Supermarket chain Giant Eagle is one of the largest family-operated companies in the US and operates more than 400 retail locations including neighborhood supermarkets, upscale grocery stores, and convenience stores. They employ more than 32,000 Team Members and require a constant stream of applicants to meet their needs in major markets including Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
Ashten Farah, Senior Recruitment Marketing Specialist at Giant Eagle, is specifically focused on their recruitment marketing efforts for warehouse positions, an area where Giant Eagle has struggled to see the qualified applicant volume they need to make hires in recent months.
Low qualified candidate volume and lack of job ad conversion data sent them searching for a solution
Prior to working with Appcast, Giant Eagle did not have access to the conversion data (applies, cost-per-apply, cost-per-qualified apply, cost per-hire) that they needed to understand what their recruitment marketing budget was actually getting them in terms of qualified applicants and hires, and how to adjust their strategy to drive results. In partnering with Appcast, they hoped to build a reliable talent pool without overspending – particularly in the increasingly tight labor market brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When we started working with Appcast, we wanted to start fresh and get a new baseline for KPIs”, Ashten commented. “We knew that with their enhanced ATS connection Appcast would be able to tell us how much we were spending to acquire qualified applicants and hires, and also adjust buying strategies to prioritize publishers based on applicant quality. This made us confident that we could expect to see more qualified applicants across our open roles without increasing costs.”
Appcast’s enhanced ATS Connection brought full hiring funnel metrics and actionable insights
First and foremost, Giant Eagle’s Appcast Premium account team helped them to understand what candidate sourcing and filling the funnel could look like in the warehouse space. This meant drilling down into a few key areas:
Budget allocation – based on real-time reporting from Appcast, what markets or requisitions needed more budget and where could Giant Eagle reduce spend?
Competitive strategy – what was Giant Eagle up against in the warehouse space and how could they attract and capture more qualified candidates?
Market insights – what did the hiring landscape look like where Giant Eagle was hiring and how did that impact their ability to attract talent?
Focusing on these crucial pieces of the puzzle allowed Ashten and Eric Hawkins, Director Retail Talent Acquisition at Giant Eagle, to do a few things. First, with the help of the Appcast Team, they understood how Giant Eagle needed to adjust their recruitment strategy to navigate the increasingly competitive labor market brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This included leveraging Appcast’s title expansion feature to make changes to role titles in real-time and analyze which were generating stronger job seeker engagement.
Ashten and Eric also had a better understanding of what Giant Eagle was competing against and which hurdles they were facing were not unique to their organization. “Every week we’re trying to dig a little deeper,” Ashten noted. “What’s something else that can be attractive to a candidate? What are we seeing with competitors and how can we try to be a standout here? And it’s working.”
Second, the full-funnel, granular reporting enabled by Appcast’s connection with their ATS allowed Giant Eagle to take a closer look at how efficiently their recruitment ad dollars were getting them the qualified applicants they needed to make hires, and where they needed to pivot and change tactics.
“We’re in weekly operations meetings where we’re trying to justify recruitment marketing spend or change tactics,” says Eric. “One of the things we’ve worked really closely with the Appcast team on is to change ad bidding strategies and reallocate funds to focus on different requisitions and increase priority where needed. This shows in the number of applicants that are coming in – it’s a tangible thing you can point to in the dashboard to show the business the direct results of those budgeting and tactic changes.”
9x increase in Qualified Applicants for Giant Eagle’s hard-to-fill warehouse positions
Since partnering with Appcast and leveraging Appcast’s full-funnel metrics in their recruitment marketing strategy, Giant Eagle was able to drive an 9x increase in qualified applicants for warehouse positions from October 2021 to April 2022, and 18% of those qualified applicants turned into hires. They also saw a 20% decrease in cost-per-hire right off the bat, and have been able to maintain this lower CPH over time – truly maximizing the efficiency of their spend during an unprecedented labor shortage.
With the impressive results they’ve seen, Giant Eagle plans to continue to optimize their programmatic job advertising strategy utilizing the granular reporting and guidance available to them via their Appcast partnership.
“I love Appcast – we wouldn’t be able to do half of what we do if we didn’t have the data Appcast is providing,” Ashten commented. “50% increase in clicks for warehouse jobs this month… We’re seeing it happen in real life.”