This year finds many companies trying to find new ways to maintain early career recruitment best practices. Recently, we sat down with Rebecca Wright, an Early Careers Specialist at BP. Our webinar discussed how BP maintained business continuity with virtual campus recruiting during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Additionally, we explored how BP continues to succeed with virtual hiring throughout COVID-19 and into the future. With the help of HireVue, they’re able to hire with confidence in a timely manner.

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Seamless Recruitment Transition Throughout a Disaster

When Hurricane Harvey struck Houston in August 2017, it rattled the entire city. One of BP’s biggest office locations was directly affected, leaving 5,000+ employees working from home during a devastating time. Their early careers team faced the daunting task of overcoming 94 cancelled campus events coupled with a month-long travel ban.

BP’s campus recruiting team found themselves in peril, as the end of August and early September is a crucial time for campus recruiting. Luckily, the team had been utilizing HireVue’s video interviewing abilities to help with their first round interviews.

BP Fully Switched to Video Interviewing and Realized Rapid Success

Ultimately, BP came together with a solution of using HireVue’s video interviewing software to overcome the recruiting challenges from Hurricane Harvey. All 5000 of their Houston-based employees began to work from home. BP’s early careers recruiters continued to find ideal college graduates for jobs and internships while working from home using HireVue.

HireVue integrated with BP’s applicant tracking system (ATS) and assigned interviewers to candidates. Within record time, BP was able to train all recruiting staff on using the new technology. They executed roughly one hundred interviews, extending 46 offers (forty of which were accepted), maintaining an ideal 87% offer acceptance rate. The candidates reported positive interview experiences, citing they felt as if they got to know the company culture and fit, all through digital means.

HireVue Paved the Road for Recruitment Optimization for BP

After Houston recovered from the disaster, BP decided to continue using HireVue OnDemand for 98% of all their first round interviews. The flexibility of virtual interviewing benefited both candidates and recruiters. Candidates were able to interview at any time during the day; recruiters got to review interviews at times that worked for them. BP’s early careers team quickly no longer had 8-hour+ days of back-to-back interviews, where they found themselves physically and mentally exhausted.

Moreover, candidates no longer had to adjust schedules and fly out for multiple rounds of interviews, as they tried to juggle their campus lives and responsibilities. In fact, BP realized that HireVue provided them with access to significantly more students and universities. Video interviewing provided them with more than they had at a local level (and even nationally) with recruitment partnerships.

“You can’t afford to miss out on talent just because your dates don’t match up,” Rebecca Wright points out.

Candidates no longer had to fly out (often twice), even for second round interviews. In fact, students studying abroad or across the country who couldn’t afford travel arrangements now had the same opportunities as those living in Houston. With HireVue, BP’s candidates could always make their interview, as HireVue allowed them to interview at any time from anywhere in the world.

Scaling the Campus Recruitment Pipeline & Increase Candidate Diversity

HireVue gives each candidate unique interview opportunities to showcase their skills, talent, and personality. Virtual interviews naturally reduce bias that occurs within traditional, in-person interviews. Candidates can focus on themselves. Recruiters get to evaluate qualified candidates with a fresh perspective each time.

“[Our recruiters] give more attention to each candidate–being able to split up interviews, each candidate has just as good of a shot and has the interviewer’s full attention, which reduces bias,” Wright stated.

During a crisis, it’s critical to give students the same opportunity that they would’ve had without the disaster. The real benefit for BP was that students saw how the company was making a major effort to accommodate their needs. This approach allowed BP to maintain brand value, which was essential for their business. BP really values early careers, internships, and grad hiring programs and could not afford to miss out on the 2017 talent.

As any campus recruiter would argue, it’s practically impossible to have presence at every university across the country, let alone the globe. Traditionally, BP was similar to many companies in that they recruited students from the universities where they had partnerships. But switching to HireVue opened BP’s pipeline from a global perspective, as well.

HireVue allows the recruiters to see a much larger number of candidates; they can interview students from campuses that aren’t even on their radar. Campus recruiters can draw top talent from large amounts of schools, especially as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

From a change-management perspective, BP was able to maintain business continuity as usual. HireVue was the only option for the Houston crisis. But, more importantly, BP realized that HireVue was also its best option for preparing for the unknown future.

BP and HireVue During Covid-19:

Flash forward two-and-a-half years. Everything about the world, as we know it, practically changed overnight during the spring of 2020. As campus recruiters anticipate an unprecedented (and unpredictable) fall recruiting reason, BP feels prepared as the company fully transitions back to digital interviewing and recruiting tactics.

How? Having succeeded with HireVue both before and Hurricane Harvey, BP documented HireVue training, processes, and procedures to immediately revert to exclusive video interviewing, should the need arise.

“Hurricane Harvey gave us a backup plan for the future, a business continuity plan,” Rebecca Wright states.

The plan stayed in place, presenting itself as an ideal strategy for BP to adapt, just in time for the fall 2020 semester. As our status quo continues to change, BP’s campus recruiting teams are closely monitoring universities and their partnerships. Colleges, universities, and campus recruiters all have big decisions to make, as they prepare for fall recruiting events.

Most likely, we’ll see many events (as we currently see them) become more virtual. Career fairs, job fairs, and graduation fairs will become more digital (just like everything). BP’s plan is to leverage its business continuity plan that’s already in place and working.

How to Get Up and Running Quickly

Wright points out that HireVue’s support allowed BP’s early careers team to upscale the hiring process rapidly. The training from HireVue only took an hour, which they recorded to quickly train others. They went into the HireVue platform and practiced the functions, getting used to the system’s foolproof methods. With 99% uptime and 24/7 support, HireVue can help your business launch virtual interviewing methods to overcome current campus recruiting issues, due to COVID-19.

BP’s Quick Tips for Internal Stakeholders

  • Have headphones nearby to aid with sound consistency.
  • Ensure a steady, stable internet connection.
  • Allow your employees to ask questions during the training.
  • Develop an FAQ.
  • Record training session for your internals teams to use.
  • Give employees a live and recorded walkthrough, not just screenshots.

Most importantly, businesses need to prioritize candidate communication. Make sure your teams reach out for candidate availability. Give them some simple tips and tricks they can use for best practices and share them with candidates, as well.

Of course, you want each candidate to feel successful. Therefore, each interviewee needs to feel as though they had a great interview experience with the technology.

Lastly, Rebecca Wright shared, businesses should feel free to model BP’s Business Continuity Checklist for themselves (below).
BP’s Business Continuity Checklist:

Rebecca Wright’s final tip:

If your digital interviewing experience isn’t fluid, you can lose candidates at any time. Businesses cannot afford to miss out on great talent opportunities in the current climate.

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