RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

How We Solved: Putting Some Snap, Crackle, and Pop into Kellogg’s Recruiting

Putting Some Snap, Crackle, and Pop into Kellogg’s Recruiting RPO Provider develops custom-toolkit to aid cereal giant’s hiring efforts.

by Jamie Minier, Vice President, The RightThing

In February of 2005, the Kellogg Company Snacks division was given a 10-week initiative to hire more than 1,700 merchandisers as employees. Facing a project with considerable scope and size, Kellogg determined that using a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider would be the best solution to this challenge.

The company sought a business partner that could deliver radical results through innovative means. After an intensive review of RPO providers, The RightThing was selected to provide the results Kellogg sought.

Following a recent acquisition, the Snacks division needed to hire 1,700 part-time merchandisers to stock shelves at stores nationwide. Many of these locations were in rural areas that presented various challenges in sourcing, hiring, and training. A plan was needed to conduct a majority of the interviewing steps from a centralized service center. Additionally, service to the field could not be disrupted, and meeting quality, diversity, and speed requirements was extremely important.

The RightThing began the process by forming an implementation team with core expertise in managing high-volume needs with aggressive timelines. The team met diligently for three weeks to compose and execute its roll-out strategy.

Citing communication as an integral component to the success of this project, the RPO provider gave constant, real-time updates and reports to Kellogg’s hiring managers, current merchandisers, and prospective candidates. Supporting the communication efforts was a toolkit The RightThing developed for the client’s 256 district managers. It outlined the hiring processes and provided all necessary information and team roles. Included in the toolkit was a robust web-based application function that eliminated all manual process points and detailed the critical process steps with which district managers must be involved.

Once the hiring processes were in place, The RightThing executed nationwide and local, grassroots sourcing strategies and gave Kellogg district managers talent scout cards to hand out to possible candidates, instructing them how to apply for the open positions.

Additionally, The RightThing developed a real-time database that ranked and tracked candidates during the hiring processes, allowing Kellogg managers to follow the progress of individual candidates and the project as a whole.

“The Right Thing came to the table with a unique plan that utilized real-time technology and put communication and candidate delivery at the top of its agenda.

They worked as a true extension of the Kellogg HR department and made it their personal goal that we met all of our objectives,” said Cyd Kilduff, director of staffing and diversity for Kellogg at the time of the project.

The complete portfolio of services enlisted by Kellogg from The RightThing included candidate sourcing, applicant intake, prescreening, scheduling, phone interviews, offers, background/drug screening coordination, onboarding, and candidate processing.

Within eight weeks, The RightThing had processed more than 20,000 applications, conducted more than 9,000 phone interviews, and delivered close to 4,500 high-quality candidates to Kellogg. The client opted to hire 1,901 individuals for its needs.

“This project required more than a cookie-cutter plan; customization was critical in both technology and approach in order to meet their tight deadline. We pulled from years of experience and built a team whose core expertise included managing high-volume needs with aggressive timelines,” said Terry Terhark, president of The RightThing.

Project accomplishments included:

  • Increasing diversity targets by 34 percent;
  • Managing 1,751 territories, 256 districts, and 29 zones;
  • Reducing cycle time average to eight days; and
  • Creating qualified pools of candidates in a majority of markets for future hiring needs.

Kellogg Company has hired a little more than 3,900 hires to date through The RightThing process. Its experience with RPO proved so successful that the company expanded its contract to continue to support this initiative and manage its on-going hiring needs. Process enhancements and candidate-focused delivery tactics are at the core of what The RightThing provides to Kellogg. 

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