How Accolade Managed Rapid Growth, Expanded Their Talent Network 10X, And Saved Time For Strategy
May 5, 2020

How Accolade Managed Rapid Growth, Expanded Their Talent Network 10X, And Saved Time For Strategy

Liam Berry

Accolade: As a company that simplifies the healthcare and benefits process and experience for working families across the U.S., Accolade connects a wide array of personal health data and programs so employees and their families have one place to turn for all of their healthcare and benefits needs. Accolade supports some of the most innovative employers across the U.S. using a unique blend of compassionate advisors, clinical experts, and intelligent technologies to help their employees navigate through the healthcare system with trust, empathy, and ease.

Accolade needed to innovate to reach more qualified candidates and keep pace with rapid growth.

Accolade is a mission-driven, venture-backed healthcare technology company, co-headquartered in Seattle and Philadelphia. Finding talent for an organization with high company standards, rapid growth, and continuous innovation can be a challenge for any recruiter, even Brittany Simmons, a Talent & Development Program Manager at Accolade, charged with filling numerous roles with qualified, diverse talent. 

Simmons is responsible for sourcing candidates who meet the company’s unique profile—motivated by the company’s mission, technology savvy, with superb communication skills—and securing interns for programs based in Philadelphia, Seattle, and Scottsdale. Finding enough time to reach the right candidates was a challenge, and sorting through thousands of unqualified applicants was slowing her down. 

Before partnering with WayUp, Simmons tried to be strategic about her sourcing tactics. She would rely on organic traffic or source candidates herself. For internships, Simmons’ team would focus on 15 to 20 target schools to ensure that candidates were a good match for Accolade geographically. On-campus career fairs surfaced interested candidates, but given the volume, following-up in a timely manner was a challenge. 

Before Accolade began partnering with WayUp, the company was spending so much time sorting through unqualified applicants that many great candidates were accepting offers from other employers. Simmons knew that Accolade would need to reach even more qualified candidates as their program continued to grow and she needed a solution.

The impact of partnering with WayUp - time to nurture candidates and be more strategic.

Accolade enlisted WayUp’s branding, sourcing, and digital screening services. After a short onboarding period, during which the two teams collaborated on digital screening questions, ideal candidate profiles, and target hiring metrics, Accolade started to see results.

With the help of WayUp’s combination of high-tech and high-touch concierge services, Accolade began sharing branded content, connecting with new candidates, and responding to applicants within 24 hours of their applications. This new process allowed Simmons to screen efficiently and dedicate her time to nurturing the best candidates. Plus, with more time for strategy, she was able to focus on developing a best-in-class learning experience for Accolade’s summer intern program—which was later named a Top 100 Internship Program by a panel of industry experts.

Thanks to real-time data insights and an attentive Customer Success team, Simmons remained informed about her funnel and could make adjustments to the process as needed. When presented with important learnings like “this kind of candidate is failing your phone screen at a higher rate” or “this job description has a lower application rate for technology candidates” she was able to react to ensure her funnel remained diverse.

Accolade began reaching qualified, diverse candidates—who were previously hard to come by.

With limited time and data, Simmons narrowed her sourcing efforts to focus on target schools within a limited geographical area. This limited Accolade’s candidate pool and, as Simmons noted, had potential implications on diversity deeper in the funnel.

“With our fast growth and continuous stream of open positions, it was difficult to source from multiple different platforms or schools,” Simmons says. “With WayUp, we’re seeing qualified and engaged candidates from schools we weren’t previously targeting.”

Expanding their recruiting reach and increasing diversity of their applicants were essential parts of Accolade’s growth strategy; and they were able to accomplish this goal as a result of the partnership with WayUp. WayUp’s diverse user base of over 6 million candidates contains students and recent grads from over 7,100 universities and colleges across the United States. These candidates are 36% Black, Hispanic, or mixed race; 59% are female; and 65% are STEM or business majors.

How WayUp streamlines the hiring process dramatically and contributes to a world-class candidate experience.

By partnering with WayUp, Accolade and other employers have streamlined their formerly lengthy hiring processes to just a few essential steps:

  1. Sending a job to WayUp
  2. Defining basic qualifications and knockout questions
  3. Receiving qualified, interested applicants who are ready for interviews

For Accolade, the partnership with WayUp has halved the number of steps needed to provide hiring managers with great candidates by handling the initial screen, which has had a dramatic effect on overall time-to-hire. Now, the process that used to take weeks or even a month, could be completed in as little as 48 hours.

It’s not only the Accolade team that had a positive experience working with WayUp. Accolade-branded, WayUp-designed content is there to educate applicants on Accolade and its mission. Every candidate receives a speedy response, and a friendly, human touch during the hiring process is invaluable in creating a lasting impression. 

Combining a streamlined hiring process with an elevated candidate experience is possible for enterprise organizations with dozens of recruiters, coordinators, and employer brand managers and for smaller companies with lean teams and limited resources thanks to strategic partnerships like the one between Accolade and WayUp.

Want to see how WayUp can partner with your team? Email us at or fill out the form below.

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