Advent Calendar Doors 7 to 9: applying in 90 seconds, a personalized career website and Facebook luck

Today, it’s all about the labyrinthine ways towards a good candidate experience. It’s not always how you think it works. Time for doors 7, 8 and 9 in our advent calendar with Nicole from Infineon, Éric from Orange and Mark from GM.

Enjoy some insightful reflection about “favorite mistakes”, and a preview at what HR experts all over the world have up their sleeves for 2016!

-Julian & the APOLLO blog team in Berlin and Stockholm

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Door 7: Nicole and the 90-second application

Infineon picWho:
 Nicole Goodfellow (front, third from the left, with her kiss-movember-style team)

Role: Talent Attraction & Marketing at Infineon

Where: Munich, Germany

Question 1: What was your favorite mistake this year? The one you learned the most from.

Subconsciously, we had three beliefs 1) you need an EVP to be successful in attracting the right candidates, 2) you need a lot of budget to do cool things and 3) in August there is a summer “hole” where you have time to do stuff you never have time for. And guess what?! They all proved to be wrong! 🙂

Regarding 1) & 2): if you put the candidate in focus, have a kick-ass process and a creative, tight-knit team: you can do anything! For instance really turning the application process around and send candidates your company CV, to a job search that doesn’t make you search and a 90-second application.

All of which lead to the fact that 88% of rejected candidates would apply again and us being able to hire 40% more employees whilst saving 60% of external headhunter cost. Well, and regarding 3): after three Augusts with kick-offs of big projects – we will be prepared next year! 🙂

Question 2: What is your one most ambitious plan for 2016?

We will follow through and make our Talent Attraction team even more “sales & marketing” like. We will define our key & shortage functions and develop marketing personas for each of them through internal & external focus groups.

Based on those findings we will sharpen our funnel to generate and nurture recruiting leads learning from marketing automation and lead scoring processes. With this, we will be able to fill the talent pipeline with qualified leads and close the deals even quicker: ie recruit the right candidate on the right position.

Get in touch with Nicole on LinkedIn.

Door 8: Éric’s bumpy road to website personalization

Eric1Who: Éric Barilland

Role: Head of Employer Branding and Campus Management at Orange

Where: Paris, France

Question 1: What was your favorite mistake this year? The one you learned the most from.


Sometimes, on days with no mistake to deal with, I have the unpleasant feeling that I have wasted my day. Because, even if I am not very fond of this moment when you realize you missed something, making mistakes means you try something new! And it is our job with my team to take a chance to attract and retain the best talents worldwide! Professional life with no risk nor mistake would be so boring.

My favorite mistake in 2015? Definitely, our choice to offer a customized homepage on, our career website. It means the team has to manage 3 different homepages dedicated to 3 types of profile (students, young graduates and experienced, generic). When looking at the figures, we all have the feeling that our efforts make no difference: it seems that a too small part of our 2 million visitors find it useful or even realize this possibility exists.

The customized highlighted news, job positions and other contents are not enough effective at this step. Worst: people who don’t customize their homepage are stuck on the central cover, that offers the possibility to choose your profile and they can’t see the (awesome 🙂 ) content we chose for them. Such a waste of time and energy!

It doesn’t mean we will abandon the path to a more and more accurate customization serving our audiences, but we do have to do it better through a stronger interaction with the visitors and the potential applicants and a better use of our analytics and data.

Question 2: What is your one most ambitious plan for 2016?

In 2016 we should give a new momentum to our EVP (employer value proposition). Orange has such amazing opportunities to offer and beautiful stories to tell!

As a worldwide employer in digital, I’m sure we can bring more inspiration and ambition to our employer promises. In a hyper-connected world which requires transparency and honesty, we have to stay in touch with our employees’ feedbacks. They will help us to improve our external proposition. It is also key to tell external talents what they could live with us, “joining a company that is both digital and caring, based on an employee experience which mirrors the experience we want for our customers”. I am very confident in how we can inspire potential applicants throughout our footprint thanks to the quality of our HR programs in training, digital transformation, gender equality.

Get in touch with Éric on LinkedIn.

Door 9: Mark’s luck with Facebook

Mark McKeen GMWho: Mark McKeen

Role: Sr. Manager Talent Acquisition Business Services and GM Careers Website at GM

Where: Greater Detroit Area, MI, USA

Question 1: What was your favorite mistake this year? The one you learned the most from.

My favorite mistake was utilizing Facebook to attract skilled trades workers.  I did not intend to use it as a recruiting message, but it worked very effectively for us.

Question 2: What is your one most ambitious plan for 2016?

We are most ambitious and excited about refreshing our Employment Branding content and messages in 2016.  We will ask GM team members to share their own stories about why they chose to work at our company and why they stay. Our hope is that this will give candidates insights about our company and culture as well as some of the innovative work people do here.

Get in touch with Mark on LinkedIn.

The next 3 doors: Coming up on Dec 10th…

…so if you like to hear more stories, join us here, on the APOLLO blog. Our motto is Applying Online & Loving It, and that’s why we like to share data, best practices and opinions on employer branding and the candidate experience!

Read doors 1 to 3

Read doors 4 to 6

Read doors 10 to 12

Read doors 13 to 15

Read doors 16 to 18

Read doors 19 to 21

Read doors 22 to 24

Julian Ziesing Potentialpark

About the blogger: Julian Ziesing, candidate experience believer since 2002, and Head of Business Development at global market research firm Potentialpark, Berlin.

Get in touch with Julian on LinkedIn.

7 thoughts on “Advent Calendar Doors 7 to 9: applying in 90 seconds, a personalized career website and Facebook luck

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