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This year’s Avature Conference in Madrid marked our long-awaited return to face-to-face events. The highlight? The opportunity to exchange experiences, problem-solve together and make new connections. As well as deep-dive sessions with the Avature team, attendees heard how HR leaders are leveraging the platform to activate talent strategies with business impact. Let’s dive into the main takeaways.

Taking Candidate Experience to the Next Level

As the talent market becomes increasingly complex, organizations need to find different ways to ensure their candidates go through an enriching end-to-end experience. To do so, customers have leveraged Avature in different ways to put their innovative ideas to work.

Innovation in Talent Acquisition

According to Kerstin Wagner, Head of Talent Acquisition at Deutsche Bahn, the European rail industry colossus is planning to increase its current workforce of 300,000 employees by 100,000 in the coming years. And she feels confident about reaching this goal thanks to Avature ATS, which is used by over 31,000 employees in more than 40 countries.

With their minds set on becoming Earth’s most candidate-centric company, the TA team at Deutsche Bahn is focused on identifying relevant technology megatrends that they can leverage to enhance hiring. Their state-of-the-art recruiting experience and approach to talent acquisition position them as a strategic partner to the business.

Leaving no process to chance, they have developed an agile, AI-powered strategy including virtual and augmented reality during the job search, profile matching, interactive interview scheduling and electronic document signing. Priyanka Kumar, Product Lead & Technical Program Manager, walked us through the different initiatives implemented throughout their recruiting processes. During their application & screening step, for example, AI-based matching connects candidates and jobs, reducing manual work and time to hire.

With a continuous focus on agility and innovation, and with Avature powering their strategy, their top priority is candidates. Following this principle, Kerstin explained how Avature’s reporting capabilities helped DB adopt a data-driven approach and gain a holistic view of the candidate journey, with relevant KPIs from workforce planning to onboarding new hires.

High-Volume Hiring Done Right

With Covid restrictions finally easing across the globe, World Duty Free needed to hire more than 1,000 people in record time in order to get back to business. But with high competition for talent, no internal hiring team and a stringent recruiting process for airside staff that requires comprehensive background checks, they faced a significant challenge. So they teamed up with ResourceBank Recruitment.


Mahj Hussain, Client Partnership Director at ResourceBank Recruitment, and Geoff Hall, HR Director UK at World Duty Free, walked us through the strategy that enabled them to meet this ambitious hiring goal, showcasing the critical role the Avature platform played in hitting their target.

Focused on re-engaging and hiring past applicants, they implemented personalized automated e-mail and SMS campaigns and workflow reminders. Additionally, they expanded a Refer a Friend scheme, attended relevant recruitment fairs and launched social media campaigns together with job board postings.

Their efforts attracted thousands of applications, which they whittled down by around 80 percent by using knock-out questions. Combined with Avature’s interview scheduling tool, this strategy reduced process times dramatically, and, in the end, two-thirds of interviewed candidates received an offer. The final step was activating a paperless onboarding process in Avature that reduced the time to process offers. In addition to efficiency gains and being able to meet their hiring goal in record time, this streamlined approach delivered a candidate satisfaction score of 97.

Optimization Sensation: Make the Most of Your Recruitment Efforts

More complex initiatives don’t have to mean more work for those involved when they are powered by the right technology. Several customers at the conference shared stories about improving the user experience for recruiters and hiring managers thanks to Avature.

A Major Boost to Existing Talent Acquisition Initiatives

With over 3.5 million candidates in their legacy ATS, HSBC could not reconnect with silver medallists due to search limitations. This, together with a total absence of an ATS in other markets, resulted in putting their best hopes on previous candidates’ future reapplication instead of being able to actively re-engage them. Hanna Coley, Global Head of Process, Technology & Experience, explained why they needed an industry-leading CRM to boost their talent acquisition initiatives.

By implementing Avature CRM, they could take advantage of comprehensive search functionality and build quality talent pipelines, enabling them to reconnect with past applicants. Through an invitation-only portal, they activated an innovative strategy to notify them of possible job opportunities that matched their skills and experience.

With Avature, HSBC also launched four new landing pages:

  • An external Global Talent Community
  • An internal landing page for employees interested in new opportunities
  • An Emirati Talent Community landing page to support local nationalization goals
  • A Redeployment Community landing page for high flight risk employees

With the objective of improving the experience for candidates, HSBC has leveraged several Avature features to enhance job search and aid its recruitment efforts. In this way, both internal and external candidates can now use search filters, job recommendations based on the information in their CVs powered by AI-matching capabilities and join a talent community or create job alerts when necessary.

To further improve the user experience, they also implemented Avature’s reporting and dashboard tools, giving regional leads a holistic view of their talent community as well as monitoring adoption. Their recruiter’s dashboard enabled productivity improvements and alerted them on any required activities.

ATS 2.0: Transforming Recruitment Initiatives

To better service their executive search clients as well as improve the user experience for their own team, Kienbaum Consultants International was looking to overhaul their TA technology. Vanessa Rühmann, Executive Director and Head of Quality, Efficiency and Innovation, shared the key goals they had in mind when assessing vendors:

  • Augment their search capabilities.
  • Improve efficiency in different areas by implementing time-effective integrations and functionalities.
  • Achieve transparency and up-to-date data in their GDPR processes.
  • Implement an intuitive user interface where consultants could actively exchange information with their research teams.
  • Enable self-service functionalities for candidates to search actively, apply to or bookmark exciting job opportunities, as well as update their personal information.
  • Improve their international efforts through a global job portal.

