Wawa to Voice-Enable Recruiting and Hiring

Convenience store chain Wawa is automating the hiring process for its more than 550 stores throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States with an interactive voice response (IVR) system that allows job applicants to file for positions right over the phone.

The chain announced this week that it plans to implement the Enterprise Talent Suite from Deploy Solutions. The solution uses Deploy's own proprietary speech technology to allow potential employees to input application information into an automated system over the phone. Applicants call a central employment number for the company, and the system asks questions and records their responses. All the information gathered is then exported to the Deploy Hiring Management Console, a central back-end screening application. Once the company's human resources personnel have reviewed the applications, they can pass acceptable candidates on to the managers at the respective stores for additional follow-up and interviews.

With a workforce of more than 16,000 employees, Wawa needs to maintain a strong recruiting pipeline in an industry where turnover is high. One way the Deploy product suite will help Wawa alleviate this issue is by eliminating the large volume of paper applications.

While eliminating a lot of the paperwork is a main goal of the system, a related benefit comes from eliminating the manual input of an applicant's information, thereby reducing the risk of transcription errors and the handling of incomplete applications, says Jenny Wendel, marketing manager at Deploy Solutions.

"The Deploy system will facilitate our hiring process by driving better qualified customer service level candidates through to our general managers," explains Ed Iames, Wawa's director of people development. "Simplifying our store managers' daily lives is of tremendous value because our managers have many responsibilities. Spending less time looking for applicants and more time interviewing better prospective associates should ensure that our future associates are a good fit with our values and culture."

Deploy Solutions software also allows job candidates to apply for positions through the Web sites of the respective companies. Current customers include Prudential, Southwest Airlines, Bristol-Myers/Squibb, Six Flags, Hess, Wal-Mart, ShopRite, and Nationwide Insurance.

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