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Candidate Experience, Recruitment Strategy

From call centers to warehouses, from factory floors to showroom floors, high volume roles are critical to the success of the organization. Hiring at a high volume has its own distinct challenges.

In today’s webinar, HireVue’s Director of Business Transformation, Dina Taylor, discussed innovative high volume hiring strategies with Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Corporate and Field Recruiting Manager, Wes Sutkin.

Missed the webinar?  Watch it here.

High Volume Hiring: A Perfect Storm

When it comes to filling high volume roles, there’s an incongruity. The skills needed by most high volume positions are very transferable: employees in these roles can move very fluidly between one job and the next. 

Dina Taylor identifies this as creating a “perfect storm,” where:

1) Candidates Have Lots of Options

High volume positions, by definition, have lots of openings. Due to the wide availability of high volume roles and the easy transfer of skills across verticals, candidates have many options. Most will take the first job offer they receive, so speed is critical for TA departments responsible for filling high volume positions. 

2) You Have Lots of Candidates

Again, by definition, high volume roles receive lots of applications. Hiring speed is paramount, but in no other role are there so many qualified applicants. That’s a perfect storm.

3) Candidate Experience Matters

Many (but not all) high volume roles are consumer-facing. Many patrons of organizations doing high volume hiring are also going to be candidates. Providing them with a poor experience isn’t just disrespectful, it’s bad for business.

“That’s the biggest struggle with high volume recruiting. How do you fill those open positions as quickly as possible while also making sure it’s a stellar candidate experience, as well as a positive experience for the organization?” - Dina Taylor

Dr Pepper: Hiring in Hours, not Weeks

When Dr Pepper adopted HireVue, their average time to hire for high volume, hourly roles (namely warehouse workers, drivers, and stocker merchandisers) was 21 days: significantly lower than the US average of 43. 

Now it’s 7.5. 

Wes Sutkin explored how (and why) they chose to fundamentally reimagine their hiring process, despite already exceeding industry benchmarks.

Below you can see their hiring process, before:

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And after:

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Under the previous system, hiring managers were required to set aside one day a week for interviews, effectively cutting their annual productivity by 20%. Under the new system, hiring decisions are made based on candidate’s recorded video interviews, so the ball is in the candidate’s court. 

If a qualified applicant completes a video interview in three hours after receiving the invitation, and the hiring manager reviews it one hour later, that candidate can receive an offer within five hours of completing the application. 

The above example isn’t hypothetical - Dr Pepper runs an internal competition to see who hires the best candidates fastest. The applicant who received an offer within five hours of completing their application currently works at Dr Pepper.

As Wes Sutkin tells it:

“Literally Monday morning the recruiter comes in and posts the role. Within an hour we’re receiving applicants and the hiring manager is reviewing those applicants. At the five-hour mark - the role was posted at 7:00 am - at noon the recruiter got the email from the hiring manager that said “Yes” to a particular candidate. Then the recruiter picks up the phone, calls the candidate, extends the offer, and the candidate accepts.” 

At 6:00 am Monday morning, a total stranger to Dr Pepper had no idea the position existed. By lunchtime, they had a job. 

That’s a great candidate experience.

Meeting Candidates Where They Are

One of the primary reasons Dr Pepper Snapple adopted a video interviewing-centric process had nothing to do with speed - it had to do with candidate experience. Wes outlined the two different “candidate personas” they identified internally, neither of which could consistently make it to the corporate office to interview:

  1. The Unemployed Candidate. The unemployed candidate could often not afford the gas required to drive to a DPS corporate office (often 20-30 miles away). This led to frequent interview no-shows.
  2. The Hourly Employed Candidate. The candidate who is already employed in an hourly role needed to request a half day off work (unpaid, of course) to interview onsite. Again, this led to frequent interview no-shows. 

In both cases, candidates can now complete an on demand interview from their homes and receive an offer, sometimes within several hours after completing it. 

Candidates love the ease of application and quick hiring decisions: Dr Pepper’s candidate NPS sits in the mid-to-high 70s. They’ve cut time to hire by 65% (on average), and increased the time hiring managers can spend on their other duties by 20%. 

Reimagining High Volume Hiring

The hiring process is traditionally a series of steps, most often visualized as a funnel. By removing steps from the process and replacing them with a more comprehensive, single step, TA can identify quality hires with the addition of hiring speed - not in spite of it. 

Dina Taylor outlined a situation similar to Dr Pepper’s, this time in a call center role, where multiple screening steps (assessment, phone screen, and interview) were replaced with a single step that factored in the previous steps (HireVue Assessment). This organization shrunk their time to hire in this role from several weeks to five days, all while increasing new hire quality. 

Q&A

We had some tremendous engagement throughout the webinar, and received some very relevant questions. The questions we had a chance to address are listed below:

How did you sell this internally? How did you convince your leadership team to get behind the new process and software?

How did you justify your investment?

What do the Dr Pepper recruiters think? How did you train them on a totally new process?

How does this impact a recruiter's time? How do they watch a large number of interviews? I can't imagine this being faster.

Do you integrate with Applicant Tracking Systems and CRMs?

We hire a lot of 1099/contractors - how are others managing contractor volume?

We have a big diversity initiative going on in our company - how do you ensure diverse hires are made with video interviewing?

What's the biggest trend you are seeing in candidate experience for high volume roles?

Dina and Wes provided tons of great insight we couldn't cover here, including how Dr Pepper cut recruiter turnover from 30% to single digits.

Watch the Webinar

Watch the webinar for the answers to the questions above, and more detail on how to fundamentally reimagine high volume recruiting.

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