About Red Energy:
Red Energy has been a part of Snowy Hydro Limited for more than a decade. With Snowy’s acquisition of Lumo Energy in 2014, the business has become one of Australia’s best performing energy retailers for customer service and value.
We are experiencing continuous growth in our business and this means we are constantly looking at hiring exceptional customer service professionals and salespeople.
Over the past 12 months, we were trying to reduce our “no show” rate, which was at around 30 percent. Despite our efforts to improve our communications and increase sourcing from different channels, things were not improving.
That was when we began asking candidates for their thoughts on our hiring processes and find out how can we make it easier and more attractive for them.
The number one concern arising from their feedback was the timings of our group interviews, which were usually held during business hours – it just wasn’t working for many of them.
In order to make our interviews, candidates needed to take time off from their current jobs to attend. With their rosters usually pre-determined way ahead of time and subjected to last minute changes, there was not a lot of wriggle room for them.
So, we started thinking about how we can become more flexible for our candidates and conduct our group interviews at timings that were more convenient for them.
This was when the team came up with the idea to conduct group interviews only on weekdays after 5pm. We thought this would allow candidates to come attend our sessions straight after work.
Considering we are quite centrally located in Richmond, close to the train station, it will also be a much easier commute to our office from Melbourne CBD and surrounds, for candidates to come in on their way home.
It felt like the perfect solution to this challenge, but there were still hurdles to overcome.
One of the key challenges we faced was getting buy-in from our hiring managers. We were conscious of the fact that we will be asking them to extend their hours and taking time away from their families and friends. This was something we knew had to be addressed up front.
So, we got them into a meeting room to explain the reasons why we thought conducting group interviews after normal business hours was the way to go if we wanted to continue attracting high quality candidates.
Another key issue that we foresaw was how most of these candidates will be attending the interviews after work, which meant that they might be fatigued and not at 100 percent. So, we took pains to ensure that the whole interview process run as smooth as possible, from registration to getting the interview room all set up and the temperature right, to ensuring we always have some light refreshments available to give candidates a quick perk-me-up.
Here are some of the keys to running a good group interview, based on our experience:
- Consider which day of the week – Thursday nights and Friday nights get ruled out as people working in retail might not be able to attend.
- Group interview sessions should not go on for too long – you don’t want candidates in your office till 9pm considering they have come in after a whole day’s work!
- Keep your group sessions light, fun and energetic – best way to engage a possibly tired audience.
We have run three after hours sessions so far (once a month since May).
We measured success by calculating the “no show” rate and comparing that to our usual group interviews that happen during the day. We saw a decrease of approximately 30 percent in our “no show” rate, which was a fantastic result for us.
But the best measure of success is, of course, hearing what our candidates had to say. All of them feedback about the ease of attending the group interview after hours, the fact that they did not need to call in sick or take an annual leave day to attend the interview made the experience all the better for them.
Our hiring managers were very impressed with the turnout of candidates, the energy in the room and the ease with how we managed it.
OUR @#$% UPS:
We ran our first group session in the evening on a Thursday back in May and we realised that it was not a good day for people who work in retail, with extended shopping hours et al.
So, we moved quickly to revise the interview schedules to ensure that all our group interviews run on Mondays to Wednesdays. This has worked really well for us since.
Besides this, we also faced a couple of teething issues when registering candidates, which we managed to get them sorted as we got more familiar with the process.
When recruiting for “bulk”/ “volume” roles, thinking outside the box always help in ensuring candidates don’t feel like a number when they come through a recruitment process.
It is easy to schedule interviews when it suits us, but our main audience are our candidates. Making things easier for them will make things easier for us in recruitment in the long run.
Candidate experience is of paramount importance these days. Considering their convenience should be included in the design of any recruitment process.
If you would like to find out more, feel free to reach out:
Recruitment Team Lead at Red Energy
Mobile: 0403 727 787
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