Deloitte NL Builds Talent Acquisition Agility with SmartRecruiters

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Heavy Administrative Burden of Too Many Systems

In 2018, talent acquisition at Deloitte Netherlands was ready for a reboot. The company used seven different technology solutions in its hiring process that were not connected to one another. This made the hiring process inefficient; recruiters encountered more than 200 manual data entry points in a typical candidate journey. “Recruiters were spending up to 50% of their time on administrative tasks,” said Eric Houwen, Head of Talent Acquisition at Deloitte NL. “This stood in the way of them spending more time with candidates and being trusted advisors to the business.”

Deloitte NL redesigned its talent acquisition landscape from scratch to build a better candidate experience and create efficiencies for recruiters. To guide its search for a new ATS, Eric’s team identified four guiding principles for the desired new landscape; it had to be simple, integrated, flexible, and automated.

About Deloitte Netherlands

  • Industry: Professional Services
  • Region: Netherlands
  • Employees: 7,000
  • Offices: 15
  • Headquarters: Amsterdam, NL
  • Hiring Model: Centralized

Deloitte Netherlands provides audit & assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax & legal and related services to clients.

People just intuitively knew how to use SmartRecruiters.

– Eric Houwen,
Head of Talent Acquisition

Consolidated Functionality Helps the Team Become More Agile

Once Deloitte NL implemented SmartRecruiters, the company had one system of record for talent acquisition that integrated with the company’s central business intelligence tool for reporting. Additionally, they integrated candidate assessment tools, enabling recruiters and hiring managers to view candidates’ assessment results without leaving SmartRecruiters.

Hiring managers were trained on how to collaborate within SmartRecruiters via short videos and one-page reference cards. “We had very positive reactions,” Eric said. “People just intuitively knew how to use it.” As users became more familiar with the tool, his team built Deloitte’s job-level talent standards into candidate scorecards within SmartRecruiters to ensure consistency.

The implementation of SmartRecruiters occurred concurrently with other significant changes to the talent acquisition function:

TA Organizational Structure

Previously, recruiting teams had been structured under one manager for campus hiring and another for experienced hires. In the new structure, recruiting teams were assigned to business lines. In tandem with efficiencies created by the new technology, this structure made the teams more agile and able to scale up or down depending on the business needs.

Employer Branding

The shift in organizational structure also included integrating the employer branding team, which made it easier for recruiters and employer branding consultants to work one-on-one. “It helped grow mutual understanding so that we could create more effective campaigns that spoke to our target audiences,” Eric said. A revised employee value proposition and new campaigns that featured employee stories improved Deloitte NL’s ability to attract talent.

The new TA technology landscape with SmartRecruiters and new team structure enabled us to rationalize a steep increase in hiring targets. We reacted very quickly and made 65% more hires in one year.

– Eric Houwen,
Head of Talent Acquisition

An Agile Talent Acquisition Function Adapts to the Business

Deloitte NL’s business and hiring goals tend to change over the years. The challenge of successful adaptation is striking the right balance between recruitment capacity and hiring targets. To maintain its influence in hiring decisions, Eric’s team wanted to rationalize the number of hires a recruiter is usually able to make. By analyzing historical and benchmark data, Deloitte NL developed recruitment ratios for campus and experienced hiring. After presenting the data to senior leadership, the team is now equipped to procure the resources it needs whenever hiring targets increase.

The streamlined organizational structure also helped make the team more adaptable: “The smaller recruiting teams allowed us to scale quickly without losing too much hiring power,” Eric said. “We could onboard new recruiters much faster.”

As the demand for talent is changing, Deloitte NL is looking more closely at total workforce management and its relation to talent acquisition. The company has become less reliant on permanent hires from campus recruitment and is looking more toward contingent hires. “We wouldn’t have been ready for this much change a year ago,” Eric said. “We now have a solid foundation that we can build on.” When reflecting on the journey of the last few years, he added, “I can’t imagine doing anything more fun or interesting in this profession.”

Key Outcomes

  • 65% YOY increase in the number of hires
  • Eliminated manual data entry for recruiters, resulting in significantly more time for recruiters to work on non-administrative tasks
  • Streamlined talent acquisition to 2 applications from 7 previously
  • Seamless collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers

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About SmartRecruiters

As a global leader in enterprise recruitment software, SmartRecruiters offers a cloud-based global Talent Acquisition Suite that allows teams to attract, select, and hire the best talent. 4,000 companies worldwide rely on SmartRecruiters to achieve hiring success—including brands like Bosch, LinkedIn, Skechers, and Visa—using recruitment marketing, CRM, AI, ATS, and a marketplace of 600+ connected vendors all within one scalable platform.

True to its mission of connecting people to jobs at scale, SmartRecruiters was recognized by Forbes as one of the Best Employers in 2020. For more information, visit or follow @SmartRecruiters on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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