Interview with Kirsten Faurot, VP of HR, Bombora

Author Samantha Howie
July 24, 2020

Given the variety of clients who come to us to deliver against their HR recruitment needs, we have the privilege to engage with Talent Acquisition (TA) functions at many different stages of their operational and strategic development.

While Frazer Jones partners with well established, large global brands whose recruitment function are well-oiled machines, I have always been especially fascinated by the workings of some of the smaller firms we assist, many of whom may still be evolving their platforms. Whether they’re trialing new technologies to enhance existing attraction and selection efforts or rapidly changing course based on new data they’ve collected, there’s a palpable excitement around the agility and fresh perspective smaller brands can leverage when it comes to Talent Acquisition. When I encounter ones doing it incredibly well, I’m always eager to learn more about their philosophies and, more tangibly, their approach.  

To that end, it was a pleasure to interview Kirsten Faurot, VP of HR at Bombora, an exciting trailblazer in the B2B Martech industry. Kirsten is an incredibly dynamic HR leader out of tech-focused companies with a passion for strategic recruitment.  I hope you enjoy reading her perspective on how she keeps Bombora ahead of the game when it comes to Talent Acquisition (TA).

Bombora is all about smart data, what are some of the most important data points to have ready before building an effective recruitment function?

Thanks, Samantha. Great question! We’ve built Bombora on the belief that sustainability is key for all facets of a business. It’s not about how much data you can produce, it’s about making sure that all the data you produce is actionable. So in terms of recruiting, we focus on just a few key metrics. 

The first is measuring the ROI of the sites we advertise on, based on the number of highly qualified candidates who apply. If at least 50% of the candidates who apply aren’t qualified, we’ll stop using that site. Another key metric for us is measuring candidates throughout the process. We use short but thorough scorecards after each interview round, to ensure that only qualified candidates move forward. The metric for this is very simple – only candidates who receive 90% from all interviewers move forward. Last but not least, we measure time to hire. Our goal is to hire within 60 days, which is more difficult than it might seem for tech roles. You can only hit this metric if you are very efficient with the entire process, but the result not only makes our hiring managers happier, it also translates into a better candidate experience.  

What are some low-cost opportunities the average company may be overlooking as they seek to create a more effective recruiting strategy?

We spend a lot of time looking for niche sites that offer low or no-cost job advertising. We also have a very solid employee referral program which includes offering a $50 gift card for any referrals who make it to the hiring manager interview, in addition to the $2,000 bonus for hired employees. While not free, this has greatly upped the number of qualified referrals and 11 of our hired employees last year came through referrals.

Last but not least, we’ve developed relationships with universities in the cities where we’re located which has led to a healthy pipeline for interns and junior hires. 

For better or worse, talent acquisition was already on its way to becoming a more virtual process. What are some ways new and startup companies can enhance the candidate experience if they choose to heavily utilize technology in recruiting? How can they use their recruiting practices to differentiate themselves from competitors?

Zoom is now everyone’s best friend! In the past, we only used Zoom for about 40% of our initial candidate interviews. Now, initial interviews are almost always conducted via Zoom. We’ve also started exploring creating videos of hiring managers talking about their open roles, to give potential applicants a better understanding of the positions beyond the written description. Just as importantly as a company taking advantage of services like Zoom, however, is candidates learning how to effectively present themselves on a video call. I’ve set up Zoom calls with candidates who won’t turn on their screens, which leaves a bad impression. So recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates would all do well to get comfortable with video calls!

How important are benefits in talent attraction? What do you think candidates are valuing most highly these days?

We know from our own recruiting efforts that offering a full range of options is not only appreciated but helpful. Medical, dental, vision – these are all a given, but our potential hires are also curious about how much they have to pay out of pocket so the fact that we cover close to 90% of costs as well as offer an HSA stipend is an attraction. Having a 401k match has also helped our efforts. But probably our most popular benefits are the unlimited PTO and education stipend. These are both very attractive to our potential recruits and we definitely wouldn’t change either.  

​The world over, this is an incredibly difficult time in our history. What are some lasting and perhaps positive impacts on workplace culture you foresee becoming standard in the future? 

More than anything, I think we’ve all learned the importance of being flexible and the companies that have embraced this new norm are the better for it. Even at a company like Bombora, which always had unlimited PTO, I’ve been heartened to see how our leadership team has trusted employees to effectively self-manage their work. Employees update their status on slack so everyone always knows who is available. In the past few months, I’ve seen employees set out of office statuses for activities like grocery runs. This might seem inconsequential but getting to the grocery store in NYC during COVID-19 is not an easy task! 

We have always embraced flexibility but now more than ever, it’s great to be at a company that trusts its employees to effectively manage their work and personal needs and supports them in their efforts, especially through times of unprecedented emotional strain.

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