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Executive search. recruitment. talent advisory. career coaching. outplacement., case studies in the recruitment process – an assessment method for gathering data on a candidate.

case study hiring process

Recently I started recruiting for a management consulting company who uses client case studies as part of their selection process. For them, it has proven to be an effective way of gathering information on a candidate to assess suitability.

To better understand the use of case studies in the recruitment process, my assistant Laura and I did research into the topic, this blog post is to share that information with you.

An overview of case studies in the recruitment process

Case studies are used as a method of competency measuring. Competency methods can focus on technical abilities, social and behavioural skills, or a combination of the two.

Case studies are most popular in management consulting (though they are used in some other industries) since they are able to mimic the kinds of tasks that would be required in the job.

They are done face-to-face during a specified time slot or given to the candidate to complete in their own time.

See Hiring by Competency Models, Patty Grigoryev (2006)

University of Sydney, Case study interviews https://sydney.edu.au/careers/students/applying-for-jobs/interview-tips/case-study-interviews.html

Research on case study efficacy

The premise behind administering a case study as an assessment method is that it offers a level playing field, to some degree, by allowing shortlisted candidates to demonstrate their technical abilities and personal qualities irrespective of past experience and qualification(s).

Case studies enable interviewers to see the strengths and weaknesses of candidates in action, including:

  • Engaging in logical and analytical reasoning.
  • Thinking creatively and generating innovative solutions.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Working under time pressure.
  • Effective communication skills, including presenting in front of one or several interviewers and using a whiteboard to express concepts.

Case studies are detailed in their nature, add cost to the overall recruitment process (because they require time and resources to administer) and are often one of the final stages in the recruitment process.

Reducing the risk of a bad hire

It is well-established that the costs of a bad hire for a business are huge, especially in leadership roles where it can affect the performance of the whole team.

The hard costs of a bad hire are estimated to range between 50% and 200% of the first-year salary. In management consulting, a bad hire cannot only affect the internal team – a poor client experience can have significant impacts from a brand and billing perspective.

Finding ways to reduce the number of bad hires isn’t easy, case studies have been developed to provide additional data points to make a more informed hiring decision. Using competency modelling methods such as case studies, it has been shown to increase success in hiring decisions, with the most significant improvement stemming from a better culture fit.

Talent Management 360, Using case studies to recruit talent https://talentmanagement360.com/using-case-studies-to-recruit-talent/

Case studies and management consulting companies

Big 4 accounting firms and strategy consulting houses like McKinsey and Bain consistently use case studies in their recruitment process, for example:

PWC appears to only use case studies in relation to taxation and when hiring recent graduates. They are described as “provide students with realistic fact situations in which a number of tax problems and opportunities can be identified”. They acknowledge that law students and business students may choose to approach them differently and give some background regarding the issues and deliverables expected, such as that students are expected to “incorporate a certain amount of tax planning into their solutions”.


By contrast, Deloitte’s approach is broader. The case interview is designed to assess problem-solving and analytical skills, as well as logic and strategy. However, it is also designed to give candidates an insight into their prospective role, since the cases align with real projects. They clearly step out a five-step approach that candidates should use to address the case interview and give a list of helpful tips that they recommend will help interviewees get the most out of the experience. There is also an interactive case interview practice website ( http://caseinterviewprep.deloitte.com/ ) designed to assist.


McKinsey & Company who are notorious for gruelling recruitment methods, with some prospective employee’s having up to 20 interviews before receiving an offer, including a compulsory case interview.

McKinsey offer four example case interviews, which can all be found at this link:


Bain states that any candidate applying for a consulting role should expect a case interview, and those cases will be based on Bain’s client work. They provide two examples, as well as a mock interview for candidates to watch:


Capital One

Capital One also has a detailed case study guide which demonstrates what they will assess (problem solving and analytical skills) as well as providing examples:


Time allotted

The PWC case studies are to be done in the student’s own time, but there is a general guideline offered: “The time required of the student to complete the case requirements will vary greatly, depending upon the level of tax knowledge of the individual student, their software skills, and the number and type of issues in each case. As a very general guideline, each case study, with all issues included, should require not less than 10 hours of issue formation, research, and analysis by a graduate tax student, before the final deliverable(s) are developed.”

Deloitte’s case interview preparation page states that each case is 15-20 minutes long but does not give any set time limits and there is no suggestion that responses are timed.

See PWC Case Studies in Taxation https://www.pwc.com/us/en/careers/university_relations/documents/Case-Studies-in-Taxation-2018.pdf

Measuring the responses

PWC’s case studies are designed to test both technical skills (tax knowledge, Excel ability) and broader skills such as problem solving and creativity. It is stated that the ‘deliverables’ can be in many forms including “a letter to the client identified in the case study, a memo to the client file, or preparing a ruling request for the IRS. Some case study users require oral presentations. These may take the form of a straight presentation or role-play in the setting of a client meeting, resolution of an audit, or representation of a client in a court.” Actually measuring these is not expressly dealt with, but the document does provide a set of solutions to each case study for comparison, akin to a marking key.

By comparison Deloitte is focused less on finding the ‘right answer’ and emphasises that candidates will do well by clearly demonstrating a logical thought process. Having a clear structure and acknowledging any assumptions are listed as recommendations. Possible answers are given in the example attached and they focus on having both justifications and implications for each point. It’s all about the ‘how’ rather than the ‘what’. For numerical/technical questions however, there is a clear right and wrong.

Other methods of work sample testing

There are alternative methods for collecting data points on a candidate, these include: written questionnaires, take home or in office real life job tasks, online assessment tools and group assessment centres.

One hiring manager I was recruiting for would take a full two hours to conduct an interview with a candidate. In the first hour he would cover off behavioural and company ‘fit’ questions, in the second hour he would launch into a long list of technical questions, including real case study examples from working at his company.

This thorough approach made the hiring manager more confident in his decision to hire the individual (or not hire if the candidate wasn’t strong enough).

Here are some other quality articles on evidence based interviewing and testing.

  • The Case for Evidence Based Interviewing: Part 1 and Part 2
  • Assessing Soft Skills

When I’m engaged to conduct a recruitment process for a client I recommend gathering as many data points on the candidate as possible – including a type of work sample, if possible.

I’m always looking for ways to help organisations recruit better. Leveraging years of experience in corporate recruiting I can assist with finding the bottlenecks and weak points in your hiring process and improving hiring outcomes.

Find out more about my services here: https://elite-human-capital.com/consulting-services/

To talk with me about how I can help, make contact today.

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case study hiring process

Case Study: Streamlining a Hiring Process

Published: September 28, 2020 by Michael Parent

case study hiring process

A Lean Six Sigma (LSS) team leveraged its acumen in process improvement and operational excellence to overhaul an organization’s human resources (HR) talent acquisition (TA) operation. By coupling fundamental LSS tools like fishbone diagrams, value stream maps and cause-and-effect matrices with Lean concepts like visual management, the team was able to identify areas for improvement and implement sustainable countermeasures for the TA department. By the end of the project, the overhaul had saved the organization more than $165,000. More, the project transformed the TA department from business line “order takers” into a troupe of trusted, efficient and tactful human resource leaders.

The need to update the hiring process came on the heels of an organizational restructuring The HR department had pivoted from a geographically oriented structure to a competency-specific structure. In the previous structure, the client used HR generalists who handled all the HR duties in a particular region (i.e., talent acquisition, employee relations, benefits administration, etc.).

The new model was selected to bring together each HR competency into its own center of excellence. This was done anticipating that increased specialization would generate improvements in effectiveness and efficiency. Once this was complete, the TA department determined it needed further expertise in process improvement and operational excellence to realize these aspirations of increased department efficiencies.

The Current State

The project to revamp hiring began about 90 days after the restructuring had been completed. The first step was to assess the current state of the TA department. Nine recruiters were interviewed about the processes in use to recruit talent across multiple business lines. Concurrent to these interviews and with the participation of these front-line leaders, the project team created value stream maps for each recruiting process in use (Figure 1). Immediately, it was revealed that there was no standard process the recruiters were following to recruit candidates to the organization. After the initial mapping, the same nine recruiters were engaged to identify possible roadblocks in each step of their processes. Together, the recruiters identified 48 obstacles that specifically posed challenges to how they recruit. These obstacles ranged from how they contact candidates for phone screens to the vendor they use as a background check.

The interviews allowed the recruiters to share best practices between business lines and help newer recruiters navigate the organizational machinery they had not yet figured out. The conversations between recruiters also served to illuminate how the team truly operated. Oftentimes this did not correspond to the recruiters’ intuition. These conversations eventually led to a consolidation of recruiting processes and adoption of best practices for all recruiters. Figure 2 shows one “bone” of a fishbone diagram; each process step had its own bone.

