SmartRecruiters Blog

Stepping Forward: How Skechers Built a Business Case for Hiring Success

Four years ago, the footwear retailer partnered with SmartRecruiters to develop a custom implementation strategy that would empower them to tackle high-volume seasonal hiring and industry challenges.

After finding success implementing SmartRecruiters at their Manhattan Beach headquarters, Skechers had the ambitious goal to roll out SmartRecruiters in all 727 of their stores within 90 days. The purpose was to standardize their hiring process and provide a consistent candidate experience regardless of location. With the holiday season fast approaching, the pressure to implement a new system before the hiring demand spike was on. SmartRecruiters’ Hiring Success team was up to the challenge, and started the process by breaking out the process into five steps:

  1. Awareness ― Understanding goals and defining metrics to measure success
  2. Roadmap ― Establishing a plan to reach objectives
  3. Re-optimization Workshop ― Redesigning the hiring process and providing sustainable supporting configuration for Skechers’ main points of contact 
  4. Acceleration ― Implementing everything configured in the workshop and preparing Skechers’ trainers for their three-month training roadshow to teach all hiring managers how to use the new system effectively
  5. Optimization ― Reviewing the metrics and achievements of retail stores on a monthly basis 

The results speak for themselves, with a 100% launch in all of Skechers’ stores after 90 days. Additionally, hiring teams readily embraced the platform, with over 80% of the entire organization’s TA department using the new system immediately after implementation. The modern and uniform hiring process also translated to a significant increase in applications, with more than 50,000 applications for 1,400 jobs, which led directly to 525 new hires. To us, that is the definition of Hiring Success.

SmartRecruiters sat down with Adan Villalobos, Global Director of Talent Acquisition at Skechers, to look back on these accomplishments. Adan dove deep into what it felt like to participate in the monumental changes of Skechers’s global hiring process.

What did you find to be some key benefits from the re-optimization workshop? 

It was incredibly helpful to have an expert show us the technical side of how we should be setting up the system. We realized during this stage that SmartRecruiters had so many different processes and systems that we weren’t even utilizing. We discovered how to operate the system on a global level, and were then able to come together and build a training program for our hiring managers. This step was crucial to prepare us for the global rollout. 

What were your biggest concerns while on the road during Skechers’ store rollout?

Initially, my biggest concern in rolling this out to stores was that we would have to pull hiring managers away from the sales floor to teach them the system. However, SmartRecruiters is so mobile and intuitive that it was possible to have short training sessions and then send hiring managers out to use the platform on their phones on the sales floor. Once they learned of this ability it gave them the opportunity to streamline the entire hiring process while also providing a great candidate experience. 

We were also somewhat worried about adoption rates, but the training programs that we built with SmartRecruiters encouraged all participants to buy into the system because they saw how it was going to benefit them in the long run. It was easy to see how, by using the platform, they were going to achieve top-quality hires, which meant an increase in the overall profitability of their store.

How do you sustain the success that you’ve seen with the engagement and adoption in each store?

Many of us have been in a business where a new system is rolled out, it’s bright and shiny for the first three to six months, and then it loses its luster. To avoid this, we wanted to create programs that support SmartRecruiters’ system and also sustain the great results we initially saw. In order to achieve this, we made district managers and regional managers accountable for managing the platform in all stores. This allowed them to truly own the program, and it was in their best interest to utilize it to the best of their ability.

We also built a recruiting ambassador program. Each recruiting ambassador was assigned to a district to help stores actively recruit through the platform and make sure that they’re utilizing it to its full potential. SmartRecruiters also does a great job of continuing to update the platform, and this keeps our people very involved. 

How can SmartRecruiters help clients be successful with high-volume hiring in retail?

The SmartRecruiters team has always helped build our strategy for the peak periods of hiring during the holidays and the back-to-school season. They have achieved this by showing us how to use the platform as a marketing tool. 

It gives stores an opportunity to market to career fairs and at in-store events. The hiring manager can then create candidate pools from the people they reach and benchmark the candidates already in the system. When the store is ready to hire for a specific season the hiring managers can go back into the system and identify the best candidates for interviews. Overall, our planning and communication throughout the hiring process have improved, and so has our capability to deal with the masses of candidates each season.

Through strategic planning and partnership, Skechers received a tailored implementation program that produced dramatic results and has the roadmap to continually attract, select, and hire great talent for years to come. To hear the full Q&A session check out the Webinar: Building a Business Case for Hiring Success in Retail where our Hiring Success director breaks down process that led to this incredible transformation.

Mark Gregory