The New England Center for Children® is a private, nonprofit autism research and education center dedicated to transforming the lives of children with autism worldwide through education, research, and technology. They’ve educated over 13,500 children with autism since their founding in 1975 and employ a staff of over 1,100 who serve students and families around the world.
NECC trains and educates the next generation of autism educators so that more children with autism receive the services they need to reach their potential. To find these future life-changing educators, talent acquisition plays a vital part in NECC’s overall business strategy. Prior to partnering with WayUp, NECC’s need for top talent was continually on the rise, but the pool of qualified candidates failed to meet those demands. Since they target a specific group of professionals, it was critical they not only attract more top talent but also respond to qualified candidates quickly and before the competition.
Prior to WayUp, NECC would source candidates through different universities and job boards while also posting open roles on their website and social media channels. These open roles were all being funneled in various, disparate ways. Some roles would flow straight through NECC’s applicant tracking system (ATS), while other roles had a call to action for candidates to submit an application to a general email address. For the emailed applications, the team would manually upload talent into their ATS system—time that could have been spent nurturing those qualified candidates.
A paper-heavy recruiting process was also hindering the team from implementing an efficient hiring strategy that would drive the quick results they were looking for. With a small HR team that wore many different hats, they knew it was critical to optimize and speed up their early-career recruiting to provide classrooms with the vital resources they needed year-round. To do so effectively, they needed to streamline their candidate sourcing and screening processes—fast.
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During onboarding, WayUp provided NECC with custom templates and scheduled all upcoming checkpoints. WayUp’s templated approach and timely communication made the new partnership a stress-free and turnkey experience.
“When you’re super busy, taking on a new project isn’t something you want to do. With WayUp, I found it really reassuring even before we got started. It was easy, which was refreshing,” said Schnaible.
NECC wanted to make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply, but their strategy before WayUp was unsustainable long-term for their team. With WayUp as an extension of their team, NECC saw an immediate shift in their ability to focus on applicants that met their qualifications.
“It opened up several other doors to candidates while still having a strong focus on NECC’s goals, which was to increase our numbers and focus on diversity.”
WayUp also digitized and optimized NECC’s hiring funnel by hosting all of their open roles. Even though WayUp only sourced for one of NECC’s most sought-after and evergreen positions, the team decided to host all of their open jobs on the platform to move a disconnected hiring funnel all into one place. This also enabled the team to utilize WayUp as a CRM.
“It made work more doable because it didn’t matter where I was—whether I was sitting at my desk or at home on my phone or laptop—I could quickly check on things and connect with applicants much easier,” said Schnaible. A once paper-heavy approach was now streamlined—not only saving the team time but also getting candidates’ responses faster than ever before.
This optimization wasn’t only an improvement in efficiency and the candidate experience; it also served as a tool to elevate NECC’s employer branding for optimal candidate attraction.
NECC always needs fresh talent to come in and learn about what they do. Now, with all of their open roles in one place, candidates could quickly get a sense of who the company was and get a sneak peek into their thriving culture. This provided interested candidates with a big picture view of the growing opportunities at NECC.
To attract even more top talent, WayUp produced articles that further highlighted what it was like to work at NECC and gave an in-depth look into the company through quality content. NECC focused on sharing quotes, testimonials, and video clips and is now seeing even higher engagement rates on social media thanks to these thoughtfully curated articles—continually expanding their reach to attract even more interested candidates.
Not only did WayUp become a strategic and collaborative partner for NECC, but early indicators of success have already started trickling in—even before the big rush of Spring recruitment. Thanks to WayUp’s focus on off-season sourcing and hiring, NECC had an increase in Winter hires in 2019—a generally slower time for the nonprofit. This allowed NECC to provide classrooms the assistance they needed. On top of that, NECC saw the rise of efficiency in their early-career candidate recruiting.
In addition to streamlining NECC’s hiring process and attracting more diverse, qualified candidates, many hours were also saved in the process. Before WayUp, the team would spend at least 20 minutes per candidate. Thanks to WayUp’s support, NECC started saving hours per week.
“Partnering with WayUp was a huge time saver and allowed us to get back to candidates in a more timely manner, which is best for everyone in this kind of market.”