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Lessons on hiring from Greenhouse

Amal Ravindran
December 19, 2022

In our Scaling Stories podcast, we were delighted to chat with Ariana Moon, the Head of Talent Planning & Acquisition at Greenhouse, the leader in Applicant Tracking Systems considered by many to be the gold standard in hiring software.

Born and raised in New York, Ariana is now based in Las Vegas and has seen Greenhouse grow from a team of around 60 people to more than 800 globally.

Greenhouse, according to Ariana, was founded on the simple idea that “hiring is one of the most important and strategic things that a company does.”

The Greenhouse philosophy is “rooted in structured hiring,” and Ariana described their product as “hiring work tech for what we call our people-first companies – companies that think about business strategy through a people lens.”

Ariana has a natural gift for understanding the human side of hiring, which is a recurring theme in our conversation.

“To this day, I enjoy conversations with candidates because I’m so interested in people’s stories. Why are you the way that you are?”

In addition, Ariana believes that it is “primarily the manager’s responsibility to create an environment of psychological safety,” which means leaning into “career conversations” with employees and keeping lines of dialogue around that topic open.

In our discussion, Ariana gives a refreshingly personal account of her upbringing and early career, and how she wasn’t always used to being in environments where authority was openly challenged.

“Transitioning to Greenhouse was a big culture shock for me, because it was this open-floor office environment where everyone was sitting next to and interacting openly with each other. I actually sat between the manager that hired me and our CEO.”

In our chat, we covered how to manage salary expectations in a world where employees may no longer be based in locations like New York City or San Francisco. Ariana highlighted the “digital nomad” trend, observing that “a lot of candidates have a growing expectation for companies to be more flexible.”

Greenhouse is taking an open-minded approach on this front, with “less emphasis on tracking where employees are,” and a greater focus on questions like “how do we enable employees to do the best work?”

When it comes to developing a successful sourcing strategy, Ariana says it boils down to three things: “location, cost, diversity – and how those all intersect with each other.”

What advice does Ariana have for hiring leaders and senior staff? 

“Being a leader is not about always communicating certainty, because you’re not going to be able to do that. What is certain in this world right now? But it is about communicating clarity.”

Finally, Ariana sums up the trials and tribulations of leadership in one simple sentence: “The phrase that comes to mind is the struggle that you feel today is the strength that you feel tomorrow.”

Tips and recommendations 

When it comes to enhancing the way we recruit, Ariana believes in the wisdom of partnering with Employee Resource Groups to organise sourcing parties. And she was kind enough to share details of some of the tools and platforms she’s found beneficial.

  • “I’m a big fan of the sourcing platforms Hired and Entelo.”
  • “I’m also a huge fan of CodeSignal for technical testing in the interview process.”
  • “For project management, I recommend”
  • “I want to shout out Intrro as part of our hiring cloud”. 🤗

Ariana hosts the Greenhouse podcast: What’s Your Why? available everywhere you stream your podcasts – check it out! Before we let her go, she kindly dropped some podcast recommendations:

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