Today on the RecruitingDaily Podcast, we’ve invited Bill Castillejo from Deltek to talk about developing a strong recruiting organization.
Bill Castillejo is the Head of Global Talent Acquisition for Deltek, a software and information solutions company that enables project focused businesses to be successful at every stage of the project lifecycle: from business development to developing project plans, to managing resources and measuring performance. End to end project lifecycle software solutions.
Bill has been recruiting for over 20 years, both in the agency space and now in corporate. He’s been with Deltek for the past 11 years, first, as a recruiter and moving into his current role.
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Listening Time: 28 minutes
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William Tincup: Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you are listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Today, we have Bill on from Deltek and we’re going to be talking about developing a strong recruiting organization, so can’t wait to get into it. Let’s just go right at it. Bill, would you please introduce both yourself and Deltek?
Bill Castillejo: Sure, William. Well, I’m happy to be here. Thanks for having me. My name is Bill Castillejo. I’m the Head of Global Talent Acquisition for Deltek, which is a software and information solutions company that enables project focused businesses to be successful at every stage of the project lifecycle. That could be from business development to developing project plans, to managing resources and measuring performance. End to end project lifecycle software solutions. I’ve been recruiting for over 20 years, both in the agency space and now in corporate. I’ve been with Deltek for the past 11 years, starting here as a recruiter and moving my way into my current role. When I first arrived here, we had 1400 employees and we are more than double that now at 3,200 employees. There’s roughly 25 employees on my team globally. Yeah, I’m definitely again, excited to be here and to speak with you.
William Tincup: Sure. A strong recruiting organization. Let’s start with some of the basics, because it breaks down, you probably have different words for this, but people, process and technology, right?
Bill Castillejo: Yep.
William Tincup: Building a strong organization, where do you like to start? What’s your go-to? If it was those three and if you have a different model, that’s fine. We can use that.
Bill Castillejo: No. I think the first part about building a strong recruiting team is having that organizational foundation, which starts with the HR leader, right? Making sure you have an engaged HR leader. I think in some companies recruiting’s a little bit more of an afterthought and there’s not necessarily that financial investment or even the investment in thoughts or ideas or improvements. So luckily here at Deltek, we have a great HR leader who is well respected in the organization and gives us the freedom. And in fact, expects us to try new things and making sure that we’re constantly progressing. I think having that atmosphere for the recruiting team is really important for them to be successful within the organization. And I think in order to have that strong recruiting team, especially to be successful post pandemic on the people side is to make sure that we have the right people on the team, right?
Bill Castillejo: So there’s no right or wrong answer in terms of who that right person is, but it’s really taking a look at your recruiting model and what you have as an organization, how you look at recruiting and you may just need a sourcer or you just may need an account manager or you may need someone who can do both, right? It’s understanding what is that success profile for your organization and then setting them up for success. Right? There’s a lot of things I think in those different areas where I can talk through and give you more and information around what exactly that looks like.
William Tincup: Let’s start with team real quick.
Bill Castillejo: Sure.
William Tincup: It’s fluid. I know it’s fluid, you know it’s fluid because you’ve done it for longer, but again, how do you work with your team? You hired them for one position and they’ve obviously been great at it, but now you need them to do something different or the business has changed or the candidates have changed. However that change has happened. How do you work with them to adjust to that new reality?
Bill Castillejo: Yeah. I think for me, and for my team, what’s worked really well is the success profile that we’ve built is hiring someone who doesn’t necessarily check all the boxes that we need for recruiting. And this goes with the company in general and how we look at and talk with hiring managers. But similar with the recruiting team, is we look for someone on the team who is driven, is curious and is a continuous learner and is progressive and always looking to improve within themselves. And they definitely need to be a self-motivated person.
Bill Castillejo: Then we hire towards that. And so we hire them into a certain position, but if they have that right foundation of those key competencies that I just mentioned, then it’s easier for that person, from what I’ve seen, to be able to transition to different roles within the recruiting organization. So if they come in and we need them just to be a sourcer, but eventually they want to work to be a full life cycle recruiter, those competencies are again, just the foundation of what makes that work within the recruiting organization. Again, what works in terms of us is that success profile to be flexible within the organization.
William Tincup: I love that. I love that. I saw something the other day and could be misinformation, but it just shocked me, because it was on Facebook so, or Meta, whatever. It was basically, it’s harder to recruit a recruiter than it is a software engineer. And I thought to myself, “Well, first of all, is that true? Check mark,” but also like, you know what, from what I’m hearing, it feels true. What’s your experience?