After the current state of operations in TA was mapped, the next step was to identify what was most important to the center of excellence and their stakeholders. Next, the recruiting management team was guided through a brainstorming session. The end goal? Identify how each of the 48 roadblocks identified by the recruiters would affect the performance of the department.

A critical first step in this process was to identify criteria that could be used to evaluate the potential impact of each roadblock. The three most important criteria the team identified were:

  • Time to fill (synonymous with a manufacturer’s lead time)
  • How much time a recruiter spent
  • The quality of candidates

The LSS team facilitated the discussion with the TA management team to evaluate each of the 48 roadblocks based on the selected criteria. A cause-and-effect matrix (Figure 3) helped the team identify the most impactful parts of the overall recruiting process.


With opportunities and priorities firmly in hand, the next step was to create actionable countermeasures – that is, solutions to the roadblocks –  that would drive the TA team to meet their goals.

Using a countermeasure priority matrix, the project team grouped the evaluated roadblocks into four quadrants across two factors (high/low effort) and (high/low impact) as shown in Figure 4. The team identified the roadblocks that were most critical. Once plotted, the countermeasure priority matrix allowed the formulation and prioritization of action items that aligned with the established goals. Then countermeasures were created. Each countermeasure clearly defined what was to be done, who was to do it and when it was to be done by (Figure 5).

The team then participated in (another!) brainstorming activity to identify waste in their current processes. The waste identified were steps in the process that added little to no value, but had significant impact on the departmental objectives (Figure 6). In one such example, a recruiter was identified who would reach out to candidates by telephone much more frequently than other recruiters. Because this behavior had a large impact on the recruiter’s time and did not reduce time to fill or improve the quality of the candidate, this was determined to be non-value added and was removed from the recruiter’s value stream.

Visual Management

Throughout the project, it became clear that in addition to an overhaul of the candidate hiring process, there needed to be a better way for the management team to understand the current state of the department, notice trends and make informed decisions quickly. Additionally, due to recent poor performance, the TA team had to earn back the trust of their colleagues from other business lines.

Early in the project, a strategy was devised to help these managers communicate their successes, make informed decisions and build trust across the enterprise. These ends were accomplished by making use of data already available. (See Figures 7 and 8.)

The LSS practitioners created a suite of management tools that focused on summarizing the health of the department and communicating their efforts to business line customers. One such tool in the suite was the recruiter funnel dashboard (Figure 9). This tool, built entirely in Excel, allowed the recruiting team to illustrate the recruiting activity in each business line by state and provided a quick view of why candidates were not moved forward.

Time to fill an open position was one of the most important metrics identified. By the end of the 90-day project, the time to fill metric was reduced by 11 percent. Figure 10’s red box demonstrates that the new process is more capable of hitting the expected time to fill a position. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) test was conducted to confirm that this reduction was statistically significant. (See Figure 11.) The two groups compared in the ANOVA test were requisitions filled up to 180 days prior to the project’s inception and subsequent requisitions filled within 180 days after the completion of the project. This reduction resulted in a cost avoidance savings of over $165,000, mainly achieved through a computed cost of vacancy.

Perhaps more important than the reduction of the mean time to fill an open position, a decrease in the time to fill variance was observed. Using an F-test for equality of standard deviation with the same two groups mentioned above, a statistically significant reduction in the time to fill variation was observed (Figure 12). This had an incredible impact on the trust and confidence business lines had in the TA department. Now, the TA department is more capable of consistently hiring a candidate within a set window of time.

The tools and data-driven management style that materialized from this project has revolutionized the way the TA team manages and communicates. Upon following up with the management team, they estimate they spend an average of four hours every day working with the tools that were provided to them – roughly 2,000 hours a year.

Along with the concrete results above, the organization has benefited in other, less tangible but highly impactful, ways. TA discussions now revolve around real, objective facts that have bolstered business line confidence in the recruiting team’s ability to meet hiring demands. Additionally, the lessons learned from participating in this project have shifted the culture; the team no longer fights daily fires, but is deliberate and tactical in how they approach each new challenge.

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Michael Parent

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Case studies during job interviews: how to protect your work

Jul 29, 2021

Case studies during job interviews: how to protect your work

You’ve landed an interview for your dream job, but making sure you get hired is a whole other story. The recruitment process can be long and demanding with five or more steps. One of them may include asking you to do a case study interview. What are case studies exactly? How common are they? Can it be unlawful for a recruiter to ask for one? Here we look into this particular step during the hiring process and how you can protect your work.

What are case studies?

Are you new to the concept of case studies during the hiring process? The first thing to note is that a case study interview puts you in the driver’s seat. You’re given a real business problem or scenario to work through and solve. You will probably be required to do one if you’re applying for a role in management consulting, although they are also used in other industries. Most case study interviews are conducted face-to-face with a recruiter or a panel in a session that usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes.

Case study interviews are different from standard interviews, as they involve working through a business problem to reach a logical conclusion. The idea is to put you in a situation that mimics the work you will be doing and give the interviewer an insight into how you might perform on the job. The case may be given to you verbally or in writing. Then you’ll be asked to describe the assumptions, strategies, and steps you’re using to solve the case out loud or in writing within a specific period.

The type of problem will vary depending on the employer and the role. There are a few common types of cases you may be faced with: real or theoretical business scenarios; those that test your numeracy skills and ask you to estimate figures; those that expect you to interpret graphs or charts; those that test your skill at developing corporate and business strategies; those examining profitability or growth opportunities.

If the scope of the issue worries you, remember that having in-depth knowledge of the industry on which the question is based is not necessary . Nonetheless, it is useful to have an understanding of basic business principles and current affairs in the corporate sector. Doing some research on the company before the interview to find out more about its work and clients is helpful.

Working through a case study allows you to show your skills and your ability to work through a problem in real-time. The recruiter may also be assessing personal qualities such as your capacity to stay calm in a stressful situation.

Are case studies legal?

Case studies have become common in some hiring areas, but does this mean they are always entirely legal? According to Suzanne Staunton, an employment barrister and partner at JMW Solicitors LLP, asking an interviewee to do a case study is unlawful only when the company looks to flout the law. “By way of example, if the request is in some way harassing or discriminatory in nature, it will of course be unlawful,” she said. “If the case study request is not genuine and it is an attempt on the company’s behalf to get free work, then potentially it could amount to negligent or fraudulent misrepresentation.” If this happens, can the interviewee do something about it? Yes, but it can be “expensive to pursue ” and it is “ usually hard to prove,” said Staunton, adding that costs may be recoverable if the interviewee wins.

Should you be paid to do a case study?

An employee must be paid by an employer. But what happens when the person performing the work is not employed by the company? Is it legal for a recruiter to ask for a case study, which is a type of labor, without paying the interviewee? According to Staunton, as long as it remains a genuine recruitment exercise with no intention on the firm’s part to use the work, “then there is no limit to what a company could ask you to do and it is a matter for the interviewee what they will accept,” she said. In other words, as long as you agree to perform the work during a hiring process, it is legal for the recruiter not to pay you.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have done a case study but didn’t even get a response from the recruiter, you are allowed to ask the company “to irretrievably delete the case study,” said Philip Partington, an intellectual property partner at JMW Solicitors LLP. However, “taking this course of action is likely to result in the interviewee not being considered for future roles,” he added.

Your work was stolen, now what?

If you realize that the recruiter has used the work you did for the case study afterward, you may be tempted to consider taking legal action. So what are your options? Partington says the interviewee owns the copyright of the item or piece of work. Hence, “if the interviewer uses the item or piece of work, then it infringes their intellectual property rights,” he said. If the company didn’t hire you, Partington says you can bring a claim against it for that item or piece of work. But “this could be very expensive for the interviewee and may not result in much by way of damages,” he said.

Moreover, if a recruiter ends up using the work you’ve done for a case study, “it could potentially amount to theft,” said Amy Shaffron, a criminal partner at JMW Solicitors LLP. “But as it is very hard to quantify the loss, it is unlikely the Crown Prosecution Service would seek to prosecute it.”

While case studies may be demanding and may sometimes be on the verge of legality, the means you have to protect your work and your rights are limited. At the same time, you have the right to refuse if you are asked to do one although doing so may prevent you from getting the job or being considered for future roles within the company.

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Want to see another topic or example not listed here? Comment below and and I will see what we can do to find that for you!

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Tips for Using Case Assessments in the Hiring Process

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Case assessments are a great way for companies to evaluate the capabilities of a job candidate. As a hiring tool, case assessments provide employers a sense of how the candidate analyzes information to make decisions and how effectively they communicate their ideas and recommendations. Recruiters can use off-the-shelf case assessments for quick and easy implementation, customize the content to better match the job and skills under assessment, or create their own content to maximize relevance to the organization’s jobs and strategy. Whichever option companies use, there are several factors to consider when selecting and developing case assessment content. 

