HR Vision Podcast #08 – Recruitment with Phenom ft. Sanne de Groot

By FourVision
Aug 4 • 1 min read
HR Vision Podcast Episode 8 ft. Sanne de Groot

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Sanne de Groot comes from a totally different background as we’re used to have in the podcast. She’s an Engagement Manager, working closely with one of FourVision’s strongest partners – Phenom. We discussed her path to here, her experience so far in recruitment solutions and she gives us a nice overview of what a powerful platform as Phenom can do for recruiters.

Ivo:
Hey everyone, welcome to the HR Vision podcast. I'm your host, Ivo and every week I'm going to have a conversation that matters about HR.

This week, I have with me, Sanne de Groot. Welcome Sanne!

Sanne:
Hi Ivo, thank you! I'm very good, thanks.

Ivo:
All right, good to have you. Did I pronounce the last name right?

Sanne:
Yes, you did. Lots of practicing, I guess.

Ivo:
Yeah. Yeah. All morning practicing! So Sanne joined FourVision around five months ago as an engagement manager, and she comes from a completely different background. The fact that I think will be very interesting to discuss. So let's get to it. Sanne, you ready?

Sanne:
Yep, I am.

Ivo:
All right. Let's start from the beginning, from you. Tell us a bit about yourself, your personal and professional background.

Sanne:
OK, well I was born in the Netherlands, in Arnhem to be most specific. I'm 37 almost. And I did my studies in communication, actually. Which is a very wide range of all kinds of things that you learn. And I spent most of the time working at an advertising agency. So I was in-between the developers of all kinds of artistic stuff, so designers and I also had lots of contact with the customer.

So I was in-between. The customer wanted a really nice products and developers, designers needed to make it. And I was in-between making sure it went right. So that was for most of the time, offline stuff. So brochures, things that will end up in your in your mail or your doormat, with every week advertisements. So that's what I did for a living for almost eight years. And then I moved within that same company towards program- and more developer things, more implementation consultant role, because the thing I always liked during my time there was knowing more about certain programs that were used. And that had my interest. And I was always willing to help. And I could always help others with the programs, because sometimes you really have to dive into it to get to know them. And I really like that.

So that's why I stepped in a role there as an implementation consultant to help others with knowing more about the program and working with others.

Ivo:
Others inside the company? Or the clients that the company had?

Sanne:
No inside the company, inside the same agency; advertising agency where I did that.

Ivo:
Ah, alright. Interesting. So very broad, but also very tech. So you started shifting towards the tech.

Sanne:
Yes, but still you are in the middle of the process and in between all kinds of parties. So that is still the same. But, yeah, the environment changed a little bit.

Ivo:
For sure. So at that time, now that you are working with us, in an HR technology company. At that time, did you have any idea about what HR was as a function? What were what was your understanding then, the different phases of HR, if you have any, you know?

Sanne:
Yeah, well of course, I have my own experience in when you apply for a job, which is not always a very positive one of course. Due to the process or all the errors you get when you want to apply, et cetera, or no follow-up from recruiters. And on the other hand I have a friend who studied HR, so from her I know a little bit more about HR, but still lots of blank spaces. But yeah, there's still a lot to learn for me about HR.

Ivo:
Yeah, I can imagine. It's pretty similar with me as well. So that was basically my experience in retail before getting here. Or HR-technology whatsoever. I never thought about it, I was booking my holidays on systems and doing these kind of things in other companies, and I never thought about "Ah, maybe there are companies that actually provide these systems.". And look at where we are now.

Sanne:
Yeah. So now I'm in this business. I see a lot more things appearing. Also with booking a hotel, et cetera, and all kinds of other systems, even for vaccination, et cetera. How it works and that there is so much behind it. It's more than you know.

Ivo:
Yes, absolutely. So let's talk about that move. You joined FourVision because you were specifically looking? I don't think so. But what happened there for this move? You needed some change?

Sanne:
Yeah, there was an opportunity created by a Britt. My coworker, I worked with her in the advertising agency before, so we knew each other already. And she thought, OK, maybe this girl can do something in my team. So she asked me and I was very enthousiastic. So then it went really quick and I joined FourVision. And yeah, it's a really nice and young team, I'm the oldest. So that's also something new.

Ivo:
So it's very young!

Sanne:
Yeah, we are actually quite a small team within FourVision. We work for our partner Phenom People.

Ivo:
I was about to ask. You joined as an engagement manager, your official title. So what does that entail? What exactly an engagement manager does?

Sanne:
It's emphasized the relationship between... like you're in the middle of the whole process, again, with the developers on the one side and the customer on the other side. And in this case, also Phenom as a third party. So you're in between all these processes and try to keep everyone on speed, everybody happy, so that everything will be delivered on time and the right people are working on the right things. So that is the main thing that I'm doing, actually.

Ivo:
It's a sort of a project manager kind of position, right? You mentioned Phenom. Phenom is one of our partners for the Talent Experience Management platform. So what can you say for people? I don't think we ever spoke about Phenom, what Phenom does. Maybe you can give like a small an introduction about what Phenom does with us.

Sanne:
Before I worked with FourVision, I also didn't know Phenom. But now I know a lot more about them. They are a very large party in the United States who created their own career platform. And the main thing that they do is create a whole experience for leads. So people who didn't apply yet, or didn't finish their application, but are interested in your jobs. And so by that, they can leave their email address or get connected in a certain way, point out their interests, what kind of function they now do or what kind of skills they have. And based on that, they get notifications or recommendations for jobs that fit their profile.

And for the customer side, it's really convenient to see like which people are interested in your company, trying to apply or willing to apply, maybe, but did not do that yet. So you can get in contact with them first, instead of waiting before they before they apply for your jobs, and then you can actually do something with them and interact with them. So it's it's makes the market a lot broader for companies to interact with the people who are interested in the company.

