How an Airline’s Career Site Took Off

Todd Raphael
Todd Raphael

AirAsia, which flies to more than 160 destinations spanning 25 countries, faced a set of talent issues that likely sound familiar to you.

For 11 years in a row, it has been rated the world’s top low-cost airline. It also has been expanding into new lines of business, in particular technology, logistics, shared services and travel-related services.

Rapid growth has meant a surge in new hires across all aspects of flight operations and corporate functions, as well in software engineering, data science, digital marketing, information security and cloud infrastructure, among others. In 2019 alone, AirAsia added more than 6,000 employees, according to Maneerat Ratanakovit, a senior manager in the group’s recruitment function.

Information technology has been an area of especially intensive hiring recently. “We probably doubled or even tripled the number of technical people we added in 2018 and 2019,” says Maneerat.

It cared about the candidate experience, but providing a good one was tough. It was screening a huge number of resumes, and scheduling interviews imposed a heavy burden on recruiting teams.

Faced with the challenge of finding highly-qualified candidates for a large number of positions, Maneerat says AirAsia “… looked for tools that could help us, especially in the area of applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to the task of reviewing resumes, assessing candidates’ qualifications and matching them to open positions.”

AirAsia eventually selected the Talent Intelligence Platform from Eightfold.

Eightfold was implemented in late 2019; the platform integrated with AirAsia’s Workday applicant tracking system.

In the first month after moving to the Eightfold platform, the number of applications processed increased 114 percent. Other key performance indicators in the hiring process also showed dramatic gains, including the percentage of visitors to AirAsia’s recruiting website who actually apply for a position (35 percent); an 80 percent increase in the speed with which high-potential candidates moved to the interview stage; and a 36 percent improvement in the time needed to reach the stage of an offer being made.

The public face of the Eightfold platform is what AirAsia calls its Talent Experience. Candidates can upload their resume and instantly get matched to relevant jobs according to their skills, experience, and interests—and apply with only one click.

There’s a big improvement in the efficiency with which resumes are reviewed for a likely match between qualifications and job requirements. “150 CVs need to be screened daily by our recruiters,” Maneerat says. “By automating the pre-processing of so many resumes, it saves an extraordinary amount of time—about 60%—for our recruiting teams,” Maneerat says.

Olivia Aw, senior technology recruitment lead, also says that the Eightfold scheduling tool cuts the coordination time required of recruiters 48 percent.

Read more about Air Asia here.

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