L’Occitane has been revolutionizing beauty, skincare, and well-being since 1976. Their Senior Recruitment Manager Sam Lucking heads talent acquisition for L’Occitane’s UK and Ireland sector with the support of Recruitment Specialist Sam Webster. They have been working hard to promote the company’s recruitment goals: encouraging diversity, educating potential employees about the brand, and sharing the L’Occitane story.
Central to L’Occitane’s recruitment strategy is a candidate experience that is authentic and demonstrates their values. In Sam Lucking’s words, “we’ve previously been too humble, and we need to shout more about what a great place it is to work.”
- Locations: 3,000 retail outlets worldwide, 290 in the UK and Ireland
- Industry: Retail
- Headcount: 500+ in the UK and Ireland
- Size of talent team: 2
The challenge: Lack of control and customization
L’Occitane’s challenge is one retailers know all too well: To create a compelling candidate experience that moves fast enough to hire a high volume of talent before they accept roles elsewhere. But L’Occitane’s legacy Applicant Tracking System (ATS) was only holding them back.
Their previous tool was primarily an HRIS, so it sounded like a good idea to use their built-in ATS solution—but in practice, the recruiting functionality fell short. The workflow builder was unintuitive, so making changes was overly time-consuming and difficult. “It didn’t empower our hiring managers to look after their roles,” Sam told us.
Things came to a head during the holiday recruitment rush in 2021, when it became clear that the old ATS did not meet L’Occitane’s needs. Hiring managers had “gone rogue” with individualized workarounds (such as spreadsheets and their own work emails) to source candidates, so the talent team used Indeed as a makeshift ATS. According to Sam, it was a painful way to discover that the tool “wasn’t fit for purpose” and was hindering their hiring processes.
To regain hiring manager buy-in, Sam involved them in the ATS selection process from the beginning. “We felt it was important they were involved in choosing the software they’d be using to hire,” she explained. When Pinpoint emerged as the clear winner, Sam was sold by both the platform’s functionality and the transparency of Pinpoint’s pricing model.
“Sales can be great, and then it turns out you’ve got something completely different than the dream you were sold. That’s not the case with Pinpoint.”
1. Spot-on employer branding
To stand out in a competitive market, Sam and her team needed a way to tell L’Occitane’s story. The old system had few options for incorporating their employer brand, so Sam sought out a flexible solution to give them more control over their careers site.
With Pinpoint, they built the L’Occitane’s careers page in a fraction of the time anticipated, and her team is proud of the way it captures L’Occitane’s health- and eco-conscious brand. “The Pinpoint design team nailed it early on,” she said. “It always felt very consultative, like a true partnership.”
Now, applicants have a place to view videos and other media that help them understand the brand before they apply.
Really understanding what drives that future generation of leaders is a key focus for us, so we can make sure we are working toward that.
2. Actionable candidate feedback
A better candidate experience was at the top of Sam’s priority list for a new ATS. Pinpoint’s Candidate Net Promoter Score allows them to track improvements over time. The comments are sometimes painful to read, but they are also a gold mine of valuable feedback.
For example, when Sam noticed candidates were confused about where they stood in the recruitment process, she set up automated messages to give them an estimated response date.
Since implementing Pinpoint, L’Occitane has received increasingly positive candidate feedback, and their Net Promoter Score has increased to a world-class rating of 80.
Hiring managers have also found Pinpoint to be so user-friendly that they’re no longer going rogue with individualized workarounds. Instead, they’re working within the platform to respond to candidates faster and ensure they’re never left in the dark.
By increasing team efficiency without sacrificing candidate experience, L’Occitane has been able to shorten time to fill by 23%.
If your recruitment system makes candidates feel disengaged, uninformed, or uncared for, they’ll go elsewhere.
3. Adaptable workflows and templates
Sam’s recruitment team has regained control over the hiring process now that they can quickly modify workflows and templates. In one recent example, Sam was able to respond instantly to candidate feedback by adding options to their diversity questionnaire that accurately reflect L’Occitane’s candidate pool.
One of the most amazing things about Pinpoint is that we're in control of the system and can make changes.
4. Increased hiring manager visibility
Transparency has played a vital role in Sam’s success. She involved hiring managers in the process early on to ensure that Pinpoint became L’Occitane’s system, not just TA’s.
Sam is a strong believer in overcommunication, and that belief paid off when she was rolling out Pinpoint. She invited small groups of hiring managers to “beta test” the platform as it was being implemented. In the early days, she regularly shared hiring updates and stats to demonstrate Pinpoint’s value. Today, their 150+ hiring managers don’t need any convincing.
Whenever additional support is needed, Pinpoint is just a quick phone call or chat message away. Sam has trained the hiring managers to use the chat as a first option and raves about Pinpoint’s responsiveness. “There’s never been a question they couldn’t answer,” she says.
Visibility has been key—not just for the candidates, but for employees as well.
5. Seamless onboarding
After an offer is made, there are a series of steps a new hire must take before their first day at L’Occitane. With their previous ATS, L’Occitane used a tool called Enboarder to build out these workflows, but it was an imperfect solution.
When candidates had to jump from the ATS to the onboarding solution, the inconsistent user experience caused unnecessary confusion and a myriad of questions. It was also easy for accidents to happen with data entry—in one instance, a cohort of candidates weren’t able to onboard on time because an entire process had to be fixed.
Now that they have Pinpoint, L’Occitane has created a seamless experience for candidates. They’ve integrated with Zinc so important background checks are managed from the same place. Candidates are already accustomed to Pinpoint from the hiring process, so they are able to complete tasks autonomously.
Since launching onboarding, we have fewer questions coming in about how basic things work.
Depending on the new hire’s department, L’Occitane’s onboarding process could involve between 4-8 steps and a variety of stakeholders, including managers, IT, and head office reception. Pinpoint’s flexible workflows and notifications allow the L’Occitane TA team to tailor onboarding processes so candidates can complete the appropriate tasks, and the right people are informed.
With a central view over progress for each new hire, L’Occitane has removed the “question mark” of onboarding and improved internal transparency.
A truly unique experience
With less time spent on manual admin tasks, Sam and her team are free to focus on what’s most important: creating an unparalleled experience of L’Occitane’s employer brand.
Pinpoint is always evolving to meet our changing needs, which is critical in retail. They always seem to be one step ahead.
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