Jenn ThomasOctober 13, 2023
Topics: Customer Stories

How Circle K Integrated Their HR Tech and Aligned with Company Goals

Meeting high-volume hiring demands requires speed, efficiency, and agility — especially when you’re a small team supporting a global organization. Finding the right technology is a must to maximize resources and time while giving candidates an on-brand experience.

Darin Averill, Head of Global Talent Acquisition Strategy for Circle K, shared how he got to the root of his company’s high-volume hiring challenges and then formulated a tech-fueled strategy to turn them around.

Keep reading to get the key takeaways from this IAMPHENOM session, or watch the full session replay below. 

What Needed to Be Fixed?

When Averill found himself leading TA for Circle K following a major acquisition, he knew he was facing overarching challenges that would require technology to solve them. The two major obstacles? 

  • Global company, local needs. Circle K has a global footprint, with 10,000 stores in the UK, 6,000 in the United States, 2,500 in Canada, and another couple thousand in Europe. There are also 26 corporate offices, sparking numerous region-specific challenges. In Quebec, for example, they need to adhere to a French language requirement for candidate communications; at the same time, throughout Europe, branding and the candidate experience were an issue. 

  • Staffing shortages. With thousands of locations to staff, high-volume hiring challenges were spread far and wide. There were “massive staffing shortages,” of frontline workers, according to Averill. “We couldn’t staff our stores.” 

Without strong data analytics capabilities, finding the root cause of TA issues was a challenge in and of itself, Averill said. However, after drilling down into the data available, he identified problems related to candidate flow, conversion rates, and time to hire. 

“Fundamentally, our process was broken. We needed to make the apply process more seamless,” Averill said, noting that applicants often encountered re-directs and points of friction that were leading to steep application drop-off.  

The Tools That Turned It All Around

Averill got to work setting long-term goals that would bring TA efforts into alignment with Circle K’s big-picture strategy. “A lot went into the vision,” he said, and he knew he needed a new HR technology platform to bring it to fruition — while streamlining the current tech stack which included multiple disconnected solutions.

He familiarized himself with dozens of vendors and solutions. “I wanted to find one that would enable branding, seamless apply, and the elements of a great career site experience,” he said, including personalization and a way to re-engage candidates. 

And because Averill was a team of one, he needed to not only build efficient processes but also select a platform that would allow him to self-manage aspects of TA that he didn’t have the staff or the personal expertise to handle. Case in point: he needed a robust content management system (CMS) that he could operate without waiting for an outside vendor to make website updates.

Phenom’s Intelligent Talent Experience platform offered all of these capabilities and more, allowing Circle K to launch an all-new dynamic career site — accompanied by an overhauled candidate experience with enhanced branding that led to increased applicant flow. Critically, Phenom’s platform also offered a text-to-apply tool that would work globally while offering multiple language options for career sites. 

Since becoming a Phenom client, Averill has leveraged the following tools to bring life to a reinvented TA vision:

Text to apply. In the convenience store industry, in-store signs advertising open positions drive 70% of candidate flow, according to Averill. “So how do you take someone looking at a sign and get them into an online application? Text to apply was that tool to convert someone standing in a store to applying online.” 

AI-supported Talent CRM. To fill senior roles on the corporate side, Averill is leveraging AI in the Phenom CRM. “Using it to optimize the job requisition and then adding the skills, adding the profiles, and then matching candidates to the job has been a significant part of the strategy,” he said. Beyond identifying best-fit candidates among job role applicants, Averill appreciates that he can use AI to source all leads in the CRM as well as those outside their ecosystem thanks to the CRM’s cloud technology. 

High-Volume Hiring. Circle K has started by implementing Phenom High-Volume Hiring in 20 U.S. stores, putting Phenom Chatbot’s conversational AI to work to gather basic candidate information that funnels directly into their ATS. 

Next, Circle K will apply even more tech upgrades to fuel high-volume hiring for Circle K stores, leveling up the experience with a self-scheduling feature, where candidates can take control and schedule a meeting with a recruiter or hiring manager. 

In the future, Averill plans to implement instant hiring, using AI to identify best-fit candidates, who will bypass screening and interviewing and instead receive an immediate job offer. This will be used in stores that struggle with candidate flow. 

“We’ll be able to deliver different packages to different stores,” Averill said, explaining that candidate flow varies greatly region to region. “This tiered approach to high-volume hiring will be based on individual store needs. The ability to solve problems differently based on geographical footprint is awesome."

Looking for high-volume hiring solutions that will meet your specific hiring needs while reducing friction in your existing processes? Book a personalized demo to find out how Phenom can help. 

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