SmartRecruiters Blog

Expeditors: Lean Resources. Global Footprint. Robust Results

Arriving on the scene in 1979, Expeditors has firmly established itself as one of the world’s leading logistics and customs brokerage companies, specializing in haulage and supply chain management in a diverse range of industries. After starting out as a single office in Seattle, Expeditors can now boast over 250 branches and a staff of around 15,000.

However, when it comes to recruitment, Expeditors does things a little differently than most Fortune 500s, as it actually lacks any kind of dedicated HR support.

Instead, Expeditors operates within an ultra-decentralized model with local department managers changing hats to become temporary hiring managers as and when required. This approach provides the managers with the autonomy and flexibility they need to fulfil staffing requirements across their global branches. However, it also presents troublesome organizational and administrative pain points.

Burdened With A Brand Damaging ATS

Expeditors were all too aware of these problems, and they are also aware that their home-grown Lotus Notes database was not up to the task of solving them. In fact, it might have been irreversibly damaging their brand in regards to candidates.

In particular, the chaotic system of emails and spreadsheets meant there was no standardized or efficient method of communicating with potential employees, resulting in a poor candidate experience. As Morgan Wilson, Senior Manager of Training & Personal Development at Expeditors, explained:

“I am sure we did not have a great reputation in the past among job applicants. Many who applied to Expeditors would never hear a thing.”

This approach could have been potentially costing Expeditors their next great candidate.

Luckily, the first step in solving a problem is actually recognizing one exists, the next is finding the right tools to fix it. With this in mind, Expeditors created a set of criteria which any newly adopted talent acquisition suite would have to match up to.

Firstly, since Expeditors has no dedicated HR staff, they needed something department managers could pick up easily and with only minimal training. Secondly, they needed a platform acting hiring managers could own locally. Thirdly, they wanted to create an excellent candidate experience, and finally, the solution needed to be able to deal with the large influx of paper applications typically handed into Expeditors at industry shows and events.

Putting Expeditors Back In Charge Of Its Brand

Despite having no experience of SmartRecruiters prior to their search, Expeditors quickly found a partner which satisfied all their specific criteria. Here’s how:

  • SmartRecruiters’ communication tools, including automated responses, are built-in to the platform, meaning candidates are no longer left in the dark about their applications. With little effort, Expeditors can keep in touch in all applicants, increasing their chances of finding the best talent and improving the candidate experience as they go.
  • All of this was achieved without any need for major organizational restructuring. In the end, Expeditors only needed to hire one administrator to handle the entire SmartRecruiters platform.
  • The collaborative nature of SmartRecruiters allows for candidates to be passed between jobs, departments and hiring managers with ease. This way, if a candidate was unsuccessful for one position, but could be ideal for another, this can be easily communicated to the team and their profile reassigned.
  • The easy configurability of SmartRecruiters means the information from paper applications could be uploaded and shared with the entire hiring staff.

The Results Are Plain To See

After a short pilot period, Expeditors immediately chose SmartRecruiters as their new ATS platform. It wasn’t long until they saw improvements, with Expeditors predicting to receive around 27,000 applications for 900 positions in their first year of using SmartRecruiters.

However, the SmartRecruiters platform doesn’t simply provide short-term solutions to immediate needs, the data it provides can also aid long-term organizational and strategic decision-making. Expeditors, in particular, used the vast amounts of data and key metrics they received to alter their internal practices, increasing cooperation and overall efficiency.

To go into more detail about how SmartRecruiters helped Expeditors achieve their hiring goals without compromising on their preferred model, read the full case study, Expeditors: Lean Resources. Global Footprint. Robust Results.


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