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DAOU shares effective HR toolkit for inclusion and scalability

DAOU Vineyards’ People Operations Manager shares her experiences in boosting hiring manager engagement, reducing time to fill, increasing candidate experience, and more through the incorporation of hiring technology.

Kelsey Turner

Kelsey Turner

When we upgraded our employee systems in 2022 – we were hyper focused on user-friendliness, inclusion, and scalability.

We searched high and low for the right combination of platforms that would serve our workforce, as we were finding that some of the all-in-ones just weren’t quite right for us. We needed solutions that could scale with us at a fast rate, and that were friendly and engaging.

We have employees in a diverse array of roles – from wine educators in our tasting room, to our vineyard team, to our teams creating world class events and brand marketing – we needed solutions that could span time zones, operate in multiple languages, and that empowered employees, managers, and leadership to access information they needed easily.

We implemented a new HRIS (HiBob), new ATS (Workable), and new Payroll system (Paylocity) all at the same time. It was a heavy lift from the People & Culture team, but it has paid off in spades. 

Training teams to adapt new HR technologies

We first launched Workable with great success. We set up 1-1 training sessions for any hiring managers with open roles, providing a white glove service as they had to adopt the platform first. 

The 1-1 interactions were helpful to gain buy in and solicit feedback from some of our “influencer” hiring-managers, and as an added bonus, we had an excuse to connect in real time which is always so valuable in helping employees understand that the People & Culture team is their partner.

To ensure successful launches of each system, we did a variety of things – sent out teaser communications, created scavenger hunts within the systems to incentivize employees to become familiar, and set up both virtual and in-person trainings for the platforms.

For our onsite employees, we made sure to have open office hours for employees to pop in and ask questions about the new apps during the first few weeks.

Related: The most important HR skills and how to master them

Hiring times were reduced; candidate experience was enhanced

A big win that comes to mind when we reflect back on the transformation that these upgraded systems has provided, is the fact that while our employee base has grown 20% since January 2022, our P&C team has not needed to hire any additional resources.

The streamlined application process that we set up in Workable, not only enhances the candidate’s experience but also ensures that our hiring managers can identify and connect with the right talent swiftly, contributing to a more dynamic and competitive recruitment process. 

The added visibility with Outlook integration is a game-changer to keep all parties related to a hire on the same page.

We have also seen a drastic increase in hiring managers’ engagement in the recruiting process, which has sped up our time to hire and as a bonus, has made the process a lot more fun for managers and recruiters. 

We’d offer an exact statistic on how much time we have cut down on the typical time to hire, but the honest truth is that previously we didn’t even have that data in a lovely dashboard like we do now – helping us find our ground and now which way is up.

Bridging communication barriers 

The social platform aspect of Bob has helped bridge the gap between different departments, languages, and locations. It brings so much energy back to our culture when employee milestones or kudos can be offered in a public setting, and it helps keep everyone informed on happenings at the company. 

We included some key leaders in a few of the demos to create early buy-in, and it’s amazing what a public shout out from leadership can do to boost engagement on the platform.

The emphasis on a more dynamic and competitive recruitment process, streamlined application processes, and increased hiring manager engagement also suggests a commitment to inclusivity and ensuring that the hiring processes are fair and transparent, reducing biases.

Increasing transparency and scalability

The upgraded systems also forced us to get our act together in regards to job structure, levels, and compensation banding, which translates into just about everything we do as we scale, both in systems and as a company that values equity and transparency.

The Workable system encouraged us to launch a referral program which also helped user-adoption and has been very successful in bringing solid employees to some hard-to-fill roles.

Like pulling a thread on a sweater, our policy development has started to snowball in a positive direction as we discover all of the ways to optimize the system and continue increasing engagement. 

The policies that we developed as we implemented these new systems has made us overall more consistent, especially in regards to items like fair and consistent interview processes, internal vs external job postings, and has even helped us as we navigate improving salary transparency

As hard as we were trying previously, Workable has greatly reduced the room for biases in our hiring process.

As far as our People & Culture team’s daily work, the seamless integration between Bob and Workable has helped delineate workflow between our individual roles – making employee promotions, onboarding, and offboarding tasks trackable and measurable – leading to more achievable OKRs and far fewer items slipping through the cracks.

Kelsey Turne

I’m Kelsey Turner. I grew up on the Central Coast of California. I have worked at DAOU Vineyards in People Ops for 2 years and have loved being part of “a people business in the wine industry” as we like to say. I help with employee systems and data, onboarding, DEIB initiatives, Training & Development, and many other items that can come up in any given day.

I love the variety! Previously I worked as a Global Scheduling manager for a travel company (Backroads); managing staffing and equipment needs for trips across 60+ countries. Prior to that I have been a bicycle and hiking guide in Peru & France, as well as an English Teacher in Ecuador and Spain, and have held many different jobs in restaurants (from a busser in a diner, to guacamole maker, to server at a fancy Relais & Chateaux restaurant in Montana).

I graduated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BA in Spanish & French Literature; I have always loved languages and love getting to put my Spanish to good use at work with a lot of our Spanish-speaking employees. I love running, yoga, and all things food and wine (especially our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon).

I have always loved working with internal employees and finding efficiencies wherever possible and love being part of a team that knows how to have fun and work hard.

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