How to automate hiring at a tech firm?

Ruan Pethiyagoda is the CSO of Kunai, a product development and consulting agency from the Bay Area that works with Fortune 500 companies as well as fast-growing startups.

Kunai specializes in building digital products as well as sourcing software engineers so the company’s backbone is reliant on fast, precise and efficient hiring since their clients heavily rely on top-level software talent.

In their own words:

"Kunai strives to create work environments that enable our people to do the best work of their lives."

An automated hiring process? It’s possible

The team at Kunai needed to optimize its day-to-day operations - keeping track of all of the hiring processes. A fast-paced hiring process is an essential part of Kunai’s value proposition, therefore, it needs to be run quickly and efficiently.
The team needed to collect data regarding ongoing interviews and keep track of candidate data, interview attendance, and hiring stage progress. Additionally, onboarding new hires to clients’ teams and projects was also a challenge.

"Kunai chooses its people carefully. Our team is our secret sauce."

One workflow to rule them all

The main obstacle that Kunai faced was keeping track of Google Calendar events related to ongoing recruitment processes - especially when considering rescheduled or recurring events, which further complicated how the data needed to be collected. With Kunai’s rapid pace of hiring (around 4 senior engineers per week), there was a huge need to make sure that the workflow collected all necessary data on time.

The Google Calendar automation allowed the team to source all of the crucial interview data such as hiring stage, job title as well as whether the meeting eventually took place. Then, the details were transferred into Lever (the company’s HR system) as an additional data point, which allowed Kunai to speed up the hiring process.

Taking Asana to the next level

There was also a big demand to develop an automated flow for updating tasks and projects in Asana whenever someone mentioned these items in email conversations - mostly to minimize context switching and speed up sharing updates related to action items.

The Asana automation ensures that whenever an action item (meaning: an Asana task or project) is being mentioned in an email exchange, its status is automatically updated according to the content of the conversation. Otherwise, a new task/project can be created or deleted - also based on an email conversation.

How much can be automated? A lot.

When reviewing options for automation, Ruan reckoned that there was no product on the market to do this at this complexity. The main challenge was to capture email conversations that match the terms used to describe the name of an action item in Asana - a task or a project. Then, to trigger a specific action in Asana, like updating a task or project, or creating a new one.

"My wish for seamless automation is now my to-do list."

n8n delivered on all tasks. Some of the team members were surprised to learn that the automation was built using a 3rd party tool since it felt like something custom coded.

Was it worth it?

Did n8n match Kunai’s expectations? Here are the main outcomes of the built automations:

  1. Thanks to automating the hiring process via the Google Calendar workflow, Kunai managed to save a time equivalent to one recruiter per 10 new hires, which is a significant improvement in a cost-sensitive industry.
  2. The team managed to create these automations in minimal time and didn’t need to shift focus from revenue-generating activities.
  3. The people who’ve been using the automated workflows were stunned that there is a tool like n8n that can do so much heavy lifting.
  4. Since then, the Google Calendar workflow has grown into a 50+ tool automation that now contains decision-making trees as well as additional nodes such as Airtable.

Discover how other users power up their businesses with n8n workflows.

“Without n8n, we’d probably need to buy numerous SaaS tools”


Ruan Pethiyagoda

Chief Strategy Officer at Kunai