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Case Study: Digital Recruiting and Hiring Process

See how mobile-friendly career portals helped boost applicant numbers and reduce cost per hire for 3 major companies
Kwantek Team

Recruiting talent is a challenge in 2016. To address this challenge, employers all over the U.S. and the world are making a shift in processes and becoming more proactive when it comes to hiring quality candidates. Across most industries, having a large number of applicants reach out as soon as an opportunity is posted is no longer the norm.

What are some of the solutions? Cloud-based hiring tools, data analytics, and even looking for candidates through their social media profiles are all playing a big part in the hiring landscape.

Mobile Recruiting

According to Kelton Research, 86% of active candidates were using their smartphone to begin a job search in 2015. 70% of those wanted to apply via mobile, and 55% wanted to upload a resume onto a career site. On the flip side, 80% of decision makers did not have optimized career sites, and 82% did not have job posts mobilized.

A Deloitte survey says that 90% of people check their mobile device within one hour of waking up, 50% check their phones 25 times a day, and 10% check phones 100+ per day. Based on that rationale, an employer with a mobile-friendly application process should be able to reach the majority of their candidates on a smartphone or tablet.

However, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), only 39% of respondents have a career website optimized for mobile users, and only 36% have job postings and the application process mobile-enabled. This is a huge area of opportunity.

Social Media for Recruiting

The SHRM survey mentioned above noted that 71% of those surveyed said that one of the top reasons for using social media to recruit was to target specific job candidates with specific skill sets, and 61% said that they used social media to target a specific job level (e.g., entry level, managers, executives).

Social media can be used to recruit in a variety of different ways. 89% of social media recruitingthe SHRM respondents said that they used it to post job advertisements, 75% used it to contact candidates or potential candidates, 56% created interest in jobs by posting useful information on social media that included photos or videos, and 46% created a group page for the organization to post information and career opportunities.

What are the results? In 2015, respondents who used social media for recruiting said that 55% non-management, hourly job levels, and 87% of non-management, salaried employees were recruited at a 53% and 71% rating of somewhat or very efficient.

UPS Recruitment Strategy

In 2005, UPS decided to change their recruitment strategy and move aggressively to online recruiting. They wanted to be able to address their high volume, seasonal, and part-time hiring needs at a reduced cost, and align their strategy with the technological image of UPS.

The first step was to create a Careers page with images showing the benefits of working at UPS. Videos also depict a “day in the life” to give the candidate some perspective. By offering several different methods to apply, UPS found that their campaigns run through traditional media (print, radio, and TV) were less successful than their website. The key seemed to be the videos on the website. An average visitor stayed there for an amazing 3 minutes.

Facebook and Twitter proved to be successful for driving candidates to the website, as did LinkedIn to a lesser extent. However, from the very beginning, a mobile app to text candidates has been used from the very beginning. Text message seemed to be “personable, engaging and efficient.”

The results: UPS is hiring more on Facebook with the quality of hires from Facebook and Twitter higher than all other online media. Interview/hire ratio is 2:1, and the cost of hire went from $600/700 to $60/70 per hire.

Sodexo Recruitment Strategy

Sodexo is another great leader in social recruiting. With 120,000 employees in the U.S., their presence on Facebook, Twitter links to their career site, which, like UPS, contains videos of employees and a career blog which is directly integrated into their Facebook page. There is a LinkedIn presence as well, but since most of Sodexo’s hires will be non-professional, this is not a focal point of recruiting.

The results of the recruiting strategy were that more than 45% of Sodexo candidates have used one or more of their social platforms in their job searches. Recruitment advertising costs have been reduced by $300,000 annually, and traffic to the Sodexo Careers web page has raised by 182% since the launch of their social presence.   The success in the U.S. has prompted Sodexo to recruit similar strategies in other markets.

Paladin Recruitment Strategy

Paladin Security, one of the largest security companies in Canada, is currently on the path to becoming completely digital in their recruiting process. Part of their planning process was to address the skepticism about launching, and to cover the “what-ifs” that are traditionally voiced by Human Resources.

To get started, Paladin is planning to implement a digital and paperless OnBoarding solution, allowing them to save time tracking down documents, not having have to wait for forms to be filled out. Their current paper application process includes 46 double-sided pieces of paper (92 pieces of paper total). With a paperless system, applicants and new hires no longer have to fill out all of these forms at once; they could be segmented allowing for a much smoother onboarding experience for their candidates. Payroll and Human Resources staff found that they were able to read information much more easily and clearly since it was digital, so administrative errors were reduced along with the time needed to correct them with the candidate.

To drive applicants to their online career portal, Paladin has developed, and continually evaluates, their social media strategy. In 2015, almost 40% of applicants across Canada, found Paladin through their online presence.  In early 2016, this number has exploded to more than 65% as Paladin works to optimize their online recruiting platforms for an improved mobile experience.

The company had been using social media for four years to engage with current and prospective clients and has started branching out to connect with their local communities. Now, through their social media and online presence, Paladin is able to use the same advertising budget they would be using to post job openings, but with the flexibility to adjust the dollars to specific times or specific areas of need depending on the time of year or employment market.  When asked if other security companies should be using social media to attract and recruit candidates, Jason Creek, Corporate Human Resources Manager for Paladin, says, “You have to be smart with it.  Not all regions or demographics embrace social media the same way.  Knowing your target is crucial in developing a successful recruitment campaign, regardless of the medium used.”

Social Media for Small Businesses

socialLarge businesses are not the only ones who benefit from digital marketing. In fact, while only 44% of small businesses engage in digital marketing activities, companies with 1 – 10 employees making less than $1 million a year are the organizations that can gain the most from using social media. In 2016, according to a Clutch survey, 73% of small businesses were planning to use social media that year. And, with a free platform that will target specific audiences, why wouldn’t a small business want to invest a little time setting up a profile and becoming active. One person surveyed said, “I think it’s tragic. Small businesses have so much to gain from social media and almost nothing to lose.”





1. Costs and time to hire are greatly reduced because the audience can be targeted.

2. Digital applications are available at any time.

3. Companies have an opportunity to market their brand both on social media platforms, and on the application portal.

4. The strategy can be adapted along the way. The beauty of social media is that nothing is set in stone.

5. It is easier to measure and track the sources that applicants are using most.


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