How CenturyLink is navigating digital transformation

January 22nd, 2021
HireVue Team

Recently, we sat down with Kathy Flynn, VP of Talent Acquisition, and Brenna Garbelman, Manager of Talent Acquisition Operations, both of CenturyLink, a global technology leader delivering hybrid networking, cloud connectivity, and security solutions. Our webinar discussed how CenturyLink is using HireVue as part of their journey through digital transformation, all while improving both their candidate and employee experiences.

Watch the webinar

A near-seamless transition to full-time WFH

When the global coronavirus pandemic suddenly disrupted millions of lives and businesses in March 2020, CenturyLink found themselves in an interesting situation. Because they had previously implemented HireVue’s virtual interviewing platform, and were already using it to hire 41% of their employees, the sudden shift to full-time remote work just...worked.

“What I was most proud of was our ability to transition so quickly, and so well, to fully working from home at the beginning of the pandemic,” Flynn said.

The idea that the pandemic was completely disruptive, as it was for many other organizations, was very counter to the experience at CenturyLink as they’d already positioned themselves to be agile and digital.

The beginning of the journey

CenturyLink has been on their digital transformation journey for quite some time, which is why they were in a good place to respond to COVID-19. “Business just continued,” said Flynn. “There was really no pause where we were questioning what to do.”

Their process started by assessing current skills, comparing them to what would be needed in the future, then looking at what type of vendor or platform could help facilitate that transformation.

They asked questions such as, “How do we better engage? How do we transform the experience we’re offering to new candidates, as well as employees applying for a promotion?”

They landed on HireVue, which gave them the ability to host virtual interviews immediately. Before the coronavirus crisis, CenturyLink was using HireVue for 41% of their new employees; in 2020, they worked towards increasing that number to 80%.

Bridging the gap between candidates and their new employers

Initially, the virtual interview pilots were very successful. Over time, it was clear CenturyLink had landed on a scalable platform that would bring higher levels of efficiency, and overall better hiring decisions to their company.

On the candidate side, however, some people still felt uncomfortable with the idea of virtual interviewing pre-pandemic. But that’s changed now. “If there were some candidates who felt uncomfortable doing video interviews before COVID-19,” said Garbelman, “that’s just less true now because people are used to it. It’s normal now; we no longer have to “sell” people on it.”

Skills transformation

The next step in CenturyLink’s process was implementing their skills transformation. As the HR team began projecting which skills they’d need in the future, they decided to ultimately seek out people who are highly adaptable, self-starting, and quick to learn. They relied on HireVue as the place to discover, document, and assess those skills, and find the candidates who best exemplify them.

“Within HR, particularly within TA, we now have a digital transformation roadmap. It’s no longer a guessing game,” said Garbelman.

Time savings or ROI

One of the biggest benefits of using HireVue that CenturyLink has reaped is time savings, which ultimately drives productivity and profitability. As a recruiter, it’s common to spend 20% of your time simply scheduling interviews with candidates. Imagine having all of that time back!

With HireVue, automation is built into the system. As a result, recruiters can focus on building relationships; not just building out calendars.

HireVue gives candidates the flexibility to record their interview at the time of their choosing. Likewise, recruiters evaluate the video interview at the best time for them. And if flexibility was important a year ago, it’s even more critical today, as many job seekers and recruiters are serving as the teachers for their own children, or the caretakers of family members, in addition to their day job.

Since transitioning to HireVue, CenturyLink reports a current interview-to-offer ratio of 1:1, meaning they’re not spending time interviewing people they do not ultimately hire. Now, that time can be reallocated to drive other business initiatives.

CenturyLink’s tips for getting buy-in from internal stakeholders

When asked what they would have done differently during their implementation process, Garbelman described the importance of spending time with internal stakeholders, specifically with other employees who wanted to apply for a new job within the organization, to make the change as smooth as possible. “The lift was definitely heavier on the change management side than the technical implementation,” she said.

Once people felt comfortable with the change itself, however, HireVue became an easy sell, as the science behind it really speaks for itself. Once people understand that when they need to hire, they can “turn on” a job very quickly, and get people into the interview pipeline, the value is easy to see.

Closing thoughts

With HireVue’s help, CenturyLink was able to navigate the early days of the coronavirus crisis without missing a beat. However, as Garbelman points out, if your company has yet to begin its journey toward digital transformation, it’s never too late to start. “Even if we go back to “the way things used to be,’ she says, “we won’t go back to traditional hiring, because now we’ve seen all that virtual hiring has to offer.”

Miss the webinar?