Using case assessment as a key strategy in the selection process starts with identifying the job-related skills that are under assessment. Companies are frequently looking for candidates to demonstrate their ability to analyze information, prioritize responsibilities, offer alternative perspectives, make judgments and recommendations, and communicate their ideas effectively to the intended audience. Applicants are often eager to demonstrate their job-related capabilities, and are more likely to perceive the assessment method favorably and feel positive about the process when it is relevant to the job (Pulakos, 2005). By identifying the skills under assessment first, the case scenario can be better tailored to show how the candidate will respond when faced with a similar situation on the job, provide them the opportunity to showcase their talents, and leave them with a positive impression about the organization and the position for which they are applying. 

Because the skills under assessment are most often multi-faceted, case assessments are often complex. Candidates are generally asked to meet a challenge, solve a problem, or answer a question by engaging in a series of tasks, such as gathering and analyzing information, examining alternative solutions, and proposing the most effective solution using supportive evidence. They may be expected to research or utilize data and other information related to the profession such as market studies, financial documents, etc. 

Although they tend to be complex, case assessment exercises are generally time limited and should not be burdensome or exploitative. Keep in mind that candidates have other demands on their time; guidance varies, but we suggest keeping case assessment content to 1-2 pages in length and the assignment achievable in 1-3 hours (Sher, 2019).  Recognize that candidates may also be concerned that employers will take advantage and use their intellectual work on the case assessment even if they’re not chosen for the position (Pulakos, 2005).

Case assessment content should to be clear, sufficiently detailed, and resourced so the qualified applicant can meet the presented challenge and effectively demonstrate their capabilities to the employer.  Given this, when designing the case content consider the following key elements:

  • Case scenario
  • Supplementary information or data 
  • Expectations and instructions for completing and submitting their materials 

Each of these elements are described in greater detail below.


Provide applicants relevant and sufficient information on the background of the case and the current business challenge, problem, or question to be addressed along with outcomes that would indicate a successful resolution.

  • Background. Set the stage for the case assessment by providing a reason for the case study and background information about the company (history, market position, etc.) as well as the relevant topic, product, or service that is the subject of the case.
  • The Business Challenge. Describe the main, current challenge or problem that needs to be resolved or question(s) needing answered. Include facts and other key pieces of information pertaining to the current challenge. Previous attempts to solve the problem that have failed can also be addressed here.


The company is wanting to determine the feasibility of introducing a new product…

The company needs you to prioritize the completion of the following tasks within a given deadline…

  • Desired Results: Depending upon the nature of the challenge, you may want to share with the applicant key results or outcomes the company is seeking upon the successful resolution of the challenge, problem or question. 


The company will have a comprehensive understanding of the competition and potential markets…

The company will have a plan for effectively completing the given tasks.


Consider providing additional information such as internal reports and communications, organizational charts and strategic planning documents, key trade publications, raw data, or links to open sources (e.g. website, social media) useful for investigating the challenge or problem.


Be specific about your expectations for formatting and submitting work and how it will be assessed.

  • Deliverable. What the applicant should provide to the company (e.g. 2-3 page report including 1-2 recommendations; letter to a client/customer; ideas and suggestions memorandum).
  • Additional formatting requirements/special instructions. Any specific format or document type the candidate should use or incorporate (e.g. tables, graphics, Excel).
  • Evaluation. The criteria on which the applicant will be evaluated. For instance, you may be evaluating their ability to think critically by making comparisons, assessing the quality of information, or forecasting outcomes, and their communication skills in their ability to write effectively. Rubrics or other evaluation measures to assess applicants’ work and ensure equity and consistency in evaluation of candidates may also be shared with the candidate to promote transparency and encourage their confidence in the process.

CapSource is always looking for ways to connect companies with motivated, qualified candidates and help individuals demonstrate their capabilities through real-world applications. Case assessments are a great way for companies to gather additional data points and essential information to make good hiring decisions and for applicants to demonstrate their job-related capabilities in the hiring process. Let CapSource help you to integrate case assessments into your recruitment and hiring processes by visiting our Open Cases Library of curated business cases, or create your own case assessment using our Case Assessment Builder ! 


Pulakos, E. D. (2005). Selection assessment methods: A guide to implementing formal assessments to build a high quality workforce. Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resources Management.

Sher, R. (2019). How To Use ‘Case-Study’ Techniques To Ensure Successful Executive Hires. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertsher/2019/12/04/how-to-use-case-study-techniques-to-ensure-successful-executive-hires/?sh=695b733e4d47  

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Skills-based success: 10 recruiting case studies

case study hiring process

The working world has been turned on its head with the pandemic, the Great Reshuffle, and the resulting skills shortage. Companies are searching for a powerful, sustainable way to recruit and retain talent, and 73% of them are now opting for skills-based hiring practices.

Skills-based recruitment practices are for everyone. Don’t believe us? We've put together 10 recruiting case studies that demonstrate how different individuals, industries, and regions have successfully implemented skills-based hiring.

Table of contents

What's the purpose of a recruiting case study, 3 personal recruiting case studies, 3 recruiting case studies by industry, 4 recruiting case studies by region, looking for more recruiting case studies, the state of skills-based hiring 2023.

Read TestGorilla's annual report to discover why over 70% of companies chose to adopt skills-based hiring methods in 2023.

case study hiring process

In recruitment, case studies are helpful tools for employers seeking to build, develop, or optimize their recruitment processes. They can be great sources of information and inspiration. By understanding the successes and failures others have had with their hiring processes, hiring managers can take any relevant learnings without having to make the same mistakes that others have.

To make these recruiting case studies relevant for as many people as possible, we've divided them into personal case studies, case studies by industry, and case studies by region. Let's dive in.

Let’s first look at the personal stories of some stellar individuals who were recruited into their ideal industries using skills-based practices. These people didn’t have traditional backgrounds, but because of their unique skills, they got into amazing roles. All that was needed was a chance to prove those skills during recruitment.

The individuals benefitting from skills-based hiring: Personal recruiting case studies

1. Justin Hutchinson

Justin Hutchinson wanted a future in football, but he was faced with a hard choice at age 14: Focus on his career prospects or take care of his father with cancer.

Justin, of course, chose his father and has never regretted that choice, but it did mean giving up the chance of achieving his dream job.

After his father’s passing, Justin attended a community college to fulfill his father’s wish for him to get a degree. To pay rent and living expenses, Justin got a job at a smoothie franchise.

His aim was to simply support his cost of living by making fast food – but it turns out Justin’s real skill was people and communication.

Justin would study the cars that drove up, memorize their orders, and have them ready so he could spend time talking and getting to know the customers instead of making drinks.

One of Justin’s customers was a chief executive of a marketing company and was so impressed with his people skills, he offered Justin an internship.

It wasn’t long before Justin used his soft skills to turn that internship into a full-time position. He dropped out of college, poured his heart and soul into the role, and attained the role of Director of Business Development.

Justin attributes his success to his best skills:

Workplace empathy

Strategic and critical thinking

Sales management

Justin didn’t have a typical marketing background – his experience was a partial college education with no degree, on-the-job experience (and not a traditionally “relevant” job), and his internship.

Not everyone can find the perfect marketer in a charismatic smoothie server, but online skills testing holds the same principles: Look at abilities first and ask questions later.

Sales and marketing are industries that are uniquely dependent on soft skills, which makes skills-based hiring an obvious choice for recruiting. For information on how it helps with the tricky subject of ramp time, read our article on skills-based hiring and ramp time.

2. Latisha Carter

Latisha Carter had a dream of excelling in corporate America, but she never got the opportunity to attend college.

At age 17, Latisha became a single mother. This put her dreams of college on hiatus for the foreseeable future.

Three years later, after having another child, Latisha got a job as a nursing assistant. But she still couldn’t shake her desire to make it in the corporate world.

She secured a call center job with NCR, a software company, driven by their offer of extensive employee training. 

Offering extensive upskilling and reskilling is one of the best things you can put on the table for potential candidates. A study by Lorman showed that 59% of Millennials believe that development opportunities are extremely important when deciding whether to apply for a position.

Latisha used her experience at NCR to get a role in customer service at the software company Sage.

With determination and hard work, she continued to work her way up for 20 years until she became a director at Xero, an accounting technology company.

Latisha is now proudly a director in corporate America with no college degree. Her company is reaping the benefits of her presence and skills. 

In the second half of 2021, Xero’s approach to skills-based hiring and its emphasis on diversity pushed a 7% increase in racial and ethnic diversity.

Jana Galbraith, the executive general manager for people experience partnering for Xero, says: “ [H]istorically, hiring based on degree exclusively has perpetuated discrimination .”

This boost is great news for Xero because the benefits of diversity are broad and include increased productivity, innovation, and financial performance.

Latisha’s struggle to succeed is unfortunately common for working mothers. To learn more about this, read our article on the motherhood penalty .

