How JYSK uses video interviewing to build an agile retail recruitment process
JYSK is a global home furniture and interior design company with more than 2,800 stores and 23,000 employees across 52 countries. As a forward-thinking retail chain, JYSK uses many modern tools—including RecRight—to streamline operations and stay ahead of the competition.
JYSK Finland’s HR department began using video interviews to shorten the screening process and find right-fit retail workers while providing a better candidate experience and giving recruiters more flexibility.
CV screening: High effort, low reward
JYSK’s screening process previously involved reviewing CVs, phoning candidates, and interviewing candidates in person. One of the worst parts of recruitment was wasting time on unsuccessful face-to-face interviews that led nowhere.
“We ended up inviting the wrong candidates to face-to-face interviews, thus wasting a lot of time and losing the right people,” says Jonathan Laitala, HR Business Partner at JYSK.
Faced with dozens or even hundreds of nearly identical CVs, store managers—sometimes with only a little recruitment experience—had a very varied perception of what to look for. They could easily spend 15 minutes reviewing a single CV. Not only was the recruitment process slow, but JYSK also experienced high turnover rates for sales assistants.
“You really don’t see the attitude from a CV, or as we call it, the twinkle in the eye.”
“The particular education of the candidates is typically not important for the recruitment and selections. For many jobs, we don’t require any specific experience,” says a member of JYSK's HR department. “We are hiring for attitude and skills. And you really don’t see the attitude from a CV, or as we call it, the twinkle in the eye. We’re using RecRight because you can see this very quickly and very easily through the video interview.”
With RecRight, JYSK’s hiring managers no longer haphazardly assess CVs, but can quickly pinpoint right-fit candidates from the video replies.
“You spend less time and you have better choices for who to invite to in-person interviews,” they continue.
Building a standardized video recruitment process
While first using RecRight during a one-year pilot phase, JYSK Finland’s store managers immediately started saving time on candidate screening. But with 84 store managers across the country, JYSK Finland realized they needed a consistent video recruitment process that supported their employer brand and that recruiters across the globe could adopt.
“The biggest benefit of standardizing the process is transparency.”
The HR team thus organized simple training sessions for the managers for using video interviews and standardized interview questions for different roles. Now recruiters in each country know what questions to ask and what to look for in responses—plus they can better compare candidates.
“The biggest benefit of standardizing the process is transparency,” says Jonathan. “Before when managers did phone interviews themselves, we didn’t have any track records of what they discussed and how they decided to invite a specific person to an interview. Now we have all the answers in the videos.”
When a store manager is recruiting for sales staff, for example, the district manager and HR team can watch the video replies, challenge the store manager’s decision, and reflect on it together, which reduces bias and ensures fair hiring decisions. This also creates a chance to develop and harmonize recruitment competence throughout the organization.
What does the hiring team look for in video responses? They want energetic candidates with strong communication skills who are results-oriented and willing to make a sale. Ambition is also a key quality, as JYSK aims to have 80% of internal promotions rather than hire leaders externally.
“It’s not only the content of what candidates are saying, but more the non-verbal part—the metadata—that you can judge,” says a member of JYSK’s HR department. “You can see if they’ve made any effort to prepare and if they’re interested. You can always say nice words, but it’s other parts of communication that support that or not.”
“Keep it simple”
JYSK Finland learned the importance of keeping the video interviewing process as simple as possible. They ask three to four video questions and accept maximum one-minute video replies.
“It’s mainly to identify the right people in terms of more abstract personal qualities and attitude, not so much to go into their skills or expertise. We have face-to-face interviews for that. After 20 seconds, you form a conclusion of the person,” says Jonathan.
Keeping it simple benefits both candidates and recruiters. With video interviews, candidates can easily showcase their personality and skills in a way that simply isn’t possible with traditional CVs. “We wanted to offer our candidates a better way to express themselves. And managers have the freedom to do screening in the middle of the night on their own sofa if they want—not just on a desktop in the store,” says Jonathan.
