Unlocking hidden talent at Activision Blizzard

With AI recruiting, Activision used a talent rediscovery strategy to establish connections and leverage skills to expand its talent pool.

Unlocking hidden talent at Activision Blizzard

By consolidating recruitment efforts into a single AI recruiting platform, the team of over 100 recruiters at Activision Blizzard can focus less on applicant tracking and more on sourcing the best talent in the video game industry.

We recently talked with Activision Blizzard’s Director of Talent Sourcing, Justin Ghio, to understand why talent intelligence works for them. Read on for the top five takeaways from our conversation.

Watch the How to Future-Proof Hiring with Talent Intelligence webinar for the entire conversation between Eightfold AI and Activision Blizzard.

Talent rediscovery establishes connections in a competitive environment

In 2021, Activision recruited 41 percent of its new hires through talent rediscovery. By connecting with historical candidates, or candidates that had previously applied to the company up to seven years prior, recruiters could connect with hidden talent that other companies may overlook. 

By integrating with Activision’s ATS and strategically rationalizing and arranging disposition statuses within Eightfold, Ghio’s team could work with more meaningful data for candidate re-engagement. In a competitive labor market, it’s more important than ever to provide a best-in-class candidate experience, including recognizing their previous interest in joining the company.

Talent rediscovery is about finding the best role for an individual at the right time. “People can learn all sorts of skills in a short time — now more than ever,” Ghio said. “Leveraging historical data allows us to reopen the conversation and find the right fit for them. Candidates are elated knowing they are being re-connected with, and we ultimately see this approach converting many of them.” 

Understanding a candidate’s likelihood to accept new opportunities opens new doors for recruiters

A core lesson from our conversation with Ghio was to know your industry. Putting an AI platform in place to determine the “likelihood to leave” doesn’t hurt either. Being in the gaming industry, Activision and its competitors ship games on schedule, so talent is likely to search for new opportunities after a project concludes. 

With Eightfold, Activision has been able to target talent that fits this description by adding unique filters. “This gives us more context about the individual, which really opens the door to approach them,” Ghio said.

Role calibration brings hiring managers to the top of the hiring funnel

If you’ve ever worked with a hiring manager to fill an open position or have been in that seat, you know they are often set on hiring someone from a particular background, company, or university. They may even have an ideal candidate in mind. With Eightfold, talent acquisition teams are transforming how they work with hiring managers, serving up candidates they may not have otherwise considered.

Elevating conversations with hiring managers can happen immediately in the intake meeting with live role calibration by demonstrating how the talent pool changes in Eightfold’s system based on their requirements. It shifts the paradigm. For example, if an in-demand skill like Python is marked as required, it could shrink the talent pool by up to half and offer a less diverse group of candidates. 

Unlocking Hidden Talent at Activision Blizzard

Leveraging skills adjacencies expands the talent pool

Bringing hiring managers into the role calibration process exposes them to the concept of skills adjacencies, which is the AI’s ability to infer that someone with Skill A is likely to know or learn Skill B, even if it’s not on their resume. As a result, organizations can tap into a broader pool of candidates by seeing candidates with skills related to Python. 

At Activision, one of their most significant use cases for leveraging skills adjacencies is when they are looking for talent beyond the video gaming industry. If a candidate has experience working in data streaming at a media company or has worked in film animation, understanding their skills adjacencies enables the organization to look outside the niche talent pool of gaming animators and bring a fresh perspective to the industry.

Leveraging skills adjacencies expands the talent pool

With over 100,000 applications each year, a single system of record decreases overhead for recruiters and minimizes duplication of the same requisition. It also gives Activision’s team consolidated information to determine the right candidate to reach out to at the right time.

“Because of Eightfold’s power, our system became indexable and searchable,” Ghio said. “For example, we knew someone declined a position last year due to an inability to work remotely. With that information, we can put together a personalized outreach plan and approach them with a new remote opportunity.”

Ready to learn more about rediscovering talent already in your network as an effective strategy for hiring at scale? Check out our whitepaper, “Don’t Start from Zero: The Power of Talent Rediscovery.” 

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