RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

Heinz Adds a 58th Variety–Recruiting

Case Study: During a time of transition, CRI helped this global company meet its staffing needs.

by HROT Staff

Recently, H.J. Heinz Company, one of the worlds leading marketers of branded foods, faced a hiring challenge. The company sold several of its business divisions to Del Monte. To complete the transaction, Heinz had to set up a fully-staffed support operation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to manage finance, HR, IT, and several other functions for the Del Monte businesses. Six months earlier, Heinz instituted a hiring freeze to counteract the unknown impact the Del Monte transaction would have on employment. This hiring freeze created an immediate need for more than 200 new hireshalf for the Del Monte support operation and the rest for other Heinz divisions. The aggressive timetable forced us to determine the best way to quickly staff an entirely new organization with well-qualified candidates, said Steve Clark, Director of HR for Heinz Food Service Division. In jobs where Heinz had one staff member, they now needed two. Basically, Clark recalls, we had to build entire departments from scratch.

Clark realized that Heinz needed help managing this unexpected hiring increase. Hiring new in-house recruiters to manage this one-time recruitment spike was costly, and the risk of direct employment was too great. He did not believe that a traditional recruiter strategy would work for this challenge because Heinz needed more than just sources for multiple hires. He wanted competent recruiters who could interface with internal Heinz client managers to understand the particular demands of the job, the environment, and the division. Clark knew that CRI could meet this demand. I developed a lot of confidence in the CRI team during the Olympic recruitment project, said Clark, who served as Director of Staffing for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. He felt that CRI could do an excellent job with the size and tight time frame of the Heinz project.

CRIs Collaborative Service Model is a comprehensive suite of RPO solutions, allowing CRI to become a direct extension of Heinzs internal HR department and to conduct recruiting specific to the needs of Heinz. This unique business process allows them to find higher quality candidates, execute more efficiently, achieve results in fewer days, and save money for clients. CRI knew that the best candidates for Heinz would be from the pool of the already employed, so they sourced candidates from competing companies. Expert recruiters interviewed candidates, networked with them to find additional candidates, and worked together with hiring managers to match candidates to jobs. One of the biggest challenges was the quick ramp-up time needed to start hiring. CRI did not know Pittsburgh or the Heinz culture, yet Clark needed the project to produce results very quickly to achieve hiring goals. CRI management presented their proposal just three days after Clark initially contacted them. Within two weeks, the first recruiters were ready to work. In close to 30 days, the first positions were filled.

For Heinz, CRI segmented staffing needs by determining which positions were absolutely critical; which would be nice to fill quickly, but were not critical; and those that could be filled later. The team used this prioritization system as a working guide. Through our work with a variety of worldclass staffing organizations, we created a standardized, proprietary system of recruiting that helps our clients find and hire the best candidates, said Winn Van Brimer, CRI Vice President, Recruiting Operations. For Heinz, that meant matching candidates with the skills and competencies needed for the job openings and locating hard-to-find, qualified candidates who were not necessarily looking for a job at the current time. Most search firms promise to fill openings in 60 days. We needed to fill our jobs faster, said Clark. When CRI told us they believed they could significantly outperform the 60-day average, we were impressed. They delivered on the promise, with an average of 33 days to hire.

Clark also reports that CRI added value in other ways:
*They helped Heinz attract qualified candidates that Heinz could not have found otherwise.
*They supplemented Heinzs workforce to act as in-house recruiters, providing administration relief in addition to candidate searches.
*They saved Heinz money over an in-house or traditional contingency-fee recruitment program.

They are talented and committed people wed like to work with again. Not only were they technically qualified, but they fit very well into the Heinz culture. Clark notes that the hourly-billing business model used by CRI is the only way to foster these relationships. CRIs alignment with Heinzs needs built the necessary trust needed to successfully complete the recruitment project.

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