Founded in 1967, Sheridan College has grown to become one of Ontario’s leading post- secondary institutions with campuses in Oakville, Brampton, and Mississauga. It attracts students from across Canada and around the world. Every year ~24,500 full-time and ~18,500 continuing and part-time students embark on career-focused programs in the fields of arts, business, community service, health, technology, and the skilled trades. Sheridan prides itself on being a forward-thinking, technologically-advanced institution.
Annually, Sheridan may hire anywhere from 200-400 full-time staff, plus another 200 part-time faculty each term to support student success. Their talent acquisition (TA) team is made up of six people who recruit for many positions, including faculty, administrators, as well as support staff such as IT, finance, and student advising to name a few.
Sheridan can see upwards of 300 applications for a single job posting. “Each recruiter may have 15 to 20 positions on their plate that they’re trying to screen,” explains Dana Golding, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Sheridan.
Reference checking was another massive undertaking. Recruiters typically ask for three references for full-time roles, and two references for part-time faculty roles, from the selected candidate before extending a job offer. So, they had to make hundreds of phone calls.
The team was looking for an efficient and effective way to handle high numbers while still engaging with a diverse applicant pool.
The pre-recorded videos act either as a replacement of the telephone pre-screen, or as a combination of the telephone pre-screen and the first round interview. After the recruiters have reviewed the video interviews, they share secure links to shortlisted candidate profiles with hiring managers (and sometimes the interview panel) for their feedback.
It’s also improved the candidate experience. “It’s better for applicants as they have more control over the process. This tends to reduce some of the anxiety associated with interviews,” says Golding. The process is respectful of everyone’s time, and it’s working all around.
To help humanize the interview, the TA team is adding welcome videos from the recruiter or hiring manager. They ask questions in a video format rather than having job applicants solely read one-dimensional text-based questions. This is another candidate engagement practice which allows them to get a sneak peek into life at Sheridan.
VidCruiter’s reference checking software automates Sheridan’s entire part-time faculty referencing process. It eliminates most telephone references. The system has built-in mechanisms to help detect potentially fraudulent activity.
Since switching to pre-recorded interviews, Sheridan’s TA team is saving time and money. The video interviews are “a great timesaver,” explains Golding. “If we didn’t do it this way, we’d have several people spending a whole day in interviews. That’s a lot of lost time and effort.”
Candidates can be reviewed more quickly and sent more timely messages to keep them informed of their application status. Sheridan has developed set interview question templates for each of their employee groups. These can be easily customized for each position, making the process repeatable and much faster.
VidCruiter also helps the TA team gain a better understanding of candidates early in the recruiting process. Resumes don’t tell the whole story. “Applicants are not always able to showcase all of their attributes in a resume, and this provides them with a virtual platform to share.” The preliminary interviews give the hiring team a more comprehensive picture of each applicant.
In accordance with Sheridan’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), the TA team has incorporated best practices into their hiring process. This inclusivity initiative is important to the entire college and student population.
“Everyone is asked the same questions,” says Dana. “An interviewer is not asking one candidate additional questions and not the other. Nobody’s getting extra information, and we’ve already received feedback from candidates applauding the fairness.”
VidCruiter’s technology is helping Sheridan find top talent while minimizing hiring bias. The next step for Sheridan and VidCruiter is launching the online skills testing functionality to assess candidates’ ability to perform the job successfully!