Bill Castillejo: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’ve never hired specifically, I’ve never managed software engineers, I can’t talk necessarily to that, but I do think that on my team, we’ve been through the ringer a few times. I think we’ve gotten to the point where we’ve found that success profile works for us. But I think there’s a couple other things that lead into that. As I talk through this, this is also what we preach throughout the organization, which is also making sure that we identify the gaps within our team. I want to make sure that we’re not hiring the same people from the same backgrounds, not everyone coming from the same school or the same type of companies, but really again, understanding what are those particular competencies that we need? And hiring towards that is I think what helps us in terms of intentionally hiring towards those gaps that we may have.
Bill Castillejo: If we have somebody that everyone on the team is very outgoing and is an account manager and we’re weak on sourcing, then make sure that we’re hiring towards sourcing or if we don’t have anyone that’s analytical, hiring towards that and looking at the team holistically. And I think that also backs into diversity, right? And as you look for those different gaps on your team, then you’ll also be looking in different places, right? For that, which will help diversify your team.
William Tincup: And there’s no right answers totally to the next question I’m about to ask, but I asked it of a guest the other day and I like the question because there’s no right answers. I just want to get your take on what you think today at this particular moment, what’s the most critical part of recruiting?
Bill Castillejo: Yeah. I think right now, I think you’re aware of this, the Great Resignation, right? That’s sweeping the country and everything that’s happening is folks out there, they’re getting three or four offers on the table. They’re getting counter offers from their employers. It’s a war zone out there. I think for us, one of the critical things is really just taking a look at our job descriptions and really understanding what’s necessary? And I’ll give you an example. A few years ago, not recently, but I like this example, I had a consulting position that was open and the hiring manager came in, the person needed a product knowledge, external customers. They wanted them to come from a big consulting firm, have accounting experience and be able to travel a hundred percent of the time, right?
Bill Castillejo: Easy to find. No problems. We were struggling finding that person, but it just so happens that there was an internal person from our project management team who this hiring manager had worked on unrelated product with this project manager on something that they managed that applied for the role. And once they applied for the role, the hiring manager immediately said, “Yeah, I definitely want to hire this person. They’re perfect for the job. They were the PM on this project we were on, they communicated well to the team. They kept us up to date. They developed a great project plans. Their follow up was incredible. This is everything that we need in this consulting position.” And so, as we talked through this person who didn’t have a product knowledge or came from a big consulting firm, we started to morph into what the real success profile was for this position.
Bill Castillejo: It’s the easy for managers, and I think natural, right? For them to be comfortable with what’s worked before. It’s coming out of that comfort zone and saying, “Okay, what do I really need for this position? What’s the competency?” And as we learned through this particular situation was they just really needed the the competency of somebody who could manage a program, can manage customers, whoever those customers were, internal customers, external customers, have good follow up. .
Bill Castillejo: But there were still some skills, for example, that were needed, right? This a hundred percent travel, that wasn’t going away, they still needed to travel to the customer. We took a step back and said, “Okay, what’s really required? What’s the success profile look like? Then what are the nice to haves?” I think as teams in this environment, look to compete in the market where people are getting three or four offers and counter offers and your net for people to actually find is getting smaller, is to re-look at the jobs and understand what could work because the best people that we have in the organization weren’t necessarily exact fits for the role getting in there.
William Tincup: Since you brought up hiring managers, there’s a lot to unpack there. We could probably do a whole show just on hiring managers. Actually, we do a whole day of shows on hiring managers.
Bill Castillejo: I’m sure.
William Tincup: And it’s almost close to Halloween, so we could do horror stories, but we won’t do that. What’s the advice that you have for your team as your new recruiter comes on, or even the existing recruiters? Maybe they’re interacting with a new hiring manager. What advice do you give them in terms of managing that relationship, travailing that relationship, creating success with those folks?
Bill Castillejo: Yeah. And there’s a few things that I think would make that those conversations successful. And I think some of it is on the hiring manager and on the business unit. And I think as a new recruiter, learning a new position, this will help with jobs descriptions as well, is hearing from the hiring manager, what’s their value proposition? Why should someone join their team? How does their group affect their business unit, which affects what the company’s trying to do, big picture?”
Bill Castillejo: What’s the culture like on the team? What are the different activities you’re doing? Is there a specific technology you’re working on that everyone wants to work on? Do you have growth paths for the folks that are starting? It’s really to understand from the hiring manager, what is that value proposition for the team, so the recruiter can get a better understanding of, “Okay, how do I sell this to the, to the organization and to candidates who are coming in?” And then from there talk through with the leaders in terms of, “All right, this is what you’re looking for. Go through what we talked about in terms of what’s the team success profile, work through that.”