3. Cindy Veach

Cindy Veach didn’t have a traditional background. She had all the tech know-how, but she only had experience involving massage therapy and social services.

But she had the skills and she knew it. Cindy says it was a happenstance that she stumbled upon her perfect role; she just wanted a role where she could use her best talents.

“I was looking for jobs I had the right skills for, organizational skills in particular,” said Cindy.

She happened upon a tech administration apprenticeship program at IBM. Before then, she saw her tech skills as just a hobby and never imagined herself in the tech industry – but she applied and was accepted.

Cindy had a steep learning curve ahead of her. She possessed the base tech skills but needed the training to reach the right level.

She attributes much of her success to the flexibility of her mentors. They continually told her that if a path “didn’t feel right,” she was welcome to experiment and try something new.

At the end of the apprenticeship, she applied for a network operations technician role and was hired. She took a position with flexible work options so she could still care for her two children comfortably. 

Skills-based hiring made this outcome possible. Cindy’s communication skills, digital expertise, and problem-solving abilities helped her secure her role, and the focus on continuous improvement is helping her develop it .

She says that the combination of her appetite for learning and her employer’s support for her success is the perfect duo for creating limitless growth.

We’ve heard plenty of people say “skills-based hiring doesn’t work in my industry.” But that’s just yet another myth we’ve debunked . Let’s take a look at a handful of case studies about how companies within certain industries have succeeded with skills-based recruitment initiatives.

The industries using skills-based hiring: recruiting case studies from different industries

4. Healthcare

Healthcare administration is an industry that’s notoriously difficult to get into. Between receiving a bachelor’s degree and completing a master’s program, it can take six to eight years of rigorous commitment.

However, more opportunities are arising that allow equally qualified candidates to get in without obtaining specific educational requirements.

Sam Saucedo-Hernandez had a tumultuous life, but she only ever wanted a solid career. As a child of parents who emigrated from Mexico, she wanted to be the first generation in her family to attain a degree.

Sam watched her parents struggle with low-wage jobs and promised herself she would do better for herself.

Her first attempt was at law school where she spent several years studying hard. Sam was ecstatic to get her degree and begin a career in law.

But two weeks after she got her associate of science degree, the school got shut down for fraud, leaving Sam jobless and $60,000 in debt.

Sam faced many challenges, but the turning point in her story was the day she received a letter promoting a no-cost medical administrative assistant job training program from JVS.

JVS is a program that helps people build skills and find solid career connections – particularly in the healthcare industry.[1]

JVS has seen amazing success with over 500 employer partners and an emphasis on promoting diversity: 88% of their participants are Black, Hispanic, Asian, or a wide range of other ethnicities.

Sam applied for the program and was accepted. She secured a position as a medical administrative assistant, but her training has led her to her current role in the audiology department.

Though she’s fortunate for her position, Sam says she’s still looking forward, wondering where her skills can take her from here. 

Programs like JVS are working tirelessly to make more stories like this possible. With a focus on skills over experience, they bring in valuable candidates to industries that may otherwise be restricted to them.

5. Manufacturing

Steelcase, a furniture manufacturing company, wanted to build a fairer place for employment opportunities and encourage better representation for employees of color. So they adopted skills-based hiring practices.

They’re far from the only ones. According to TestGorilla’s State of Skills-Based Hiring report, 85% of businesses in 2023 had the goal to increase diversity.

And companies are succeeding at this by implementing skills-based hiring: 91% of organizations saw an increase in diversity due to skills-based hiring.

Steelcase realized that if they truly wanted to boost their DE&I initiatives , traditional hiring methods wouldn’t do.

They decided their hiring processes needed to be revamped for the better, so they adopted some new practices:

Prioritizing skills over resume and pedigree

Removing experience requirements wherever possible

Favoring continuous improvement over perfection

Revamping job descriptions to reduce biased language

Prioritizing diversity among equally qualified candidates

Steelcase decided that practices like these would enable them to reach diverse talent organically, and it worked. Since the program started, Steelcase’s new hires are 55% women and 30% racial or ethnic minorities.

Steelcase’s initiatives are amazing, so we encourage similar active moves to boost diversity. To read more about this topic, read our blog on why being intentional about workplace diversity is non-negotiable .

6. Software

ADP, an HR management software company, adopted a recruiting strategy to focus on skills , rely less on credentials, and make an effort to provide opportunities for candidates with nontraditional backgrounds.

This strategy included training talent acquisition professionals on best practices, hiring specific diversity recruiters, removing degree requirements from high-volume recruiting roles, and leveraging better training and mentorship for new hires.

What were the results? ADP saw great success in one year:

An increase in the number of candidates with no college degree

An increase in Black representation in the candidate pool

An increase in Hispanic representation in the candidate pool

This program was heavily inspired and backed by Maria Black, the chief executive of ADP, and her strong belief in corporate social responsibility.

She has a strong passion for supporting working women, veterans, and other underrepresented talents.[2]

Maria is an excellent example of the power of leading from the top. When your company’s leadership supports a great cause, it benefits both employees and company alike and builds a better organizational culture .

Next, let’s take a look at some case studies about the regions and countries that are taking on skills-based recruitment practices. For more on this subject, check out our post on skills-based hiring around the world .

The countries and regions using skills-based hiring: recruiting case studies from around the world

7. Maryland, USA

In 2022, the state of Maryland dropped four-year degree requirements for thousands of jobs in the government sector.

The aim of this initiative was to draw attention to the value of alternative credentials and experience. State officials want to give people a better shot at securing a stable, fulfilling job.

Governor Larry Hogan was quoted as saying:

“[W]e are ensuring qualified, non-degree candidates are regularly being considered for these career-changing opportunities.”[3]

Over 38,000 people work for the state of Maryland and it’s estimated that more than half of those jobs can be performed by people whose alternative skill routes can easily substitute for a college education.

These alternative routes include:

Life experience

Non-relevant job experience

Hobbies and volunteer work

Alternative training

Community college education

Maryland estimates that about 47% of its working population are STARs (skilled through alternative routes). That’s 2.8 million workers, and these people need solid opportunities – opportunities that they can access through skills-based hiring.

To learn more about how unnecessary degree requirements are holding top talent back, read our blog on degree inflation .

8. Indiana, USA

Indiana’s tech leaders are struggling to attract and retain great talent. They’re facing a major skill shortage and they can’t solve it with the “usual” hiring methods.

Traditional recruiting methods exclude over 95% of Indiana’s workforce.

Indiana has a workforce of 3,332,239 people, but consider this:

A four-year degree requirement removes 75%

Biases can eliminate up to 30% of the pool

Requiring specific past experience removes 93% of the talent pool

With all of that in mind, a pool of more than three million candidates is reduced to just over 42,000.

Indiana’s Office of Technology (IOT) realized that skills-based hiring practices could fix this problem and solve their shortage.

They started by removing degree requirements from most job descriptions, then took the next step and started offering reskilling opportunities to workers from alternative industries, such as line cooks and truck drivers.

Tracy Barnes, IOT’s chief information officer, said that the results of the program have been positive and they’re “very pleased” so far. She also said that she’s equally excited to see the positive life impacts for the candidates involved.

9. Asia-Pacific

Skills-based hiring is quickly gaining traction in the Asia-Pacific area.

One study showed that 79% of businesses in the Asia-Pacific area look for skills when hiring versus the 21% that prioritize education and experience.[4]

The same study found that internal mobility is more important than ever and that companies want to prioritize gender equality and disability inclusion . These points can also be accomplished by adopting skills-based hiring.

Asia-Pacific is looking to skills-based practices to improve the future of their recruitment processes, but Singapore-based TruTrip is already reaping the benefits .

TruTrip is a business travel management company that needed help assessing candidate skills and hiring the best candidates, so they gave TestGorilla a try.

Here are a few ways that TestGorilla’s pre-employment skills testing helped TruTrip’s recruitment processes:

Gives them a way to objectively assess applicants’ skills and knowledge

Helps them eliminate bias from the hiring process

Enables them to consistently make better hiring decisions

Reduces their reliance on resume screening

Enhances teamwork and communication

Improves the employee experience of new hires

According to Hugh Batley, the founder of TruTrip, their new hires are a better fit. These employees become great contributors and have a better initial experience with the company.

TestGorilla also helps TruTrip save thousands of dollars by reducing the chances of a costly mis-hire. 

This isn’t unusual. According to TestGorilla’s State of Skills-Based Hiring report, 92.5% of organizations using skills-based practices saw a reduction in mis-hires in 2022.

10. The UK and the EU

The UK and the EU have developed a strong focus on skills over the past few years.

Interest in skills-based hiring in the UK rose 63% from 2021 to 2022 . This drastic increase is due to employers wanting a wider talent pool and candidates prioritizing and valuing their alternative experience.

