When they decided to abandon their legacy applicant tracking system (ATS) for Pinpoint, it was a bit scary to make the jump from a known quantity to a startup. But then, the talent acquisition team at The New York Public Library operates a bit like a startup themselves. They’re constantly trying different things to see what works, and that strategy has paid off with Pinpoint.
The thing that surprised me most about Pinpoint was that it was so well-received. I have a passionate group of people who demand excellence, and the fact that they’ve picked it up and run with it and are very excited about it is the biggest surprise that I’ve had.
Craig Senecal, Senior Director of Employee Experience at The New York Public Library, chalks this up to the fact that Pinpoint is so easy to learn and use—even for a city-wide organization with 88 branch libraries, four research centers, and 400 hiring managers.
“I have two new people on the team who learned Pinpoint in a day and started using it. And I was still learning how to use our legacy system almost two years into it,” Craig told us.
And the results have been more than impressive. His team of three recruiters has filled nearly 500 open roles since June. “We could not have done that with our legacy system,” he said. “Pinpoint made it so easy to quickly hire people because the hiring managers understand the system, are using the system, and are navigating it in an easy way.”
It’s amazing to see how a century-old institution is thriving with modern recruitment software in their toolkit.
How the library got its groove back
Craig’s love for The New York Public Library shines through when he talks about it. He calls it “the world’s library,” and it really is—they have the largest circulating collection in the world. So if you’re picturing your local library … The New York Public Library is a bit bigger than that. Despite the scale, Craig’s small team keeps 2,700 jobs staffed with the best people the community has to offer.
When it comes to describing the library’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP), Craig says, it’s an easy sell. As a nonprofit that’s been around for 127 years, their work is everywhere. And they do a lot more than lend books; they teach children to love reading, help reincorporate incarcerated people into the community, and provide language and career services. The library is the perfect place to work for community change-makers—people who care deeply about making a difference in ways both large and small.
But despite the kind of employer brand most companies would kill for, recruitment was still a challenge with the library’s legacy ATS. They’d used their former tool for 14 years, and it was large, clunky, and slow. It was designed for large corporations managing hundreds of people in similar jobs, and wasn’t well-suited to the public library system.
Even worse, when new functionality did become available, it was offered free to new customers—but not to longtime customers like The New York Public Library. When new features did arrive, some of them took over a year to roll out due to high turnover on the customer service team and a system that simply wasn’t agile. The product was expensive, and Craig found himself doing all the heavy lifting despite the cost.
So he decided to look elsewhere. He and The New York Public Library finance team vetted 150 companies in total, selecting their top 15 choices for interviews. Amidst that wealth of choice, Pinpoint rose to the top.
We went with Pinpoint because they have an agile, flexible system that could be configured in a way that worked for us, and that was extremely appealing. And whenever we request an enhancement, the answer is, ‘Wow, that’s a really good idea. Let us work on that.’ We’ve gotten some of those enhancements already, with more on the way.
Hiring managers are now active participants in the process
In part, The New York Public Library ditched their old system because they wanted a friendlier, more approachable user experience. Their old tool forced users to create a profile. If they forgot their password, they’d need to submit a Help Desk ticket to access their account, and those tickets could take over a day to resolve. The process of signing and exchanging offer letters was entirely manual, and interview scheduling had so many steps that it was impractical to use.
With Pinpoint, candidates can apply directly from mobile. They can upload their resumes in seconds, schedule their own interview times, and sign offer letters with no hassle. Craig describes the interaction as “friendly and approachable”—precisely the right vibe for a community nonprofit that’s all about helping people.
On the other side, the 400-ish hiring managers have found the process to be user-friendly, too. “They’re stunned with how well Pinpoint works for them,” Craig told us. “It’s super easy to set them up and attach them to a job, and easy to create a profile and log in.” Most hiring managers only log in once or twice a year, so ease of use is essential to prevent constant re-training or access headaches.
Hiring managers can comment, add tags, rate candidates, and have back-and-forth conversations with the recruitment team, all recorded in a single location for future reference. For the talent acquisition team, that’s a huge bonus. “What Pinpoint did for me was to throw hiring managers into the recruiting process and allow them to play a more active role than they had in the past,” Craig told us. “It’s really allowed us to coach our hiring managers to be better at creating a great experience for candidates.”
As somebody who works in recruiting, I know how busy our hiring managers are. And the more open jobs they have, the busier they are. So making the recruiting process easy for them is a huge win.
Worried about a bumpy transition? We’ve got you
If you’ve ever transitioned from legacy software to something new, you know it isn’t easy—especially when that legacy software was architected over a decade ago. Nothing ports over directly, and there’s a lot of manual effort involved.
When Craig and his team implemented Pinpoint, they wanted to ensure that every candidate from the old system was moved over to Pinpoint without letting anyone slip through the cracks. To do that, they made the formal switch over the weekend. Craig made sure to mention that Pinpoint’s CTO personally spent countless hours migrating their data over from the legacy system and even made himself available at all hours to provide support, despite a five-hour time difference.
I’ve never had that level of service with any other system I’ve worked with in the past.
Luckily, the ease of Pinpoint’s software made up for the hassle of switching. Craig told us that he helped architect Pinpoint despite a complete lack of digital skills. “I can barely use email sometimes,” he confessed, “but I was able to configure our organization and do it quickly.” The whole process was done in under six weeks.
In closing (and entirely unprompted), Craig shared this: “You are crazy if you don’t at least talk to the people at Pinpoint about the product they offer. They’re amazing people to work with. They want to work with you and are genuinely excited to make a huge difference in this field. Find out more about them—it’s a system that will work for most people.”
We couldn’t have said it better.
Discover Pinpoint for yourself
At Pinpoint, we are genuinely passionate about what we do, and we’re equally passionate about supporting our customers who feel the same. Check out our demo video to learn more.
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