Creating a Great Candidate Experience with Lori Russo, Head of Talent at Salsify

Aubrie Przybysz
Marketing at Drafted

Salsify’s Head of Talent, Lori Russo, sat down with Aubrie from Drafted to talk about handling company growth head-on, building relationships, and creating a great candidate experience. 

Watch the full interview here.

Aubrie: Tell me a little bit about Salsify.

Lori: Salsify is just an amazing company. I know I'm biased, but I love being able to say that I am an employee and a teammate here. We are a SAAS product experience organization that has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. 

Named one of Boston’s best places to work, Salsify is a product experience management platform. They combine the power of PIM and DAM capabilities, the industry’s broadest commerce ecosystem, and actionable insights to orchestrate compelling product experiences through every digital touchpoint. The world’s biggest brands including Coca-Cola, Bosch, GSK, Rawlings, and Fruit of the Loom use Salsify every day to stand out on the digital shelf. 

Lori: We just hit our four hundred and five employee mark and we also just hit $50 million in revenue.



Tackling Growth Head On

To make sure they keep a good grip on their growth, Salsify has kept their hiring goals strategic. 

“We try to really think about what’s most critical to Salsify,” says Lori. 

From the top of the hiring funnel, all the way through, each person in the process takes ownership of the part they play. 

“We're really lucky in that everybody here at the organization takes recruiting very seriously.”

As Lori described the way they approach their growth, one word came to mind. Nimble. There is a clear focus on the capacity of every team involved in the hiring process, making sure they keep in mind what matters most. 

Aubrie: You guys are tackling [growth] in the smartest way possible that makes sense for Salsify.

Lori: We just try to be very intentional. With capacity, there's not unlimited capacity, because if there were, I think we’d be incredibly happy. So we just try to be incredibly intentional with our capacity and making sure that we don't spread ourselves like peanut butter. And that we are hyper-focused on what makes the most sense and what's most critical Salsify. 

Relationship Building 

One of the biggest challenges recruiting teams face is building relationships among different teams across the company. Hiring affects everyone. A recruiter has to build strong relationships with hiring managers and team members of the roles they’re filling. Aside from becoming the candidate’s liaison and champion. 

Lori’s advice for building those relationships, “I would just say remain tenacious.” 

The most critical relationship is often between the recruiter and the hiring manager. 

“How I think about the hiring manager and recruiter relationship is that it's a partnership and that you each play an incredible and really important role in the hiring process.” 

The Talent Acquisition team at Salsify works on achieving these strong relationships through a great deal of communication. Strong lines of communication between the recruiting team, the hiring team, and the interview team contribute to creating a great candidate experience. 

“Our goal is to always remain aligned so that we deliver the best experience possible.” 


Know Your Audience 

Before becoming the Head of Talent at Salsify, Lori spent part of her career as a marketer, working in the digital media marketing space at a full-service digital advertising agency. Then spending time on the advertising team at TripAdvisor where she transitioned to leading the talent acquisition team. 

Aubrie: Is there anything you learned from the marketing side of the business that has helped you now, on the talent side? 

Lori: I would say if I had to choose one thing it’s know your audience and make sure that you personalize, that you are incredibly targeted in your campaign, your outreach, whatever it might be. Know who you're going after, know how to position your messaging and go after them.

When it comes to candidate outreach, creating personalized messaging has been a key to Salsify’s success. It’s easy to copy and paste the same message over and over to a candidate. But taking that extra step to craft a message that is targeted and relevant has the ability to set you apart. 

“We take [success] very seriously. It's incredibly important for us to set our candidates up for success before they even get on site. We want them to feel like we're hosting them while they're here.”

Salsify is warm and welcoming and they create that sense before you even step foot into their doors. When you walk into their office, you never want to leave. 

About Drafted

At Drafted, we believe that your company network is your single biggest competitive advantage when it comes to hiring. Our mission is to make it easy for you to leverage your network in the hiring process to find the best candidates. Your network is already powerful, it’s just too much work to make it a priority over the day-to-day of recruiting. Companies that use Drafted see their employee referral numbers go up by 2x, their time to hire drop by 30% and their overall hiring efficiency increase significantly within just a few months.