This move is helping job opportunities reach the 73.6% of people in the United Kingdom who don’t possess a four-year degree. [5]

As for the European Union, they developed the “Pact For Skills” program in 2020. This program was created to encourage and fund better upskilling and reskilling while also promoting greater diversity and gender equality.[6]

A good example from both areas is the British-Lithuanian bank, Revolut.

Revolut adopted skills-based hiring by using TestGorilla’s skills tests and, as a result, improved their time-to-hire by 40% .

Among many other benefits, Revolut found TestGorilla’s language tests life-saving. Assessing language proficiency is essential for a multinational company, but traditional methods are time-consuming and laborious.

TestGorilla’s language tests help Revolut to quickly and easily evaluate their candidates’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. This helped them to nearly fully automate their screening process, improving time-to-hire greatly.

To read more case studies and success stories about skills-based hiring, check out our 10 stories that demonstrate the power of skills-based hiring or our collection of customer case studies .

Here are 3 top picks from our case studies:

Revolut improves time-to-hire by 40% using TestGorilla

Design Pickle uses TestGorilla to boost application completion rate by 25%

TestGorilla helps TruTrip to save money and improve employee experience

If you’d like to acquaint yourself with a solid skills-based hiring practice, browse our test library and review our skills tests.

“JVS 2022 Impact Report”. (2022). JVS . Retrieved March 6, 2023. https://impact2022.jvs.org/

“Maria Black, president and CEO”. (n.d). Business Roundtable. Retrieved March 6, 2023. https://www.businessroundtable.org/about-us/members/maria-black-president-and-ceo-adp

McGraw, Mark. (April 4, 2022). “Dropping Degree Requirements: Do Employers Still Care About Education?”. World at Work . Retrieved March 6, 2023. https://worldatwork.org/resources/publications/workspan-daily/dropping-degree-requirements-do-employers-still-care-about-education

“The Future of Talent”. (2021). LinkedIn . Retrieved March 6, 2023. https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/talent-solutions/resources/pdfs/future-of-talent-whitepaper.pdf

“Overview of the education system”. (2022). Education GPS . Retrieved March 6, 2023. https://gpseducation.oecd.org/CountryProfile?primaryCountry=GBR&treshold=10&topic=EO

“Pact for Skills”. (November 10, 2020). European Commission . Retrieved March 6, 2023.  https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1517&langId=en

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A High Volume Hiring Case Study: Improving Hiring Speed, Quality and Cost

case study hiring process

By Linda Brenner | September 12, 2018

The Background:  This Fortune 100 organization hires over 1,000 front line, customer-facing roles each year. Unlike typical customer service roles, these incumbents are required to handle complex and unpredictable customer situations that require skills ranging from rapid problem solving to safety management. As a regular on Fortune Magazine’s “Best Place to Work”, the company attracts a great many candidates for these positions. Many, however, do not have the skills and experiences necessary to successfully complete either the comprehensive final hiring assessment or the rigorous extended training program.

The company engaged Talent Growth Advisors to provide objective expert guidance to help them:

  • Attract higher quality candidates
  • Speed and improve the screening process
  • Improve the percentage of those who successfully complete training
  • Reduce the cost of the overall effort by achieving the hiring goal sooner

Highlights of the Solution: 

Analyzed candidate drop-off data throughout the on-line apply process to streamline the application and reduce drop-off.

Conducted a rapid research effort, led by an I/O PhD, to identify and validate “preferred” qualifications for the role to supplement the existing “minimum” qualifications.

Using the new and robust “preferred” qualifications:

  • Worked with subject matter experts to reimagine the description of the role and dramatically improve the job ad
  • Provided candidates with easy-to-access critical information about - and a realistic preview of - the job  
  • Developed and inserted job-specific (scored and weighted) screening questions for candidates to complete as part of the on-line apply process. This enabled the ATS to rank candidates by most- to least-qualified, eliminating the manual work completed in the past by recruiting resources.
  • Improved the existing initial screening assessment.
  • Inserted an additional phone screen before candidates were invited to the final hiring assessment.

Results Over Prior Year – the Headlines:

  • Number of on-line apply fields candidates were required to complete was reduced by 75%
  • Number of candidates who dropped-off during the on-line apply was reduced by 44%
  • Number of applicants who completed the online apply process increased by 92%
  • Number of applicants screened automatically by the technology increased by 100%
  • Offer rate after the hiring event increased by 59%
  • Attrition during training decreased by 71%
  • Overall hiring process costs decreased by 17%

Client Testimonial:

“You helped us make tremendous progress in TA. The TGA team’s skills and knowledge were a huge part in getting us where we are today.”

How We Got Here:

Talent Growth Advisors was engaged by the company to conduct an end-to-end Talent Acquisition Audit across the enterprise – for high volume, hourly, professional, college and executive roles. Deliverables from that effort included recommendations that would deliver what the business needed – higher quality, faster hires. Highlights of our recommendations included differentiated hiring processes, dramatically revamped TA org design, improved technology, metrics and investment modeling.

Part of our recommendations included highlighting the opportunity to drive rapid improvements targeting this particular group of mission critical, high volume hires in advance of their next major hiring push. The company subsequently engaged TGA to design and implement those improvements, the results of which are outlined above. In addition, TGA was engaged to design the future state process design for professional hiring, the new and detailed org design for TA (including structure, role profiles, performance measures, recruiting competencies, comp ranges) and simulation-based recruiting assessments for evaluating the skills of those who wished to be part of the newly-designed organization.  

Interested in learning more? Contact us  and get an immediate response. You may also want to read  The Market for Hourly Workers: How to Manage Decreased Supply .

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7 Steps to Building a Successful Talent Acquisition Team (+Netflix Case Study)

Analytics in HR

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Successful Recruitment Means Being Responsive to Candidate Schedules

HR Bartender

JUNE 9, 2021

And one of my responsibilities was recruitment . It reminded me of a comment that a senior vice president made to me years ago when I was responsible for airline recruitment . Organizations rely heavily on recruitment because they need employees to deliver their products and services. What’s a reasonable response time?”

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Case Study: Strategic Workforce Planning for Rail Infrastructure Managers

MARCH 30, 2020

In this case study , strategic workforce planning is applied to solve this national problem, impacting millions of commuters. The TWP process estimates the turnover in the coming 18 months to plan and execute required recruiting efforts, rigorous psychological testing, and 9 months of training periods for new employees.

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Case Study: Diverseco

SEPTEMBER 13, 2022

Quick comments: There has been many an occasion on this journey, where we have looked to EmployeeConnect for guidance, advice and support – outside of their scope – for example ; there was a situation where the payroll integration advice did not appear correct from the payroll vendor, and EmployeeConnect were able to recommend a solution.

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Is Contingency Recruiting Right for Your Small Business?

FEBRUARY 23, 2024

Contingency recruiting can be a potential game-changer. It’s a model where you pay for recruitment services only when a candidate is successfully placed, making it an attractive option for businesses with limited resources or fluctuating hiring needs—challenges facing most small business owners today.

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What is HR Analytics? All You Need to Know to Get Started

FEBRUARY 28, 2024

This has a significant impact on organizational performance , leading to as much as a 25% rise in business productivity, a 50% decrease in attrition rates, and an 80% increase in recruiting efficiency. Example : Annual employee turnover rate.) Example : Examining unplanned absence data to identify absenteeism drivers.)

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13+ HR Case Studies: Recruiting, Learning, Analytics, and More


As someone who has worked in the HR profession, I know well the full value of stories, examples , and case studies . While much of the work we do at Lighthouse Research & Advisory focuses on quantitative research studies , we do a fair amount of qualitative research as well. How to Lead a Hiring Team.

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Finding the Perfect Fit: How Finance Recruiters Can Help Hiring Managers and Job Seekers

Professional Alternatives

FEBRUARY 2, 2024

[link] Finding the Perfect Fit: How Finance Recruiters Can Help Hiring Managers and Job Seekers The role of finance recruiters in the job market The job market can be a daunting place for both hiring managers and job-seeking candidates, especially in the highly competitive field of finance.

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What is flextime? Types, benefits, and examples of flextime schedules

JULY 13, 2023

Types of flextime with use case examples Flextime is an umbrella term that covers different types of work arrangements. Here are some of the most common types with a typical use case example to show it’s application: Variable day schedule Staggered hours Split shift Condensed workweek 1.

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Recruiting Feedback Case Study: The Recruiting Revenue Connection

MARCH 11, 2019

In our latest recruiting feedback case study , Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) demonstrates that asking the right questions at the right time can dramatically affect overall recruiting effectiveness AND uncover powerful connections between recruiting and revenue generation. Recruiting and Revenue.

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10 Business Development Strategies For Agency Recruiters To Land The Finest Clients

Recruit CRM

JUNE 25, 2021

As a recruitment entrepreneur , you have to constantly be on the lookout for newer ways to find both candidates and clients. Unfortunately, keeping a recruitment business steady, no matter what the economic conditions are, can be daunting, and pinpointing any single recruitment business development strategy is not doable.