Bill Castillejo: And then making sure from a recruitment perspective that we’re setting them up for success, right? That they have the right tools to be successful. And what’s been great about Deltek and what we’ve done so far here is that we make sure that we have those tools in place and it’s not all necessarily stuff that you have to go out and buy, right? It’s stuff that you can do internally. One of the things that we did go out and purchases is a resource called TalentNeuron, which I think is kind of like a LinkedIn insight, same type of tool that recruiters can go out before they even meet with the hiring manager, do some homework and say, “Okay, this is what you’re looking for. This is what the supply and the diversity supply looks like. This is where this population lives and where we should target” and then go into the strategy meetings having that information so they can educate the hiring managers on that.
Bill Castillejo: Then other things that we have out there is to reduce the recruiter’s time on low value activities. There are a couple things that we’ve put in place. One is a recruiting dashboard that we created internally that pulls from our ATS system that updates daily. Managers can go directly there to see what’s going on with their requisitions versus having to ping the recruiter, the recruiter having to pull reports and the back and forth that can go in there. Especially if you have a number of requisitions, and also an interview scheduling link, right? That allows candidates to go directly onto their calendars and schedule times with them. Again, it reduces that time, that back and forth with the candidates, but allows the recruiters to focus on what they need to be focusing on, which is sourcing candidates or developing that hiring manager relationship as they work towards filling the position.
William Tincup: Recruiting can be so crushing or at worst thankless, how do you, again, creating a strong recruiting organization, how do you increase morale or keep morale high, or keep the spirits high, et cetera?
Bill Castillejo: Yeah.
William Tincup: Like, what’s your trick?
Bill Castillejo: Yeah. This I think something that companies over the course of the past year and a half during the pandemic has really had to take a look at. How do you do this in a virtual environment, right?
William Tincup: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Bill Castillejo: I think especially companies that were heavy office oriented and some of those levers that you could pull previously aren’t there. What we’ve done is gone to a continuous, instead of having a one year or even two year performance conversation, but going to like a continuous conversation. I have one-on-ones weekly with my team, not just to talk about specifically what’s going on with the company, but what’s going on with them. How are things? Is there anything happening in their lives that I can help them out with?
Bill Castillejo: So I have an understanding of what’s going on, but also what are their goals? What are their aspirations and how can I help them do that? What we’ve done here is that we’ve also breathed some life into our internal mobility program across the company and brought some transparency to it, some vibrancy to it. We’ve built out a website, we’ve put employee testimonials there. People can say, “Hey.” Anybody. You can’t just move within your own organization, but there’s people who move cross-functionally and throughout the organization.
Bill Castillejo: And again, this is the whole thought about going back to that competency based hiring versus meeting every skill is that internal mobility is there. Again, having that there, and then the other aspect is the team building, right? We’ve built or created partnerships with multiple team building groups. And that’s something that we do at least on a quarterly basis, if not more often at the team level to make sure that we’re being engaged with each other outside of work.
William Tincup: Right. And with some of that, I’m sure is best practices. One recruiter’s in Topeka, another recruiter’s in New York City, how do you get them to share what’s working or what’s not working? How do you get them to kind of share?
Bill Castillejo: Yeah. The team meetings that we have, so we do one-on-ones on a weekly basis and then group meetings every other week. And in those group meetings, we bring in the larger recruitment organization where we go through best practices. What’s working well? What’s not working? What’s happening? It’s really a great back and forth, I almost sit back and just let them talk it out because the different ideas that have come from those meetings have been great. And know a lot of our initiatives that we’ve done from last year to this year have really come from those discussions. And even that we’re going to do next year, right? And again, what’s working in their current roles, but also what they’ve …
Bill Castillejo: If they’re new to Deltek, what’s worked and not worked in the past? And looking at an organization once they start to say, “Hey, what I want you to do, this is part of your training program,” but is also to say, “I want you to question things.” I want you to be curious and say, “Hey, why are you doing it this way? I’ve seen it done this way. It’s been more efficient.” And being able to have that open environment to say we’re not going to get mad at you for questioning something. And to say there could be a different way of doing things because that’s how we improve and grow as as an organization.
William Tincup: People, when they listen to this, they’re going to say on a journey, how do they know that they’ve built, or that they have a strong recruiting organization? Like, what are they supposed to be looking at? Or what’s a flare or an indicator that things are wrong, et cetera?
