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How Hilton Rendered "Hospitality" in to Recruitment Processes

By Sarah Smart, Vice President Global Recruiting, Hilton

Sarah Smart, Vice President Global Recruiting, Hilton

Our mission at Hilton is to be the most hospitable company in the world – and this extends to those who are interested in working here. We’re scaling quickly - last year we opened more than one hotel a day –and we suspected we could leverage new technologies such as AI, machine learning, virtual reality, and chatbots to help us scale and be more hospitable to our candidates. Whether they are placed in a position or not, we want every interaction to be a positive one.

"Think about the last time you applied for a job – did you feel like your application went into a black hole? We’re now able to respond to candidates immediately and if they meet basic criteria, allowing them to take the video at a time that suits them, wherever and whenever they feel most comfortable"

At Hilton, we face the most positive problem you can have in recruiting –a huge number of applicants. Hilton was recently ranked the #1 Best Company to Work For in the U.S. by a popular business magazine, and this demand is reflected in our application numbers. We receive more than a million applications per year and hire more than 66,000 team members annually. As a by-product of this demand, we had three challenges that we were looking to technology to solve; the length of time it took to fill new job openings, the quality of the candidate experience, and the heavy administrative workload our recruiters faced.  Our goal was to identify a technology solution that would help us find candidates who are a great fit for Hilton’s culture and create a personalized and positive experience for candidates.

Initially, we developed a chatbot that lives on our careers site and helps candidates through the process of applying for a job, setting up an interview and assessment and making the handoff to a recruiter who will then make the offer. By asking a series of questions, it intelligently qualifies applicants for the best-fit role, sometimes a role different from the one they initially applied for.

We have also partnered with an external company to use AI for video interviews and assessments and have had great success; in particular in our corporate high volume recruitment. We are using predictive analytics in our video interviews and assessments to create a process that is faster and more streamlined and one that we know candidates love.

Think about the last time you applied for a job – did you feel like your application went into a black hole? We’re now able to respond to candidates immediately and if they meet basic criteria, allowing them to take the video at a time that suits them, wherever and whenever they feel most comfortable.

We’ve had feedback from candidates including “it’s mindful of my time” and that the process is “clear and straightforward,” but the results aren’t just anecdotal. Recruiters in our high volume hiring team have been able to make 400% more offers, and we’ve had an 85% increase in speed to hire – a process that previously took six weeks now takes one week meaning we’re getting interested candidates into work, sooner.

At Hilton, we’re in the business of people serving people, so when we seek out technology, we are looking for something that will help our Team Members be more effective in doing their job so they can spend more time with the people they interact with as part of their role. For us, utilizing these technologies has hit the sweet spot in that it not only provides a better experience for candidates, it provides strong business benefits, and it allows our recruiters to get back to the reason most of them became recruiters – spending quality time interacting with candidates.

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