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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.

Rapid expansion meant a rapidly growing to-do list—and a need to innovate.

Brittany Simmons, a Talent & Development Program Manager at Accolade, is responsible for bringing in candidates who meet the company’s unique profile—motivated by the company’s mission, technology savvy, with superb communication skills—and securing top candidates for a variety of internship roles based in Philadelphia, Seattle, and Scottsdale. Finding the time to identify and reach the right candidates was a challenge—and sorting through thousands of unqualified applicants was slowing her down. Although the team was reaching great candidates, they knew that improving their process would allow them to reach top talent while they were still on the market.

Oh, did we mention that Simmons is also an HR business partner responsible for onboarding and program management?

It’s a story many recruiters and TA professionals know all too well: Lean teams can struggle finding enough time to get all of the daily projects done and still think about the big picture. A lean team can only do so much, and top talent was missing out on the attractive Accolade opportunities—and vice versa.

Accolade needed to reach more qualified candidates to keep up 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 such high company standards, fast growth and pace, and continuous innovation can be a challenge for any recruiter, especially one like Simmons aiming to fill roles with qualified, diverse talent on a tight timeline. The Accolade team would often get applications that weren’t a match–like someone with ten years of experience applying for an internship or an out-of-state psychology major applying for a local technology team role.

Before partnering with WayUp, Simmons would post jobs and internships to online platforms and rely on organic traffic or source candidates herself. Generally, Accolade would focus on 15 to 20 target schools to ensure that candidates were interested in and capable of working where Accolade offices were located. On-campus career fairs and sessions were another source of applications, but this strategy could be time-consuming and staying in touch with candidates in a timely manner was challenging as the internship program was growing year over year with more roles to fill.

Before Accolade began partnering with WayUp, the company was spending so much time sorting through unqualified candidates that some great, qualified candidates were receiving other offers and moving on. Although they always filled their intern classes with top talent, Simmons knew those great candidates who went elsewhere would be essential as the program continued to grow each year.

The Impact of Partnering With WayUp

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

With the help of WayUp’s in-house creative and recruiting teams, Accolade began educating their recruiting targets with Accolade-branding content, connecting with new candidates, and responding to applicants within 24 hours of their applications. This new process allowed Simmons to be far more efficient with the candidate funnel while focusing on nurturing the best candidates and making strategic decisions. 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.

WayUp’s concierge service freed Accolade up to focus on qualified candidates and be more strategic.

WayUp provides a rare combination of high tech and high touch concierge services. Accolade benefited from taking time-consuming, top-of-funnel processes out of house while staying informed and involved in the early hiring process through weekly meetings and daily exchanges with their WayUp partners.

WayUp handles sourcing, applicant review, and first-round phone screening on behalf of Accolade. Through actionable data insights and an attentive Customer Success team, Simmons was able to stay informed about her funnel and make adjustments to the process as needed. The WayUp team would present her with important data and analysis—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” and she’d be able to react in real time.

“I loved how organized it was,” Simmons says. “Everything was laid out in a shared document that we were able to update as we went through the items. The tools and process allowed us to maximize our funnel.”

After each check-in, Simmons was better able to make strategic decisions and focus on the qualified, interested applicants WayUp was delivering into their applicant tracking system.

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

With limited time and data, Simmons narrowed her searches to target schools and specific areas. 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 reach was an essential part of Accolade’s growth strategy; the partnership with WayUp helped them accomplish that goal.

WayUp’s user base of over 5.5 million candidates contains students and recent grads from over 7,000 universities and colleges across the United States, with high levels of diversity. These candidates are 36 percent African American, Hispanic, or mixed race; 59 percent are female; and 65 percent are STEM or business majors.

Combining that candidate pool with WayUp’s concierge sourcing and screening services allowed the Accolade team to spend far less time screening unqualified applicants and far more time connecting with ready-to-hire candidates.

How WayUp streamlines the hiring process dramatically.

The best-case hiring process for many employers looks something like this:

  1. Post a job on a job board
  2. Wait for candidates and/or actively source from target schools
  3. Send an email to candidates who pass the review stage
  4. Schedule a first-round phone screen
  5. Conduct the phone screen
  6. Coordinate an interview with a hiring manager
  7. Send the candidate an offer

It can take weeks or even a month to get through just the beginning steps of this common process. Manual applicant review is often the most time-consuming and tedious. The same is true of reaching out to candidates, scheduling screens, and coordinating with hiring managers. By partnering with WayUp, Accolade and other employers have streamlined their hiring process to look like this:

  1. Sending a job to WayUp
  2. Working out basic qualifications and knockout questions
  3. Receiving qualified, interested applicants who are ready for their second-round 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 resume review and phone 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.

Accolade provides a world-class candidate experience with no added internal lift.

It’s not only Accolade that had a positive experience and an attentive hiring team. As a face of your organization, WayUp provides all candidates with a quick response and thorough, partner-approved answers to their questions.

Accolade doesn’t worry about fielding administrative questions from candidates, and Accolade-branded, WayUp-designed content is there to educate applicants on Accolade and its mission. Every candidate who passes the initial WayUp review process completes a phone screen with a WayUp recruiting professional, which gives them the human touch every candidate wants in the application process.

This level of candidate experience is possible for enterprise organizations with dozens of recruiters, coordinators, and employer brand managers. It’s also possible for companies with lean teams and recruiting resources through strategic partnerships, like the one between Accolade and WayUp.

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

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