Bill Castillejo: Yeah. That’s a loaded question. There’s a lot of things that I think go in go into that. There’s stuff that are metrics based, right?
William Tincup: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Bill Castillejo: That you can look at. You can look at numbers that we look at specifically is our cost per hire, which is essentially taking the total cost of recruitment and dividing by the number of people that we’re hiring. And how does that stack up against the industry? It’s looking at our time to fill numbers and how that looks again, against industry numbers. Then maybe less analytical is we have hiring manager and candidate surveys, right? After we close up a position, we send a survey to the hiring manager. “Give us your feedback, good, bad, or indifferent. We want to know how you can improve.”
Bill Castillejo: Then we can look at those surveys and measure how we’re doing, same thing with the candidates. Then in addition to that, as someone started, three months after they start, we host what we call a recruitment reconnect. And in those recruitment reconnect sessions with new hires, we asked them, “What was the recruiting process like? Was the position what the recruiting team told you was going to be? Do you feel like you were onboarded appropriately, that you were set up to be successful?” And we’re able to, again, pull metrics and pull information from that. I think all those things together, you can start to form an idea of how you are doing from a recruiting perspective.
William Tincup: So, because you’ve mentioned metrics and your dashboard a couple times, you mentioned especially specifically time to hire, cost of hire. I wanted to get your take on quality of hire. There’s a lot of discussions and again, it’s the full spectrum of opinions, but just personally, what do you think when people say it? Like, what does it mean to you? Or is it something you care about?
Bill Castillejo: Yeah. It’s something for sure that we care about. It’s hard not to and as you look at it, I think it’s a great data point. Something that we do track here with managers and also with employees, new hires that that start and asking them on a survey, again, “Are you feeling like you made the right hire?” Then on the new hire side, “Are you feeling that this position is right for you and you made the right decision?” And so there’s a lot that goes into quality of hire. It goes into not just did the recruiter find the right person, did they ask the right qualifying questions?” But did the hiring manager really determine what they needed for the role?
Bill Castillejo: And I think what’s helpful from the quality of hiring and tracking it, is if the person leaves or you recognize that you didn’t have the right person for the role, it allows you to identify how you can improve in the next role. You’re not doing the same thing, right? The next time you look to hire, or if you constantly have people flourishing and good retention, then hey, you’re doing something right. And let’s see if we can mimic that throughout the organization. There’s definitely a good use of that quality of hire metric.
William Tincup: Last question, possibly a dumb question, how many recs can a recruiter manage successfully at once?
Bill Castillejo: I’m really glad you asked this question. I think because I hired a number of recruiters and the majority of time when I talk to recruiters, they are usually somewhere around 25 recs, 20-25 recs, sometimes even a lot more than that. And I find that’s way too much in my opinion, especially with what’s going on right now. The Great Resignation, where people are getting multiple offers, it’s taking more time and engagement for the recruiters to talk with the candidates. It’s not going to allow them to be successful to do the other things other than sourcing, right? To build that relationship with the hiring manager, to be an educator and a partner and not just an order taker. What I’ve seen is about average around 15 recs that a recruiter can hold, that they can manage effectively, source effectively, but still continue to build that relationship. Because I don’t want recruiters just to be talking with hiring managers only when they have a position open., right?
William Tincup: Right.
Bill Castillejo: They need to be working with them even when positions aren’t available. And I’ll just give you an example. We recently had a manager leave, or a senior leader. And the managers were talking with the recruiter, just during his ongoing regular meetings with him, even though they don’t have positions open. And he learned that they were a little nervous that we were going to replace that leader with someone who’s going to come in and change everything around. And so the recruiter, having a great relationship with the senior, with the head of that business unit relayed that information and it allowed the business unit leader to say, to message or change the message that they were putting out there to cover this and make sure that they know that, “Hey, we understand where this team is going. We’re not looking to bring somebody in to come in and change everything or around.”
Bill Castillejo: And that way that business unit could affect that messaging. Those types of things go away if the recruiters have so many recs and positions that they’re working on, they don’t have the time to have that, to build that meaningful relationship, because they’re just really stuck in sourcing. And if you don’t have these other efficiencies around interviewing and so forth, and they’ve spent their time on those low value activities, when really, you want them spending the time on those high value activities.
William Tincup: That was wonderful. Bill, thank you so much. This was a wonderful discussion, and I know it’s going to be wonderful for the audience to listen to. Thank you for coming on the RecruitingDaily Podcast.
Bill Castillejo: No, thank y’all. It was great being here. I’m happy to come back anytime.
William Tincup: A hundred percent, and thanks for everyone listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Until next time.
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William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.