Picture this: You’re a global SVP of Talent Acquisition managing a recruiting team whose job is to help the company hire hundreds of critical sales positions every year. To make those hires, this recruiting team needs to review more than 5,000 applications and schedule around 1,000 phone screens.
And they do it all manually.
Welcome to the situation Jay Chan, Senior Vice President of Talent Acquisition at UOB, faced in 2019. While these sales roles aren’t overly sophisticated, they are regulated jobs that require proper screening. Candidates must be a certain age, possess some sales experience, and bring specific skills to the job. And while all of those things can typically be found on a resume, UOB’s team didn’t have the tools to qualify candidates automatically.
“It was super inefficient and completely unscalable,” Jay says. “Each recruiter was spending at least 10-15 minutes reviewing every single candidate. A lot weren’t qualified and others would drop-off. To make things worse, this is a high-churn job. Attrition can be pretty high, so we’re constantly trying to fill these roles. It’s an engine that never stops running — and we were burning through candidates.”
Balancing Increased Efficiency with Experience
To keep that engine from burning out his team — and creating staffing issues for the business — Jay went on the hunt for a new solution. His goals were simple:
- Automate the initial screening process to disqualify candidates who didn’t meet basic requirements — but still ensure they have a good experience
- Instantly schedule qualified candidates to a phone screen to move them forward in the process as quickly as possible
- Integrate with existing tools — SAP SuccessFactors (ATS) and Pymetrics (assessment) — to create a seamless experience for candidates and recruiters
After evaluating a handful of tools that integrated with SuccessFactors, Jay focused on the idea of layering in a conversational assistant across their process. “If we could have an assistant take care of those initial steps — screening, scheduling, inviting candidates to complete the assessment — we knew we could save our team a ton of time,” Jay says.
But it wasn’t just about saving time. UOB is a major financial services player — the third-largest bank in Southeast Asia — whose candidates are also their customers.
“Candidate experience was critical,” Jay said. “If we’re going to turn away more than 4,000 people who are interested in our jobs, we can’t leave them with a bad impression of UOB. So, it wasn’t just about tech to make us more efficient. It was about finding tech that could help us balance speed with an experience that was respectful and easy for candidates.”
Integrating with the ATS to Streamline and Simplify Hiring
After scheduling demos with five other vendors, UOB selected Paradox. At the time, Paradox didn’t have a presence in APAC, but Jay says he and his team immediately homed in on the sense of partnership they felt from the Paradox team — and the company’s proven ability to integrate with SuccessFactors.
“It wasn’t an option for us to just go out and buy new technology that didn’t work with our existing ATS,” Jay says. “We knew what we wanted to do, but we had to make sure it didn’t break the parts of our process and technology stack that were working.”
Immediately after implementation kicked off, Jay says the Paradox team rolled up its sleeves to ensure the solution aligned with UOB’s process. That led to some quick wins that Jay says immediately transformed their process:
- Rather than fill out a long application, candidates could now complete a quick apply using Whatsapp, which would start a conversation with UOB’s new conversational assistant “Jonus” — who could respond in multiple languages to accommodate UOB’s diverse talent pool.
- Qualified candidates who passed a certain requirements threshold would be automatically scheduled for an interview by Jonas via Whatsapp.
- When candidates completed that physical interview/assessment, they would receive an intent-to-offer immediately afterward, and then be invited to complete the full application in SuccessFactors.
“It was completely transformational, almost instantly,” Jay says. “Our team was saving an enormous amount of time, candidates were getting through the process faster, and we were delivering an experience that felt different than what these candidates were used to.”
In fact, the experience was so transformational that, in 2019, UOB won a prestigious HumanResources HR Excellence Award for Excellence in Recruitment. Among its many accomplishments that stood out in award application:
- Time-to-hire was reduced by 50%
- Application-to-offer conversion increased by 16%
- Offer acceptance rate increased by 15%
- 96% of candidates rated their experience positively
And in Jay’s mind, that’s just the beginning.
“For me, the possibilities are endless — we view Paradox as a partner who can help us push the limits of what’s possible,” Jay says. “We want to push the integration with SuccessFactors deeper and deeper, and look for other ways to automate things that our recruiters just shouldn’t have to do. There are so many great opportunities to streamline the process and deliver exceptional experiences candidates just won’t find anywhere else.”