Spreetail’s Candidate Experience: Building Relationships

Dana Nielsen

Spreetail’s Candidate Experience: Building Relationships

Dana Nielsen

The goal of Spreetail’s interview experience is to represent our candidates and build relationships that will last beyond the recruiting process. Over the last year, team members across the company have invested time to incrementally make improvements and make positive impacts for our applicants. Now, we’re honored to be recognized as the winner of the Candidate Experience Excellence category in The Rise Awards 2021 conducted by Lever.

"Spreetail has an extremely data-driven and NPS focused process. They have been focused on continually improving the process and leaning in on the hard feedback that was able to help them get better. They've invested time, people, and money into this strategy and their NPS scores are a clear sign that the investment is paying off." - PR Newswire

"I truly felt like the recruitment team was working for me, and not Spreetail."

As a company, we've been collecting feedback through our candidate experience survey for the last few years. In January of 2020, we refined our candidate experience survey to only include two questions and follow a standard Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology. Not only do we track quantitative data through the NPS survey, but qualitative information to identify trends to improve our interview process. At this time, our candidate NPS became one of our annual People & Culture team's performance metrics as we knew providing a world-class candidate experience is top priority as we continue to build the best team and culture for Spreetail’s success. This allowed us to implement strategies that applied to our whole company, not just our Talent Acquisition team, to focus on improving the candidate experience for every role.

“The way I was treated during the recruitment process was a deciding factor on determining the culture at Spreetail was something I wanted to be a part of.”

When first launching the survey, recurring feedback from candidates highlighted the dissatisfaction with the length of our interview process. In order to compete effectively in a tight talent market, we knew we had to streamline the time a candidate was interviewing. Internally we launched Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) for our Talent Acquisition team. These SLA's stated we will review a candidate’s resume within five days, and after every interview be contacted in 48 hours on the next steps. In order to be transparent with candidates, we launched a website communicating what steps could be expected and the timeline we commit to as a team: www.wearespreetail.com/candidates.

“This was the BEST interview process I have ever been through, fast, loved knowing where I was at in the process at all times and my recruiter did a fabulous job at making me love Spreetail even more.”

We started seeing our candidate NPS increase, but the next trend we identified was regarding rejections. Candidates commented they wanted more feedback on why the decision was made to not move forward. One of our Talent Acquisition Managers began working on a Disposition Training, teaching our recruiters the philosophy behind giving feedback. As one of our mantras at Spreetail is to "Practice Humility," we knew it was vital we also provided honest feedback to our candidates. Once this training was rolled out, we made an emphasis to call candidates who interviewed with a member of our team. An outline was provided to help recruiters prepare for these conversations as well as role playing with other team members to practice. We focus on giving specific, actionable, and customized feedback for every individual and are continually training team members on how to have these crucial conversations.

“One of the things that really stood out to me, and I truly appreciated, is that even though I did not receive the position I interviewed for, the recruiter personally reached out to me to let me know and provided feedback. This is very valuable to me, as I can use the feedback for both personal development and to be a better future candidate.”

Recently, we received feedback regarding a stage in our interview process: our work samples. Completing a work sample is a way for candidates to understand what the projects and day-to-day tasks of the role would consist of, but it also helps the hiring team understand the skills and experience that the candidate would bring to the table. Our Talent Acquisition team partnered with Hiring Managers across Spreetail to revamp all of the prompts and made sure there were scorecards associated with every work sample so interviewers knew how to effectively evaluate the presentation. Again, with a focus on transparency, we decided to share with candidates why this is part of our interview process: https://www.wearespreetail.com/blog/work-samples.

“I feel like Spreetail has a unique interviewing process all to their own. The environment was very comfortable while being evaluated and discussing my strong points with the panel.”

We also provide ways for our team to stay in touch with candidates for future openings, such as connecting on LinkedIn or signing up for our Talent Newsletter to receive updates on new roles and what's happening across the organization. In a hyper-growth ecommerce company, we are opening new positions frequently and want to assess if there are other roles the candidate may be a fit for. If the candidate’s experience doesn't align with the initial role they apply and interview for, we want to build long-term relationships so we can reach out when there is a position that aligns with their experience and career objectives.

Using Lever's tagging system to build pipelines of candidates has allowed us to do just that - stay in touch with candidates as we grow and evolve as a company. This has helped us to hire over 1,000 people so far in 2021 as we add new teams. Using this tagging system, we've built a Talent Community currently with over 8,000 candidates who have opted in to receive a monthly newsletter to learn more about careers at Spreetail. This has allowed us to keep these candidates "warm" until there's an opportunity for them to join our team. We realize we can only do this by providing a great candidate experience on the front-end.

“Loved every step of the way. It's very detailed, transparent, and intentional. Spreetail sets you up for success even from the start of the interview process. Loved all the information about Spreetail upfront- it made it intriguing to find out more which then led to the quick passion to want to be a part of the Spreetail family.”

Our Talent Acquisition team understands if we provide a great experience, there's a higher percentage candidates will refer their friends or family. Within the last year we've had over 4,000 referrals submitted, with our goal for hiring sourced or referred candidates at 50%.  

“I've already recommended the candidate experience to people. I thought the process was great.”

If you want to experience our interview process first-hand, check out our open positions and apply today.

Dana Nielsen

Sr. Talent Brand Partner

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