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Candidate experience Q&A: Ralph Meyer, Senior HR Manager, Vitamix

You may know Vitamix for its unique blend (see what we did there?) of product innovation and healthy eating.

The company has been around since 1921 and widely credited with igniting the smoothie movement of the 1990s, thanks to its development of the first true commercial blender. Today, Vitamix continues to win awards for its versatile, easy-to-use products and prides itself on providing consumers with an outstanding experience with its blending solutions.

Despite its many successes, including being named a Top Work Place by the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2011 and again in 2013, the company struggles with a challenge familiar to many organizations—ensuring the consistent delivery of a positive candidate experience.

Ralph Meyer, manager of human resources at Vitamix, recently shared the issues Vitamix faces and the steps he and his team are taking to improve the experience candidates have when applying for a job at the high-performance blender manufacturing company.

You attended Shaker’s Candidate Experience Workshop last fall. What was a key takeaway for you?

I think the most important was the critical nature of the candidate experience in this social media-driven, 24/7 world.

What are some of the challenges Vitamix faces in delivering a positive candidate experience?

Vitamix is a great organization, and we do many things quite well. And that is why we have earned the recognition as being a great place to work. I only started working here about a year ago, so I see our strengths—but I also see our opportunities to be better—from a fresh perspective. You might say I still have the outsider-looking-in point of view.

The nature of our work and the expectations and perceptions of candidates are evolving. I think we can—and are—learning from our candidates. This allows us to tweak and adjust our processes as necessary. Our candidate experience must evolve so we can attract the top talent we need to be successful.

What steps have you taken to improve the candidate experience in the past six months to a year?

Our recruiter has been focused on coaching the hiring managers and individuals who are interviewing on the importance of creating a positive candidate experience. The recruiter is being much more proactive with that population, trying to make sure that they are prepared, conduct a meaningful and valuable exchange, and leave a positive brand impression for Vitamix.

What innovative methods or solutions are you implementing to ensure that you deliver a positive candidate experience?

I’m not sure it’s all that innovative, but the organization is beginning to understand that the candidate experience is ongoing—it is not just for the specific opening, one event, or the interview. Creating a positive candidate experience is something that we now talk about with both the Executive Leadership Team and Senior Leadership (VP-level) Team. We are encouraging all leaders to speak with their direct reports about the fact that, just like our blenders create a positive user experience, the Vitamix recruiting process needs to provide a positive candidate experience 24/7.