How ADOBE Inc. uses FILEFINDER technology to build a passive talent pool
Get to Know the Talent
In November 2009, Leslie Woods, Senior Business Systems Analyst at Adobe Systems, was invited to present a case study on Adobe’s Talent Pipeline technology at the global Kennedy / OnRec Conference in Chicago. This paper summarizes the content of that session.
Adobe Systems Incorporated, one of the world’s largest and most diverse software companies with a portfolio containing many of the most respected and recognizable software brands, launched an initiative in 2005 to drastically improve their talent pipeline.
NEED FOR MORE THAN AN ATS
Like many corporations, Adobe Systems has an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to help automate their hiring process. However, since an ATS is not designed to support the direct approaching of passive candidates and sources, Adobe’s 44 recruiters located in 9 “official” sites adopted their own techniques to house passive talent information… some used excel spreadsheets, others used resume folders, a few used their Outlook, while several even designed their own proprietary databases.
Because there was a lack of knowledge sharing among all team members, not only was there a loss of credibility among candidates (due to sometimes receiving communications about different jobs on the same day from different recruiters), but there were also unnecessary efforts expended in their searches since there was no way for the recruiters to leverage the information gathered and used for similar previous searches.
So the Business Systems team at Adobe realized that it was time to look for a tool which would help them manage their passive candidate pool – a tool inherently different than an ATS.
HUNTING FOR THE RIGHT SYSTEM
In order to build a strong business case, the Business Systems team pulsed the Adobe recruiters to determine the requirements of such a system. And after all the research, Adobe came to the conclusion that they were going to need a tool which was:
1. Collaborative: for all recruiters around the globe to share and access gathered information
2. Selective: so the recruiter may have complete control as to what information enters the database
3. Scalable: the system would be able to grow along with the business without any customization
Leslie Woods, Senior Business Systems Analyst at Adobe says, “Since we were looking to migrate from multiple tracking tools and legacy databases to one global system, we needed to make sure that the standard architecture would meet everyone’s needs. The adopted system would need to be very robust and have the ability to administer, track, comment, and report on talent contacts (like ‘already contacted’, ‘do not touch’, etc)". As for capturing information from resumes, Woods adds, “We’re Adobe. We needed a system which would be able to parse and index all data from a PDF. The Adobe recruiters would need that PDF to be fully searchable, as well.”
So all requirements were put together and their hunt for the right system began. After a year of viewing several demos and receiving several proposals from vendors, Adobe ultimately chose to implement FILEFINDER by Dillistone Systems.
“We went with FILEFINDER because we realized that implementing it would help resolve the challenges that our recruiters were facing at the time and it happened to parse PDF’s without any problems…” states Woods.
FILEFINDER BECOMES FiFi
After purchasing FILEFINDER, Adobe was assigned a dedicated project manager by Dillistone Systems to ensure a seamless transition into FILEFINDER. Within a few weeks after signing on, Adobe was fully installed on FILEFINDER and recruiters were taught how to use FILEFINDER given their specific workflows. And since Adobe wanted to maximize their investment, they even set procedures in place to ensure user adoption like: audit reports to measure the quantity and quality of data being entered by recruiters (which are reports that were built-to-spec – from scratch – by Dillistone Systems), incentivizing database building for their recruiters to continue using FILEFINDER, and even hosting internal workshops on system best practices (after consulting Dillistone trainers as part of Adobe’s support contract). Once the system went live and all procedures were in place, the Adobe recruiters adopted an alias for FILEFINDER – “FiFi” – which symbolized that the process of Adobe taking ownership of their new database was complete.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So Adobe went from having tidbits of unshared passive talent information scattered across the globe to having a passive talent pool which all recruiters around the world are able to access and contribute to anytime. And what’s even more important to Adobe is that when “people of interest” information is entered within FILEFINDER, it is easily retrieved; it’s just a matter of searching the database to identify the people of interest which can potentially fill the strategic, mission-critical roles within Adobe. From there, recruiters have the option to use FILEFINDER’s built-in CRM to market Adobe careers, or they can push this information to line managers through excel spreadsheets, or recruiters can move those people straight into the ATS to manage compliance.
Recapping some of the key improvements, Leslie Woods says, “FILEFINDER has provided us with a system that enables our team to maintain all projects running smoothly by allowing us to segment our talent pool by skills and experience as well as organize search projects by key positions. Adobe is pleased with the product and support that Dillistone has delivered and we look forward to continually working with FILEFINDER.”