Driving into the future: How Volvo upgraded its candidate experience

A case study exploring the collaboration between Volvo and Talenthub. Why Volvo wanted to delve further into candidate experience, their findings and future.

For businesses, competition to be the best is fierce. Whether creating market-leading products or having a phenomenal workforce, organizations seek the edge over their rivals. ⚔️

As a result, businesses must find solutions to help optimize their performance, as was the case for Volvo. Who wished to learn more about their candidate's experience. And so, in collaboration with Talenthub, Volvo set out to understand how their candidates perceived the hiring experience and themselves. In the desire, through engaging and listening, they could learn how to improve. 💡

So, this article will look at what Volvo did to learn more about their candidate's experience. We will investigate:

  • Why did Volvo wish to increase its focus towards candidate experience
  • What did they do as a consequence, and how were Talenthub involved
  • What did Volvo learn in terms of the candidate experience
  • And their exciting future steps

Ultimately, whatever size or type of company, it can never harm to learn from the best. And so, with this article, you can learn how to improve your candidate experience and reap the advantages. Additionally, if you are interested in how other companies have focussed on candidate experience, look to our previous case studies on the subject: How Virgin Media revolutionized their candidate experience & Delivery Hero: Delivering Food and an Amazing Candidate Experience


Who is Volvo?

Volvo Xc90 Logo GIF by Namaste Car

When was Volvo founded? April 14th 1927

Where was Volvo first located? Gothenburg, Sweden

How many employees does Volvo employ? Almost 100,000 employees across 190 markets

How many production facilities do Volvo have globally? In 18 countries

A brand renowned for manufacturing and marketing sophisticated yet affordable automobiles, Volvo has expanded into other areas of expertise. What started as a desire to build cars to handle the Scandinavian terrain has become one of the dominant manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment, marine and industrial engines. As well as providing solutions for finance and services.

Volvo seeks to deliver to the world pioneering innovations that put the needs of the customers first. They wish to make the world better for everyone, focusing on safety, quality, and care for the environment. 🌐

What did Volvo want to learn?

For Volvo, people are their strength. Businesses must attract, retain and develop the right people to shape a working culture dedicated to positive engagement and performance. Volvo wished to learn what they could to improve. For example, to become the most admired employer in their industry with high satisfaction rates among candidates. 👨‍💼👩‍🏭

So, Stefan Begall, the Global Head of Recruitment at Volvo, set out to learn more. First, to understand what was the perception of Volvo among those interested in working for the company. And what could be done to grow this relationship further?


What do the candidates think?

After focussing primarily on quantitative data regarding the candidate's experience, Stefan wanted something more qualitative to balance out their findings. Volvo wanted to know:

  • Were the candidates happy?
  • What was their experience with the services?
  • What was good about the recruitment process and what could be improved


Why is this so important for Volvo?

Volvo makes around 4500 internal and external recruitments per year and receives 200 to 300 applicants per job. That's a lot of interest. And when you consider the fact that the majority of applicants don't end up with the job, companies must cater to the contrasting experiences of acceptance and rejection. ⚖️

For Volvo and all businesses, it is imperative candidates walk away with a good impression and feelings. Otherwise, it could cause damage to their employer branding and impact whether they would wish to apply again or buy Volvo's products. 👎

Therefore, Stefan wanted to learn more by interacting with all candidates. To get their insight into how to improve their processes to make them more candidate-friendly. And in the process, improve the performances of Volvo's recruiting teams and individuals.

Whereas previously they had no opportunity to gauge this type of specific feedback from applicants, Volvo came across Talenthub. And intrigued by the innovative product they offered, they ran a pilot to see what Volvo could learn about their candidate's experience.


Run the pilot

Talenthub and Volvo put their heads together in early 2021, and Talenthub quickly outlined the relevance of candidate experience for a modern organization. And how its wide-ranging benefits can enrich a company with vital data and an improved brand image. 😮

And with that, the pilot began. For 60 days, Talenthub started to assess the temperature among candidates. Then, collecting feedback from applicants, they set out to better understand and paint the picture of Volvo's interactions with candidates. 

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After collating the candidate's feedback, they presented Volvo with this data and insight. Alongside this were recommendations of what Volvo could improve and how a continued collaboration could be beneficial.


The relationship moves to the next level.

Curious about their findings and pleased with what they had learnt thus far, Volvo commissioned an upgrade in the relationship with Talenthub.


What did Talenthub offer to Volvo?

