Review of // Workable

Workable was introduced to me because of a Quora post regarding: 'Which ATS do you prefer between Workable & Lever?' This immediately shows one of the powers of Workable, they have an active team driving the growth behind the product. In this specific case Rob Long, VP Growth, reached out to me and asked me to test out Workable and compare it with Lever; so I did.


People who follow me know that the majority of my time is spent by searching for good developers on Github & stackoverflow and I like technology to help me achieve that. I use Lever when it comes to the startups I advise (see my previous post), but when Backbase (a somewhat bigger software company) decided it was time to send me to Atlanta, Georgia, I reached out to Rob to give me a trial license and test his product out.

The Case



I have been working with Backbase for a year now and they are pretty awesome. Good technology stack, awesome bunch of people, offices across the globe and I am responsible for building their technology teams. I did that in Amsterdam for the first 6 months but since Backbase really wants you to do cool things, and in my case that was see a little bit more than the canals and rain, I requested a short term transfer to Atlanta to help scale up the Backbase implementation dev-team.

So I went, fully equipped with my sourcing hacks and an empty but working version of Workable; off to Hotlanta as the locals call it. 3 months later I returned back home to Amsterdam, having hired one Solution Architect, one J2EE Integration Engineer and two JS Frontend engineers (and gained 5KG in the meantime). I have to say: Workable did an amazing job helping me achieve these results (also in gaining some pounds).

The good

Good thing about Workable is that it is really easy to use. I am pretty UI / UX minded and the guys over in Athens (where Workable dev team is based) did a good job in creating a crisp / easy to use product.

The overview

The dashboard snapshot of today looks like this:

Then when you expand a job the overview is quite nice and I think it's the most intuitive way to work, list of people on the left side, a feed with resume, information, communication you had with the candidate on the right. This is the sourced stage (my most favourite stage):


Communication

It's really easy to communicate with the hiring team using comments, and planning interviews is super easy with the google apps integration:




Only thing on the planning bit is that there is no live calendar so I have to switch back and forth my google calendar to see availability. But this is trivial as I do not plan many interviews anyway.

Support

Then the other thing that Workable does really good, has something to do with that chat box in the screenshot: their customer support / success thing they got going on.


I am quite the work for these guys and because they stretch it for me when I am experiencing something unusual or buggy, I really need to credit their team for their support 24/7.

The Inbox

They also rolled out something new (after my ATL spell) which is called the inbox. Pretty handy thing to see if you got things you need to do or replies to your reach-outs or if someone on your team commented on something:


Job Posting Automation

Another thing which is good for you job-posting guys, is that they integrate with most of the free job-boards and some of the paid ones. Stackoverflow & Linkedin integration is there, which is pretty sweet. But since I do not really believe in job-postings I'll keep it to this screenshot:

The Chrome Extension

Then my most favourite thing about Workable, their chrome extension. Especially handy if you like to search for your new colleagues instead of waiting for them to apply (behold the power of Rob Longs Vine skills):

All in all Workable does right what it says it does: help you with hiring. The product was really helpful in hiring a bunch of engineers and I have got my dev-team in Atlanta hiring with confidence and using the product seamlessly. This is one of the most important things for us recruiters, get your hiring partners onboard when it comes to hiring. Workable is a product they like to use, because its easy, fast and it just works. So big thumbs up from me if you are deciding on your first ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

The not so good

But, there are also some things that I miss in the product. They are fully aware of my concerns and I think some of my issues are already on their roadmap. Also part of the reason I only scored them 4 out of 5 on Getapp.com.

So let's get on with the 'not so good' portion of this review.

Referral tracking

What I am missing in Workables approach to fixing hiring is the belief that everybody should be hiring on the team. The first thing that I really miss is a referral option. Within Backbase, and I guess within any successful organisation, you will see a lot of referrals going on. In pretty much any other ATS this is tracked seamlessly, in Workable not so much. They should implement this as soon as possible in my opinion to not lag behind.

Snooze / Follow-up Button

I miss it, most of the reach-outs I do it to build up a relationship and build a pipeline. I need to set reminders to people I have reached out to because most of the time I get the reply: 'lovely opportunity, but contact me again in X months' OR 'not really looking right now but I like your approach would love to be on your one-to-watch list'. No can do with Workable.

Limited Freedom

Because its an out of the box solution, your freedom in creating custom made stuff is limited. Biggest problem for me are the hiring stages, these are universal for all jobs. But for I would like to have the Agile PM to have a different workflow than my Angular / Frontend Engineer:

3rd Party Integration

Not the most important one, but I would like some more 3rd party integrations announced.
I use Hackerrank to test devs, would love some integration with them (I hate using multiple dashboards).
What could be really killer is a Github / Stackoverflow tab on the profile to immediately see peoples contributions to these sites.

Reporting

As you know, I am not a big reporter. But recruiting, sourcing and all the other stuff we do does generate a lot of data. Data you can use to improve your hiring and so on. The reporting environment of Workable is a tad thin in my opinion. Especially compared to the reporting environment of Lever (they have a whole d3.js team working on that).

Conclusion

All in all I love Workable, it does it's job, they care about their clients, they deliver a bug free product (yay) and I know that they will only improve their product over time. It won't surprise me that Nikos (CEO Workable) will address some of my issues with a new product release soon.

To everyone that is looking to change from excel madness to overview when hiring, you should really try Workable out. Especially for small amounts of jobs these guys rock and its absolutely affordable for only 19$ / month (!!). They also throw in 15 days for free. Get your account here and you should also follow them on Twitter while you are at it.

On another note, they organise the Talent Hacker events in Boston, London, NYC & Lisboa. Hopefully I get the chance to organise one in Amsterdam (if I ever get home long enough to plan).

Thanks for reading and do comment if you have suggestions & ideas or if you completely disagree with me on some points, I tend to like that most.


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