By Staff Report

Jul. 27, 2006


n an industry ripe with competition, how did one national insurance provider improve their ability to attract and retain top talent? They streamlined their overall recruiting processes through an automated applicant tracking solution. As a result, the company has saved millions of dollars on recruiting and search fees, and reduced cost-to-fill and time-to-hire. The company has also been able to improve the candidate experience by eliminating a lengthy application process, and providing timely and responsive feedback to job applicants.

With 6,600 employees across more than 90 locations, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company provides financial security for millions of customers through a full range of health plans, life and disability insurance, annuities, and retirement savings products and services. Headquartered in Denver, Great-West is a national employee benefits provider with expertise in creative health care management solutions as well as a leading provider of retirement savings plans.

Lack of Process and Policy Contributes to Inconsistency in Hiring Process

Although Great-West recognized the imperativeness of attracting and retaining talented employees to provide their customers with top quality products and services, their internal hiring processes were complicated and inconsistent across the organization. Without a centralized process, hiring managers often turned to outside agencies to fill open positions before notifying internal recruiters, resulting in high search firm and agency fees as well as skyrocketing relocation costs. While Great-West did have a homegrown, legacy system in place, the solution was not meeting the needs of the recruiters or candidates and did little more than accumulate resumes.

Through the legacy system, resumes were culled from internal applicants and cumulated from external candidates, but the solution did not offer the ability to prescreen applicants for minimum qualifications. Without any type of prescreening, the largely manual process of sorting through resumes delayed getting them to the correct hiring manager. This process also meant that recruiters focused more on administrative tasks, potentially missing out on qualified applicants, and spending time reviewing unqualified candidates rather than hiring talented individuals to meet the needs of the business.

Without a way to quickly identify quality, external candidates, the company was often forced to limit their talent pool to internal hires. The lack of an automated talent management process also meant that candidates were left in the dark as to where they stood in the process and, if they were selected for an interview, an 11-page application hindered the experience.

“Recruiting expenses were through the roof, and our paper-based application process proved to be a major weakness for the company,” said Tony Blake, senior manager of Recruiting for Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. “External candidates seldom got feedback and felt that their online applications were being ignored. Plus, it was nearly impossible to identify the best candidates through the crush of paper. We wanted to streamline our recruiting efforts while creating the best possible experience for candidates applying to open positions at Great-West.”

Premium Process Results from Automated Applicant Tracking Solution

After reviewing several applicant tracking solutions in an effort to improve their recruiting process, Great-West chose iRecruiter™ from iCIMS based on the solution’s scalability, flexibility, comprehensive reporting features and intuitive user interface. iCIMS provides recruiters with collaborative tools that help them attract, screen, and hire the best talent, giving them an edge over the competition. iRecruiter allows organizations to streamline the entire hiring management process in a single, configurable, and cost-effective solution.

“Flexibility was by far one of the most important attributes we considered when looking for an applicant tracking solution,” said Blake. “iRecruiter enables us to simplify many of our core processes while delivering a solution that is able to scale and accommodates our needs as they change. In addition, the solution delivers a more user-friendly experience for applicants, recruiters and hiring managers alike.”

Underwriting Success: Online Solution Improves Candidate Experience and Time-to-Fill

In the three years since implementing the solution, Great-West has experienced a significant return on investment moving from a paper-based process to an automated solution. Processing over 3,500 applications per month, and hiring one out of every 24 applicants, Great-West has realized a 71 percent reduction in cost-per-hire as a result of streamlining their processes – equating to $6.6 million in savings! Cost-per-hire, including print advertising, agency fees and relocation costs, has gone from over $5,500 in 2003 to just $1,600, while external hires have also increased 82 percent during the same time period. In addition, external relocations have dropped from 43 transfers to just 13 since implementing iRecruiter, with total relocation costs declining from $2.9 million to $1.2 million.

The iRecruiter solution provides a centralized repository for applicant and recruiting data, easing both reporting and decision-making. The solution enables Great-West to automatically screen online applicants with “knock-out” questions, so recruiters only look at candidates who fill the minimum requirements for the job. By looking at only qualified candidates, Great-West is able to reduce the amount of time it takes to review applicants for each job requisition, improving the organization’s speed-to-fill for open positions. The benefit of automation also ensures that qualified candidates are presented to hiring managers while they are still active candidates. The candidate experience has also improved significantly and feedback has been positive with applicants noting that they appreciate the system’s communication center, a feature that lets candidates know where they stand in the process. In addition to being better informed, the improved online application process has also contributed to an more positive experience by reducing the amount of time it takes candidates to complete an application.

“Previously, it took candidates 30 minutes online for each application and the in-person interview required the completion of 11 pages of forms,” said Blake. “Now the entire online application takes less than five minutes and our in-person application has been reduced to a two-sided page. It is incredibly easy for job-seekers and, by having their information stored online, we can actually review resumes, immediately communicate to prime candidates, and ultimately make a more informed hiring decision.”

“The iRecruiter solution has allowed us to streamline the recruiting process and create an open dialogue between candidates, hiring managers and recruiters,” concluded Blake. “It is the backbone of our recruiting operations and has made us more efficient. Through the solution, we have realized a significant return on our investment, and are able to meet our needs for attracting and retaining top talent to deliver outstanding service to our customers.”

About iCIMS:

iCIMS, Inc. is a provider of Web-based recruitment management solutions for HR and recruiting professionals. iCIMS’ iRecruiter™ is a state-of-the-art Hiring Management Solution that creates a one-stop recruiting resource to streamline internal recruiting operations, saving corporations time and money through integration, automation and collaboration. iRecruiter was ranked as the #1 ATS for 2003, 2004, & 2005 for mid- to large-sized corporations and is consistently recognized by industry analysts as one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use solutions available today. Learn more about how iRecruiter will help your organization by visiting:

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