Author: amanda

Global Consumer Products Company Workshop

Client Challenge

A $60-billion consumer products company consolidated its recruiting function, creating a centralized, global shared service. The consolidation resulted in a significant change in the way recruiting was delivered to the organization’s 250 operating companies. Initial feedback from the businesses indicated that recruiters had become too administrative and process-oriented. Hiring Managers wanted business problem-solvers who could understand their issues and deliver the recruiting results they needed.

The recruiting leadership team recognized the need to refocus the recruiters on bringing value-added services to their internal customers. The leadership team identified the need for recruiters to:

  • Build better relationships with their internal clients.
  • Lead the development of fast, responsive recruiting solutions.
  • Manage recruiting initiatives to successful conclusion.
  • Coach inexperienced managers.

While the management team understood that a comprehensive training program could begin to address these goals, they were uncertain where to start and had no time to develop the toolsets required.

Our Solution

DoubleStar designed and delivered a customized Recruitment Consulting Skills Workshop for the client’s nationwide recruiting team. The one-day workshop was custom designed for this client’s unique needs.

First, we gathered individual competency input from each recruiting team leader. We then drafted a content outline and sample training scenarios for client team walk-throughs. Using that feedback, we built a one-day training event covering five key skills using interactive lecture, trainer simulations, participant role plays, and group problem-solving techniques. The course incorporated client-specific practices and customized interactive content, designed to provide participants the opportunity to practice the new techniques in real-life scenarios that they would face.

Business Impacts

DoubleStar successfully delivered over 80 hours of hands-on training in 15 sessions to 250 recruiters from the client’s national recruiting team. Specific outcomes of the workshops included:

  • Identified 2 specific actionable behaviors per participant to be changed within 90 days of the workshop and subsequently reviewed with their manager.
  • Reviewed key elements of forming strong, trusting consultative relationships by building credibility, demonstrating reliability, and acting selflessly.
  • Learned a structured approach to minimize the impact of scope changes by applying best-practice project management techniques to plan, execute, and manage recruiting initiatives.
  • Identified mechanisms for improving hiring manager engagement practices by reviewing models for delivering tough feedback, questioning and listening, influencing, and pushing back.
  • Applied concepts and techniques through one-on-one role plays, table discussions, and simulations designed to build a partnership mentality with internal customers.
  • Provided a forum for sharing tools and techniques for handling common recruitment issues by reviewing the client’s specific case studies in the areas of discrimination, hiring manager interviewing techniques, and candidate feedback and selection.
  • Saved the client time, effort, and money compared to a traditional training model due to DoubleStar’s ability to design and deliver the workshops with consultants that possessed hands-on recruiting and industry experience.

Building a Post-COVID Talent Acquisition Function (Part 2)

In Part One of this blog article, we looked at how changes in Talent Acquisition practices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can remain part of the new normal after the crisis has passed. In addition to recruit-from-anywhere models, an increased reliance on video interviews, and a shift from sourcing to selection focus, here are three additional changes that will likely become part of the TA landscape once the COVID-19 crisis passes.

Sourcing Will Finally Be Separate from Recruiting

Although the unemployment rate is still above 8%, it doesn’t mean candidates with the skill set you need are actively looking for a job. Not every recruiter understands how to proactively research and source passive candidates. This is a skill set unto itself that helps create an interested and engaged slate. Today’s recruiters have spent the majority of their time visually screening resumes and conducting interviews. When you separate the two stages, you will need to identify someone who is specialized in candidate research and market intelligence combined with an understanding of successful talent recruitment.

