If a picture is worth a thousand words, and a one-minute video is worth over a million words, then how much is a live experience worth beyond those estimated values? That was one of the questions our D2L Recruitment team wanted to answer when we decide to break away from the more traditional concept of opening our office doors to the public, through scheduled events such as Startup Open House and Open Doors Waterloo (and others), and go in our own direction.
We’ve participated in events such as the ones listed above in the past, and while they add some value from an overall event efficiency perspective (“see over 20 places to work in one night!”), a lot of times they’re outside of your regular business hours and what someone sees during their visit may or may not be what a typical day is like at a company. In some cases, I’m sure it is, but in others it’s about outdoing company XYZ who you heard through the grapevine has something amazing planned. So instead of trying to up the ante with a one night stand of sorts, we’re looking at making this more of a relationship building exercise.
Cue the open invitation for an office tour of D2L Headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario.
As a regular part of our interview process, candidates are given a tour of our office either at the end of their scheduled interviews, or sometimes to break up their day a bit and allow them to have a mental refresh in-between interviews. The Recruitment team tends to be the group that’s leaned on to provide this experience, and after doing it numerous times for candidates, groups of students, clients and others, we feel like we’ve gotten it pretty down pat.
So what better way to show off where we work, than to allow people to sign up to come down and take a group tour when there’s a time that fits both their schedule and ours?
As we worked to get this off the ground, we expected that most people who sign up would be potential candidates, so we decided to do sign up and scheduling via our Applicant Tracking System. After all, if someone is going to go to the trouble of coming to see your office, you’ll want to know a bit about them, their background, and what they’re interested in seeing.
Next we decided on how and when we would schedule them. Realizing that our own team had varying work schedules, and that our tour guests would also have differing availability we elected to schedule these either at 8am, 12pm, or 5pm to cover as many options as possible. We asked our guests to indicate when they signed up the best day(s) of the week and time(s) that typically work for them, so we can try to maximize attendance and meet their availability.
So far this year we’ve run a total of 13 tours for ~75 people; to maintain a more personal experience we usually trying to cap out at 10 people per group. While there have been no direct hires from this new initiative, that was never really the point. For us it’s trying something different, allowing people to see us day to day (as opposed to one big, potentially unauthentic, bash), and telling our story. We think it’s a great story, and we love to share it. We’ve had some pretty positive feedback on it as well, some examples of this are below:
“Thanks again for having me. I really enjoyed the tour and did learn more about D2L. And yes, I truly have a greater interest in finding a role there. I check every week for something that matches my skill set and interests.
“I’m impressed at recruitment’s approach. It’s very personal and starts a more organic relationship between the employer and candidates than the traditional method. Very nice! Another reason why I want to work there. “
“Thank you for inviting me to view the office, I had an excellent time and I learned a lot of interesting things about D2L and the building itself. Alina was a great tour guide. It was really helpful to learn about all the different departments in D2L and I have definitely solidified my interest in hopefully finding a position there.”
“Hope you had a fantastic weekend! It was a pleasure meeting and speaking with you this past Friday. I enjoyed the tour and am very impressed with how pure and focused the working culture is within D2L.”
“It was such a pleasure meeting you and Emma (one of our work dogs) today! Thanks so much for taking the time to show us around D2L today. It certainly seems like a fun atmosphere and a great environment to work in.”
Why not come check us out? You can sign up for a tour, or if you’d rather get a preview before exploring the live option, have a look at a cool 360 degree virtual reality video that was created earlier this year. And of course if those get you interested in D2L as a potential employer, you can always apply to our jobs.
So to end off, is this the kind of thing that would work at your company? If you were looking for a job or researching companies, would you find value in this kind of approach compared to more traditional research methods? We’re interested in your thoughts.
Hope to see you on the tour soon!