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Recruiting Gets a Boost at New Balance

This is part of a special advertising section highlighting case studies featuring successful strategies in HR technology.

Monday, November 1, 2010
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Over the past 15 years, Boston-based New Balance has grown substantially, and now has 3,500 employees around the world. The company attributes its success to an ongoing commitment to its core values of integrity, teamwork and total customer satisfaction. With this success, its workforce grew and the company needed to improve its manual recruiting processes.

The Challenge

As a manufacturer and retailer of shoes, apparel and other products, New Balance found it cumbersome to recruit manually, especially for its three different hiring types: corporate, manufacturing and retail. With a dated career site that featured an e-mail address as the primary online recruiting option, New Balance worried that the candidate experience might suffer. Furthermore, without a formal CRM tool in place, the recruiters struggled to respond to each inquiry and subsequently had difficulty building an engaged talent pool.

In addition, recruiters had difficulty managing walk-in job inquiries at their retail and warehouse locations, often struggling to gather enough applicant information, as many candidates lacked formal resumes. As a brand that treats their candidates like their customers and truly values the candidate experience, this would not do.

The Solution

Recognizing the need for automation, New Balance began evaluating HR software vendors. After a request for proposal, New Balance narrowed its potential vendors down to three applicant-tracking system providers.

"Initially we thought the ATS vendors, who were most well-known in the industry, were the way to go," says Dan Benson, New Balance's manager of professional staffing. "We realized iCIMS really understands what retail and manufacturing companies are going through, and their ideas around system ease-of-use, flexibility and customer service made so much sense for our mid-market business needs. Some of the bigger companies out there seemed to over-complicate the entire process, but iCIMS was the perfect fit."

New Balance's evaluation team ultimately made its selection based on customer service, ease-of-use, flexibility and the ability to facilitate a stellar candidate experience. While other vendors flaunted bells and whistles, Hazlet, N.J.-based iCIMS highlighted its back-to-basics philosophy, which resonated powerfully with New Balance's HR organization. In the end, iCIMS stood above the rest and became the applicant-tracking system of choice for the worldwide retail and manufacturing provider.

The Results

Since the implementation of the iCIMS Talent Platform, New Balance has been able to execute a flawless candidate experience. From robust CRM tools to a fully branded career site, New Balance has seen great improvements in candidate engagement.

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"iCIMS really understood that our candidates are our customers and helped us create a candidate experience that is second to none," says Benson.

Through the platform's communication center, New Balance recruiters can now send and track communication to every candidate -- ensuring that each applicant is receiving the most up-to-date information on their job search. Whether candidates are applying through in-store kiosks or online through a New Balance-branded career site, the entire workflow process is streamlined and centralized, thus improving communication between recruiters and hiring managers and making the approval process easier than ever.

"Automating our recruitment processes really improved everything," says Benson. "From reducing time-to-fill and cost-per-hire to better tracking of our EEO compliance records, we've created so many efficiencies through the iCIMS Talent Platform."

HIGHLIGHTS

Organization: New Balance

Headquarters: Boston

Primary Business: Around the globe, New Balance is recognized as a leading retailer and manufacturer of high performance athletic footwear and apparel.

HR Technology Challenge: New Balance faced outdated career-site branding; had manual collection, storage, tracking and searching of resumes; ineffectively used recruiters' time and skills; and needed to improve candidate engagement.

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