Managers and Interviewers Will Need Upskilling in Selection Interviewing

At many organizations, TA practices for selection have changed dramatically in an off-site mode. Organizations that previously held multiple interviews, large-panel interviews, and longer interview cycles have changed their approaches to make the online process more efficient. Most significantly, interviews that used to happen in person are now moved to virtual platforms and video format. Managers will need to be reskilled in assessment and selection practices on these new platforms, as the tried and true methods of in-person assessment may or may not translate into online formats. For example, non-verbal cues, such as eye contact and attentive behaviors, are much harder to maintain over a virtual interview. Also, assessing a candidate’s physical space and background can lead to false positives or false negatives that have nothing to do with a candidate’s job qualifications. Recruiters and managers will need to be trained in new practices to ensure they are making good decisions based on the right criteria.

Increase in Technology Sophistication for Recruiters

Tools such as CRM software, social media platforms, and other online resources enable companies to reach a larger and/or more targeted candidate pool faster. These tools and their capabilities are changing rapidly.

While most recruiters already use some sort of digital platform to connect with candidates, their knowledge and utilization of these tools will need to be scaled up as these tools become the operational backbone of working remotely. Companies should consider investing in recruiters who have specialized experience in some or all of these platforms. Recruiters will need to become experts in a variety of technology tools and keep pace with changes and upgrades. Smart organizations are acting now to get their TA team trained to handle the full technology bundle that will be the backbone of their day-to-day work.

With all the upheaval in TA brought by COVID-19, we have watched our clients make significant changes amazingly fast to handle the sudden move to remote recruiting. Moving forward, organizations should start now to plan for the post-COVID world, as many of the changes they have made temporarily will become permanent, and new changes will emerge as they move through this current crisis.

DoubleStar Earns Great Place to Work Certification

DoubleStar, Inc, the country’s leading consulting firm focused on delivering talent acquisition solutions to employers in diverse industries, announced today that it is Great Place to Work-Certified™. Certification is a significant achievement. Using validated employee feedback gathered with Great Place to Work’s rigorous, data-driven For All methodology, Certification confirms 7 out of 10 employees have a consistently positive experience at DoubleStar, Inc. Great Place to Work is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue and increased innovation.

“We are so excited to be Great Place to Work-Certified™ for a second year,” says Christine Treski, Managing Director of Recruitment at DoubleStar. “We strive to nurture our unique culture by making our employee experience a priority every day. It means that our employees have reported a consistently positive experience with their coworkers, their leaders, and their jobs. This is important to us because we know that when our employees have a high-trust experience every day, they are more productive, drive better business results and consistently make a difference to our customers.”

“We congratulate DoubleStar, Inc, on their Certification,” said Sarah Lewis-Kulin, Vice President of Best Workplace List Research at Great Place to Work. “Organizations that earn their employees’ trust create great workplace cultures that deliver outstanding business results.”

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees around the world and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Great Place to Work helps organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. Emprising®, their culture management platform, empowers leaders with the surveys, real-time reporting, and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. Their unparalleled benchmark data is used to recognize Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in the US and more than 60 countries, including the 100 Best Companies to Work For® and World’s Best list published annually in Fortune. Everything they do is driven by the mission to build a better world by helping every organization become a Great Place to Work For All™.

To learn more, visit, listen to the podcast Better by Great Place to Work, and read “A Great Place to Work for All.” Join the community on LinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.

Working at DoubleStar, Inc. | Great Place to Work®

Building the Post-COVID Talent Acquisition Function (Part 1)

Every crisis creates both immediate and longer-term, permanent changes. We are seeing the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic play out in isolation procedures, quarantines, distance learning, mass testing, and contact tracing. When the crisis passes, however, these changes will give way to long-term changes that may be harder to see right now but will nonetheless become part of the new way of working.

For Talent Acquisition, we are already experiencing significant changes that, for many companies, represent radical departures from their pre-pandemic ways of working. Remote recruiting staffs, online interviews, electronic background checks, virtual orientations, and new hires starting work remotely have been adapted nearly instantaneously by employers.

But after this pandemic passes, how many of these changes will remain permanent? What long-term impacts will the COVID-19 crisis have on TA? This is Part One of a two-part series that examines how TA will be impacted long-term by the COVID-19 crisis so that TA functions can begin to build a function that is not only effective now, but also ready to be effective in the future.

