Indigo: Recruiting Platform Adds Joy to Customer and Employee Experience

Adopting SmartRecruiters streamlines Indigo’s recruiting across Canada through quick onboarding, ease of use, and built-in integrations.
"Yes, we want a great platform, but support is essential. With SmartRecruiters, we get both first class support and service." Sarah Wilson Director of Talent Acquisition and Performance Management


Specialty Retail


Headquartered in Toronto, 200+ stores across all 10 provinces and one territory

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As Canada’s largest book, gift and speciality retailer — with 89 superstores and 124 smaller shops — Indigo has had to rely on a decentralized recruitment model.

Headquartered in Toronto, 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 central to Indigo’s success. However, they soon discovered this task was above-and-beyond their legacy application tracking system.


Initially, Indigo hoped to jury-rig their older Taleo platform with other technologies to meet their newer, more strenuous, demands. However, as Indigo’s Director of Talent Acquisition and Performance Management Sarah Wilson explained, 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, their legacy software did not match the company profile or the image they wished to project, potentially resulting in a poor candidate experience and 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.”


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

  • Although SmartRecruiters allowed integrations with almost any tool, Sarah also highlighted the pre-configured settings meaning the platform can be easily picked up by store managers in both their larger and smaller stores.
  • The constant and concise reporting of data also allowed Indigo to experiment with their hiring strategies, making the company more innovative in sourcing candidates.
  • The in-built collaborative features of SmartRecruiters also decentralized hiring within stores, resulting in happier candidates and staff. Of course, happy staff makes for happy customers.
  • The ability to source candidates outside traditional job boards, for example via referrals or their own career page, meant Indigo reduced their hiring costs. Eventually over 50% of applicants would come via these channels.

“Now we can easily test something and try it out. If it works, great! If not, we try something else. SmartRecruiters clearly is driven by a culture of innovation that inspires our own innovative approach to recruiting.”
Sarah WilsonDirector of Talent Acquisition and
Performance Management


With SmartRecruiters, Indigo saw immediate improvements with their hiring efforts. Sarah reveals how 44% of potential candidates who see an Indigo posting click on it, while 88% of that number will see an application through to completion. 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 experience, 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
  • 95% agreed that the recruiter communicated in a professional and timely manner
  • 96% rated the candidate experience at Indigo as “great” or “excellent”
  • 99% would refer others for employment opportunities at Indigo
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