Customer Story

Mapbox

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Mapbox Sees 30% Conversion Rates— 21% Above the Industry Average—with Gem’s SOBO Feature.

Mapbox is a live mapping and location cloud platform that’s changing the way people move through and explore the world. Developers use the company’s SDKs and APIs to create applications that solve problems with maps, simultaneously using and helping create real-time location awareness. 700 million users—and 175,000 developers from companies like Facebook, The Weather Channel, and Strava—touch their maps every month; thanks to a continuous feedback cycle, Mapbox’s maps become smarter with each touch. The company’s technologies process over 300 million miles of global road networks every day. It’s a number that demands a lot of engineers; and the 500-person company plans to grow by another 200 in 2021.

Talent acquisition is very lean at Mapbox. Two of us are technical recruiters, and we have one sourcer. With the growth we anticipate, we have to figure out ways to organize, automate processes, and strategically engage passive talent. That’s where Gem comes in for us.
Brie Bastidas
Brie Bastidas
Technical Recruiting Manager

Location

San Francisco, CA & Washington, D.C. (HQs)

What they do

Mapping and location platform

Website

https://www.mapbox.com/

Size

500+ Employees

ATS

Gem product

CRM, Compass, Candidate Management

Pain points / Challenges

  • No solution for organizing prospective candidates across divisions company-wide
  • No context to help fuel candidate reengagement
  • No way of easily involving hiring managers in outreach, leading to lower-than-exceptional conversion rates

Results with Gem

  • Recruiters drop vetted talent into projects and source directly out of Gem’s outreach sequences, significantly speeding up the hiring process
  • With Gem’s Activity Feed and set-and-forget emails, recruiters preserve context, save time, and humanize outreach
  • Gem’s send-on-behalf-of (SOBO) has allowed Mapbox to see 30% conversion rates—21% higher than the industry average

One of the most important things Gem allows Technical Recruiting Manager Brie Bastidas and her team to do is source passive talent directly out of the platform without starting a new search from scratch every time. Gem’s Projects are one feature they use for this. “Recruiters aren’t always steeped in the details of how Mapbox’s services are interconnected; often they were rejecting great candidates after phone screens rather than thinking about how those candidates could fit elsewhere in the org. We’re a 500-person company with 7-10 teams per org. So how do you organize talent so recruiters in all service areas have visibility into, and access to, them? You don’t want candidates falling through the cracks just because they’re not the perfect fit for your open role. We needed to centralize information.”

Projects allow the team to drop qualified talent that isn’t exactly right for a role—or that isn’t ready to make a move—into “communities.” “We started building domain-specific projects in Gem where we could organize passive candidates who were better fits for other roles as we were screening them. Now when we open new searches, we’re not starting dry. Maybe I have a project of 100+ people I can go into, filter by various criteria, and start sending messages to. I’m saving a ton of time at the very top of the funnel, because the sourcing has already been done.”

“We’re a 500-person company with 7-10 teams per org. So how do you organize talent so recruiters in all service areas have visibility into, and access to, them?”

Brie says Mapbox’s projects in Gem include categories like PFH (Potential Future Hires); but she’ll also go into Gem and filter for things like silver medalists from past pipelines. “And when Gem pulls those candidates up, it also gives me quick visibility into some important data: When’s the last time that person was reached out to? What was the sequence that was sent? Did they reply as interested? Did they make it past phone screen? I adjust my relationship to outreach based on the answers to those questions.” Brie says that she also uses previous outreach sequences sent through Gem to uncover warm leads for new open roles. “You can filter both projects and previous sequences in a lot of ways. I often look at opens—Gem’s Outreach Analytics are great for tracking passive candidate behavior to gauge interest. If someone opens an email seven times but never responds, that’s an indication that maybe they’re interested, but this isn’t the right time. So three months down the road I re-engage.” By starting a new sequence, Brie can track metrics separately, test alternate messaging, and get clean data on the segment of candidates she’s nurturing.

“I often look at opens—Gem’s Outreach Analytics are great for tracking passive candidate behavior to gauge interest. If someone opens an email seven times but never responds, that’s an indication that maybe they’re interested, but this isn’t the right time.”

