Before Attentive found Rolebot as a solution to automating its recruiting process, the text message marketing leader’s recruiters struggled daily with identifying fresh talent to keep pace with the company’s rapid growth.
They were working long days, yet, no matter how many hours they put into employee searches, the same candidate profiles kept resurfacing on the job boards.
To make matters more challenging, most of the roles the recruiters needed to fill were in high-volume, highly competitive pipelines, namely sales and engineering. Job burnout and loss of productivity hindered best efforts.
“We needed a way to make our recruiters more efficient and to source a diverse mix of candidates as we kept coming across the same profiles," explains Attentive Chief of Staff Cierra Tavarez. "We had a limited number of recruiters sourcing for hundreds of open roles, and there simply were not enough hours in a week to source the number of candidates we needed to put in front of our hiring managers. That’s why Rolebot’s automation tool was so appealing to us.”
Since introducing Rolebot to Attentive in 2021, the company’s 30 recruiters and sourcers have been able to reveal profiles and new talent that would have remained otherwise undiscovered.
Tavarez largely credits Rolebot’s interactive tool and algorithms with tapping fresh talent streams for Attentive’s candidate pool. From the recruiter’s initial selected profile, Rolebot’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered search technology evolves the search to hone in on the most well-qualified candidates.
“It’s great. You move a little further away from what you were originally looking for every time you interact with the tool,” says Tavarez. “This allows recruiters to work more creatively with the profiles they’re searching for and the kinds of candidates they’re seeking. So whereas they might not have originally thought to look for someone from a particular educational background or industry, good talent presents itself inadvertently just by means of interacting with Rolebot’s algorithms.”
What’s more, Attentive was able to unbury qualified candidates who otherwise wouldn’t have bubbled up.
“No matter how thorough you are as a recruiter or how much time you spend on the job platforms, there are always those pockets of profiles that conventional job board algorithms don’t pull to the surface when you need them,” says Tavarez. “Rolebot has been great at uncovering those profiles and putting them in front of us at the right time.”
Shifting to a remote-first mindset in a post-pandemic world
A pioneer in the personalized SMS marketing space, Attentive has experienced dramatic growth since its inception in 2016. Co-founded by ad tech veterans Chief Product Officer Andrew Jones and CEO Brian Long, who also founded Twitter-acquired TapCommerce, the company has more than 5,000+ customers and increased its employee base from 300 to 1,300-plus team members in the past year and a half, according to Tavarez.
Much of the company’s dramatic growth is because of the product’s compelling value proposition, which surfaced at the “right place at the right time,” she says.
“There weren’t many companies, particularly in e-commerce, who were thinking of SMS as a primary marketing channel,” she says. “Attentive had the opportunity to seize on that void and educate the market, and that’s been really successful for us.”
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Attentive’s product proposition resonated clearly with business owners as consumers began increasing their online shopping and choosing e-commerce over the “big box” stores and chains.
“The pandemic shifted people’s focus to what was accessible and easy to launch online,” Tavarez says. “So not only did that change the way people were buying and selling products, but it also opened the gates for many smaller online businesses to have fair competition within the market. We found those people needed assistance to create really intelligent marketing channels. That’s what’s changed the game for Attentive.”
The pandemic also dramatically changed the company’s recruiting philosophy to a remote-first mindset.
“One of the ways we’re able to position ourselves as a compelling place to work is for that talent that wants to be remote first. People’s priorities have changed. People want to be home. They want flexibility in their schedules. Maybe they want to get a dog. They want to do what’s good for them, and what’s good for them isn’t necessarily going into an office,” Tavarez says.
While Attentive employees can work face-to-face in office spaces, the company’s primary objective now is to make their people feel comfortable and supported working from home or wherever they happen to be – even if it’s a B&B rental in Mexico for a month, says Tavarez.
“Remote-first has opened up an entirely new opportunity for us in recruiting in that we can pull people from anywhere,” she says.
The benefits extend to both employees and the company, which is now able to “hire faster, hire better and get really good work turning out every single day by allowing people to do their best work wherever they are,” Tavarez notes.
Just as Rolebot allows recruiters to get in front of suitable job candidates with automated precision, Attentive’s value proposition has always been about empowering businesses with SMS opportunities that engage the right customers with meaningful messaging on highly customized marketing channels.
“Attentive’s tool is much like Rolebot’s in that it is meant to create efficiency so that a marketing professional’s job is easier, and that’s what Rolebot does for us as recruiters at Attentive,” Tavarez explains. “It automates things and helps us work smarter, not harder, but the most important thing is both tools help clients get in front of not just many people – but the right people.”
Fostering a hiring environment of cognitive diversity
Tavarez is convinced that Attentive is a better company for its changes in the wake of the pandemic. With the pandemic came a “total shift” in the company’s philosophy toward building a remote-first employee environment.
They can feel this philosophy at company all-hands meetings where visual maps celebrate new hires’ home bases across the country, whether the recruit is in a major tech center like Seattle, Los Angeles or the Bay Area; remote Alaska; or one of the other 49 states where Attentive’s employees happen to live and work.
The company has intentionally created community by implementing Slack channels to help employees bond with others in their regions and all-access memberships at nearby coworking offices where they can work if they need a conference room.
Attentive has also spent a significant amount of money ensuring employees feel supported and comfortable in their home offices, from daily lunch delivery stipends to benefits subsidizing home office tech and furniture.
But it’s also been about how the company feels about passive talent – reaching those who might not be actively looking, especially in today’s low unemployment market – and reaching a more diverse candidate pool.
By automating the job search, increasing the volume of job candidates and uncovering new talent, Rolebot has helped Attentive foster its remote-first philosophy and follow through on a critical goal to build the “cognitive diversity” of the company’s employee base.
“When you think about hiring for diversity, No. 1 for me is always creating opportunity equally. The tech industry has those same underrepresented groups as many industries, usually women and people of color. So I ask, ‘How can my recruiting team go out of its way to make sure they’re giving first their attention to those people who haven’t been given the same opportunities?’”
Tavarez believes – and studies show – that when you employ strong diversity recruiting practices, you also yield a richer cognitive diversity – a broader, more inclusive span of backgrounds, experiences and ideas.
She says that this will make Attentive successful and a place where people want to thrive for years to come.