(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Ultimate Software, a leading cloud provider of people management solutions. I had the chance to hear the Texas Rangers’ Baseball story during Ultimate Software’s 6th annual customer and partner forum. It’s pretty amazing so I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!)
We all know who the Texas Rangers are, right?! They’re the two-time American League Champion baseball team, of course. They’ve also had some very talented Hall of Fame players such as their current president and CEO, Nolan Ryan. But the superstars I want to share with you today aren’t on the field. They’re in the human resources department.
The Texas Rangers HR team has the task of hiring over 1,800 employees for every new baseball season. These are the security, ticket office, parking, grounds crew, etc. positions that are needed during the height of baseball season. I can totally empathize with this annual event from my theme park days. You need to hire a lot of people in a short span of time. Job requisitions can’t just “stay open”. And there’s no such thing as sacrificing quality when it comes to talent.
The Rangers’ Machelle Noel realized something needed to be done to streamline the process. She admitted the disorganization was sending the wrong impression to candidates. So Noel and her team decided to implement a recruitment solution to help with the process. The results were huge.
Online application processing saved big money. Prior to implementation, the Rangers conducted job fairs to find candidates. Now, candidates apply online. Automating the application process took the guesswork out of hoping they received enough applications. This saved them at least $35,000 in recruiting expenses.
The application process became easier. While the Rangers still conduct a mass interview and screening day, now they schedule the interviews in advance. Candidates are happy because they don’t have to sit around all day waiting for an interview. The Rangers are happy because they can manage labor costs for interviewing personnel.
Rehires were processed quickly and efficiently. A major source of seasonal employees for the Rangers are people who worked the prior season. If an employee does good work, they’re invited back. The Rangers created an automated invitation system to bring back great people from the previous season.
Candidates check on their own status. When you’re trying to hire 1,800 people, you can’t call everyone back (unfortunately). But you can make sure their questions are answered. The Rangers configured their system so candidates could check their status at any time. A win-win for all.
Automating their recruiting system allowed the Texas Rangers to shift the focus of the application process from the recruiter to the candidate. The result? The Rangers decreased their time-to-hire metric by 70%. And they are realizing a recurring, annual labor cost savings of $20,000. All while improving the candidate experience. That’s pretty amazing!
But that’s not all. Sure, the talent acquisition system helped get their seasonal workforce hired. But we all know there’s more to the process than just hiring. In fact, the orientation paperwork for 1,800 people was ginormous. Saving paper in the recruiting process meant nothing if the Rangers didn’t also address what happened during orientation.
Mercedes Riley with the Rangers explained the challenge. “All of the employee forms were paper. Everything was manually entered. It could take up to 6 weeks to get all the data into the system.” If you’ve ever been involved in one of these mass hiring situations you know one of the biggest frustrations can be deciphering an employee’s handwriting. Been there, done that.
In addition, the Rangers implemented an onboarding solution. Not only did it process paperwork faster but it created efficiencies when it came to verifying documentation.
For example, Riley shared that during their customer service training session for all seasonal employees, they used the time to complete I-9 documentation. They used the computers at each one of their ballpark ticket office windows – about 17 stations total – to process the verifications. [Side note: this is a brilliant use of resources.] But here’s the really incredible part – they processed 300 I-9s in 90 minutes. Yep, that’s not a typo. 90 minutes.
They also used their onboarding system for all of those other requests necessary when a new hire starts. Stuff like office space, phone needs, name badges, business cards, uniforms, keys, etc. Can you imagine the volume for 1,800 new hires? Every year? Automating these requests made so much sense. Again, all about an improved experience for new hires and reduced frustration for the onboarding team. And it saved money.
Riley said that employees immediately saw the benefits of an electronic onboarding system as well. “Employees were able to do the majority of their paperwork while in the comfort of their own home. For example, it made employee selections like direct deposit more efficient. Employees were able to complete the authorization paperwork at home where they have all the information needed to sign up.”
I want to thank the Texas Rangers for sharing with me their story and congratulate them on receiving one of Ultimate Software’s Innovation Awards for their recruiting and onboarding achievements. Very well deserved!
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