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The Evolution of HR with AI Technologies

FEBRUARY 19, 2024

Traditionally, HR departments focused on managing employee records, overseeing recruitment processes, and ensuring compliance with labor laws. One of the most significant changes was in recruitment and talent acquisition. Case studies from various companies show the success of integrating AI into HR strategies.

Using Talent Sourcing Platforms To Save Recruiter Time

Select Software Reviews

MAY 17, 2019

Talent sourcing has become an incredibly important part of any recruiting strategy. In response, recruiters have been forced to rely more and more on outbound means to engage potential hires. Full desk recruiters don’t want to source. Source cfo.com. Sourcing is all these companies do.

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How To Apply Design Thinking in HR (+ 3 Case Studies)

AUGUST 16, 2023

The benefits of a design thinking approach in HR The 4 principles and 5 phases of design thinking 4 Ways to apply design thinking to HR processes Successful implementation of design thinking in HR Design thinking in HR examples What is design thinking? Recruitment and onboarding Consider how candidates experience the recruitment process.

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Case Study: MarketGap’s Innovative Strategy for Agile Workforce Evolution

JUNE 30, 2023

Partnering with organizations and agencies that focus on promoting minority talents, such as minority professional associations and diversity-focused recruitment firms. The post Case Study : MarketGap’s Innovative Strategy for Agile Workforce Evolution appeared first on Hppy.

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Top 100 HR and Recruitment Blogs [by Organic Traffic with Top 3 Articles Each]

APRIL 17, 2020

There are a ton of great HR/ Recruitment blogs. Ongig, of course, has its own recruiting blog — you’re reading it right now! This includes general HR blogs, recruiting blogs, talent acquisition blogs, employer branding blogs and more. Ok, here we go…these are the top 100 HR/ Recruitment blogs we found!

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Case study: Executing a recruitment marketing video plan

MAY 19, 2021

Executing a recruitment marketing video plan sometimes requires research and buy-in. This case study is an excerpt from our new ebook, Getting Buy-In for Your Employee Story Project: The Ultimate Guide to Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing ROI. Reading Time: 7 minutes. Brittni says, “I knew Stories Inc.

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13 Best Recruitment Podcasts Recruiters Need To Listen To [Updated]

MAY 29, 2021

With recruitment networking events put to hold due to Covid-19, gather inspiration from these amazing podcasts that we've shortlisted. These 13 podcasts have been trending time and again providing recruiters with the latest tips, trends and best recruitment strategies this year. Did you tune in to it yet?

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OKR Examples: How to Write OKRs that Drive Impact

OCTOBER 19, 2022

In this article, we’ll break down the framework for writing impactful objectives and key results and share some OKR examples you can use as a guide when crafting your own. Example of a poorly-written objective: Provide better customer service. Example of poorly-written key results: Treat our customers well every day.

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Case Study: Credit Union

OCTOBER 1, 2020

Today’s case study explains how TimeSimplicity can help a typical small credit union maintain quality customer service while controlling operating expenses through automated credit union employee scheduling. Our example organization is Springfield Community Credit Union. How much can you save? ArticleID 7414.

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AI in Recruitment: Managing the Risks for Successful Adoption

MARCH 29, 2024

AI in recruitment has been one of the key applications of artificial intelligence in HR practices. Almost 3 in 4 companies use AI in their recruitment and hiring processes at least to some extent. With the emergence of generative AI, the applications of AI within recruitment have dramatically expanded.

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Case Study: How Facebook Motivates Their Millennial Employees

FEBRUARY 10, 2021

Do you want to know how to recruit , retain and motivate employees, especially millennials? The way Facebook creates its millennial employees is an example for other organisations as they can also adopt the same strategies for the sake of improving their employees’ motivation. We explain. Who is called a millennial employee?

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Healthcare Hiring: Your Comprehensive Guide


OCTOBER 31, 2023

But when you’re responsible for recruiting in healthcare, you know just how many challenges can come with this role. Examples of physical locations that offer healthcare services include hospitals, medical and dental clinics, outpatient and inpatient care facilities, and assisted living facilities.

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Case Study: The Value Of Pay Transparency And How To Implement It

HR Tech Girl

JULY 5, 2023

Here I aim to shed light on what pay transparency looks like at Compt, explain its mechanics and influence on overall compensation structures and raises, present real-world examples of its benefits, and provide practical considerations for organizations contemplating this approach.

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Develop Your Talent Acquisition Strategy With 6 Practical Examples

JULY 31, 2023

In this article, we’ll explore what a talent acquisition strategy looks like, how to develop a talent acquisition strategy, along with some best practices and examples to help you move your company forward. Software and applicant tracking systems can help you sort through your talent pool, assess candidates, and recruit .

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Case Study: Using Hackathons to Attract, Develop, and Engage Talent

FEBRUARY 26, 2018

“This message will appeal to people in our recruiting process who gravitate towards a culture of hackathons and innovation. For example , one of the marketing team members works with the hackathon committee to develop collateral and signage promoting the hackathons. It will also turn away others that don’t fit.”

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Creating Employment Opportunities With Flex Manufacturing (i4cp login required)

MARCH 7, 2023

This case study represents one of the submissions for i4cp's 2023 Next Practice Awards, winners will be honored at the i4cp 2023 Next Practices Now Conference. You can also view other Next Practice Award case studies . A cross-functional team formed to include the Director of Manufacturing, his HRBP and Recruiting .

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9 Digital HR Case Studies with Business Impact

Digital HR Tech

OCTOBER 23, 2019

In this article, we have collected some of the best Digital HR case studies we’ve come across. They’re good examples of organizations that really get Digital HR and make the most of it. Each case study is connected to a specific business imperative. What’s in? Anchor Trust 2. Deloitte 5.

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Healthcare HR and Nursing Leaders: Partnering for Improved Outcomes

FEBRUARY 11, 2019

Creating a partnership between nursing leaders and HR, though, can help organizations do a better job recruiting and retaining nurses, leading to better workforce management for HR and improved care for patients. With a projected nursing shortage in the next decade , recruitment has never been more important for healthcare organizations.

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Recruit Better: Employee Discount Programs and Taxes

APRIL 16, 2017

Examples of de minimis perks include occasional tickets to theatres and sporting events, as well as invitations to company-hosted parties and picnics. That helps strengthen relationships and increase engagement with employees, and it can serve as a competitive differentiator and recruitment tool.

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40+ Free HR Training Sources: Case Studies, Podcasts, and More

JANUARY 23, 2017

Finding and Using Case Studies One of my strategic goals for this year is to find 100 case studies across the HR world, categorize them, and then use them as a reference any time I need some examples of how real companies are facing challenges, solving problems, etc. It’s really just a story, nothing more.

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9 Rules for Choosing a Good Applicant Tracking System

ClearCompany HRM

DECEMBER 29, 2022

The purpose of an ATS is to expand your team’s capabilities, taking tedious recruiting and hiring tasks off their plates so they can focus on the parts of their jobs that can’t be automated. If your recruitment software isn’t eliminating obstacles and solving problems, there’s a better solution out there.

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How to Identify Bottlenecks in Your Recruitment Process

DECEMBER 9, 2014

Take recruiting for example . When the recruiting process is broken, everybody knows it. And in my experience, everyone blames everything on recruiting being broken. “We Problems (or contraints) in recruiting isn’t something to ignore because finding top talent is essential to the business.

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13 HR Analytics Courses Online To Check Out in 2024

All subjects are illustrated by real-life examples of how various organizations tap into HR analytics techniques to help them flourish. A dashboard example is included below. It includes facilitated discussions, case studies , group and individual activities, and self-assessments. Want to know more?

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The education solution: Address gender barriers as an employer

NOVEMBER 22, 2021

Case study : Working mothers in education. The pandemic has worsened existing disparities along racial and gender lines, and hiring professionals in general seem to be overlooking the under- and unemployment of women as an opportunity for recruitment . Consider, for example , the typical 9-5 work day. Part-time work.

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20 Must-Read Recruitment Blogs for Successful Recruiters

MARCH 23, 2023

Whether you’re an in-house or external recruiter , you have to stay up-to-date to set yourself up for success. Recruitment blogs are one of the best resources to learn the latest and hone your skills. We’ve compiled a list of 20 blogs on recruitment you should check out. Recruiting and hiring reports and statistics.

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Navigating Uncertainty: The Strategic Imperative of Investing in People and HR Tech

FEBRUARY 7, 2024

Optimizing Operations HR tech serves as a catalyst for operational efficiency, streamlining processes such as recruitment , onboarding, and performance evaluation. This collection of case studies showcases success stories where savvy UAE companies harnessed the power of HR tech to drive out of the box results: 1.

