A brand new look and a rebuilt engine

Before we dive into the details of this exciting news, we'd like to take you on a little trip of how we got here. Truth be told, over the past year we didn't ship as many new features as we wanted to. For some of you, the quality of Homerun visibly suffered under the fast growth we experienced. The reason: the foundation of our core product couldn't keep up with the quality standards we stand for anymore.

Standing at one of the most difficult crossroads of the past years, we had to choose between working around an outdated technical foundation (so we could still ship features) or bring a stop to shipping new features altogether, and focus on rebuilding the core of Homerun. We chose the latter.

So over the last 8 months, we completely rebuilt the most essential part of Homerun: our Applicant Tracking System (ATS). We rebuilt and redesigned the entire ATS from the ground up so that we can keep shipping quality software as our product, customer base, and team grows.

We very much underestimated the scope and implications of what turned out to be a massive project. But we’ve persevered, tackling challenge after challenge head on thanks to our amazing team of designers and engineers.

What's changed?

We completely took out the old engine (a JavaScript programming framework called Angular) which was powering the Homerun ATS and replaced it with a brand new one (VueJS). One that can carry the Homerun product for years to come and support our growing team of engineers.

Next to that, we also updated how Homerun looks and feels by introducing a new design system. We did this for two reasons. The most important reason is that it makes working with Homerun faster and more intuitive. Second, it allows our product team to design and build software faster, without sacrificing quality.

This is more important than you might think! Think of our design system as a box of lego blocks.  Every list, every button, every checkbox, every heading and every modal looks, feels and acts the same. Which makes your experience consistent, fast and delightful.

Next to a new look, we also improved many different interactions and workflows across the board that will make Homerun easier to use.

Four big things that have changed:

A new design system

Using our new design system, we improved the entire user interface of the ATS. By re-using components where possible, we created a more streamlined and consistent experience.

Disqualification reasons

A much more simplified disqualification workflow. No more "rejected", "rejected but not notified" or "disqualified". We also added the ability to add disqualification reasons. With disqualification reasons, you can gain insight into your hiring process and understand why candidates are not making the cut. We also made it easier to schedule disqualification emails by letting you create reminders with ease.

Origin and sources

Being able to add a source to candidates. That means you can now better track where your candidates are coming from (e.g "Linkedin", "Facebook", "marketing campaign").

Improved timeline

Lastly, we put in place a new foundation for an improved timeline and emailing experience. Next to an all-new look, Homerun will also show when candidates are moved between stages, and you'll be informed if an email could not be delivered to the candidate.

For an extensive overview of what's new, look below for list of all changes.

What's next?

Now that the new engine is in place, it's time to put the proverbial pedal to the metal. Thanks to all your feedback, we know where the biggest pain points lie in using Homerun and where we need to improve most. Moving forward, we think it's important to share what's on our radar so that you know what to expect from us:

Insights

Expect more metrics about your jobs, your candidates and about your team. Presented in beautiful, easy to use dashboards. Metrics like time to hire, time to first response, disqualification reasons and more.

Creating overview

Homerun is expected to tell you what's happening with your candidates, instantly. Right now, that information is buried in a candidate's profile. Moving forward, we're re-imagining which information should be surfaced, making sure the right information appears at the right place and the right time. Think of features like 'most recent candidate activity'.

Roles & permissions

We believe hiring is a team sport and that it should be as transparent as possible. But hiring also involves sensitive information that not everyone needs to have access to. Oftentimes, each team member has a set of responsibilities in the hiring process. For that reason, we'll be introducing new user roles.

Powerful email & calendar features

Communication with your candidates is key to Homerun, and we want to enable you to create delightful candidate experiences. At the core, we're improving email deliverability so that emails are quick and safe to arrive in your applicant's inbox - and vice versa. We'll also start taking steps to make scheduling interviews built into Homerun.

Advanced scorecards

Every hiring workflow is different. Our scorecards work great for companies hiring their first 1-10 employees, but lack flexibility for companies with more complex hiring needs. We want you to be able to assess, review and rate your candidates on different attributes, skills or traits.

Job marketing

Creating a job opening is the first step in finding the right candidate. The second step is attracting candidates with a strong employer brand. Earlier this year, we introduced our integration with Wonderkind, allowing Homerun customers to reach potential candidates on social media channels. Our next step is to help you promote your jobs via other channels, like Indeed.

Closing thoughts

Building quality software is a trade-off between time, cost and scope. A project of this size always brings real challenges, and suffice to say: we've learned a lot. The whole team has done an exceptional job in managing the complexity of re-building(!) the Homerun ATS. Thomas and Thomas, Matteo, Chris, Joris, Fernando and Adrian: thank you so much for your hard work.

Investing 8 months is a costly exercise - especially for a startup like Homerun. But sometimes large projects like these are necessary to avoid even larger problems down the road. We now run on a lightning fast, reliable and scalable technical foundation with the most beautiful design system out there.

With this new foundation in place, the next 6 months will be more exciting than ever.

On behalf of Team Homerun,
- Toon (Product Manager)


Overview of all changes

  • New: Highlights in candidate profile. Highlights show important contextual information about the candidate, like upcoming events and retention expiry dates.
  • New: A new disqualified stage. All disqualified candidates will appear here.
  • New: You can easily "Find candidates" by typing in the top row of the candidates list
  • New: A new way to view a candidate's profile. This view can be accessed by clicking on a candidate in the candidate list of a job.
  • New: Each stage now has a toggle to switch between a list view and candidate profile view. The default view is list view
  • New: You can now change a candidate's origin ("applied" or "sourced") and source (e.g: "LinkedIn", "Facebook", "Indeed").
  • New: You can now add a reason when disqualifying a candidate.
  • New: Sourced + applied candidates now appear in a single column called “New candidates”.
  • New: You can now create a follow-up to-do automatically after disqualifying someone.
  • New: It's now possible to move multiple candidate to different vacancy at the same time using the action bar.
  • New: Homerun will now show an error if an email could not be delivered to a candidate, including the reason (either "bounced" or "dropped")
  • Hired candidates are no longer treated differently. Previously, it was not possible to add notes, leave comments or edit a candidate once they were marked as "hired".
  • To-dos can now be opened in advanced mode immediately by clicking the plus ("+") sign.
  • You can now add more information directly when sourcing a new candidate.
  • Editing a candidate’s information has been consolidated into a single edit button in the action bar.
  • The new source does not correspond to the insight sources. As such these will not show up on the candidate profile automatically when a candidate will apply. It will simply say applied or sourced. We will add the functionality to link the traffic source in the future
  • Functionality to indicate candidates awaiting review ("blue dot") has been removed since it was too confusing.
  • The weekly round email up does not contain candidates to be rated anymore since the "blue dot" has been removed.