Nestlé is one of the world’s best-known brands. But being popular can lead to an extreme volume of candidates. Lisa Scales, Head of Talent Acquisition for Nestlé in the UK and Ireland, delved into why the company opted for Paradox’ Olivia to schedule and complete 18,000 interviews with candidates. ‘A life changing experience for high-volume recruiters.’
Nestlé employs 308,000 people worldwide
From Nescafé to Pellegrino water. From Maggi to KitKat. There’s a good chance you encountered a Nestlé brand today. Nestlé operates in more than 190 countries and has a portfolio of over 2,000 brands, including well-known names like Nescafé, KitKat, and Gerber. The company is divided into three main business units: Nestlé Waters, Nestlé Nutrition, and Nestlé Health Science.
As of 2021, Nestlé employs around 308,000 people worldwide. In recent years, the company’s workforce has grown steadily, with an increase of about 2% from 2019 to 2020. Nestlé has been expanding its operations in emerging markets, particularly in Asia and Africa, which has contributed to its growing workforce.
‘It’s never been easier to find people’
So while many organisations struggle with scarcity of talent, that’s not necessarily the discussion going on at Nestlé’s HQ. “It’s never been easier to find people”, Lisa Scales, Head of Talent Acquisition for Nestlé in the UK and Ireland, told the audience at Unleash World 2022 in Paris. Prior to joining Nestlé Scales has had some unique experiences both vendor and agency side and significantly spent 10 years working vendor side having founded and led a start-up recruitment platform called TribePad.
“98% of our consumers are candidates.”
“Nestle has more than 8.7 million candidate visits to its career pages per year”, Scales said. “Candidates are looking to understand more about Nestlé as an employer and find job opportunities. 98% of our consumers are candidates. So finding people has never been our problem. Our challenge lies in engaging with people that want to be engaged with.”
8,000 hours per month spent on scheduling interviews
According to Scales, there’s a tension within the theatre of recruitment. “We expect candidates to jump through hoops — we don’t make it easy, even though we’ve given them platforms to find jobs”, she said. “But on the flip-side, I don’t think we concentrate enough on the recruiter experience. It’s the lynchpin between everything. If you give a recruiter a brilliant set of tools, time, and an education to smoothly operate the function — it is better for everyone. For hiring managers, for candidates and for the business.”
“We saw that our global recruiting teams spent over 8,000 hours per month scheduling and rescheduling interviews.”
But when recruiters aren’t able to focus on their jobs — and spend far too much time on generic admin-like tasks, the recruiter experience isn’t bound to be great. “We saw that our global recruiting teams spent over 8,000 hours per month scheduling and rescheduling interviews. Through calendar synchronisation and setting reminders. It’s hugely transactional. Across a year, it would be the equivalent of a 52 people full-time organising interviews. It adds nothing to the experience.”
So Scales and Nestlé saw a huge opportunity. Their global team looked at the market to help them with their time spent on scheduling, and found Paradox’ Olivia. “From our perspective, it’s brilliant”, Scales said. “We wanted Olivia to be that de-facto help problem-solving and question-answering platform for any question about Nestlé. What we found in terms of analytics, it’s amazing what people ask. They want to know all sorts of things, about our products and about our organisation.”
Need for education
Answering questions helps, but didn’t solve the main issue. “That’s where Olivia’s interviewing scheduling comes in. It includes timings for people to come along and pretty much self-serve, choose when they want to be interviewed within parameters. I was skeptical at first”, Scales admitted.
“You have to create the need and educate before you say: use that tool, it’s on your desktop.”
So Nestlé first piloted the tool in China, the Philippines and Switzerland. “They are all markets that have different behaviours and volumes. It was important for us to cross-zone pilot it — and learn from those perspectives. The complexity lies in trying to organise an interview platform across different timezones. We instructed and educated our teams to make it really simple. You have to create the need and educate before you say: use that tool, it’s on your desktop.”
‘A life changing experience for high-volume recruiters’
But Scales and Nestlé quickly saw positive results from all ends of the world. “As the teams went through implementation, we quickly saw it would revolutionise the way we go about our work. It’s become a life-changing experience for high-volume recruiters, who would otherwise spend hours a week trying to schedule interviews. If you’re one recruiter or a thousand recruiters, it doesn’t actually matter. Because it will save that individual recruiter a huge amount of time.”
“We quickly saw it would revolutionise the way we go about our work.”
As a result, Olivia scheduled and completed 18,000 interviews with ‘minimum or no intervention from a recruiter’, Scales said. “Olivia had 715,000 interactions and answered 1.5 million questions. Through interactions with Olivia, 430,000 roles were found. In 2021, our NPS (Net Promoter Score) increased by 5 points compared to the year before. In terms of candidate satisfaction, that’s not a massive improvement, but a good figure.”
Want to learn more about Paradox’ Olivia?
Paradox uses its virtual assistant Olivia to help transform the recruitment experience. Recruitment Tech spoke to Tom Trewick, the company’s Client Success Manager, for a video interview. “If you think of anything that could and should be automated, Olivia takes a heavy lifting from recruiters. Freeing them up to have more meaningful conversations and be more proactive elsewhere in the process. The candidate experience is broken. So Olivia helps to remove friction from that part of the process and making sure that candidates are screened scheduled.”