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Re-imagining the candidate experience

The transformation of talent acquisition at SSM Health started with a comment at a kid’s soccer game. “I overheard a conversation from someone who had recently applied at SSM Health,” said Becki Feldmann, System Leader of Candidate & Employee Experience at SSM Health. “My ears perked up, but it was disappointing when they didn’t have good things to say.” That comment, combined with other feedback from applicants, started a process that continues today.

Candidate experience wasn’t the only challenge. The team frequently dealt with the difficulties inherent in high volume hiring. “We repeatedly saw the same obstacles,” said Feldmann. “Recruiters would identify the candidates they want to interview, but their calendar would be booked. It might be two weeks before they even get a candidate on their calendar! Meanwhile, the hiring manager wants to know where their candidates are.” And, overbooked recruiters may find it even more difficult to achieve their hiring goals.

As the team worked to improve its candidate experience and hiring process, it made a series of promises about what candidates could expect from SSM Health. When it came to keeping those promises, the team knew that interviewing technology could help.

“When we started looking at Montage, it was clear it could help us keep our candidate promises. Especially in the areas of being fast and accessible, and making sure the hiring process is informative and fair,” said Feldmann.

By using on-demand video interviewing in place of a phone screen, candidates would be empowered to present their best self, while also speeding up the hiring process. Instead of a candidate waiting up to two weeks for a phone screen with a recruiter, they would quickly receive an invitation to complete an on-demand video interview.

Rolling out to the team

“When we first introduced Montage to our team, we used the technology itself to help recruiters get comfortable,” said Feldmann. First, she completed an on-demand video interview, answering questions about Montage and how it would improve the SSM Health candidate experience. Then, she asked each recruiter to complete an on-demand video interview for one of their open positions, as if they were a candidate. This allowed the recruiter to know exactly what the candidate experience would be like, and highlighted items such as why it’s helpful to allow for the option to re-record.

The first team at SSM Health to use Montage targeted graduate nurses, a high-volume role suited for on-demand video interviewing. “Many of these candidates sport similar backgrounds, making it difficult to differentiate one from the other based on a resume. On-demand video allowed them to talk about why they want to be a nurse, why they’re pursuing this path,” said Feldmann.

The team also piloted Montage with call center positions, where they followed a different hiring process. Here, hiring managers get involved much earlier, with the recruiters simply forwarding resumes for their review. Now they send completed on-demand video interviews, giving hiring managers more insight into their candidates.

“People that fill these roles are customer and patient facing. Montage makes it easy for hiring managers to see how a candidate might interact with customers and handle certain situations,” said Feldmann.

Results and Expansion

The results speak for themselves. “We are removing a tremendous amount of time from the beginning of the hiring process,” said Feldmann. “What used to take days can now take hours.” For example, SSM Health found that the top 75% of candidates submit completed on-demand video interviews within 26 hours. Even better, the top 25% of candidates submit their interviews within 47 minutes. Feldmann said, “in the past, it could take us up to 6 days to schedule a phone interview – this is phenomenal!”

Candidate survey results have also been positive. 97% of candidates said completing their interview was easy, and that SSM Health appeared innovative for using this technology in their hiring process. Plus, 84% of candidates said they could better represent themselves through the on-demand video interview.

Moving forward, the SSM Health team is working on expanding use cases for on-demand video interviewing in a variety of different roles, even moving this invitation earlier in the hiring process. Feldmann said, “we are looking at opportunities for nurses to introduce themselves to us via video prior to applying, helping us learn about their interests and preferences, so we can better connect them to interesting opportunities.”

SSM Health is also looking to further expand Montage self-scheduling, text and live interview capability. “As we continue to ingrain Montage in our hiring process, our recruiters have more time to focus on sourcing and building their pipeline, engaging candidates and building relationships,” said Feldmann. “We’ll continue to look at how we can meet our efficiency and candidate experience goals, and Montage is essential to making that happen.”

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Hiring Process Improvements

End-to-end baggage process

Montage on-demand interview advantages

  • No interview scheduling required

  • Convenient for the candidate and allows them to present their best self

  • Speeds up the hiring process


Watch the Webinar: Refined Recruitment: Branding, Experience and Connections Change the Game with Becki Feldman from SSM Health