Talenthub looked to increase the number of touchpoints to best measure the candidate's experience. To acquire data and feedback from all applicants that undertook the recruitment process. They increased communication with Volvo's candidates via touchpoints within different stages of the process, including:

  • The career page
  • The confirmation of application email
  • A general rejection email
  • And for rejected candidates post-interview

In addition, Talenthub also introduced their widget onto Volvo's career page. To engage with visitors who may have just been browsing the opportunities Volvo were currently advertising. Which after ten seconds, would appear on the visitor's screen, affording them the time to respond if they so wished before they moved on. Another set of feedback to analyze and inform Volvo's recruitment teams.


Asking the right questions to get the feedback you crave.✨

Within the communication at different stages of the hiring process, Volvo provided candidates with surveys. Within the correspondence, a link would take the candidates to a web page where they could respond. These embedded surveys would help Volvo acquire insight and chart the applicant's journey.

The featured questions are explicitly tailored to each stage of the process, and best communicate with the candidates. The questions used base themselves on the ten drivers Talenthub considers vital to create an exceptional candidate experience. In addition, in collaboration with Volvo, the questions designed sought to strike the right tone with their candidates and ensure an increased response rate. 

They wanted to establish a 360° measurement of their recruitment process and learn which areas lacked excellent candidate experience. Also, to measure different drivers and the applicant's motivation behind applying for a specific role.

With different drivers used for various interactions, it helped Volvo broaden its understanding. And increase the range of data they now had at their disposal. Which ensured Volvo had the information they wanted from their candidates.


The results are in: What did Volvo learn?

Volvo was ecstatic with what they learnt. A pleased customer indeed! 👍

Firstly, with the feedback in hand from the pilot, it made the decision to continue the relationship a no brainer. For Stefan, they had the necessary proof that the tool worked and the insight they craved. Thus giving the business case a lot of value to invest and deepen the partnership with Talenthub.

Stefan knew that if the tool worked as expected and gave Volvo what they wanted, it would be worth the time and the effort. And with what they learnt in hand, it wasn't so hard to convince the other recruitment heads globally to join forces. 

So to ensure wherever you are in the world and whatever the job you applied for, Volvo could give everyone an equal candidate experience. Having a uniform candidate experience tool allows for the same questions to be given to all applicants and offers Volvo a greater understanding of how they were tracking. They could now learn:

  • How to improve their candidate experience ✔️
  • Where they had to improve, the priorities that candidates raised consistently ✔️
  • Where they were winning and where they were not ✔️


What did Talenthub help Volvo to do?

Volvo now had the means to take a granular perspective upon their hiring process. They could oversee all aspects of the recruitment process and understand how candidates saw them. 

With increased qualitative data, they could better analyze their performance and break it down on a more team and individual level. In addition, managers could now speak to recruiters to discuss their performance in interacting with applicants to improve and build a more consistent quality of candidate experience. 🏢


What are the next steps for Volvo? 👣

Volvo and Stefan are not looking to rest on their laurels or brand name. Instead, they seek to continually improve how they work and the processes that make up the organization. 

And so, when it came to refining the recruitment process so they could listen to candidates better and receive a more representative range of feedback, Stefan sought to extend the relationship with Talenthub.


The future of the Volvo and Talenthub collaboration

For Volvo, they wish to take the tool global. To better understand how their activity and recruiting is perceived across the market. A broader perspective and range of data to work with will allow them to address any issues and make appropriate changes when needed.

That's not all, and Stefan is eager to see how they can repurpose Talenthub's tool with other goals in mind. For example, they wish to factor in an internal voice into the data they are collecting and learn more about the manager and recruiters experience as it is essential to know about this too! 🤩


What Volvo can learn about themselves 💭

With a 360° view of all involved parties, Volvo can make holistic improvements to the entire hiring process. Managers can engage with recruiters, see how they are tracking their engagement with candidates. The analysis of the internal activity can capture pain points and room for improvement. 

The people in the middle are often forgotten and often sidelined by the sole focus on the candidates. But with the workforce aware of how to improve and the areas to focus upon, it will help to increase candidate satisfaction.


Moving towards a better future 🚗

With strategic follow-ups planned, Volvo will learn further from the insights acquired through Talenthub's work. Hungry to learn more, they will discuss trends from the data they have received and action recommendations to improve their recruitment process and provide a stellar candidate experience.

Stefan and Volvo are excited to build a more comprehensive partnership with Talenthub and use the tool for various purposes. They know that it has never been more critical to engage and listen in the battle for the best talent, so extending their collaboration sees Volvo moving in the right direction.

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