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How Plum and Greenhouse Work Together: A Look Under the Hood

Dan Szekely
Published September 7, 2016

Plum and Greenhouse






Lately, I am getting questions around ‘how does Plum and Greenhouse work together’. I started to explain it as the questions came, and then I remembered, “Hey, I built this! So I should explain it through an awesome blog post!” Let’s take a look under the hood.

We’ll start off with the 10,000-foot view. Here’s a high-level data flow diagram of how our two systems communicate:

plum and greenhouse picture 1aDiagram 1: Acquiring an API key from Plum

Now, let’s break it down .

You, or someone in your organization, creates your user account and company in your Plum system. Plum will then generate an API key for you to give to Greenhouse.

This API key essentially says “Hey, I’m this user and I belong to this company”. This is important for us to know when we are determining who to tie the applicant to. In the future, if you decide to use our Employer API, then the candidate information we’ve gathered will still be available to you but in greater detail.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about how the two systems actually communicate!

Here is another 10,000-foot view:

Plum and Greenhouse picture 1Diagram 2: The flow of how candidate information is passed back and forth

So you log into Greenhouse; no problem. You follow the steps on adding Plum as a stage to one of your positions. Let’s say applies to this new position.

What happens next is: Greenhouse will take Steve’s email address along with his name and send it to us essentially saying: Every hour or so I will ask for the status of this user.

To this we do the following: We generate a special token for Steve and email it to him asking him to take the assessment. By using that special link he does not need to authenticate, we’ll know exactly who he is! Cool stuff, eh?

The next step is us telling Greenhouse: “Ok, here’s a special token for you to use to check up on the user”.

So every time Greenhouse talks to the “Plum Assessment Process” it sends it that token where we check if the user has completed the assessment and if so, what his trait scores are as well as a link to his profile on our system. The score and trait information is then sent to Greenhouse for you to assess in one central location.  Once this is done, Greenhouse does not ask about Steve ever again.

That about sums up how Plum and Greenhouse work together. It’s easy and effective. If you want to see how it works, let’s talk!

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