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Recruitment software helps Ocean Spray screen more candidates faster

Ocean Spray uses video recruitment software for on-demand interviews, reducing hiring time and travel costs.

So many applicants, so little time. It's a common sentiment among recruiters at large companies, where each job listing elicits a flood of resumes. 

Martin Mitchell, senior manager of talent and diversity for Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., was feeling the time crunch. Scheduling and conducting screening calls and compiling notes were taking approximately two hours per candidate.

After conducting a staffing forecast, Mitchell realized new recruitment software was critical. "We were predicting a lot of retirements," he said. "I needed to be prepared to fill all future openings with the same size recruiting staff, so I needed a more efficient way of processing candidates."

Mitchell heard about HireVue video recruitment software through a professional acquaintance, and signed on after seeing a demo. The Software as a Service (SaaS) recruiting system has now been in use at Ocean Spray for over a year, and he said it has significantly shortened the applicant screening process.

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"It now takes the recruiter 20 minutes to come up with interview questions, and 10-15 minutes to introduce candidates to the software over the phone," he said. Mitchell claims the software has also cut down on travel costs and simplified interview scheduling at the agricultural cooperative, which is based in Lakeville, Mass.

Although some candidates are reluctant to participate in a video interview, Mitchell has found a way to use that hesitation to his advantage. "We work in a collaborative and flexible environment; we need people who are open to new ways of doing things. If candidates are nervous about using HireVue, are they really a good fit?"

Video recruitment software facilitates interviews

HireVue's on-demand video and live interview options are the two tools that Ocean Spray's 10 recruiters most frequently use. The on-demand service is the most popular, according to Kevin Marasco, chief marketing officer of HireVue Inc., based in Draper, Utah.

"Over 80% of the interviews we see on our platform are on-demand," he said. "I simply get a set of questions that I want to ask for a position, and I send it to a group of candidates -- 30 or 100 at once. The candidates then do the interview on their own time from an iPhone, iPad or computer. The hiring manager can also include a video and explain what they're looking for."

The first steps of Ocean Spray's recruitment process have not changed, Mitchell said. Recruiters post the job to the applicant tracking system (ATS), pick the top 15 candidates and present the resumes to the hiring manager. After the hiring manager narrows the pool to 10, HireVue is introduced.

"Then rather than schedule a call between the recruiter and candidate for a phone screen asking about experience, we have all those questions in HireVue ahead of time. We tell them about the process, and if they agree to it we send them a link, and tell them they can do the interview whenever they want," Mitchell explained.

Thanks to a partnership with SHL, a maker of talent assessment tools, HireVue users can upgrade the recruitment software so that stock interview questions for specific competencies are pre-loaded in the system. Ocean Spray runs this version of HireVue, which is a further timesaver for the recruitment staff. "The recruiters absolutely love that they don't have to spend an hour trying to come up with questions," Mitchell said.

Hiring managers and other members of the decision making team can view the interviews on their own time, using laptops or a compatible mobile device, and rate the applicants' answers to each question.

In addition to shortening the days to hire time, Mitchell said the recruitment software also helps Ocean Spray cast a wider net for candidates. "We were able to double the candidates we were putting through the pipeline. For us it's a huge time efficiency, and now we don't have to limit candidates."

The software has proved to be a money saver as well, Mitchell said. Ocean Spray has eight manufacturing facilities spread throughout the world, and before HireVue, candidates interviewing for corporate positions would have to travel to the plant. "If they were hiring a senior-level person they would do all interviews on-site and fly the person to the corporate office for an interview," Mitchell said. "Now we've cut travel expenses in half."

Final interviews with the vice president of manufacturing are facilitated with a HireVue live interview, which can be done on the candidate's time. "Our VP is very flexible, so they can do it outside of work hours. We save them taking two or three days off of work just to meet one or two people in the corporate office," Mitchell said.

Integrating recruitment software with talent management

Another feature of the recruitment software that impressed Mitchell is its integration with Taleo, Ocean Spray's talent management software.

"If I have a candidate that's applied within Taleo, I don't have to re-log in to HireVue to invite them to an interview," he said. "It probably took about a week to do the integration, and it was HireVue that pushed it through, so I didn't have to get involved."

On the candidate-facing side, Mitchell said he was pleased with HireVue's interface customization. "When applicants log in, it looks like they're at an Ocean Spray page, and not a third party," he said.

Video recruitment software slowly gaining traction

Mitchell estimated that about 25% of applicants are wary of recording a video interview, but only a very small number refuse to participate. "Out of 200 to 300 interviews we've done, there have been about three candidates who have opted out," he said.

While video recruiting is not a new development in the market, it's maturing at a slower pace than other HR technologies, according to the Gartner 2012 Hype Cycle for Human Capital Management (HCM). Marasco disagreed with this assessment.

"They were right in that HR people can be a little change resistant. But I think we're seeing the tipping point now because of the ubiquity of mobile devices. People are carrying the ultimate hiring tool in their pockets," Marasco said.

While Ocean Spray does not yet use the recruitment software to hire hourly positions, Mitchell won't rule out the possibility. "I think this is this is the future of screening candidates. You are going be able to get twice as much productivity out of your recruitment staff, and see twice as many candidates," he said.

Emma Snider is the Associate Site Editor for SearchFinancialApplications.com. Follow her on Twitter: @emmajs24.

This was first published in September 2012

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