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Automated Reference Checking
For over 75 years, Medavie Blue Cross has been providing health, dental, travel, life and disability benefits to individuals and organizations across Canada. The not-for-profit is a leading health services partner and winner of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ award. It administers various plans on behalf of provincial and federal governments, as well as group benefits for businesses of all sizes.
Jennifer Deschambeault, manager of talent acquisition at Medavie Blue Cross, and her team of eight employees hire about 600 people per year. “The roles we hire for are vast. Many come from diverse healthcare backgrounds like nurses, dental assistants, occupational therapists, and massage therapists.”
Medavie Blue Cross hires service representatives to staff their three contact centers, as well as other client-facing roles. Sometimes they need to hire dozens of people who all need to start the same day for training purposes. They also hire for other exciting positions in the regions they do business, including contract writers, underwriters, disability claims specialists, communications and marketing
specialists, IT professionals, sales, operational support teams, and leadership roles.
As a well-known organization, Medavie Blue Cross averages 200 applications per opening, although sometimes they can receive 700+ applicants for a job. “That’s wonderful, but from a recruitment perspective, making sure that their skills, core competencies, work experience, and education match the roles that we’re looking for takes time,” says Deschambeault.
Although contacting references slowed down their recruitment efforts, references are still important to Medavie Blue Cross. “Because we deal with federal contracts including the RCMP, Veterans Affairs, Canadian Citizenship and Immigration, some clients require a higher, more enhanced level of security screening,” explains Deschambeault. “We’re dealing with people’s healthcare. It’s sensitive information.”
Medavie Blue Cross needed a secure solution to expedite their reference checking process.
Since the talent acquisition team at Medavie Blue Cross implemented VidCruiter’s automated reference checking system, “time-to-fill has decreased exponentially,” says Deschambeault.
“We normally ask each applicant for three professional references, and it took 30-45 minutes to have that referencing conversation over the phone.” It could take three or four days to get in touch with all the references, and at that point, they risked losing qualified candidates.
“With VidCruiter, the system does all of the back end work for us in chasing people. Within 24 hours, the references are all done, and we make the hiring decision. We can hire 10 people in one day.”
The references they’re receiving through VidCruiter tend to be more accurate and comprehensive than traditional telephone references. “Over the phone, people would rarely say anything negative that would counteract the decision we were already going to make. But now, because of the time people are taking to write out the references, they are more factual and more detailed.”
The referencing tool also uses sophisticated anti-fraud measures to detect if a reference is being completed using the same IP address. “That safety net has been great,” says Deschambeault.
VidCruiter’s automated reference checking software has been “a dream” for the Medavie Blue Cross talent acquisition team. “It’s amazing. The team is so excited,” says Deschambeault. “If I took this away from them, there would be a lot of tears. This has become our new norm.”
Their new approach to collecting references has improved the calibre of those they’re choosing to hire.
“This has 100% had an impact on our quality of hire because of the quality of the references that we’re getting,” says Deschambeault.
The extra layer of reference details either solidifies what they’ve seen throughout the rest of the recruitment process, or it causes them to pause and make a sound decision. “There’s a lot more meat, so we can really dig in and have a better picture of the candidate we are about to hire. We are also able to obtain information that will help in coaching the potential hire.”
Medavie Blue Cross has achieved a considerable return on their investment; they no longer need to call references. Six-hundred annual hires used to mean calling at least 1,800 people and talking with each of them for 30-45 minutes. With automated referencing, the team is saving 900 – 1,350+ hours a year, which can be spent on other recruiting projects.
“My team can now focus on other work. We have more time to get to know candidates,” says Deschambeault.