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How Pasta Evangelists built an effective—and efficient— referral program
Case study

Pasta Evangelists’ recipe for 7-day hiring at high volume

Because every day matters, food and beverage recruiters acquire a taste for speed and adaptability. They also face a shared challenge: how to hire a high volume of employees quickly, without sacrificing a great candidate experience.

Food and beverage is a famously high-energy industry, from the kinetic buzz of the factory floor to the passionate tasting of the test kitchen. So it’s no surprise that hiring in the industry is similarly fast-paced; it’s often done at high volume, with roles that need to be filled within the week. 

If you’re new to the pasta revolution, meet Pasta Evangelists, a brand that brings a taste of Italy to British doorsteps with their tantalizing range of pastas and authentic sauces. Inspired by the artisanal traditions Italy has nurtured for centuries, Pasta Evangelists aim to be the authority in fresh pasta—and with over 40 cloud kitchens, a factory, a Pasta Academy, and a pasta counter at Harrods, they’re well on their way.

Talent Acquisition Partner Veronica Calderon and Head of People Alev Cagatay faced some unique challenges in their quest to serve up a recruitment process as delightful as their pasta. Alev describes their current talent acquisition team as “Veronica and Pinpoint against the world,” but it wasn’t always that way.


Key info

  • Locations: 43 cloud kitchens in the UK, 1 restaurant in Harrods, 1 factory, and Pasta Academy
  • Industry: Food and beverage
  • Headcount: 300+
  • Size of talent team: 1


The challenge

Before discovering Pinpoint, Veronica faced significant challenges as the sole recruiter for a company that’s since doubled in size: 

  • Decentralized systems: With a fully manual recruitment process, collaborating with hiring managers was extremely difficult, and the administrative burden fell predominantly on Veronica’s shoulders. Transparency often fell through the cracks because she lacked the time and the tools to keep hiring managers and candidates in the loop.
  • Manual processes: Veronica struggled to manage manual hiring processes on her own by painstakingly posting each vacancy; downloading, sorting, and sharing CVs; and arranging interviews.
  • Underwhelming candidate experience: Veronica did her best, but was stretched too thin to extend the warm, familial feeling of a cozy Italian trattoria that Pasta Evangelists strive to exude in everything they do. They wanted their candidates to relish the experience, but time-consuming manual processes kept that vision out of reach.

These speedbumps slowed the hiring process, making it impossible to meet the tight time-to-fill timelines for open positions in their cloud kitchens. The team spent more on each hire, and all the time they spent on admin took time away from the candidates themselves, making it difficult to evaluate candidate quality and compatibility.

Pasta Evangelists’ secret sauce

1. Job applications that pre-vet candidates

One of the first benefits Veronica noticed after adding Pinpoint was higher candidate quality. In part, that’s because she can use knock-out questions in applications to quickly identify best-fit candidates and rule out those who aren’t compatible. 

The hiring managers are another factor; with lower time-to-hire and time-to-fill metrics, Veronica had more time to train and coach hiring managers through the process. They’re especially excited about using Pinpoint to flag candidate profiles that jump out at them, further shortening the overall timeline. 

2. Referral functionality to support their top strategy

Veronica has found that referrals are 30% more likely to show up for their interview. They’re also more likely to accept an offer and stay at Pasta Evangelists long-term. This already great hiring tactic didn’t need to change at its core; it just needed a more elegant execution. 

Before Pinpoint, Veronica coordinated their referral scheme manually, using email and spreadsheets. Now with Pinpoint’s employee referral software, the whole team stays up-to-date with real-time visibility into the latest vacancies, which they can easily share with their networks. Veronica can see which candidates were referred by which team members and pay out bonuses in a few clicks.

While messing with the referral process they’d used for years was intimidating, the team found Pinpoint so easy to use that the change wasn’t a challenge. About 40% of the new hires at Pasta Evangelists are referrals—this ratio has always been high, but thanks to Pinpoint it is now much easier for their team to manage. Rather than updating a spreadsheet multiple times a month, Pinpoint provides a handy dashboard so employees can have visibility over the status of referrals.

We saw lots of ATS examples, and Pinpoint was our favorite from the beginning. We needed something so user-friendly that everyone in the business could use it.

Alev Cagatay
Head of People, Pasta Evangelists

3. Centralized candidate management

Veronica screens CVs every day, so she needed a way to pull out the most promising candidates while keeping prospective team members in the loop. To stay on pace, she also needed a tool that minimized the constant back-and-forth that came with scheduling interviews.

Tag candidates in Pinpoint to easily filter and search by your preferred criteria.

CV review is now simple, with custom tagging that helps the team build a talent pipeline for future openings. Candidates can self-schedule interviews as soon as they’re invited, automatically blocking time on the hiring manager’s calendar. And thanks to bulk actioning and workflow automation, Veronica doesn’t miss a beat in making candidates feel like part of the famiglia, regardless of the interview outcome.


4. Tailored, editable templates

One of the core requirements for Pasta Evangelists’ ATS was reducing time without sacrificing flexibility. Their very short hiring timelines meant that any tool they adopted had to be able to adapt to their needs.

We’re not a startup anymore, but we have a very peculiar way of doing things. We were looking for a system to help us create a process and stay flexible.

Veronica Calderon
Talent Acquisition Partner, Pasta Evangelists

For Veronica, the real time savings came via Pinpoint’s easy-to-use templates for job board advertising and candidate communications. These templates help her post roles faster and respond faster to candidates, while upholding the level of hospitality she wants every candidate to experience.

5. Hiring manager toolkits

Most of the hiring managers at Pasta Evangelists had never touched an ATS before Pinpoint. Now, they can’t imagine the process without one. They love participating in applicant screening and the increased visibility gives them more control over the process. 

Automated interview scheduling and weekly “open house” interviews take all the hassle out of meeting applicants. Hiring manager toolkits keep all the information they need right at their fingertips: application answers, CVs, notes, and scorecards.

The result

With Pinpoint, the cost of recruitment has decreased significantly. Everything is done in-house, and the time savings leave plenty of room to assess a candidate’s quality before extending an offer. Pasta Evangelists have kept their time to hire to one week and while boosting candidate NPS to an impressive 9.5. 

The most remarkable improvement? The consistent quality of applicants: “Our Open Days are attended by candidates who suit the requirements of the position and our culture.”

How would I summarize Pinpoint in one sentence? Game changer.

Alev Cagatay
Head of People, Pasta Evangelists

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