Johnson & Johnson Is Transforming The Early-Career Recruitment Process: Here’s How

Johnson & Johnson Is Transforming The Early-Career Recruitment Process: Here’s How

Johnson & Johnson hires over 8,000 people in the United States each year. To accomplish this, their recruiting team must evaluate hundreds of thousands of applications, 25% of which are early career candidates. Needless to say, making attempts to create meaningful change is difficult at such a massive scale.

So, after years of executing their recruiting process, Johnson & Johnson realized they needed to evolve in order to remain competitive.

They concluded that they wanted to address three components: the lack of transparency during the recruitment process, the transactional nature of recruiting, and a candidate’s inability to get a real sense for what it’s like to work at an organization.  

Johnson & Johnson understands that technology is the solution to transforming the way quality talent should be sourced, hired, and on-boarded, so they embarked on a journey to deliver on that mission by:

  • Making the candidate experience more humanistic
  • Empowering candidates with career guidance and meaningful information
  • Creating transparency for the job seeker

Let’s break down exactly how Johnson & Johnson achieved this by reviewing each of their goals:

1) Moving from a transactional to a humanized candidate experience

Johnson & Johnson recognizes that the traditional strategies in engaging talent are unsustainable. Gen Z and Millennials alike have grown up in a mobile-first ecosystem that provides instantaneous information and connectivity to the world.  With that in mind, attracting and engaging that population to their early career programs in a humanized way would require a different, more digital recruiting approach.

As a result, Johnson & Johnson created BE VITAL, a native mobile application that connects university students with Johnson & Johnson via a personalized digital experience to help them move from campus to a career. Rather than read a paragraph about what it’s like to work at Johnson & Johnson, undergrads can speak with current employees to get a 360 view of what it’s like to work there. With unique content, insider knowledge, and one-on-one interactions with mentors from Johnson & Johnson, the app gives university students a transparent view of what working at Johnson & Johnson is really like.

According to Sjoerd Gehring, Global VP of Talent Acquisition and People Experience at Johnson & Johnson, “It’s no longer about telling better stories on our career website or launching more compelling Instagram stories…it’s about how can I bring more Johnson & Johnson employees and students together to create a richer dialogue and deliver a more authentic experience.”

If you want to learn more, check out this article on Johnson & Johnson’s career site!

2) Empowering candidates with career guidance and meaningful information

BE VITAL is oriented in a way for candidates to not only foster relationships with current employees but also to have access to career guidance (brought to you by partners like WayUp) and Johnson & Johnson News within the same native mobile experience. This targeted content model is a direct means to creating consumer-like recruitment experience that will effectively engage candidates.

In propagating this content to its users, Johnson & Johnson is committed to empowering candidates with information that will best position their candidates to succeed. With this feature in BE VITAL at their fingertips, candidates can access tips and tricks, best practices, and inspiration to assist in the transition from campus to career.  Moreover, users can also access Johnson & Johnson News to learn about their latest innovations and employee testimonials that describe how they are making an impact and changing lives every day.

Check out the visual below to learn more about the unique features BE VITAL provides:

Simply put, BE VITAL has created an integrated environment for its users to engage, learn, and explore all things Johnson & Johnson with the goal to optimize the candidate experience authentically.

3) Creating transparency for the job seeker during the recruitment life-cycle

Candidates crave transparency in the recruitment process. However, most of the time, they feel they are submitting “applications to nowhere.” In a typical recruitment process, hours, days, and weeks might go by before there is any correspondence between the candidate and the recruiter. Johnson & Johnson has sought out to create transparency and solve this problem with a program called Shine which is slowly rolling out to candidates.

Shine was inspired by the responses of over 100,000 candidates to determine what their biggest frustrations were during their hiring process. The overwhelming results allowed Johnson & Johnson to inform a job-seeking environment that gave the candidate more control, understanding, and human-like experiences via real-time support, progress updates, and helpful content. Insights to candidates include the real-time progress of an application, hearing from Johnson & Johnson’s recent hires about their experiences, articles and videos that are relevant to where a candidate may be in the hiring process, and providing them with motivation and practical help every step of the way. This interface is setting a new standard in candidate experience which is already receiving glowing reviews from its users.

If you want to learn more, check out this article on Johnson & Johnson’s career site!

A New Standard

Johnson & Johnson has set a new standard of excellence in the field of recruitment and candidate experience through their most recent initiatives. By leveraging new technologies and techniques, Johnson & Johnson is proof that innovation is a must in this market to remain competitive. Hiring for the future means that companies must rethink their current strategies and implement technology that will create a meaningful experience for both recruiters and job seekers.

We recently held a webinar featuring Johnson & Johnson, specifically Sjoerd Gehring, Global VP of Talent Acquisition and People Experience, about the innovation highlighted in this article.  We’ve been getting glowing responses from companies saying how impressed they are with Johnson & Johnson’s initiatives and are looking to learn more about how they can embark on a similar path. To get started, click here to view the webinar or feel free to reach out to with any questions or comments!