Maggie BleharJuly 3, 2024
Topics: High-Volume Hiring

SASR’s Journey to Revolutionizing High-Volume Hiring

SASR Workforce Solutions, a staffing powerhouse in the retail and logistics sector whose vision is to positively impact people through the power of work, shared their transformative journey in high-volume hiring. Bradley Cooper, Associate Vice President of Technology, leads SASR's technology initiatives and products, and he revealed the unique challenges they face — as well as how they’re overcoming them.

“Every day I’m excited because of the opportunity we have to make changes in our candidate and recruiter experiences,” he said.

And they have made changes — many of which have led to tremendous business impact.

Watch the full session below or read on for the highlights.

SASR's Unique Business Model

SASR's business model is complicated, and their operations span the entire United States, managing staffing for retail remodels, new store openings, and unexpected workforce needs. Customers’ high-volume staffing needs change frequently from month to month and year to year, which is why SASR must constantly innovate and customize to align with initiatives and help them deliver.

"We may have to make a really quick pivot to be able to recruit in a week and get somebody out to a job site," Cooper explained, highlighting the need for agility in their hiring process. “We're doing this for 10, 15, 20, 30 clients at a time. And we're doing it nationwide."

They succeed in this through strategic phone interviews and a very robust candidate-centric application process and career site that shows exactly who they are and why people should choose them.

A Strategic Move to Workforce Automation

A few years ago, SASR embarked on a digital transformation journey. "We caught that digital transformation bug," Cooper shared. "We said, you know, our homegrown technology was great, but it can't grow in scale." SASR began to list out the limitations of its technology, including its inability to:

  • Manage candidates on the front end and search for existing candidates in the system

  • Sort current employees

  • Automatically schedule interviews

To help solve these problems, SASR chose Phenom as a key partner in their transformation. They started with Hosted Apply and AI Scheduling, and “over the last few years, that’s grown into what High-Volume Hiring currently is.”

Cooper emphasized the importance of speed in their industry. It’s not efficient to have recruiters spend time reviewing applications and sending interview requests. When Phenom, it’s all done automatically, freeing up recruiters to focus on the relationship-building part of their jobs.

Why is this so imperative? "If you're not fast to contact that candidate and get them into your workflow to get them in front of your recruiters, most likely they're going to work for one of your peers or competitors."

What SASR is Achieving With Automation

There were many enhancements SASR needed to make to support their dynamic business use cases. The implementation of Phenom High-Volume Hiring yielded the following results:

  • 340 fast-tracked applicants to interview scheduler

  • 33-38 hour reduction in time to schedule an interview post-application

  • 15% increase in candidates who scheduled an interview within 1 hour of submitting an application

  • 8 days from offer to “hired”

“I’m getting someone to an interview and getting them hired faster. From a candidate experience [perspective,] they know they have an interview a lot faster than they did in 2023,” Bradley said, confident that they won’t lose those candidates due to a sluggish or inefficient process.

See SASR’s full case study here

Enhancing the Candidate Experience

Candidate experience is extremely important to Cooper, and SASR spends a copious amount of time assessing their candidate experience and surveying others about it. “I want people to have that positive experience with us… we’re changing people’s perceptions and giving them a good experience,” Cooper said.

SASR's focus on candidate experience paid off, earning them the Global Candidate Experience (CandE) Award three years in a row, as well as Forbes America’s Best Employers title twice.

"80% of the people that are responding have to be people you did not hire. So that means 80% of the people that are interacting with your brand, your recruiters, your website, your application process, are leaving with enough of a positive experience that they’re going to refer your company with others and continue to interact with your company in a positive manner,” Cooper said.

His main advice for others embarking on similar journeys?

  • Apply for your own job. “It’s really eye-opening to realize that this is what your candidates are going through. You can go back and make immediate changes to this process.”

  • Manage change: "Have a plan to communicate with your teams, involve your teams as early as possible."

  • Iterate on implementation: "Try it as you're implementing. Don't wait till your solution is perfect, becase it's never going to be perfect."

  • Review your processes: "Take the time as an organization to go back and look at your processes and decide: Do they need to be automated or can they be archived, or are they working or are they not working?"

SASR's success demonstrates how embracing technology and automation can dramatically improve hiring efficiency and candidate experience in high-volume staffing scenarios.

For more on high-volume hiring, check out our playbook.

Maggie Blehar

Maggie is a writer at Phenom, bringing you information on all things talent experience. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, painting, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. 

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