Brie says the Mapbox team is working on their reengagement strategy, and Gem is a central part of that. “We’re building nurture campaigns with emails along the lines of: Hey, it’s been awhile; I’d love to reconnect. Here’s the latest on Mapbox; check out our ERG spotlights, and so on. So much happens in the months between reach-outs that you lose context; Gem offers two features that help with that. One is the Activity Feed. Maybe I leave a note in Gem saying that the candidate was warm but not ready; they asked me to reach out again at a later date. The Activity Feed gives an important bird’s-eye view; often it’s enough to base my re-engagement on. The other thing I do in Gem is craft and schedule a follow-up email to go out at a later date the moment I get off a phone with a stellar candidate. Do they have a new addition to the family and so can’t make any major life changes right now? I’ll put down the phone and compose an email to go out in January that says: I hope your new baby is healthy and well. This humanizes the process; it makes talent feel heard and their lives respected. Plus it’s a set-and-forget situation. That email will go out in January, and I won’t have to think about it until I see a response in my inbox from that candidate. That’s more time saved for our small team.”

Perhaps the most exciting Gem feature for Brie right now is send-on-behalf-of (SOBO). “We use SOBO in pretty specific ways,” she says. “We don’t pepper the market. We look for the 50 best candidates for that job. Or we use it for really niche roles. For example, we were recently looking for a Data Roads Lead, which is basically a data engineer that became a product manager, and who is focused on lane lines, signage, turn restrictions, things like that. That’s super-niche domain expertise, and if we want to get a role like that filled, we have to up our outreach game. So we use SOBO, because conversion rates are typically much higher on outreach sent from hiring managers.

“Do they have a new addition to the family and so can’t make any major life changes right now? I’ll put down the phone and compose an email to go out in January that says: I hope your new baby is healthy and well. This humanizes the process; it makes talent feel heard and their lives respected.”

Roads Lead, which is basically a data engineer that became a product manager, and who is focused on lane lines, signage, turn restrictions, things like that. That’s super-niche domain expertise, and if we want to get a role like that filled, we have to up our outreach game. So we use SOBO, because conversion rates are typically much higher on outreach sent from hiring managers.

“With SOBO, our eng leaders see 30% conversion rates into Greenhouse, which is insane,” Brie adds. “Benchmark numbers for technical engineering are 60% for open rates, 22% for reply rates, 12% for interested rates, and 9% for conversion rates. With SOBO, we’re seeing open rates of up to 91%, reply rates of over 50%, interested rates of up to 36%, and conversion rates of 30%. That’s wild.” What’s more, with SOBO, Gem alerts Brie every time someone responds to the HM. “So if an email goes out from our SVP of Engineering, Peter [Sirota]—which I’ve usually ghostwritten and he’s reviewed—and a prospective candidate responds, I see that. I can immediately write to Peter’s EA and ask her to intro me. Or Peter cc’s me and says, ‘So glad you’re open to chatting. I’m looping in Brie, our Lead Recruiter, to coordinate the call for us.’ It’s virtually no work on Peter’s part; yet his name on that email has significantly increased the interest.”

As Brie pulls up Gem’s Outreach Stats, she asks: “Remember that niche road role I told you about? For our General Manager of Navigation Data, we ended up hiring a passively sourced candidate through SOBO. There were maybe 100 people globally that made sense for this job; but look at this: an 82% open rate, 51% reply rate, 33% interested rate... those are remarkable numbers, and so much fun to see. I’d say that around 70% of the folks we’ve reached out to with SOBO have made it onsite.”

“With SOBO, we’re seeing open rates of up to 91%, reply rates of over 50%, interested rates of up to 36%, and conversion rates of 30%. That’s wild.

Brie says that all this success with a three-person team has been made possible through Gem—and that as the recruiting function grows this year, Gem will remain as important as ever. “We’re essentially sourcing less, engaging smarter, and being more strategic about our outreach. Process is faster. It’s December, and right now we’re scheduling messages in Gem to go out first thing in January in volume. This way we’ll hit the ground running in the new year. This is yet another way Gem is allowing our small team to work as efficiently as we can right now, and to prepare for the growth that we anticipate. That said, I’m looking forward to seeing an exponential increase in efficiency as our recruiting team grows and continues to use this tool. We’ll certainly need the visibility Gem allows as there will be more of us in 2021, looking for top talent.”

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