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If You’re Not Listening for These 4 Phrases When Hiring Teachers, You’re Missing Out

OCTOBER 8, 2018

Finding and hiring top teachers is one of the most important recruiting jobs. Today’s youth, for example , are dealing with complicated, multifaceted challenges due to various cultural and social aspects. According to a 2018 case study , the opportunity for learning is limited by these cultural and social differences.

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9 Inspiring Employee Experience Examples To Boost Your EX

JANUARY 12, 2024

These touch points are encounters with your policies, processes, and strategies from the first contact during recruitment to the offboarding and alumni policies. One of the best ways to learn is to look at specific employee experience examples , case studies , and initiatives deployed in other organizations. Contents 1.

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People Analytics and HR-Tech Reading List

Littal Shemer

OCTOBER 11, 2022

“The book helps professionals, researchers, employers, and everybody interested in the world of work to understand the past, present, and future of recruitment . . “The book helps professionals, researchers, employers, and everybody interested in the world of work to understand the past, present, and future of recruitment .

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Case Study: interviewstream’s Hiring Process

case study hiring process

Case Study: interviewstream Hiring Process

interviewstream has over 20 years of experience helping businesses hire faster & more efficiently. And we’d love to show you how we do it – starting with our own hiring process. We recently hired a Customer Success Manager using a combination of video interviews and interview scheduling. Here’s how we sorted through over 300 applicants and hired our final candidate within 2 weeks.

Recruiting And Interviewing With interviewstream (Recruiter Side)

How did you go about spreading the word that interviewstream was hiring.

Beth Dreksler : We put a job posting on LinkedIn, and also on our Careers page and within 48 hours, we had received over 300 applications. 

How did you sort through all the candidates?

Beth : There were a lot of great fits for the position, but we couldn’t interview all of them, so we decided to make the interview invitation a mini-test. Customer Success Managers need to be detail-oriented, so we based our initial review on how well our candidates followed the instructions we gave. We sent instructions asking the candidates to first complete a one way video interview and then schedule time for a live interview with us. 

A lot of candidates scheduled the interview first, which let us know right away that they hadn’t taken the time to read the directions clearly. For us, it was a great way to quickly narrow the candidate pool by focusing on a necessary soft skill. 

interviewstream recruiting stats

How did interview scheduler & interview on demand help you hire faster?

Beth : It was really useful to have the two products together – we set up a landing page with the scheduling link so applicants could see what they needed to do in one place. We also split up interviews onto my calendar and our CEO. Once all my time slots for interviews were taken, candidates were sent a new scheduler link asking to book on our CEO’s calendar. 

It was also really simple to communicate with people through the platform, instead of sending a ton of emails. After people completed their on demand interview and we decided who would move forward, we could send out bulk communications to all the candidates. We broke it down like this:

  • We sent one email to candidates thanking them and inviting them to another interview
  • A second email to candidates that weren’t a great fit for the position but would like to keep in contact with
  • A third email to candidates that did not continue in the application process, thanking them for their time.

interviewstream’s Candidate Experience 

The main draw of using an interviewing platform like interviewstream is faster and more efficient recruiting for recruiters and hiring managers. But that isn’t the whole picture. Providing a great candidate experience establishes your company as somewhere people want to work & stay working. Here’s our conversation with Stephen Thompson, the candidate we hired.

How did you apply?

Stephen Thompson : I heard about the job and applied on LinkedIn. Monique (interviewstream’s CEO) then messaged me asking me to complete a one way video interview. I immediately thought it was something like a personality test because I had recently interviewed for a position that had me fill out a personality test on camera – I thought that was very Big Brother-ish – but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t. 

Once I read the message and clicked around on the training site, I knew what to expect. But, I didn’t have a webcam on my computer so I had to do the whole interview on my iPad. I was pleasantly surprised because it was straightforward and easy to complete. I remember thinking “Why haven’t I done one of these before?”. 

What did you like about the process?

Stephen : I liked how it didn’t feel like I was just talking to myself. It felt like a quick 15 minute interview because of how the hiring managers recorded videos of themselves asking the questions. It felt intimate (I had done a lot of group interviews before this) but comfortable at the same time. I also liked how it automatically defaulted to my time zone.

How was the follow-up?

Stephen : After I had done the one way video I was contacted to do another interview. This time we used the live video interviewing platform. I liked how open everyone was. I also received a ton of video interview reminders so there was little chance I was going to miss the interview.

How to use interviewing software to hire faster and more efficiently

Interested in learning how we can help your company achieve similar outcomes? We would love to talk with you! Just fill out this form to contact our hiring experts or click here to learn more !

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.

interviewstream is dedicated to the success of more than 900 clients from K-12 school districts, emerging businesses, midsize companies, large enterprises, colleges, and universities.

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Home » Management Case Studies » Case Study: Google’s Recruitment and Selection Process

Case Study: Google’s Recruitment and Selection Process

Google Inc., the world’s largest and most popular search engine company, is also one of the most sought after companies in the world. Due to the popularity of the company caused by its highly attractive compensation and benefits packages for its employees, millions of job applications are constantly received by Google on an annual basis. While other companies envy Google for attracting and acquiring such highly-talented and highly-skilled individuals from all over the world, the company finds it as a serious cause of dilemma.

When Google Inc. topped the ranks for the most popular companies in the world , it could no longer contain the number of applications it receives from thousands of job hunters from all over the globe. And since the company aims to hire only the best employees that fit the organizational culture and standards of Google , the company started thinking of ways to better improve its recruitment and selection process for its would-be employees.

In an article released in New York Times in 2007, Google Inc shared its non-traditional, highly creative and unconventional approach of selecting and hiring employees. Initially, the Google management sought the aid of its highly-competent and well-skilled technical staff in order to find ways to quickly go through and review the millions of applications it stored in its recruitment database.

Google Recruitment and Selection Process

The Google Inc management also decided to focus on the distinct behavioral characteristics and personality that separates Google employees from any other employees in other known companies. It shifted its focus from academic qualifications and technical experiences to the applicant’s personality , creativity , leadership capacities , innovative and non-conventional ways of thinking and the applicant’s overall exposure to the world. The academic qualifications and the intensive job experience just came in as second priorities of the company in choosing the best candidates for any open positions.

Since then, the Google Inc company not only became known for its outstanding and “luxurious” job compensation and benefits packages it offers its employees, but also in making use of some of the most powerful recruitment assessment tools capable of picking the best employees in the world that fit the standards set by Google.

The Google Recruitment Process

One of the most notable statements of Eric Schmidt , the CEO of Google Inc. is that “Google invests in people.” The main reason why people from different cultures, have been dreaming of being recruited and hired by Google is that the company offers possibly the most outstanding job compensation packages any normal employee could ever enjoy.

In order to attract the best employees, Google draws them by the promise of wealth and luxury, providing their employees with almost everything an employee could possibly need, from absurdly high compensations to extravagant and luxurious benefits like gourmet food, carwash, gym, snacks, exercise classes, dry cleaning services, car services, haircuts, oil changes, massages, checkups and many more, all for free.

Nevertheless, the recruitment process was also far beyond ordinary. Several people who have had experience in the Google recruitment process narrates that the experience was totally nerve-wracking. One applicant who underwent interviews for Google has had five to seven interviews in one day for two to three straight days. That applicant claims that the interviews were really tough with some of the brightest people in the world, conducting the interviews filled with brain teasers, algorithmic problems, and IQ tests.

Another applicant who also have had experiences in the recruitment process of Google claims that his Google experience was one of the most nerve-wracking adventures of his life. The interviewers were looking for extremely bright individuals and so the recruitment method was filled with IQ tests, brain teasers, algorithms, data structures, and a lot of mathematics involved in it.

The Google Selection Process

Google is no doubt the world’s best recruitment leader. Google is known for various unique approaches that it has utilized in order to attract the cream of the crop or the best of the bests. One way is through employment branding. Google has so successfully utilized their brand in order to attract the most talented and highly-competent individuals in the world. Because of their claim of providing the best employee-employer experience supported by the many perks, benefits and high salaries that Google employees get to enjoy, Google became the most desired companies for men and women in the world.

While the work and job responsibilities in Google are not that easy, the stock options benefit is one of the key drivers of retention and continuous acquisition of the best employees for this company. In 2007, employee turn-over at Google was reportedly less than 5% which was simply phenomenal. People didn’t want to leave the company because the amazing provisions and benefits that the company offers its employees. Moreover, the creative approaches of Google when it comes to hiring and retaining employees were simply exceptional. Employees claim that money was never an issue for Google in terms of utilizing it to take care of its employees.

