GitLab impresses candidates and predicts hiring outcomes

Marissa Ferber, Senior Manager of Global TA Enablement at GitLab


53% decrease in unwanted drop-off


11x ROI in 3 months

Faster time-to-hire

The Challenge: A Transparent and Efficient Candidate Experience

These days, candidates expect to have a good sense for the company they’re interviewing with before accepting an offer.

GitLab wanted to differentiate their candidate communications and deliver a unique and positive candidate experience that reflects their company values, while streamlining the interview scheduling process to reduce no-shows and drop-outs.

As GitLab’s Senior Manager of Global TA Enablement, Marissa Ferber notes: “We have a company value of transparency and, as a result, want to give candidates as much information as possible about their experience so they have a positive first impression of GitLab.”

The Guide Experience: Information + Predictive Insights

GitLab publically publishes an extensive company handbook that they encourage candidates to read. With Guide, the team can highlight specific info within the handbook that they feel would give candidates insight into GitLab’s culture and how they work. However, the insights that Guide provides have proven to be additionally valuable.

“At first, Guide helped us provide the right information to our candidates. Now, there’s been a shift to use it as a way to learn about our candidates,” says Ferber. “We can learn about the percentage of candidates who engage more frequently and end up working for the company, versus those who turn down an offer.”

These predictive insights are valuable to the GitLab team. “Guide gives us a better idea of what’s happening with our candidates so we can act accordingly. If we want a candidate, we’d better get them excited,” Ferber continued.

A better experience for everyone involved - including hiring managers

Beyond delivering a better candidate experience, Ferber says that Guide helps her team deliver a better experience for hiring managers too.

“We want other teams to have the materials they need and for communication to move really smoothly – even if we’re paddling furiously underwater in the background.” And some seemingly small features are making a big difference for her team.

“With Guide, we can edit what a calendar invite looks like – it sounds small, but it’s huge for us, and we can edit the title of the invitation to something custom. These are little things that other platforms don’t even think about,” says Ferber.

“I see Guide as a product that is putting the candidate first in the design, and that is not necessarily what I see in other products for talent acquisition,” Ferber continues.

Working collaboratively with the Guide team

Because GitLab’s Talent Acquisition team is growing, new needs pop up. The ability to work closely with the Guide support team is vital. As new features are added - which happens frequently - the Guide team reaches out to teach GitLab’s team how to leverage them.

“Right now, candidates are telling us that we stand out. We get email after email from candidates saying, ‘This is so cool! I’ve never seen anything like this before. I love that you do this.’ We get tons of compliments on it.”

– Marissa Ferber

Ferber adds that, unlike other tech vendors, the Guide team has been open to her input on the product roadmap.

“With some vendors, it can feel like you’re throwing suggestions into the wind and you don’t really actually think they’re going to do anything differently. And so it was very refreshing to get onto calls with Guide,” says Ferber.

Results: Guide’s impact on the candidate experience

Guide has helped GitLab set the right first impression and stand out amongst other potential employers, which has led to a 53% decrease in candidate drop-off.

“Right now, candidates are telling us that we stand out. We get email after email from candidates saying, ‘This is so cool! I’ve never seen anything like this before. I love that you do this.’ We get tons of compliments on it.”

In addition to less candidate drop-offs, Ferber sees the additional impact that Guide has on several aspects of the candidate experience, from improving NPS scores, to reducing errors, to accelerating the hiring process.

“And because we can customize emails with Guide and highlight important interview information with colors and even emojis, candidates have the right info in front of them, which reduces errors,” Ferber continued. “It’s helping candidates get a better picture of our culture and the info they need to make an educated decision about coming to work here, and therefore it has shortened the timeframe of the overall hire.”