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The Right Stuff: BASF elevates ‘Candidate Experience’ as a powerful recruiting tool

The chemical company wins seventh CandE Award and climbs in rankings in 2020.

BASF was rated above ALL 2020 benchmarks including industry benchmarks upon receiving a CandE Award by the Talent Board.

Sohan Nair, 28, was raised not far from a BASF plant in his hometown of Mumbai, India. Growing up, he always wished he could work at the company one day so he could stay close to his hometown while contributing to the company’s purpose of creating chemistry for a sustainable future.

Today, as a newly hired Mechanical Testing Engineer for Fuel & Lubricant Solutions at the Tarrytown, NY office of BASF, he can say that a big part of his dream has now come true.

While being recruited for a job during a pandemic certainly presented challenges to the international student residing in South Carolina – the interviews with BASF took four to five weeks with no indication of what to expect in the future, or whether he needed to choose a different job to stay in the country – in the end, Nair went with his first instincts.

“It is a very reputable multinational company, it’s a great place to work,” he said. “The teams are very helpful, and the work is rewarding. Moreover, BASF provides many benefits, which are far better than those provided by other companies.”

While staying competitive as a business in COVID-19 is no easy feat, BASF managed to achieve just that.

Thanks to the Talent Attraction team at BASF North America, the chemical corporation not only won a CandE (Candidate Experience) Award for the seventh time this year, it also significantly improved its overall ranking in terms of candidate experience, and did so during a global pandemic.

The Candidate Experience Awards are administered via the Talent Board, founded in 2011, the first non-profit research organization focused on the elevation and promotion of a quality candidate experience with industry benchmarks that highlight accountability, fairness and business impact.

Each year the CandE Awards recognize companies with the highest positive candidate ratings in its benchmark research.

Why are these awards important? According to the Talent Board, winning a CandE means that an organization has improved its recruiting and hiring processes enough to ensure “a higher level of positive candidate sentiment and perceived level of fairness.”

BASF has received the second most CandE Awards in its 10-year history. Additionally, it was ranked 14th (compared to 15th last year) in the enterprise business or large-company category, and improved 10 points to 30th overall in 2020, surpassing all company and industry benchmarks.

What makes these achievements exceptional is that double the number of candidates were polled in the year 2020 versus years past (more than 2,000). And 88% of the respondents were not ultimately hired by BASF (while 11% were).

“To attract the best and the brightest type of talent for qualified BASF positions and to help the company solve world problems, we know that it’s going to be a tough competition against other strong companies,” said Crystal Lannaman, Head of Talent Acquisition & University Relations, BASF North America. “If a company gives a candidate a little bit more information about who they are and what they stand for – they make the process easy and seamless to help him or her make a decision.”

You might ask, what is the secret sauce to BASF’s successful candidate experience?

According to Lannaman, consumerization of HR – a new movement of personalizing the employee experience similar to that of a customer experience – and continuous improvement serve as greatest motivators to the company.

“Our talent acquisition team, along with hiring managers, are united and rally behind the concept of hiring qualified people. They understand that in today’s marketplace, it’s a challenging job market, especially in times of COVID,” Lannaman added. “To do that, you have to compete the same way that we compete for a customer’s business. This is just a different way of competing to help bring talent into the company.”

As for continuous improvement, the BASF staff reads the CandE Awards feedback carefully and absorbs it, always working on improving the interview process for the candidate in terms of making him or her feel more welcome.

Sohan selfie.jpg
Sohan Nair, Mechanical Testing Engineer, Fuel & Lubricant Solutions, joined BASF in August 2020
Mohammed Mohammed, E/I Maintenance Engineer, Diols, joined BASF in April 2020

And the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Take Mohammed Mohammed, 24, for example, who had interned at BASF in Geismar, La. as a college student in the summer of 2018.

His experience was “very positive” even though he could not find a job at the company right away upon graduation.

“I admire the culture around BASF, the welcoming people, the open-mindedness, the willingness to teach and pass on knowledge, which I didn’t experience in other jobs or companies,” he said.

Mohammed went on to work for another company after college, which did not live up to his expectations. He did eventually end up coming back to his favorite company and now works at BASF as a Maintenance Engineer since April 2020, and he couldn’t be happier.

“The knowledge base here is great, the growth here is great,” he added. “One thing I really admired throughout my onboarding process was the communication, it never broke off.”

And that’s authentic qualitative data of which BASF can be proud.

To learn more about CandE Awards, click here.

CandE Award 2020.jpg

BASF CandE Award NAM Details

BASF is rated above ALL 2020 benchmarks, including industry benchmarks

2020 Final Ranking

#30 Overall ranking

#14 Enterprise Business category

2019 Final Ranking

#40 Overall ranking

#14 Business Enterprise category

Overall BASF has received 7 CandEs in total

#2 company with the most CandE Awards in history

BASF scores in the following areas have peaked since 2019

·        Candidates likely to apply again

·        Candidate likely to refer a friend/family member

·        Candidate relationship

·        Overall rating

Published on Jan. 7, 2021, by Anna Spiewak.

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