When taking on a new job, you never want to be surprised about what it entails after you walk through the door.
Yet, it’s common during some hiring processes for organizations to paint an inaccurate picture of what a role involves.
If employees feel misled, they can end up walking out the door prematurely — resulting in staff attrition and considerable costs to businesses.
As Talent Acquisition Director for Dentsu, one of the biggest global advertising groups in the world, Daniel Stockdale knows these risks too well.
Responsible for managing Dentsu International’s recruitment across Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia, he’s been on a mission to streamline the company’s screening process for entry-level roles to be more open to candidates from various backgrounds, and more realistic.
Previously at Omnicom Media Group (OMG), Dan saw the impact realistic job previews could have on attrition — reducing it by 75% at that company.
So, he set about implementing the same process at Dentsu using the tool that had helped him succeed in his previous role — Vervoe.
The challenge: Finding the right skilled candidates
Hiring the right candidates is at the forefront of what keeps a company as successful as Dentsu in the top five.
Yet, Dan’s most pressing recruitment concern was finding a sustainable solution that would allow them to transact at pace, while prioritizing quality of hire and a realistic job preview for candidates.
According to Dan, they needed a recruitment solution that would give candidates a realistic preview of the role before starting. Additionally, they needed to find an efficient way to adequately vet all candidates to ensure the best fit for the position on both ends.
While Dentsu is an advertising agency built on creativity, many entry-level positions focus on maximizing the return on investment from a client’s advertising spend rather than creative measures.
As Dan explained, “There’ve been many instances in the past that I’ve had feedback from entry-level hires that they didn’t quite understand what the job was going to involve. They thought perhaps it was going to be more creative coming to a large communications agency.”
Searching for a solution
Upon joining Dentsu, Dan was responsible for auditing their attraction, engagement, and selection policies.
While deep-diving into Dentsu’s existing systems and tools to find a solution, Dan learned Dentsu was already a Vervoe customer, although it was not being utilized correctly.
This was a welcome discovery for Dan, as he’d previously used Vervoe when he worked at Omnicom Media Group and knew its capabilities well.
To make the case for implementing Vervoe into Dentsu’s hiring, Dan undertook a case study — recruiting 15 entry-level people in the last three weeks of December 2021 — to show tangible results demonstrating its benefits to the business.
The case study was so successful that Dentsu now uses Vervoe to assess all entry-level recruitment, primarily focusing on their media agency business.
A fully customizable solution
Dan knew that to meet the business’s requirements and give candidates an accurate portrayal of the role, he’d need to opt for a fully customizable solution.
“I still remember when I had Vervoe presented to me for the first time. I’d been looking for an online platform that would be scalable and have a level of automation. I didn’t know, at the time, I was looking for an AI-powered solution,” he said.
What stood out to him about Vervoe was “the fact that I could build my own questions from scratch that aligned with the capabilities I required in our business for people to be successful”.
Dan undertook a series of interviews with recent entry-level joiners to understand the tasks and skills required in the role.
He learned exactly what it took to succeed in the role and to recruit fairly.
With this insight, Dan used Vervoe’s AI-powered platform to build online capability assessments that did two things: Gave candidates realistic job previews of the kinds of tasks they’d be performing and ensured each candidate’s capabilities aligned with the skills Dentsu required for them to be successful in the role.
Using a combination of question types available on Vervoe’s platform, Dan could simulate a real working environment for candidates.
This included incorporating a range of multiple-choice, excel-based, text-based, and video questions to assess the candidate’s suitability.
“Our Vervoe assessment aligns strongly with those skills,” Dan explained.
“Candidates get a realistic preview of what the job will involve, and hiring managers get a much stronger understanding of which candidate’s capability aligns with the core skills that we need in our entry-level staff for them to succeed.”
Through Vervoe’s unique AI-powered grading, Dan discovered a solution that automated a traditionally manual process without compromising efficiency or candidate quality.
By setting the standard of what he deemed appropriate answers to the assessments, Dan could train the AI to understand his preferences better, improving accuracy and intelligence.
“If you put in the effort to write questions specific to your job and train the AI to be able to mark them, the AI will do the same job as a human being within a 1% accuracy, [which] has been my experience,” he said.
Removing bias from the equation
To consider all possible candidates for the role, Dentsu positioned their Vervoe assessment at the top of their hiring funnel.
“I think any employer who doesn’t give every candidate the opportunity to show who they are beyond a CV operates to their detriment,” said Dan.
Doing so allowed Dentsu to significantly reduce bias in their screening and first-round selection processes, according to Dan.
“We’re very much guided by a person’s capability to perform the tasks that make up the core responsibilities of the role,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter if you went to uni, what degree you’ve got, what your name is, how you dress, or how you look … none of those things impact our selection process.”
A more realistic job preview
Of the improvements Dan has witnessed, hiring efficiency has been significant.
Previously, a successful month of recruitment would’ve seen him fill 4-5 entry-level roles, transacting with more traditional methods like phone screens, in-person interviews, and resume screening.
Now, by putting people through a Vervoe assessment, Dan has personal experience of hiring up to 25 entry-level employees per month.
“[Our] ability to increase [our] volume of recruitment and transact at pace without having to sacrifice on the quality of hire is almost 5x better,” Dan said.
Dan puts this down to two core reasons: 1) the realistic job preview that aligns with their capability assessment, and 2) a more efficient hiring process for Dentsu’s recruitment team.
“The feedback from my hiring managers is phenomenal,” Dan said.
“The depth of information they get, the speed at which they can transact, the reliability of hire, and the fact that we’re better at selecting the good candidates from large candidate pools.”
Additionally, Vervoe has helped streamline Dentsu’s hiring process across international borders.
“It’s an online platform, which makes it easily scalable. It means my team [who’s] spread over Australia and New Zealand, and eventually, South East Asia, will all be able to operate on the one platform,” Dan said.
“I’m not aware of a comparable competitor to Vervoe…at the moment, I don’t think it’s actually possible to do what Vervoe does any other way.”
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