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Red Hat mines talent acquisition software but finds lack of integration a challenge

Gild Source is easy to use, but sometimes recruiters at Red Hat don't access it as much as they could because it is a separate system.

When recruiters at Red Hat want to hire talented programmers, they often begin by using Gild software to learn about the passions and other interests of their prospects.

Gild Source talent acquisition software can give Red Hat an edge over the competition when approaching a programmer with a job offer, said L.J. Brock, vice president of the global talent group and people infrastructure for Red Hat.

"When we use Gild, it's not so much to find people that we wouldn't have found elsewhere," Brock added.

More importantly, it is about Red Hat using Gild's cloud software to gain some initial deep insights into the projects or code of a software engineer.

"That way, when we do reach out to them, we reach out to them with an opportunity that is compelling and interesting to them and we stand out from the crowd," Brock said.  "It helps them understand why Red Hat is the right place for them to be."

Programmer rankings at the core of Gild Source

Gild Source talent acquisition software scores and ranks programmers according to the quality of their open-source code and provides Red Hat with other intelligence on possible hires.

In ranking an engineer's code, Gild Source looks at standard metrics, such as the cyclomatic complexity of a code section; how many different paths exist through the code as well as code coverage, or how often it has been tested for bugs, according to Gild CEO and co-founder Sheeroy Desai.

Gild Source  examines numerous other factors to measure programmers' skills, including:

  • Contributions to online forums
  • Conferences they attend
  • Possible writings
  • Experience working with a particular language
  • Employment history
  • Collaborators on a project

With data analytics and learning algorithms, Gild talent acquisition software can gauge an engineer's openness to a new job and predict his or her likelihood of success, Desai said.

Gild has ranked a little more than 15 million programmers around the world, he added.

Red Hat was an early user of Gild Source, purchasing the software-as-a-service license in 2012 shortly after Gild was founded. It doesn't discuss how many programmers it has hired with the help of the software.

Gild Source is an original source of many candidates, but it also affects many other hires, Brock said. If Red Hat becomes aware of a candidate through a different source, it cross references that candidate against Gild so Red Hat can be more targeted in approaching the candidate.

Recruiter adoption needs improvement

A key challenge is that Gild Source is a separate system and not integrated with other systems at Red Hat, Brock said.

The software is easy to use, but sometimes recruiters don't access it as much as they could because it is not always in front of them. It can be difficult to move from Gild to LinkedIn, for example, or other systems for jobs. Brock contends that to be more efficient, recruiters need to use as few systems as possible.

"They work within our applicant tracking system, they may work within LinkedIn, in other job portals and job sites -- they also have to be in Gild," Brock said. "This is probably our biggest challenge right now."

Gild is attempting to address these shortcomings with a new, integrated hiring platform (see sidebar). Unlike Gild Source, the new offering, the Gild Platform, does integrate with job portals and sites such as LinkedIn, said Robert Carroll, senior vice president of marketing at Gild. "Input from users like Red Hat is the reason we added features like those integrations," he said.

Gild Source is one piece of successful talent acquisition

By far, Red Hat's top source for identifying leading candidates is the Red Hat Ambassador program, which provides employees with cash rewards and other incentives for successfully referring a candidate. In 2014, about 50% of Red Hat's 800 overall new hires stemmed from the program.

But Gild Source is also an important piece of the overall hiring picture, as it helps Brock improve at matching people to jobs.

One common complaint of software engineers is that they are frequently approached by recruiters who don't really understand what they are doing or want to do, Brock said. Consequently, engineers receive spam and other information about jobs that is not relevant or interesting to them.

Brock claims that Gild helps Red Hat avoid alienating software engineers before possibly making an offer. The software gives Red Hat recruiters a better understanding of a programmer's work with open source code and allows the company to appeal to prospects with opportunities that would most interest them.

Additionally, a big positive for Gild, according to Brock, is its zeal for users. "What we found with Gild over time is its account managers are really dedicated to understanding our challenges," he said. "Their account managers drive that understanding back into their development team if it means product enhancements, and then they circle back to us on the decisions about whether they are going to make the enhancements we were requesting or not. They very frequently did."

New Gild product seeks to cut red tape in hiring

Gild is introducing a new product aimed at automating and streamlining the hiring process.

Called the Gild Platform, the talent acquisition software uses machine learning and predictive analytics to:

  • Improve cooperation and collaboration between recruiters and hiring authorities
  • Schedule interviews
  • Update resumes
  • Track possible candidates

The platform also includes Gild’s software for scoring programmers according to the quality of their open-source code. But unlike the company’s starting product, which only includes software engineers, the new tool can be used for any type of job, said Gild CEO Sheeroy Desai.

The talent acquisition software allows a recruiter to find prospects on LinkedIn, place the information in the platform and present it to the hiring manager, he said. With one click, the manager can see information about the candidate, plus make a comment or rating.

“The software breaks apart everything about individuals -- their background, where they work, certain skills and keywords,” he said. “As hiring managers give feedback on the profiles, the system gets smarter. Over time, the system helps recruiters source or find candidates who would be better fits for that particular hiring manager.”

Desai said the integrated platform is intended to replace six or seven tools that a company might use for hiring, including an applicant tracking system, standalone software for scheduling interviews, Google Docs, spreadsheets or customer relationship management software.

In many cases the tools don’t integrate, enterprises end up with a hodgepodge, and a remarkable number of tasks still need to be done manually, he said.

The platform also automates scheduling for interviews, connects candidates and company leaders with a video interviewing system and allows them to share files and notes.

The software can automatically update resumes and track possible hires, he said. If a candidate turns down a job offer, for example, the algorithms can follow the person’s career progress and determine when the person might be back on the job market.

--Dan Ring



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