Brown-Forman builds lasting relationships in the wine and spirits industry

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Being open and honest with employees is a hallmark of Brown-Forman’s employment experience. With thousands of candidates in its pipeline each year across continents, the TA team was struggling to integrate those values into its candidate experience.

“No candidate should ever have to guess about what comes next,” said Arelis Correa-Arnold, Director Global Talent Acquisition & Onboarding, Brown-Forman. “Our end goal was to make sure that every candidate speaks highly of their experience with our organization – whether they receive a job offer or not.”

Brown-Forman was also concerned about its lack of brand awareness and ability to attract top talent in the crowded beverage market. Though Brown-Forman is the parent company of many premium adult beverage brands, it is not widely known as one of the top 10 global spirits companies. Transforming its candidate experience was key to ensuring stronger employer brand recognition throughout the hiring process and into employment.

During a period of exceptional growth, Brown- Forman made the decision to digitize many of its lines of business, and talent acquisition was no exception. “Ultimately, we needed a better way to pinpoint quality candidates from anywhere, at any time while improving applicants’ interactions with our organization,” said Correa-Arnold. “Our partnership with Montage was an important piece of the puzzle for improving our candidate experience, elevating our talent brand awareness, and solving high-volume hiring challenges.”

Brown-Forman began using Montage live interviews in the initial stages of its hiring process to get to know candidates better. With Montage, the hiring team can also connect from multiple locations effectively and efficiently to collaborate and share information. Candidates are only flown in for final, in-person interviews.

Expansion and Deployment

Brown-Forman also uses Montage on-demand video interviews. Candidates are invited to answer job-specific questions through an on-demand video interview, at their convenience. Their responses are recorded and shared with the hiring team so they can become more familiar with the applicants’ background before scheduling live interviews. On-demand interviews allow the interview team to see small yet critical details that help the hiring team decide whether candidates are a fit.

Montage’s customer success team worked closely with Brown-Forman to ensure smooth deployment of its
platform from implementation to enterprise-wide adoption. Montage provided training and change management support after the solution had been deployed to boost user adoption and ensure ROI for Brown-Forman.

Montage also had an integral role in the development of Brown-Forman’s modern interviewing process. Together, the teams streamlined the workflow, developed new questionnaires, and determined the best answer format – video or written – to ensure Brown-Forman collects necessary information from candidates. The new process improved the overall candidate experience and reduced inefficiencies for Brown-Forman’s talent acquisition team.

The teams also partnered on branding within the Montage platform to showcase Brown-Forman’s culture to prospective hires. “We’re a diverse, global team, and we want candidates to see that characteristic of our
organization. In the Montage foyer, we’re now using employee videos to welcome candidates. These are employees from all over the world, and they’re an authentic representation of Brown-Forman,” said Correa-Arnold.


While Brown-Forman believed its process and use of Montage technology was exceeding the expectations of its candidates, the team wanted an outside source to confirm it.

“Entering the Talent Board’s CandE program enabled us to benchmark with hard data. We also wanted  to hear directly from candidates about their experiences, which we did through the Talent Board’s  survey,” said Correa Arnold. “We believe the program is a way to show that we take the candidate  experience seriously. We’re very intentional about every interaction.”

The first year it participated in the CandE program, Brown-Forman was the top-rated company, earning the highest positive candidate experience ratings.  The company earned excellent scores in each of the major categories:

  • 54% of respondents said they were extremely likely to apply to an open position at Brown-Forman, versus the 17% category average
  • 64% said they were extremely likely to refer a family or friend to consider working at the company, versus the 16% category average
  • 52% cited an overall “great candidate experience,” versus the 9% category average

In addition, Brown-Forman’s job application was rated 4.1 and its interview process was rated 4.3 on a five-point scale.

Brown-Forman attributes its success to its talent acquisition team and Montage’s solutions for modernizing its candidate experience and hiring process. The company has achieved strong user adoption of both live video and on-demand video interviewing, and has become a multi-year CandE Award winner.

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