Creating a positive employer brand
Video interviews are also part of the employer branding process for JYSK. “It’s a place where we can show our faces and get personal with the candidates,” says Jonathan. “We have our real people presenting the questions. We try to make it quite laid back, reflecting our organizational culture.”
Presenting video questions also shows candidates that their replies don’t have to be formal or rehearsed, which puts them at ease and increases video response rates.
In countries where video recruitment is not yet widely used, RecRight also helps position JYSK as an innovative company and a retail industry leader.
Scaling RecRight for global recruitment
Positive feedback from the Finnish HR team convinced JYSK to roll out RecRight on a global scale. While many countries happily began using RecRight, others were more skeptical.
“Video interviews are common in Finland. But in many other countries, we were the first ones to do it,” says a member of JYSK’s HR department. HR teams in these countries found ways to make the process less daunting for both candidates and hiring teams. In Slovakia, for example, hiring teams call candidates to explain they’ll receive a video interview invitation and what will happen next.
“We explain it’s a chance to present yourself so we can get to know you better—you’re not competing for an Oscar,” says Slávka Gulánová, HR Business Partner at JYSK Slovakia. “Calling people first is still less time consuming than inviting everyone to an in-person interview.”
Some supervisors worried that using video interviews would deter good candidates from moving further. To help them see the benefits and be successful, Slávka created a simple video recruitment guide.
Now some of the biggest skeptics, including Slovakia and Czech Republic, are the biggest ambassadors for video interviews. With RecRight, recruiters in Slovakia save time during the screening process by weeding out wrong-fit candidates early on.
“We get many candidates, but the problem is to pick one. We might have good, experienced employees but the person doesn’t have the right personal qualities,” says Slávka. “A video is very different than a phone call. Now we can see the person before we actually meet them,” she adds.
Agility is key for recruitment success
Using video interviews has helped JYSK develop a more agile recruitment process. “Recruitment is changing to become a two-way street, and it’s also becoming more fast paced,” says Jonathan. “If we find the people we like, we have to go for it immediately.”
To become even more flexible, JYSK decided to switch their recruitment platform to SmartRecruiters. They removed deadlines from applying to keep the recruitment process running and only hire when they find the right people.
RecRight made it possible to integrate video interviews into their new ATS. “RecRight has been so flexible with transforming the tool from being a small Finnish-only tool to an international video application,” says Jonathan. “They took the global expansion seriously.”
This seamless integration also allows JYSK to manage their entire recruitment process through mobile, which is crucial for both candidates and recruiters. “70% of candidates access our job ads through mobile, but before they weren’t able to apply through mobile,” says a member of JYSK’s HR department.
With SmartRecruiters and RecRight working together to help JYSK succeed, they now have a seamless recruitment flow along the entire customer journey.
“[RecRight] cares so much about their customers that they really set them up for success.”
“Increasing the size of an already fat sourcing budget won't help if all candidate touchpoints converge to a boring plain text job ad,” says Roy Baladi, Head of Communications, SmartRecruiters. “RecRight distinguishes themselves from most video interview providers for two main reasons: One, they care so much about their customers that they really set them up for success. Two, RecRight goes way beyond simple video interviews by being present in six places along the candidate journey: social networks, career site, job ads, application, video interviews, and video feedback. We're really happy to welcome them to the SmartRecruiters Marketplace and expect major growth from this partnership.”
Ready for the future of retail recruitment
The in-store experience is more important than ever for today’s brick and mortar stores. And that raises the bar for recruitment.
“People come to physical stores to get service and to meet professionals,” says Jonathan. "We have to ensure that we have the best people in our stores making that happen.”
JYSK uses digital in-store technology to provide better customer service and ensure a seamless online-to-offline retail experience. During the screening process, the hiring team considers whether candidates will be up for this task. While there are exceptional cases, a candidate’s willingness to record videos tells recruiters about their willingness to learn and adapt to new situations.
“If a person really feels so uncomfortable using video to express themselves, then how are they able to go to a store floor and sell an apartment worth of furniture to a stranger?” says Jonathan.
With RecRight, JYSK is able to find the right retail workers and future talents faster—not just candidates with years of experience, but people with the right attitude for JYSK’s specific roles and culture.
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