COVID-19 Shows That We Can Recruit from Anywhere

Before COVID-19, many organizations required recruiters to work on-site most or all of the week. With the crisis forcing all recruiters to work from home, organizations have learned something that’s been true for many years: recruiting can be done from anywhere. All you need is a good internet connection and a reliable cell signal.

Recruiters working from home will remain a permanent feature for most organizations. This will require recruiters and hiring managers to develop some new skill sets. Recruiters will need to develop different relationship-building skills as they deal with candidates and hiring managers in completely remote ways. Hiring managers will need to be retooled in not only the mechanics of conducting interviews via online platforms, but also in interview skills and assessment techniques, which present different challenges online compared to face-to-face.

Increased Reliance on Zoom-Style Interviews for First-Level Vetting

Some of the new communication channels businesses will become accustomed to post-COVID will be video platforms such as Zoom. Video interviews will become the new standard for how organizations initially connect with and screen candidates, replacing traditional phone interviews. This requires training recruiters and managers on how to conduct initial screening interviews via video platforms effectively and legally.

Sourcing Problems Shift to Selection Problems

Before the pandemic, unemployment was hovering at 50-year lows. As a result, the biggest problem facing recruiting functions in nearly all industries was finding enough qualified candidates to fill interviewing slates.

Now, with over 38 million people filing for unemployment since March, the main recruiting challenge has shifted for many companies from sourcing enough candidates to selecting the right candidates from suddenly swollen pools. Shifting from a sourcing-centric function to a selection-centric one may require simple changes such as retooling recruiting team members in selection skills. Or, it could require more significant changes, such as restructuring the function or even hiring recruiters with different skill sets.

These are a few of the changes we see on the horizon. For more, read Part Two of this article.

Healthcare Provider Improves Service Delivery

Client Challenge

One of the largest healthcare providers in the mid-Atlantic region was facing some difficult market challenges:

  • Demand for services was rising steadily, in large part due to an aging local population.
  • Rapid growth was occurring in many of its specialized service lines.
  • Competition was mounting from both niche players and from large, multi-entity providers.
  • The regional talent pool contained limited talent in the most competitive and sought-after specialties.
  • As a result, the company’s vacancy rate had risen to over 9%, impacting the system’s ability to deliver care.

The client’s HR leadership team wanted to improve the recruiting function’s ability to fill openings faster and more accurately. They also wanted to ensure that the organization’s staffing function was optimally deployed to handle the aggressive business growth planned over the next five years.

To help them quickly identify opportunities for improvement, the health system decided to have DoubleStar’s team conduct a comprehensive review of the recruiting function’s structure, operations, and service delivery capabilities.

Our Solution

DoubleStar conducted a detailed review of the customer’s practices utilizing our comprehensive assessment methodology. The review focused on recruiting delivery structure and practices, candidate sourcing, applicant-flow processes, and candidate-management capabilities.

DoubleStar’s assessment included the following initiatives:

  • Conducted over 30 interviews with selected service leaders, key stakeholders in HR, and recruitment team members.
  • Reviewed existing staffing reports, materials, tools, templates, and utilization of their applicant-tracking system and conducted thorough process reviews and performance analyses.
  • Compared results to best practices in healthcare and in other similarly complex industries such as pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and technology.
  • Analyzed findings to determine the client’s ability to deliver against the enterprise’s current and future service demands.

The final deliverable included a detailed Roadmap for Change that enabled the client to make short- and medium-term improvements to its recruitment organization that increased operational efficiency and improved service delivery effectiveness to internal clients.

Business Impacts

A key finding of the assessment was that due to the strength of the existing recruiting function, the client was not a good candidate for an RPO solution. This enabled the client to focus its energies on immediately rebuilding the function to incorporate modern sourcing approaches and enhanced service delivery to key client groups.

