Doubling the number of applications for Deen Supermarkten

How do you streamline the recruitment process of a major supermarket chain with 80 branches and more than 9,000 employees? This question stumped Deen Supermarkten until they started using HROffice.

Deen's recruitment challenge

Deen has been a major player in the retail sector since 1933. ‘Our shops are growing quickly, and our teams are expanding,’ says Gert-Jan de Geus, personnel advisor at Deen Supermarkten. ‘That’s why we’re always looking for new employees. We receive more than a thousand applications a week and our supermarket managers are tasked with selecting the right candidates. We are mainly looking for assistants. Most of these applicants are young people who apply on their mobiles. That’s why we wanted an ATS system and a career website that makes it easy for people to apply at Deen. This is exactly what we got with HROffice.’

HROffice through the eyes of Gert-Jan de Geus

Personnel advisor at Deen Supermarkten

*movie is in Dutch

A good recruitment system for a good price

‘We were looking for a recruitment software provider that really fit the Deen brand. We’re a straightforward supermarket chain and wanted an equally straightforward recruitment system. Lots of companies, including HROffice, offer all-in services, such as detailed analyses and amazing websites, but for prices that don’t fit in our budget. As a supermarket chain, we wanted a good recruitment system for a good price. We eventually settled on HROffice. They made us a custom proposal that met all of our needs for the right price.’

An accessible application process with a career website

In addition to a good ATS system, we wanted to create a clear and user-friendly career site for potential candidates. We wanted to make sure that vacancies were easy to find on the career site and we wanted to create fast and streamlined application process that didn’t force candidates to enter a lot of information. Our goal for the career site was and still is to receive as many applications as possible. So far so good. Thanks to the career site designed by HROffice, the number of applications we receive has doubled. This has really helped us find the right employees for our supermarkets.

Making changes from the sidelines

‘We were looking for a recruitment system that we could tailor entirely to our own specifications. As personnel advisors, it’s important to be able to monitor the success of a vacancy from the sidelines. Are we getting enough applications? Is Deen responding to all applicants? How can we support the vacancy campaign to increase the number of applications? Our HR department uses HROffice Recruitment to help the supermarket managers select the right candidates.’

Avoiding the recruitment process

‘We’re also very pleased with the talent pool feature in HROffice. Deen has multiple branches in some cities. If, for example, a candidate applies at one of our stores in Purmerend but we don’t have any vacancies at that particular branch, it would be great if they could find work at a different branch in the same city. That’s where the HROffice talent pool comes in handy. Everyone who applies in Purmerend who we can’t link to a specific branch is added to the talent pool. When a branch has a new vacancy, they can check the talent pool for a suitable candidate. This lets you avoid the application process, as it were. You don’t have to draft a new vacancy because you have plenty of candidates to choose from in your talent pool. That’s extremely valuable.’

HROffice through the eyes of Klaas Kessler

Supermarket manager at Deen Supermarkten, Rijnstraat Amsterdam

*movie is in Dutch

Crisis in the retail sector

‘There’s an abundance of work in the Netherlands these days, meaning plenty of vacancies to choose from. Because of this, supermarket jobs have become less popular, leaving our sector with a shortage of trained and untrained staff. Deen is trying to change this. So far, things are looking good. We recently started using HROffice and I’ve noticed a huge increase in the number of applications. Before, I’d get one or two applications a week; now I get several every day. That’s a big improvement compared to what I was used to.’

Attracting a new target group

‘What I personally find extremely interesting is that we’re receiving applications from totally unexpected parts of the country. That means the career site is triggering candidates we wouldn’t otherwise have reached. We’re used to people applying in person or via the website. These people are always familiar with the Deen branch, otherwise they wouldn’t apply this way. But now I see applicants in the ATS system from cities or towns that don’t even have a Deen supermarket. It’s a great development. ‘

Overview of the entire recruitment process

‘In the past, the application process was managed by the HR department, which would start by filtering out the applications they received. I’ve noticed that I have a much better understanding of the local market and therefore know the type of people I should invite to apply. The ATS system by HROffice gives me a detailed overview of all applications. This means I can see at a glance which candidates have responded to the vacancies and the status of their application. If you log in a few days later, you get an instant overview of the new applications that have come in, which candidates have been invited to a job interview, and which candidates have been hired or rejected.’

One system for the entire organization

‘Everyone in the organization can use the HROffice recruitment system, which makes it easy to see what everyone’s working on. As the manager, my job is to invite candidates for a job interview, but I don’t actually conduct the interview myself; this is the responsibility of the team leaders at the respective branch. In HROffice, they can see which applications came in for which vacancy. With this information, the right team leader can handle all of the applications for a specific job, such as a cashier vacancy. The collective ATS system gives us a better overview of the entire recruitment process, which makes it easier for everyone to help each other. This makes my job a little easier, leaving me with more time to focus on other things. As a supermarket manager, I couldn’t be happier.’