the daily life of agency recruiting — how a recruiter and a team of recruiters manage their day. Yet, very few except the earliest adopters were aware of Agile or Kanban boards. Instead, what our customers and trial users consistently asked for was what they already had available. This was software designed in the 80’s and 90’s before LinkedIn existed, before job boards came to prominence, before API’s dominated — times have changed. Time and again prospective customers asked for what they were comfortable with and had been doing for decades, however through deep discovery it usually lead back into a circle about aspects of the software they loathed most about their existing systems. Why would we build something that eventually our users would hate and it wouldn’t get us closer to where we all need to be?
We knew Agile operations had a place, but until we had a clear vision for how it fit into our overall product strategy and roadmap, our team remained focused on our long-term vision, which was building the easiest to use, most intelligent, next generation recruiting technology possible. So, in true entrepreneurial spirit we tested our hypotheses and looked at how we could incorporate the best parts of Agile operations and build our technology from the ground up to support the diverse user personas that make up the modern agency ecosystem — the Retained Executive recruiting firm, the contingent and high-level contract staffing firm, RPO, the independent headhunter, the boolean sourcing/researching ninja, the Account Manager who lives closest to the Hiring Managers and of course the C-Level leader who spends as much time with the Venture Capital, industry power players, and local movers and shakers, as they do their internal team members.
It wasn’t until we started to design another interrelated part of our software that we were finally able to see how all the pieces fit together. Every day we challenge our team to build the recruiting software that the market will demand in 2020, but offer it to our users today, so that they are ahead of the curve. We don’t want to inch forward to the year 2020, nor are we interested in rebuilding Loxo in 2020 when technology innovations will be dramatically more advanced than they are today. This requires mind blowing foresight and architectural brilliance which our CTO has delivered on. With this latest release and the upcoming launch of our next generation offerings, we are starting to feel that we are closer than ever to realizing our mission to build the technology that makes the mediocre recruiter a world class recruiter — a true performance enhancing technology.
If you’d like to understand where we are headed, please follow our blog to receive the next blog post — we’ll be back with Part II and III focusing on the actual product releases and show you how they all fit together, and importantly how you can get ahead of the curve…
Smarter, easier recruiting software!