Customer Story


Robinhood’s sourcers save 8-10 hours/week with Gem

Robinhood is on a mission to democratize the financial system. The company disrupted the brokerage industry in 2013 when it pioneered commission-free trading; it has since become a favorite for millennials who use its platform to invest in stocks, ETFs and options, and trade cryptocurrencies. In July of 2019, Robinhood announced a $323M Series E funding round and landed a $7.6B valuation. They’ve just opened their new office in Denver—the company’s fourth office globally—for which they estimate making around 800 hires.

“[Gem] was easily one of the better products I’d seen in terms of streamlining manual work: searching for phone numbers, emails, social media sites.”

Joe Gillespie | Robinhood

Joe Gillespie

Head of Tech Recruiting

Robinhood | Customer Logo
Robinhood | Customer Logo


Menlo Park, CA


500+ employees

What they do:


Pain points / Challenges

  • Products and extensions that didn’t speak to each other

  • Often manual and inefficient workflow

  • Limited visibility into recruiter activity

  • No measurement around what elicited engagement

Results with Gem

  • Increased overall efficiency (an estimated 8-10 hours/week saved per sourcer)

  • Time savings on internal communications with Gem’s SOBO feature

  • Visibility into what outreach is most successful

  • More strategic send times with Gem’s reminder feature

Joe Gillespie, Head of Tech Recruiting, was with the company before it implemented Gem. The recruiting org’s workflow “was a piecemeal of free extensions and paid products—some pretty good and some really bad— to help with things like templates, sequencing, email finding, and social media scraping. We had products integrated with Gmail, extensions in Chrome, manual spreadsheets, things like that. It was scrappy—and a lot more manual, to say the least—and there was very limited visibility into what the rest of the team was doing, which wasn’t ideal.”

“It’s more than time savings; it’s visibility into how our outreaches are performing”

By the time Gem reached out to Robinhood, Joe had already begun exploring other products; “but we hadn’t identified one that was as close as we could get to a one-stop shop. For every product we demoed, we’d take a critical lens. We didn’t want to just get caught up in a pretty UI, but really examine how the product could add value for our team. Immediately we saw that Gem could replace a lot of the products we were using. It was easily one of the better products I’d seen in terms of streamlining manual work: searching for phone numbers, emails, social media sites. And the cherry on top was that it integrated seamlessly into Greenhouse.” Add to that the sales approach:

“Other companies typically hype their products. With Gem, the team was straightforward; and when we had questions about the things that were important to us, there were actual answers. The product really spoke for itself.”

Initially, the team was most excited about time saved thanks to Gem’s automation: downloading prospect information in a single click; no longer having to manually add activity. “We were saving 2-3 minutes per prospect alone—which is enormous when you’re hiring so quickly. When you’re reaching out to dozens of people a day, that’s significant. Our recruiting org is now dozens of people, the majority of which are Gem power-users. So what starts as shaving off a few minutes here or there eventually becomes saving the equivalent of a handful of full-time recruiters.”

But the team was in for more than time-savings. “As we started diving into the sequence feature, one of the coolest things to learn was that we could do send-on-behalf-of in a very efficient way. We use SOBO very intentionally for things like leadership hires and key individual contributors, and we take it seriously. With Gem, gone are the days of needing to ask senior leaders to send emails for us. The efficiency we’ve achieved with the SOBO feature is fantastic. And with Gem’s analytics, I can see how much better SOBO outreaches perform. We can compare success rates and factor that intelligence into our strategies. Even when they’re not using SOBO, recruiters can observe the open rates and reply rates of an ‘A’ versus a ‘B’ reachout. They interpret and optimize from there.”

“I’ve worked with a number of recruiting tools and this is one of the best I’ve worked with, free or paid.”

“Gem helps us think more strategically about message copy and timing”

What’s more, all that information is centralized. “So I can find a recruiter in Gem, and I can see what they’re sending out and seeing a high success rate with. The team has grown; it’s no longer a few of us sitting next to each other asking, ‘How are your reachouts doing; what are you sending out?’ I can jump in and get that information myself. Which reachouts are seeing the highest reply rates? What about those are unique? Is it the length; the style; the headline? We literally get to learn from each other through data, and leverage that learning to craft better outreach emails.”

“The other thing we get to think more strategically about, with an automated tool like Gem,” Joe adds, “is scheduling when reachouts should happen. Now our team can thoughtfully sit down and say, ‘Hey, we know Company X’s bonuses or performance reviews happen on X date; let’s have our outreach aligned to that.’ Often when you’re sourcing, you can get distracted with your day-to-day work and suddenly you pick your head up and you’ve missed lock-up expirations at companies whose engineers you really want. With Gem, we set it and forget it, rather than manually setting a reminder in Google Task or Greenhouse, which can get buried in email.”

Joe sums up his relationship with Gem: “I’ve worked with a number of recruiting tools and this is one of the best I’ve worked with, free or paid. It’s functional, and it serves the recruiting mindset—not ‘Oh, here’s this one feature for recruiters as an afterthought.’ Gem seems to have been built intentionally for sourcers and recruiters to not only become more efficient and optimize their top-of-funnel workflow, but also to leverage data and make smarter decisions. We’ve got a lot of hiring to do; and I couldn’t be happier to be using this product for it.”

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