The client also elected to implement three of DoubleStar’s strategic recommendations, focusing on building a new talent acquisition strategy, creating specialized recruitment roles for project management and sourcing, and enhancing the consulting skills of its in-house recruiters. The successful implementation of these initiatives resulted in a 100+% increase in hiring manager satisfaction scores over a one-year period.

Hospitals Can Match the COVID-19 Patient Surge

Many US Hospitals were facing significant staffing challenges before COVID-19 hit. Now, the surge in COVID-19 infected patients is overwhelming hospitals in ‘hot spot’ urban centers.  

Compounding the staffing problem is the high infection rate among clinical workers. In the hardest-hit areas, as many as 20-30% of clinical staff and frontline healthcare workers are becoming infected with coronavirus, taking them off-line for 14 days and creating a hole in the care delivery system that cannot easily be filled.

Not all hospitals face this problem today. But they surely will over the next few weeks. 

A number of smart solutions are already being implemented to help alleviate the severe staffing shortages our healthcare systems now face. Accelerating graduations for nurses and medical students, importing talent from other states/regions, moving retirees back into service, and allowing nurses to practice at the highest levels of their licensures are remedies that are making a difference.

Even with these measures, many hospitals will still not have enough clinical staff to handle the surge in patients they are or will be experiencing. 

To match the surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitals need to surge their staffing. Traditional staffing processes have hospitals filling RN openings in 20-60 days and MD openings in 3-6 months. These cycles need to be reduced to less than a week. To accomplish this, hospitals will need to immediately develop different staffing approaches using accelerated processes. 

Here’s what’s required to accelerate staffing processes:

  1. Create a central staffing control center that has clear visibility into all hiring requirements, all internal candidates, and all external market sources so that talent demand and supply can be assessed and resources deployed as critical needs develop.
  2. The biggest time-waster in any staffing process is the back-and-forth between HR and hiring managers for application review, interview set-up, conducting interviews, etc. In a crisis, the clinical delivery staff will not have time to devote to the massive, urgent interviewing required to fill positions quickly. The Staffing Center should be staffed with interviewers who can make clinical evaluations on behalf of the entire hospital in real-time. This single step will cut days and even weeks from traditional hiring processes.
  3. Give the Staffing Center the power to make hiring decisions quickly. This may involve relaxing standard hiring process requirements like background checks and reference-checking by allowing people to start working before these processes are completed. It may also require the ability to make on-the-spot offers and accelerate start dates to nearly immediately.
  4. Create a COVID-19 Staffing Portal for your Career Website, especially for per-diem workers. Require only essential information from candidates during the application process. Make it easy for the candidate to apply and provide responses to all applications within 24 hours. Compress onboarding time as much as possible.
  5. Move candidates from resume/application review straight into interviews using Skype or Zoom (or other video tools). Set high-volume interview schedules and interviewing staff in advance, and populate those schedules based on the strength of the resume/application review. There will be no time for additional screening steps.
  6. Open the gates to hire Diploma Nurses and LPNs. All trained clinical specialists will be needed to get through the surge in caseloads.
  7. Target clinicians who work outside of hospitals. In any market, only 50-60% of all licensed RNs work in acute care hospitals. It’s time to target the other 40+%.
  8. To accomplish all of the above, overstaff the Staffing Center, not only with recruiters but with clinical screeners, administrators, and on-boarders. You will need more staff than you think to accomplish the new speed objectives.

Accelerating staffing cycles is not easy, especially in healthcare where credentialing and quality considerations have always driven process decisions. And please don’t misunderstand relaxing some of the hiring process rules to gain speed with lowering the quality of hiring standards—they are not at all the same and making quality hires should still be paramount for all process decisions. 

Hiring in a crisis requires a highly accelerated process, and rational trade-offs will need to be made in order to meet surging demands for trained workers. If you haven’t started changing your processes today, you are probably already behind.

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