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Using Data for Headcount Decisions: Q&A with Dan Beksha and Harrison Hernandez from Plaid

Feb 3, 2023| Reading time: 7min

BY ChartHop

Their old source of truth was scattered across various spreadsheets and emails in inboxes. But, after Plaid transitioned to housing their people data in a people operations platform, they could not only collaborate more efficiently when it came to planning, but also prioritize their headcount planning needs. 

We sat down with Dan Beksha, Head of Strategic Planning, and Harrison Hernandez, Recruiting Ops Manager, to discuss how switching to ChartHop transformed their planning, budgeting, and recruiting processes. 

Interested in learning more about how Plaid improved its planning and scaling process?

Read the case study here

You’re both leveraging ChartHop for workforce planning. Can you tell us more about how ChartHop streamlines that process and how the planning process has evolved since using a people operations platform?

Dan Beksha: Before ChartHop, every hiring manager had their own spreadsheet saying, “Here’s what I think my open roles are.” But there was no source of truth for what was open, what was approved, and what level and compensation those roles were. Furthermore, our executive team manually reviewed every single open role and hired candidates. It was absolute chaos. After moving everything to ChartHop, we hosted summary view meetings for the Finance and Executive teams, and they were shocked how many open roles there were. It’s now so much easier having one source of truth in which the data is entered and tracked in the same way across the organization. 

Harrison Hernandez: I look at how the data in ChartHop compares to our ATS. That’s how ChartHop helps us too – you can see how many roles we’re supposed to have and determine any mismatch. It gives us a quick way to spot-check things, see what our actual numbers are, and what’s approved. We also look at the audit history to see what’s changed recently, and consistently check which roles are active and who’s the specific recruiter. 

How does Plaid customize the user experience?

Beksha: When I onboard someone to ChartHop, I always talk about the custom view and ask two questions. One: How do you want to see employees? The data you need and the data I need are different, but still live in a single source of truth. Two: Is there a column or field you need that we don’t have? If so, we can create that. If it’s beneficial for the whole team, we can create that for everyone. If not, we can make it just for your custom view. 

You’ve gone through a lot of change as an organization. How has ChartHop helped navigate those changes?

Beksha: Since I’ve been a part of the company, we’ve done two substantial reorganizations. Both times we’ve started in ChartHop. The executive team will determine “how they want the world to be” and create scenarios. Since this is preliminary we’re able to use the scenario to iterate on changes with a small group. As more and more discussions occur, more stakeholders are made privy to the restructure and given access to the scenario or new field. Eventually, we rolled it out to the whole organization during an All Hands meeting and every employee could access the details within ChartHop.

Beksha talks more about Plaid’s process here:

Hernandez: When it came to operationalizing these reorganizations for recruiting, one of the big concerns when it came to team changes and new teams was, “How is this going to push downstream to our ATS?” Luckily, after Dan entered the new headcount plans into ChartHop, we didn’t have to do any extra configurations to absorb these changes. We were able to easily operationalize on the recruiting side to make sure we still had headcount aligned and that we were working on the right things. 

How does ChartHop enhance your collaborative planning efforts?

Beksha: ChartHop allows a lot of passive coordination. People don’t have to ask me questions about the plans and open roles. It allows executives, leaders, recruiters, and employees to see open roles – and other data – within ChartHop. And the approval workflow is so much easier than emailing back-and-forth to check out your scenarios. Stakeholders can also check the data at any time to feel confident in their decision-making process.

Hernandez: The platform helps us collaborate because it’s easy to see the changes. Dan can share any scenarios and we can verify these adjustments with managers and recruiters. Because the data is always up-to-date, teams can work asynchronously, which of course leads to shorter and fewer meetings.

What advice do you have for customers who are currently using ChartHop for headcount planning or are starting that process?

Hernandez: I suggest really thinking about the platform’s customizability and how you can utilize that. We were originally only viewing active versus inactive headcount, but that didn’t give us the full picture of the recruiting team’s bandwidth and priorities. We worked with ChartHop’s support team to build out these fields to help us all plan appropriately and set expectations when it comes to the recruitment process.

Streamline Your Headcount Planning Process

Whether you’re building out your team to keep up with customer demand, conducting your annual headcount planning, or reshuffling teams in response to market challenges, the org planning process should be highly cross-functional and visible, requiring collaboration and approvals from a wide range of stakeholders.

Interested in learning more about how HR and Finance can work together to effectively plan for your workforce? 

Read more here

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