What happens when you gather hundreds of the retail industry’s recruiting leaders in Seattle for two days and add a few dozen Fountaineers into the mix? A powerful convergence of retail recruitment prowess.
At HR Retail during the final week in April, Fountain sponsored and hosted special events to bring together and connect with recruiting teams across retail.
Our own Mark Schindler, Fountain Executive Director of GTM Strategy and Chief of Staff, co-hosted a session with Kim Rila, Senior Talent Acquisition Business Partner at The RealReal. During this session, titled “Understanding the Current Labor Market to Inform Your Talent Strategy”, Schindler and Rila shared their views on today’s hiring landscape in retail and discussed how Fountain has emerged as the Labor ATS for hourly hiring.
The shift toward skills-based hiring
“When we look at traditional ways of hiring, we submit a resume, and someone automatically gets judged based on that resume,” Rila said. But not all hourly workers have resumes, and even those who do might not get a fair shake if their resume shows gaps in employment.
“As a prime example, COVID has kind of taken the resume out of things. It’s normal to have a break in your resume from 2019 to 2021.”
Modern hourly recruitment processes have begun to remove the resume from the equation, but this antiquated piece of paper becomes even less relevant with the advent of recruiting automation.
“Now [with Fountain], we set customized skill-based screening questions that go out to all candidates, regardless of their work history. This allows us to be in control of the questions that we need to assess the skills we need to get our business done,” said Rila.
Rila expounded on the future futility of resumes with the introduction of things like artificial intelligence (AI): “If any of you are experiencing the effects of ChatGPT on a resume right now, resumes are becoming something that you’re not going to be able to trust anyway. You see some pretty great resumes and then they all start looking the same.
“By using Fountains screening questions, we know the [applicants] we want to speak to based on their skills rather than what they look like on a piece of paper.”
Schindler spoke about another added benefit of implementing this step in the process: “The automated screening questions also allow companies to tailor the candidate experience based on those answers, so top candidates can be fast-tracked. This is a win-win since it provides a more personalized application journey for the candidate and efficiencies for companies like The RealReal.”
Mitigating bias with automated hiring tools
These screening questions also help hiring teams’ efforts in mitigating bias by allowing them to hire solely based on skills, which, for organizations hiring hourly workers, is some of the more important information recruiters need.
“We’re mitigating bias by eliminating the hiring manager’s view into a resume,” Rila said. “They just see the skills-based questions we’ve determined for them.”
Rila added that such measures are “extremely important to the team at The RealReal. Using tools like Fountain allows us to move people through with screening questions and help us with our DE&I efforts.”
Retail recruitment made simpler with Fountain
Automation didn’t just transform the screening process—it also accelerated the qualifying stage for both the recruiter and the candidate. More specifically, The RealReal was able to cut their time-to-hire in half.
Before Fountain, “we would come into the [hiring] process and have to manually schedule every single interview, and we would then have to follow up,” Rila said. “We know that this is labor intensive and it can take many, many hours out of your day.
“When we switched to Fountain, we actually were able to utilize their self-scheduling. Now our clients (meaning our candidates) are in control of their entire process.”
Double-sided visibility means candidates aren’t left hanging without a response from a recruiter. Instead, they’ll always know where they stand.
“Through Fountain’s really intuitive portal, they can see—from the moment of application through either acceptance or maybe we’re parting ways with them—where they are in the process and how that affects them.”
Clear hiring visibility, clear hiring strategy
Even the most basic ATS can provide access to hiring insights, but Rila touted Fountain’s capability to help hiring teams make decisions faster as a result of having this information.
“Managers and any other applicable party have visibility into the day, number of interview steps, and scorecards in one place, and this is something that a lot of ATSes will provide,” Rila said. “But Fountain has given us the ability to make that decision quicker. We’re not waiting. For the candidate, it creates that relationship of trust with the recruiter or the talent manager they’re working with.”
Schindler added, “HR teams are able to view all their data in one place, a single source of truth for hiring processes, and this enables them to be more strategic and more operational in how they fill their roles.”
On the candidate side, they can rest assured their application is in the system and don’t need to manually follow up for a status update.
“They have access to the portal themselves and build a relationship with us, and it becomes less of that ‘I’m just checking to see where my application is’ or ‘Have you made a decision?’ and more of ‘Hey, I moved through this part of the process. I know you’re going to be in contact with me.’”
Speed is the final linchpin in what can be a transformative hiring process for retail companies around the world.
“We are able to move candidates through the process faster, which is ultimately what they want, too.”
To see how Fountain can help you streamline and accelerate your recruitment process for your retail business, request a demo here.
To learn more about future events we’ll be attending, click here.
We’ll see you at HR Retail in 2024!