Life at Gem

Using data to lead conversations

Justin Swisher

Justin Swisher

Head of Business Recruiting

Posted on

July 6, 2022

When I started my career in recruiting a decade ago, operating like sales was our north star organizational goal. You might be confused as to why, but let me explain. There have always been parallels between a good sales process and a good recruiting process. Recently, sales has become more automated and data-driven than ever before, and the proof is everywhere. Tools like Gong and Outreach have changed the way sales teams operate—all with the mission of improving communication, transparency,  automation, and increasing touch points with customers. 

But when I looked at the recruiting industry, it lagged behind—we had chat tools, LinkedIn, and spreadsheets; but you’d be lucky if any of these integrated with your applicant tracking system (ATS). This issue became exacerbated when clients would ask tough but fair questions (e.g. What percentage of our top of funnel identifies as female? Where are the bottlenecks in our process?). Sales leaders are used to having relevant data they can analyze and learn from. It was hard to meet recruiters even halfway! I felt as though I was at a deficit. 

Today I am Gem’s Head of Business Recruiting, where I manage a large team of recruiters and sourcers whose clients and reqs span multiple departments and levels across the organization. Little did I know how much Gem would change my day-to-day—I now live in Gem Talent Compass because it allows me to be in multiple places at the same time. 

As talent leaders we are asked to manage a lot—the work never seems to slow. On top of an already busy schedule, it would take me hours to try and patch together data for my client meetings. Talent Compass changed my day-to-day—I now have all the data in one easily accessible place, at a req or department level, with attractive dashboards and valuable insights. Not only does it save me time, but now when I have an intake meeting with a client, I am coming to that conversation with actionable, reliable data—I feel like an equal in contributing to the conversation.‍

As a Recruiting Leader, I receive a lot of LinkedIn messages from others in the Talent Acquisition space, so  I thought it would be helpful to share some of the frequently asked questions. Below is a snapshot of some of the most common questions: ‍

How does Talent Compass impact your day-to-day?

"I empower my team to solve challenges with their own Gem data—this allows me to forecast months in advance. Having that clarity allows me to align my resources and fill in any gaps ahead of any potential blockers. This includes measuring and tracking our diversity efforts from sourcing to passthrough." 

Why do you like working at Gem?

"At Gem, it’s fun solving hard problems because the team is amazing and we care about our customers. I feel like the work I do directly impacts improvement and innovation in the recruiting space. And I love the idea of building a reference model for a modern data-driven recruiting process! Did I mention that we are hiring? Join us!" 

Anything else you would like to share/advice to a Head of Recruiting that is quickly looking to scale?

"Scaling a startup is hard. A typical day involves spinning five plates with 2-3 fires smoldering in the background—if you don't have the right tools and data to make quick decisions things can start to feel really hard. Gem is the leg up you’ve been looking for."  


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