SmartRecruiters Blog

Indigo: Recruiting Platform Adds Joy to Customer and Employee Experience

With 89 superstores and 124 smaller shops, Indigo is Canada’s largest book, gift and speciality retailer. With a business that big, it is clear recruitment has to be conducted via a decentralized hiring model.

Indigo currently boasts a staff of 6,100 with the retailer taking on around 4,000 new hires every year. All together, this mighty team brought in almost a billion dollars in 2016.

The requirement to find additional staff quickly and easily, especially for seasonal periods, is therefore central to Indigo’s success. However, they soon discovered this task was far above-and-beyond their legacy applicant tracking system.

Working With A Joyless ATS

Initially, Indigo hoped to jury-rig their older Taleo platform in order to meet their newer, more strenuous, demands. However, as Indigo’s Director of Talent Acquisition and Performance Management Sarah Wilson explains, it quickly became apparent this would not work:

“The costs of an initiative like that with an extensive set of new requirements would have been cost prohibitive, so we began evaluating other solutions.”

Furthermore, the legacy software did not match the image they wished to project, resulting in a poor candidate experience and potentially poorer quality candidates. Indigo firmly believes joyful employees make joyful customers, but their hiring process was not conducive to this. Luckily, Sarah Wilson recognized the problem and understood something had to be done, adding:

“During that process it became clearer than ever that our decentralized model – and the need to fill 4,000 jobs per year – required an entirely new solution.”

Happy Staff Making Happy Customers

With SmartRecruiters, Indigo found a new talent acquisition suite which fulfilled their demands for large scale, decentralized hiring. Sarah highlighted the following ways SmartRecruiters helped them achieve their goals:

  • Although SmartRecruiters allowed integrations with almost any tool, the pre-configured settings and ease of use means the platform can be easily picked up by store managers in both their larger and smaller stores.
  • The constant and concise reporting of data allowed Indigo to experiment with their recruiting strategies, allowing the company to be more innovative in candidate sourcing.
  • The collaborative features of SmartRecruiters also allowed for decentralized hiring within stores, resulting in happier candidates and staff.
  • The ability to source candidates outside of traditional job boards, such as via referrals or their own career page, meant Indigo were able to reduce their hiring costs. Eventually over 50% of applicants would come via these channels.

The Results Speak For Themselves

With SmartRecruiters, Indigo saw immediate improvements. Sarah reveals that 44% of potential candidates who see an Indigo posting click on it, while 88% of that number will complete the application. This allowed Indigo to fulfill their 2016 holiday season hiring goals two weeks ahead of schedule.

Indigo also conducted an internal survey of recently hired employees to gauge their experiences, and the results were rather impressive. Here are just some of them:

  • 92% agreed that job postings were clear and provided relevant information about the opportunity
  • Ÿ95% agreed that the recruiter communicated in a professional and timely manner
  • 96% rated the candidate experience at Indigo as “great” or “excellent”
  • Ÿ99% would refer others for employment opportunities at Indigo

To see those results in full, as well as read the full experience of Indigo with SmartRecruiters, head over to our special case study, Recruiting Platform Adds Joy to Customer and Employee Experience.


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