• September 1, 2016
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Hired Makes a Smart Hire with Freshdesk

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Whereas many businesses struggle to instill a customer-focused company culture, online job site Hired has built a model that works. With its cloud-based customer support software from Freshdesk, every employee has become a potential support agent.

Hired is a free, candidate-centered marketplace for top tech talent that lets individuals looking for work create profiles listing their skills and backgrounds. Hired prescreens all of the thousands of job seekers and lists only about 4 percent of them to the site each month. Recruiters from more than 3,000 companies, including American Express, Comcast, eBay, and Facebook, send candidates job offers via email.

Job seekers are assigned talent advocates who help them polish their résumés, prepare for interviews, land their dream jobs, and negotiate salaries. Hiring companies work with Hired’s client executive team to find and on-board the right talent.

That’s not the only way Hired demonstrates its customer centricity. Each one of the San Francisco start-up’s 200 employees—from engineering and IT to sales and human resources—is held accountable for customer support. Any support issue, whether internal or external, can be handled by anyone best suited to address it.

“We don’t want support to be an opaque process,” says Nate Clark, director of engineering at Hired. “We want a lot of visibility across the company into problems.”

The creation of that support culture didn’t happen overnight. Early on, customers with problems sent an email to their talent advocates or client executives and waited for a response. As the business grew, it became clear that Hired needed a professional help desk solution that could streamline all communications, tie into other systems, and document and track all interactions.

In September 2014, Hired began using Freshdesk as its support system, originally rolling out the solution for just internal support tickets. The company has since expanded the offering to external customer support.

With Freshdesk, there’s just one email address for everyone—job seekers, hiring companies, or Hired employees alike.

“Anyone can write to us at support@hired.com, and it goes into one support queue,” Clark says. “Everyone uses one interface, and the system figures out who is the best person to handle each case. Freshdesk determines where to send the ticket.”

Though the company does have dedicated support agents, “it was important for us to have as many people in the system as possible,” Clark says. “Tickets are visible to a lot more people, and they can jump in to help whenever they can.”

Hired looked at a number of systems vendors and found that only Freshdesk, with its Occasional Agent pricing structure, supported its unique culture.

“We can have the entire engineering department on the system and responding to tickets when they can because we are only billed for employees when they sign into the system,” Clark says.

That model is saving Hired about $4,000 per month.

Freshdesk has also led to significant service improvements. Ninety-seven percent of support requests are handled within service-level targets. First response rates increased 22 percent, from 64 to 86 percent. The average time for a first response is two hours and two minutes. Average total response time dropped 32 percent, from four hours and four minutes to two hours and 47 minutes. Total resolution rates increased 9 percent, from 87 percent to 96 percent.

All these service-level improvements have occurred while the number of support cases has spiked, which Clark says was inevitable given Hired’s rapid growth. The company has more than tripled its business in the past three years. When it began in 2012, Hired was just a job site for Bay area tech workers. The site has since helped more than 500,000 candidates in tech, sales, marketing, and other fields and is available in 15 cities and three countries.

“We’ve aligned our entire company in service of our customers, and that is a decided competitive advantage,” Clark says. 

The Payoff

With Freshdesk handling its customer support cases, Hired has seen the following results:

  • $4,000 per month savings in licensing fees for employees;
  • 97 percent of all support requests handled within established service-level targets;
  • an increase of 22 percent in first response rates;
  • a drop of 32 percent in average total response time; and
  • a 9 percent increase in total resolution rates.

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