How Unilever Hires 50% of the Candidates it Screens

March 15th, 2017
Jon-Mark Sabel

“Good news for new grads - that time you spent on Minecraft and World of Warcraft may have actually been time well spent,” reads Unilever’s website.

An odd statement from the world’s largest producer of food spreads.

But with a digital hiring process that cut hiring time from four months to two weeks while reducing recruiter screening time by 75%, Unilever provides a stellar example of the results that can be achieved when artificial intelligence (AI) is embraced in recruiting.

So impressive were its accomplishments that Unilever was featured in Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends Report for great innovation in talent acquisition.

To produce these results, Unilever makes use of a four step recruiting process:


unileverapp1. Candidates complete a short online form with their LinkedIn profile.

This isn’t particularly unique, but it is a convenient, candidate-friendly way to get relevant information into the ATS. Many applications still require candidates to fill fields manually, and result in high rates of dropout.


unilevergame2. Candidates spend 20-30 minutes playing games.

This is where the candidate’s WoW skills come into play. Partnering with gamification solution provider Pymetrics, Unilever developed 13 games that rate candidates’ problem solving, communication, and emotional competencies. Rather than hide the results of this data, each candidate receives customized feedback on how they performed.


3. Candidates take a video interview.

Applicants that perform highly in job-relevant competencies are invited to take an on demand video interview. By partnering with HireVue, Unilever can digitally assess and rank each candidate with an AI-powered model built around the responses of its known top performers - predicting candidate fit and success with high accuracy.

unileverdiscovery4. Candidates are invited to Unilever’s Discovery Centre.

After HireVue’s video intelligence determines candidate fit, the strongest candidates are invited to “a day in the life of Unilever” at its Discovery Centre. There, candidates simulate and participate in activities they would be expected to perform on a daily basis.

Bersin by Deloitte investigated how Unilever completely reimagined its graduate hiring process.

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