Employers are looking for any leg up when it comes to hiring top talent. And for good reason: Top Gen Z candidates only stay available for an average of 10 days! Yet companies looking to fill STEM jobs face an even more daunting challenge: More than half of STEM roles projected to go unfilled through 2025.
So, how do you attract top STEM talent with so much competition? Your company’s candidate experience can be—and often is—the deciding factor. That was Nasdaq’s experience. The company was struggling to fill its STEM positions, yet a shift in its early-career recruiting strategy changed everything, enabling Nasdaq’s recruiting team to attract and hire top STEM candidates.
Attracting The Right Candidates
For Nasdaq, attracting STEM candidates had been difficult because they were primarily known as a Wall Street firm, and not as a technology business. “We’re really well known as a Wall Street company, but we’re actually a tech company, and we want to be seen in that light,” says Simon Coombe, the North America Head of Talent Acquisition for Nasdaq. “We knew we had to do a better job of telling the story. Last year, for example, we had thousands of applicants, and many of them didn’t necessarily understand Nasdaq’s key businesses.”
Nasdaq partnered with WayUp to rebrand itself as a technology-first firm, creating branded content that helped communicate that messaging to early-career candidates. One component of that branding campaign was a video featuring Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman that focused on her journey from intern to head of the company.
Improving The Candidate Experience
The candidate experience starts once a person begins the application process, so it’s important to make sure every step is as seamless as possible. As Coombe stresses, that wasn’t always the case. “Before WayUp, our candidate experience was fairly inefficient in terms of getting our applicant flow going and ensuring our positions were on sites that were specifically targeted for our audience,” he says.
“We only have so many people, and campus recruiting is often under-resourced, so we can’t be on all the campuses and at all the events we’d like to attend,” he adds.
By working with WayUp, Nasdaq was able to completely overhaul that formerly dysfunctional process. Now, everything from their internship listings and company information to their branded content and 360-degree virtual office tour video lived on a WayUp company profile. When candidates applied for a position, moreover, they received a guaranteed phone screen within 24 hours.
WayUp also created a culture deck all candidates were able to review prior to their initial call, along with helpful tips and tricks to ace their screen. Afterwards, they received personalized feedback, regardless of the outcome. These improvements created a better experience for candidates because they were prepared for their job interviews; that, in turn, made the interviews a better experience for recruiters.
In addition, WayUp offered candidates flexibility when scheduling phone screens, a great attraction for both nontraditional students and companies looking to recruit a diverse team. Instead of limiting phone screenings to the 9:00AM-5:00PM, Monday-Friday timeframe, candidates were able to schedule their initial phone interview at their convenience.
Seeing The Results
Through its partnership with WayUp, Nasdaq saw increased results and efficiency in moving candidates through the hiring process. “WayUp Source, Screen & Coach has freed my team up from having to spend a lot of time screening and finding qualified applicants. And now we move the candidates quickly—which is completely different from the experience we had before,” Coombe says. “This made partnering with WayUp a no-brainer.”
Ultimately, the new interview process saved Nasdaq’s recruiting team 100 hours per week, all while providing candidates with a positive experience. Combe and his team used those additional working hours to focus only on qualified candidates and to strategize how to build an even more successful internship program moving forward.
Nasdaq’s candidate experience is more efficient than ever before, enabling them to hire more early-career STEM applicants than they ever could.
If you’re keeping track, that’s a win-win-win.