Zurich is one of the largest providers of insurance solutions and services to businesses and individuals. Founded in Switzerland in 1872, Zurich has been doing business in the U.S. since 1912. Today, Zurich has 54,000 employees worldwide, with approximately 9,000 of those in North America. Zurich’s customers represent industries ranging from agriculture to technology and include more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500. They proudly help these customers with everything from managing cyber risk, insuring crops on farms across America to managing complex property casualty risks across a range of needs.
Jessica Aguilar, VP of Talent Acquisition for Zurich North America, is responsible for the company’s end-to-end recruitment processes, policies and procedures. She also oversees the talent acquisition vendor management and strategies partnerships. She recently spoke to us about Zurich’s work with ADP® and how ADP Recruitment Process Outsourcing (ADP RPO®) has helped Zurich reach their recruiting goals.
The single most impactful change, from my perspective, is that bringing ADP on board has really made our Zurich team whole. They’ve rounded us out in ways that I truly don’t believe we would have been able to achieve using a fully in-house solution, and they feel like a part of our team.
VP of Talent Acquisition
Zurich North America
- Zurich’s fixed head-count model was falling short of their needs. They wanted a scalable solution that seamlessly fit within their current talent acquisition process.
How ADP helped
- ADP provided Zurich with the tools, data and expertise to meet their goals, making them more agile within the talent acquisition space.
- ADP Recruitment Process Outsourcing
Time for change
We really wanted to find a better solution that could scale within our talent acquisition organization. Our fixed head count model was falling short, and we needed more resources to meet that gap, but we didn’t want to significantly grow our in-house team. We also wanted a solution that would seamlessly embed itself within our team and process so that candidates would feel the same talking to an ADP recruiter as they would speaking to a member of our in-house team. ADP really hit all of our top needs. They offered flexibility, data, pricing, processes — all things that we believed would ultimately create the right partnership to deliver on our goals.
The benefits of ADP
We’ve seen many benefits using the RPO solution within our business strategy: It’s the broader access to external market insights. It’s the ability to scale to meet the needs of our business, as well as the flexibility to continue to grow our steady state partnership. ADP helps to ensure we are a more agile talent acquisition organization. I refer to our account team as partners because that’s how we see them. They’re not a vendor to us. They are truly in it to win it with us. That is both a benefit and a difference maker within how we deliver on our talent acquisition strategy.
When we entered into the partnership with ADP, it was about hitting the numbers and also about meeting our open requisition needs. But we knew that there would be benefits that went beyond that as well. We meet regularly with ADP to discuss what’s happening at Zurich and in the market, and we’ve also benefited from ADP tools like the quarterly Workforce Vitality Report, which we receive on a regular basis. In addition to that, this spring, our recruiters will go through the Certified Diversity and Inclusion Recruiter (CDR) class that’s offered through the AIRS® training arm of ADP. The single most impactful change, from my perspective, is that bringing ADP on board has really made our Zurich team whole. They’ve rounded us out in ways that I truly don’t believe we would have been able to achieve using a fully in-house solution, and they feel like a part of our team.
Finding quality candidates
For quality of candidates, I believe the source of truth is our hiring managers. As part of our post-hire net promoter survey, we ask about candidate quality. In 2020, the average quality score for our ADP recruiters was over 4.5 on a 5-point rating scale. 2020 was a complicated year where our hiring managers experienced a lot of stops and starts and redirections as we adjusted our business to remote work, and addressing just a lot of unknowns, candidly, because of the pandemic. We had really solid results in any year, but especially in 2020.
And speaking of 2020…
Having an outsource partner during the pandemic has helped us in navigating a very fluid recruiting environment. Admittedly, we had some settling in to do, and that bled into our recruiting efforts and created quite a few stops and starts. But having an outsource partner helped us to be more nimble as a TA organization in how we distributed our resources to support needs that in some cases were very different than they had been pre-pandemic. We also doubled down in 2020 on Zurich’s commitment to work sustainability and the prioritization of our internal talents, achieving a six percent increase in our internal fill rate over the year prior, and our ADP recruiting partners were with us the entire way. It wasn’t easy. When you consider that our go-live with our ADP partnership was exactly one month prior to the first announced shutdowns, it’s really a testament to how strong that partnership is that we were able to work through some of these really tough scenarios so early in that relationship and do it successfully.
The impact of a collaborative partnership
Our ADP team has just been so willing to roll up their sleeves and take on some tough and challenging roles. They’ve been amazing partners, and really listen to the business areas they’re supporting when there are challenges. They take that information and really target the right solutions to find the talent we need. For example, our recruiting of talent to support our crop business is complex, and there is a very small target talent market. Oftentimes, they are not hanging out in the normal places our recruiters may go to find talent. The ADP team listened to our subject matter experts out in the business, and they reimagined their approach. They began asking different questions during intake sessions with managers and looked at more organic and localized talent touch points. They also switched up the overall engagement approach as talent was identified. We’ve gotten traction as a result.
We’ve given them some tough challenges, and never once have they thrown their hands up in the air and said, “We can’t do it.” They’ve always taken it on with a spirit of, “OK, let’s take a look. Let’s figure it out. Let’s ask some questions, let’s try some things out and see what works and what doesn’t.” As we find the things that really work, let’s double down on those. It’s been very effective and our businesses is thrilled.
I believe it has absolutely been a very collaborative environment with ADP, not only within our talent acquisition teams, but with our hiring managers. Our ADP recruiters get great accolades from our hiring managers. We give out a monthly “Swing for the Fences Award” in talent acquisition. It’s for a recruiter or recruiters who take a swing at it, even if they might not always connect, because we want them to take risks and really go for it. I can tell you that our ADP recruiters have even been recognized through that because they’ve been able to kind of really go for it in some situations and be successful. It’s something that we really appreciate and recognize.
We did an internal case study on the relationship we have with ADP as a one-year look back following our go-live with the partnership. What we found is that we had achieved a 40 percent reduction in cost per hire versus the prior contract recruiting model, and we’d also achieved anywhere from a 60 to 70 percent decrease in our days to post. The time between when a position is submitted to talent acquisition for recruiting and the date the position is actually posted so that applications can be submitted also resulted in up to almost a 50 percent decrease in our time to fill for those positions. It varied a bit, but for most areas, the decrease was 30 percent or greater. Most importantly, this moved us to the steady state recruiting model, which had been a significant pain point not having that prior to the adoption of RPO.
The time savings we’ve achieved has primarily been on moving things through our recruitment process. In 2018, Zurich adopted what they called a prioritization model. Because there was a gap between capacity and recruiting needs, they were basically prioritizing the greatest needs. If yours was in the holding pen, you had to wait until there was capacity available to address it. From a time-savings perspective, putting ADP RPO in place removed that model. From there forward, if you had a recruiting need, you were immediately being assigned to a recruiter, whether it was an ADP recruiter or one of our in-house recruiters. So, the time savings was actually more of a business impact than it even was within our recruiting organization.