Avature’s focus on user experience, advanced search capabilities (including AI-powered semantic search) and high level of configurability made it the clear winner for the Kienbaum team.

The technology has delivered benefits for three key stakeholders. For colleagues, the enhanced search functionality, time slot portals and LinkedIn integrations make day-to-day tasks much easier, while Avature views aid them in automatically creating progress reports. Candidates can now access a new job portal with an overview of their application status, allowing them to bookmark opportunities and create job alerts. As for clients, Avature is powering better service delivery.

Thanks to a co-participation with Avature, Vanessa pointed out that Kienbaum avoided duplicate efforts and reduced manual work. Through value-adding activities, they improved their processes and KPIs while focusing on their most valuable asset, their people, through training and user adoption for Avature for all stakeholders.

Make the Next Turn to Agility

“Building an ATS is like building a car.” Or at least that is what Mark Wilson, Head of Talent Acquisition and Development at McLaren Automotives, believes! Like an old vehicle that lacks modern features and fails to get you from A to B at speed, their old software was outdated, rigid and missing functionality that would give the TA team at McLaren Automotives a competitive edge.

When it came to choosing a solution, they had a very clear idea of what they wanted – a list of 55 must-haves, 53 desirables and 50 optional features. But they faced additional challenges: they were working on a very tight deadline because the business needed to recruit, an issue compounded by a very complex talent market. They needed to be sure that the new technology would be future-proof. Ultimately, they decided to go with Avature ATS, focusing initial efforts on improving the hiring manager experience.

Today, with Avature, McLaren Automotives has created a hiring manager portal where they can create new requisitions, provide feedback and manage candidates through the recruitment process at pit-stop speed. Their improved approval workflows, which moved from a linear to a parallel approach, have reduced the time to approve requisitions from 28 days to just 4.

Given its success, McLaren Automotives is already thinking about the future. As well as enhancements to their ATS strategy, such as reporting, the team has implemented Avature CRM to optimize sourcing and talent pipelining capabilities. But there’s more to come! With Avature Career Sites, Onboarding and Internal Mobility implementations underway, the team plans to keep taking its recruiting and talent management initiatives to the next level.

Employee Experience Is Key to Engage and Retain

The most valuable element within any organization is its workforce. Which is why providing the best possible reasons to stay has become a top priority for talent management teams. While there’s no secret formula to achieve this, many industry leaders are leveraging Avature to improve the employee experience and encourage talent development.

Automating Engagement through Onboarding with BMC Software

Jen Corio, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at BMC Software, walked us through the onboarding challenge they needed to tackle with Avature. With around 800 new hires every year, the people at BMC Software needed a way to actively engage the newest workforce members without adding manual work to their already time-consuming tasks.

With Avature Onboarding, they were able to automate the process from the very first moment a candidate receives a job offer. Powered by Avature workflows and email templates, during the pre-offer period, candidates receive a fully automated offer and contract letter that is personalized based on their position. Once they digitally accept the offer through a DocuSign integration, they are sent through an automated background check and receive a personalized welcome video.

Once hired, Jen wanted new employees to go through an enriching experience that would enable them to learn more about their new role, discover the benefits of joining BMC and get a heads-up on what to expect during their first week at the organization. They decided to implement an onboarding portal where this experience would come to life while also providing a place where new hires could complete necessary paperwork before day one on the job.

But for Jen and BMC, the onboarding experience doesn’t end when new hires start. Through email templates and scheduled actions, new employees receive a survey after joining to provide feedback so talent management experts can keep improving the new hire experience.

It’s a Match! Innovative Mentoring Strategies

An engaging way to encourage skill development among the workforce is by leveraging experienced talent. This is what Sandra Savary, Principal HR Solutions Expert, Employee Services Division at European Central Bank, and Peter-Alexander Weprich, Senior HR Solutions Analyst, visualized in their employee engagement and development strategy within the organization. However, a mentoring process can become too much manual hard work. And the larger the workforce, the tougher the challenge. Which is why they decided to go with Avature to bring this fully custom, automated solution to life.

Through the creation and implementation of an AI-powered mentoring portal, the European Central Bank achieved a matching process where both mentees and mentors could be paired according to defined criteria included in their profiles.

Furthermore, all process and feedback data is automatically collected for HR experts to visualize in dashboards. As such, they can closely monitor the initiative and keep it in the process of continuous improvement where mentees develop new skills and mentors learn how to become better supporters.

What’s New at Avature?

From recruitment marketing hacks and power sourcing tips in our Power User Track to more technical sessions on Avature AI and the platform architecture, attendees left with practical best practices and inspiring ideas to enhance their own recruiting and talent management strategies.

One of the biggest announcements during our sessions was the launch of our new solution: Avature Learning. A centralized, two-way hub where organizations and their employees can create and upload training content to encourage the development of new skills and the sharing of knowledge.

Through personalized experiences created by HR teams with data pulled from different touchpoints of the employee journey within your organization, Avature Learning provides engaging, curated experiences for your workforce to access from their own libraries.

And There’s Even More…

With our minds set on the future, we were proud to announce our latest platform enhancements to attendees during our Roadmap session. While the biggest news remains exclusive to those who came, you can expect exciting new features focused on delivering increased enterprise agility, improved content management and an even better user experience.

This year’s edition of #AvatureUpfront EU filled us all with the excitement of meeting face-to-face once again. We hope to see you again next year!


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