Case Study: Mercy Ships
How Mercy Ships Tripled Their Annual Volunteers With Spark Hire Video Interviews
Mercy Ships operates the world's largest charity hospital ship, providing free surgical care and healthcare services in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Non-profit Organization Management
- 1,001-5,000 Employees
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About Mercy Ships
Nearly 50% of people in Africa have little to no access to a qualified doctor or a hospital. Safe medical care is something that is out of reach — and so many are suffering. Mercy Ships began their mission to provide hope and healing to those in need in 1978. Each year they send hospital ships filled with volunteer professionals who selflessly provide life-changing surgeries to children and adults who otherwise would go without.
Goals for Video Interviewing
Mercy Ships needed to triple their annual volunteers. Combine this with the challenge of recruiting volunteers from all over the world and the team had a huge challenge ahead of them. Sorting through schedules wasn't an option, so they wanted an interviewing solution that would convey candidates' passion for their cause and allow all stakeholders to review applications in their timezone’s appropriate time.
Q&A with Senior Director, Talent Acquisition, Heather Peterson:
What inspired you to look into video interviewing? Were there specific challenges in your day to day were you looking to solve with video interviewing?
We interview volunteer candidates globally. This creates a large, complex scheduling challenge between HR, hiring managers, and business leads. Additionally, we needed to increase our annual volunteers by 3x!
Did Spark Hire replace a similar tool or is this the first time your team is using video interviewing?
Spark Hire is our first use of video in the hiring process.
What criteria did you have in mind for a video interviewing solution?
We needed a video interview experience that would be consistent from candidate to candidate and create a branded experience. Our main goal was that the interview could be completed at the candidate's leisure, and would be accessible to stakeholders for objective review.
What made you choose Spark Hire as your video interviewing solution?
Spark Hire met all of our requirements. Additionally, the platform was fairly priced, within our budget. We found the platform very easy to use and provides great analytics to understand the effectiveness of our selection process.
What was getting started with Spark Hire like?
Our team had a lot of fun implementing Spark Hire. Since the one-way video interview concept was new to us, we asked a bunch of non-HR employees to be our ‘guinea pigs’. They were asked to go through the interview as if they were real candidates to give us feedback. Many of our HR team did this as well.
Most found it was less intimidating than they expected, and the process itself was pretty easy and self-explanatory. In general they really enjoyed the process and being able to participate in something new. Overall everyone’s feedback was very positive. Some team members were really over the top in their pretend interview and gave us permission to share it, so it was fun to watch some very different takes on our interview questions.
Since our organization has offices in 16 countries and the world was shut down from COVID-19, it made the remote interview process much easier and removed a lot of the complexity of scheduling across multiple time zones.
How has Spark Hire improved your hiring metrics and process?
Spark Hire saves our hiring managers an incredible amount of time and effort. The platform helps us prescreen our volunteers to check language proficiency, culture fit, job skills, etc. The one-way video interview has been instrumental in sending quality volunteers without sacrificing team members' time or losing volunteer engagement.
What was your team’s hiring process prior to using Spark Hire?
We would manually schedule interviews, most of the time across 2+ time zones. On average, scheduling, interviewing, and distributing interview notes took an hour and 45 minutes. Now the whole process takes our hiring managers no more than 30 minutes. In addition, instead of interview notes, every stakeholder has access to the video interview, meaning each hears directly from the candidates.
How do you get your team members to buy into video interviewing?
They knew Spark Hire would save them time, so it was a no-brainer! They were immediately sold.
What was your aha moment — the moment you knew you loved Spark Hire?
When I got to watch the interviews on my own time! For example, I saved three interviews for the same job to watch back-to-back, instead of spreading the interviews out over the course of several days, and trying to remember my thoughts on each one! The ability to send the video interview to a colleague for a second opinion is also important. Being able to say, "I hope you see the same potential I see for this interviewee!" creates shared excitement!
Why should other hiring teams look into video interviewing?
Video interviewing saves time for the company, respects the time of the candidate, and provides objective data and analytics to support further business function.
What are three words that describe your experience working with Spark Hire?
Efficient, collaborative, & equitable