Ivo:
Okay. So it widens the possibility of companies to reach out to the market before, instead of being reactive and proactive.

Sanne:
Yeah, exactly.

Ivo:
OK, so they have this talent tracking, for example, software or whatever. They can actually find talent with their platform.

Sanne:
Yeah. They provide a website for customers, which is interacting with the ATS of a customer. An ATS is an Application Tracking System which most customers use to track the applications and the status of the applications, and if somebody is hired, or not, or rejected, etc. So all kinds of communication after somebody applies and Phenom then provides a platform, like a website where all the vacancies are pulled from. So they are all visible in the platform on that website, and people can apply or can leave their email, etc. So it just looks like a normal regular website with all kinds of vacancies. But then something's implemented for people to get their data, so you can interact with them before they even apply.

Ivo:
Yeah, it's kind of a, it seems like a marketing tracking system, you know, like a CRM kind of lead management, but for Talent.

Sanne:
Yeah, there is also a a CRM, of course, where they can track all the applicants, but it's also for customers, really convenient to also do changes on the website themselves, because most websites it's not very easy for customers to access the CMS. But in Phenom, it's really easy to make changes by yourself, make pages by yourself. So you can create even more content for specific target groups, whatever you like.

Ivo:
So they provide kind of a content management system behind that website.

Sanne:
Yes.

Ivo:
That's great. OK, that's pretty clear. Is there like a feature they have that really excited you, that you never thought that it was possible. Is there something like that there?

Sanne:
I think the whole platform is just something that you would really need if you have a company and you like to interact with people who didn't apply yet, but are interested in your company, I think that's really valuable. Instead of waiting before they apply. So it gives you lots of insights in who finds you, who is your audience, and also who you don't see back on your website and who you want to target. If you don't see people in a specific age group, or with specific skills or et cetera. So you can even target better on that group.

Ivo:
Very interesting. So if we go to yeah, to this five months or six months that you've been here working with the different system, how has it been? Are enjoying the experience, are you learning a lot of things? What are the most things the most interesting things that you learned so far in the HR world?

Sanne:
Well, I learned a lot of things because I started all in the first week already with some training and with a certification to be a Power User in the system. So you really need to know, like what is actually possible in the system, because, yeah, the main issue is, is that I'm able to help the customers who are, you know, who don't have the knowledge yet. So you have to point them in the right direction. And yeah, I'm learning every day and I really like the contact with the developers and the customer and being in between everybody and making sure it all ends well and everybody's happy.

Ivo:
Nice. OK, I want to touch a subject here that I think Phenom talks about, which is the fact that you are proactive on the research for Talent and getting talent to your platform and to, you know, to apply to your positions. This opens the topic of employer branding. She's you know, in marketing, we do a lot of branding, but we never think about it. The employer branding and the importance of it, which is: Put yourself out there as a great recruiter or a great company to work for. So you get people in without actually having to to do announcements or publications on social media. But about your hiring staff. What can you tell us about what you've learned so far with the way the way employer branding works for companies?

Sanne:
Now, of course, you have the brand guidelines that you apply on the on on the platform as a company. So you are visible and you're recognizable, but also with Phenom, there are campaigns to be made for your specific audience. And you can also track when there was an advertisement somewhere on LinkedIn or on some other website, or anywhere as a banner. You can track these. You can track them, the people who are coming in through those channels. So it gives you very much insight in where your people are coming from and what works for them. So if there are just a few people coming in from your campaign that you're doing and you tried another channel like you did Facebook for some for some reason, and it doesn't drive many people into your funnel, then maybe it's time to think about another channel to use. Like banners on another websites or using Instagram or going more on LinkedIn, or whatever you can imagine. So you can track these people from which channel they're coming from. So that is really worthwhile to get. You can really see where they're coming from. Yeah, I think you can draw more people into your funnel by knowing where to find them in this way.

So data data-driven, it's really important. Without data. You don't know what you're doing, actually.

Ivo:
Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. And are you able to share anything on that website, I guess? Is it common to have there like interviews with employees or, you know, companies do that to just show other people. What is happening, right?

Sanne:
What is recommended is that you share content made by your employees, like a vlog, or blogs, or articles, or videos or a walk through a building, or a day with somebody who works there, etc. So those kind of content is really valuable, like moving content. So not only esthetic pieces that you only read, but also interaction. And that is highly recommended and not every company does that. But yeah, I think companies also have to grow in that because you have to find people who want to interact on your Website. You have to make those videos, you have to make it attractive, etc. So it costs also a lot of time to start it up, but I think if you find your way in it, it's more easy to to release more content every month or new content, et cetera, to make sure that people find what they need and they have a better view on how your company is working and what kind of people are working there and what the vibe is among the people who work there.

Ivo:
I think it also requires a proper investment, like you're saying, of a company that is hiring. To create that content, to generate interest on the careers page, let's say, and getting people interested in the in the situation in the position that they're sharing on. Yeah, exactly. You know, at the end of this conversation, I just want to ask you. Would you, if you had a message to give to people looking for a tool in recruitment or in talent acquisition. What could you say to those to those people?

Sanne:
Well, don't wait passively before people apply on your jobs, but try to reach out to them before they even apply so you can and you can extend your audience and make sure that people get to know you and you can even get more interaction before the application. Yeah. For example, through Phenom. But try to see where your audience is and try to reach them.

Ivo:
All right, cool. I think that's all we have for for today. Thank you very much for your time. This was interesting. And I'll see you next time.

Sanne:
Thank you for having me!

Ivo:
No problem, thanks!


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