April 20, 2022

Screening, Interviewing, & Calibration: Building the Candidate Slate with Conagra Brands

If you’ve just recently become an Eightfold insider, you should know we are hosting a monthly series with like-minded talent professionals to have honest conversations about the state and future of hiring and recruitment. This month, we welcomed Conagra’s Director of Talent Acquisition & Relocation, Neil Crumpton, to share his perspective on improving the candidate experience through the screening, interviewing, and calibration processes.

This Community Conversation was chock full of best practices from Conagra’s CandE award-winning approach to improving the candidate experience. Here is the tip-top insider information that stood out:

Improve the Candidate Experience With a Single Point of Contact

When Conagra’s sourcers moved into recruiting roles, the company strategically decided not to backfill those positions. Why? To deliver a personalized, high-touch experience for candidates where recruiters are the first and the last points of contact.

As the company evolves its operations, human-machine collaboration enables talent acquisition professionals to spend less time finding candidates and more time nurturing qualified talent.

Calibration Is King in Conversations With Hiring Managers

The more data given to a talent intelligence platform, the more value can be added to the matching criteria. In practice, this happens in the process known as calibration, where recruiters and hiring managers together can identify which skills or experiences are non-negotiable and which are nice to have.

Crumpton describes how this works in action: “Our team’s focus is to live within Eightfold. Making Eightfold our one-stop shop is what allows us to be proactive. Once we see what the calibration brings back to us, our recruiters can recommend expanding the talent pool or narrowing it down by adding skills requirements.”

In other words, calibration transforms recruiters into consultants, elevating their roles and value in the hiring process.

Approach Recruiting as an Art, Not a Science

“We don’t have a cookie-cutter approach.” For Crumpton and his team of recruiters, calibration often happens before a meeting with a hiring manager, and sometimes it is a strategic choice to wait until after an intake call. Conagra’s collaborative, interactive, and personalized approach to hiring allows the “personalities of the recruiters and hiring managers to shine through.”

In addition to personalizing the experience for hiring managers, Crumpton also asks his recruiters to practice patience to find the best candidates for the role. For his team, waiting a few days to evaluate the candidate flow from calibration and then assess whether the talent pool needs to be expanded or narrowed down is the difference between hiring a good employee and a great employee.

Use a 5-point Scale to Prioritize Candidates

Compared to hires made without going through the calibration process, the average time to hire for calibrated positions is 22 percent shorter. Time to interview for calibrated positions shows similar improvements, with a 25 percent shorter window.

Crumpton has seen this difference in his organization, with recruiters spending their time more intelligently. Eightfold’s 5-point scale determines which candidates meet all requirements and which are the ‘silver medalists.’ Crumpton adds: “The 5-point scale shows our recruiters where they should spend their time and helps them prioritize the candidates who are well-calibrated so we can get them in front of the manager faster.”

Creating ‘Communities’ Changes the Game for Filling Evergreen Roles

For high-volume or evergreen roles, the roles that organizations continuously are filling, ‘communities’ allow Conagra to quickly access qualified, interested candidates in real-time when a hiring need arises. Recruiters can also identify those individuals as ideal candidates for the 5-point calibration process.

As a consumer packaged goods company, Conagra’s evergreen hiring needs extend from R&D with food scientist roles to supply chain and product quality roles at the plant level. Crumpton noted how ‘communities’ are “a chance for us to capture the audience and leverage them while also enabling the messaging to be consistent, inclusive, and engaging” as hiring managers make connections.

Eightfold’s Chrome extension amplifies the power of community groups. For example, on LinkedIn, recruiters can now use the extension to quickly add individuals to a pipeline, save them to a community, or even remind a recruiter that they are already in a community.

You’re Invited to the Next Community Conversation

If you like talking shop and being the first to hear insider tips, you’ll love our Community Conversations, which take place the first Thursday of every month. So join us for the next live discussion on May 5 to learn about scheduling in Eightfold from Lexi Krause, TA Ops Change Enablement Program Manager at Noom.