When most of us hear the word “interview”, we jump to visualizing a room with a cultural phrase on the wall where a candidate, dressed in their best, is awaiting a potential hiring manager, something like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson trying to get a job at Google in The Internship. Some people might visualize a reporter at a restaurant, coffee shop or their living room, often picturing one of the iconic 60 Minutes interviews hosted by Diane Sawyer. It’s not often that we think about ALL of the ways that interviews actually do happen. Today, let’s talk about one company that approaches interviews (and their technology) in a super innovative way.
Colonial Life, a voluntary benefits insurance company, is challenging the dictionary definition of an interview. For their teams, an interview is a process of an insurance provider sitting down with a new enrollee to discuss their needs for the coming year.
Picture this: you just received that annual open enrollment notification from your company and you think, I’ll just renew the benefits I subscribed to last year because I don’t really understand all of these new programs my company has added. I don’t have time to figure out when I can schedule a meeting with the insurance agent coming to visit.
Here’s the thing, your company added these new benefits to help out the employees, and the world has changed a lot in the past year. By not even having a discussion with the insurance provider that’s visiting, you’re likely missing out on a few great options. Colonial Life has solved that problem by using online interview scheduling to book consultation appointments with their clients, and it’s been a highly successful effort for them over the last few years.
Their unique thought process around interviewing and the tools required can help any organization, take a look at their story.
Started in 1937 as the Mutual Accident Company in South Carolina, Colonial Life set out with goals that continue today. Colonial Life is a voluntary benefits provider that offers critical support to employees when the unexpected happens – whether it’s an accident, illness or injury. They are a market leader in benefits education and delivery, innovative enrollment technology and customer experience.
Before using interview scheduler, Colonial Life used a manual process to book meetings with prospective enrollees. A benefits counselor would schedule meetings using a printed sign-up sheet on a company bulletin board or in a break room. Not only was this process hit-or-miss, but the Colonial Life counselors would also then be tied to a phone for a long time during the day waiting for enrollees who may or may not call in to discuss benefits enrollment.
So, Colonial Life did a little research into potential solutions and discovered interview scheduler – interviewstream’s online interview scheduling tool. The tool allows attendees to select open time slots on an organizer’s calendar and allowed Colonial Life to get creative.
Colonial Life started using interview scheduler in 2015 and since then has consistently increased their use of the interview tool. Their goal: to improve each branch’s attendance rates, and subsequently, their ability to bring in additional enrollees.
Today, Colonial Life is using interview scheduler to schedule employee benefits counseling sessions (aka interviews). They have been able to completely change the manual process of passing out sign-up sheets at individual businesses. Now, they simply send a link to the employees of the companies they support. That link allows them to schedule a time directly with a counselor at their convenience with the click of a button. It’s as easy as 1, 2…well actually, just 1.
Using interview scheduler has allowed counselors to become more efficient in their every day roles and more successful at hitting their goals with new clients. Counselors at Colonial Live now get more engagement with new enrollees early on and know exactly when their meetings will take place with these new enrollees.
We all know numbers matter, so what does that mean in “real” numbers? Across Colonial Life’s team (both those using the new process with interview scheduler and those using the older manual process) attendance rates average around 48 percent today. With branches that use the new scheduling process, attendance rates have jumped to an average of 80 percent. This is a huge improvement for the counselors, for Colonial Life as a whole, and for the companies that they work with on enrollment. It also means that people like you and I are actually using more of the benefits that the companies we work for set up, making us feel more engaged, well taken care of, and happy as employees.
Here’s one more number for you that’s kind of exciting: Colonial Life highlighted a specific branch that had an account which initially projected at $25,000 in benefits enrolled. When initial enrollment was completed the account had drawn in $60,000 in total benefits and had reached a 100 percent participation rate with their employees. One of the Colonial Life Account Executives said:
“By allowing employees the option of selecting an enrollment time that best fit their schedule, we were able to increase our chances for a higher turnout which led to 100% participation…I am so grateful for [interviewstream], and I encourage everyone to use it as a resource. It will certainly help make pre-enrollment communication a breeze!”
So, no matter what your organization structure or business model may look like, every organization schedules interviews with customers or peers, and every organization should be able to find a few tools that make life a little smoother.
We hope Colonial Life’s story has excited you and given you some ideas around how a scheduling tool can help make your interviews (traditional or not) more efficient. For more information on using a scheduling tool in your interview process, take a look at our whitepaper on How to Evolve Your Recruiting Process with Automated Interview Scheduling.
Drew Whitehurst is the Content & Implementation Specialist at interviewstream. He's been with the company since 2014 working in client services and marketing. He is an analytical thinker, coffee enthusiast, and hobbyist at heart.