One notable recruitment technique that Google utilized in 2006 was the targeted and unobtrusive approach to sending recruitment messages. Google crafted a simple technique to recruit the best students in certain schools and universities to work for them. They allowed people from these schools to access the search portal of Google wherein the students’ IP address would be identified to see from what organization the person belongs into. The technique was successfully executed using a minimalist and unobtrusive style of recruitment wherein below the search box, the Google system would know whether the targeted student is graduating or not and whether or not they intend to work for Google after graduation. The approach was definitely a successful micro-targeted approach. It was also in the same year when Google opened up to the idea of an Employee Referral Program. In putting up this program, Google made sure that it would deliver them a world-class employee whose personality, qualifications and work ethics reflect the Google standards.

A year passed by and Google’s attempts for recruitment innovations continued to improve. In 2007, Google developed a simple and effective assessment tool to screen its millions of applicants all over the world via an algorithm assessment tool. The algorithm technique effectively separated the top and the best performers from thousands of candidates vying for a position. Moreover, the assessment tool was made sure to successfully predict the best possible candidates from the least and the average and has managed to resolve the issue on the usual assessment tools being used by most companies, relying mainly on the academic qualifications and intensive industry and job experience.

Truly, what separates the Google recruitment process from the typical and the usual recruitment methodologies that other companies employ is its ability to accurately identify the best candidates for the position using a more data-based and scientific approach to the recruitment process. Also, it has significantly reduced the reliability of interviews, which for most companies, serves as the final indicator of how well an employee will perform at work. Furthermore, the algorithm approach which is a common business model that the company employs was effectively used to assess whether potential candidates can indeed perform given the high performance standards of Google.

The secret to be selected as a Google employee is that one has to think a lot like an “engineer”. Apparently, Google expects their employees to be highly quantitative and highly analytical as well as highly capable of dealing with too many data all at the same time. During the interviews, an applicant must also be able to demonstrate his skill or capacity by writing codes, intelligently analyzing case studies and brain teasers and solving algorithmic problems on the spot. Also, Google is searching for applicants who are highly practical and are capable of making something out of nothing that people can make use of.

The Google Interview Process

Since Google is known to be the ultimate recruitment and selection machine, its interview processes are also the most grueling experiences an applicant could ever have. Usually, the interviews begin using the telephone. Once the phone interviews conducted have been successful, the applicant would be scheduled by the recruitment officer and be invited for a series of five to ten interviews in one day with ten different people. For some people who have successfully undergone this process, they described it as the most excruciating employment experience of their lives as a lot of mental gymnastics were necessary to prove your skills.

There were many instances when the applicants were asked to write codes, brain storm, role play or solve mathematical equations on the spot just to prove that they are highly-skilled and competent. In other instances, the applicants are even tested of their marketing skills even though the position an applicant is applying for is highly technical. The interviewers seem to have control and power over the applicants letting them do everything just to prove that they are worthy for the position. Common questions involved computer network problems, Java programming and algorithms by which Google is known for.

Moreover, other applicants can rate and share comments on another applicant which Google can track and use as another basis for hiring or not hiring an applicant. Overall, the process was a lengthy, tedious and nerve-wracking experience which can possibly traumatize anyone whose dream is to work for one of the most prestigious companies in the world. Nevertheless, the perks and benefits are limitless and are more than enough to compensate for such a tough employment experience.

Related posts:

  • Best Practices in Recruitment and Selection
  • How to Improve Your Recruitment Process
  • Integrity Testing in Employee Selection Process
  • How Blockchain Transforms the Recruitment Process?
  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) – Definition, Benefits and Risks
  • Recruitment Process
  • Case Study: Restructuring Process of Volkswagen
  • Type of tests taken in the selection process
  • Types of interview conducted in the selection process
  • Selection Process in Human Resource Management

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case study hiring process

  • 16 Jun 2023

Actively Addressing Unconscious Bias in Recruiting

  • All Industries
  • All Locations
  • Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging
  • Recruiting Advice
  • Recruiting Strategies

The importance of naming and addressing institutional racism has many people focusing on what can be done—as individuals and as employers—to improve diversity, inclusion, and understanding in an organization. Below are several resources and recommendations from experts at the Harvard Business School, along with actions you can take now to make a lasting difference.

What is Unconscious Bias?

Unconscious or implicit bias is the term for the mental processes that cause a person to act in ways that reinforce stereotypes even when in our conscious mind we would deem that behavior counter to our value system. Closely related to unconscious bias is affinity bias in which people tend to gravitate towards others who look, act, and think as they do.

In recruiting specifically, unconscious bias and affinity bias often express themselves as a preference for one candidate or another because of “ culture fit .” Resumes may be selected because of a shared alma mater, or because of an unconscious bias to one name over another . Or, a candidate may be selected over others because “I could see myself hanging out with them after work.”

As HBS Professor Youngme Moon noted in an HBS After Hours Podcast , “There are so many industries that have a history of relying on the "soft stuff," and the soft stuff has worked in the favor of a particular kind of individual. The truth is the soft stuff is often a euphemism, in many cases, for bias; for people being able to use their discretion to hire people who are just like them, that they are comfortable with, that look like them, that act like them, and talk like them.”

Why Addressing Unconscious Bias Benefits Your Organization

Making choices that are unconsciously rooted in bias is detrimental to individuals and the organization as a whole because it creates a workplace that is lacking in diversity. Diversity across all facets of the workforce including, but not limited to, race, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexual orientation, brings together individuals who each contribute unique experiences and perspectives. This diversity within organizations fosters better problem-solving, innovation, and thoughtful strategic planning .

Furthermore, studies have shown that talented candidates seek out diverse work environments . Overcoming unconscious bias in your hiring has a ripple effect of building an exceptional team that attracts exceptional candidates.

Unconscious bias and a resulting lack of diversity can also impact a company’s bottom line. A study of venture capital firms found that “the more similar the investment partners, the lower their investments’ performance.” A study by The National Bureau of Economic Research found that the financial gains of diversity are not limited to venture capital but also expand to goods and service-based businesses.

Addressing Unconscious Bias in Recruiting

There are excellent resources to help train your managers and employees to confront unconscious bias, and we encourage companies to invest time and resources into this important work.

Review Job Descriptions Job descriptions have always been an important element of the hiring process. They serve as a marketing tool to attract candidates and the language used can unconsciously tell people or groups that they are not the right fit. When crafting your job description use inclusion language and try the “flip test” to gauge whether your personal experience or unconscious bias has impacted word choice. Candidates will be relying heavily on your company’s written materials, make them count. If your company has Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging effforts and resources, be sure to include that information in your job description. Be Aware of Bias on Video When having an in-person informational conversation or interview, the backdrop is generally at your office or on campus. With virtual recruiting, those conversations will happen using video calls where the background may be the candidate’s home. As remote work has become more common, you may have experienced the distraction of where your colleagues are and what noises you may hear in the background. The same will be true in hiring. Candidates may not own computers that are compatible with Zoom backgrounds, could be sharing living space with limited private quiet areas, or managing multiple responsibilities including child or elder care. None of these factors impact how well a candidate could do the job. Being aware of how background visuals and noise impact your perspective of a candidates' professionalism or fit is critical and can help to address unconscious bias head on by naming it. Another option – offer candidates the choice for a phone or online call with the video off in early interactions if that is most comfortable. Standardize the Interview In non-standardized interviews, there may be a set of questions guiding the conversation, but there is little consistency across the experience for candidates. Often this is where unconscious bias can manifest itself. Candidates may not have the same opportunity to effectively tell their story and showcase their fit for a role. In a standardized interview, each candidate is asked the same questions in the same order. HBS Professor Francesca Gino notes that this type of interview process helps to reduce unconscious bias by “focusing on the factors that have a direct impact on performance.” Craft a list of questions that are aligned directly with what will define success in this role and remove any that are superfluous or could exacerbate bias. Also, ensure that multiple people within your company either sit in on the interview or conduct their own standard individual interviews so that candidate success is evaluated with different perspectives. Another way to standardize the interview process is to include work sample tests . This concept is like a case-based interview in which candidates are asked to solve a problem similar to one the company may face. Through this process employers can assess candidates' skills objectively instead of relying on the candidate’s own assessment of their ability. Furthermore, if two candidates are both given a work sample test, they can be evaluated side by side based on their work, not the employer’s unconscious bias that may influence their judgement.

Key Takeaways

  • Unconscious bias exists in recruiting, and it is the responsibility of employers to both name it and address it in order to create diverse and successful organizations.
  • Ensure you are writing inclusive job descriptions so a diverse range of candidates enters your application pool.
  • Be aware of how video background and noise out of a candidate’s control influence your perception and offer alternatives.
  • Standardize your interview process so that each candidate answers the same questions and performs the same work tests to ensure a fair performance review including multiple perspectives.

Additional Resources

Read the articles below for more resources on how to tackle unconscious bias in your recruiting process and in the workplace.

  • How to Reduce Personal Bias When Hiring
  • The Most Creative Teams Have a Specific Type of Cultural Diversity
  • 6 Steps to Building a Better Workplace for Black Employees

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