Academic Work and The Next Generation of Candidate Screening

Viktor Nordmark
3 December, 2020

As one of the largest recruiting companies in the Nordics, Academic Work is a name recognized by most. Especially among students, newly graduates, and young professionals at the start of their career. Approximately 150.000 people have been employed through Academic Work and many more are already lined up.

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The experience gained from those 150.000 candidates and 22 years in the field is always evident when interacting with the team at Academic Work. It’s rare to encounter such a professional approach to recruiting, candidate experience, and overall business efficiency. And what’s even more fascinating is their attitude towards innovation and trying out new things given their size. But on the other hand, that’s likely also a reason why they are a natural leader in their field.

”We’re constantly looking for new ways to streamline and improve the candidate experience for everyone who is applying for our positions. We see a great potential in AI-technology and are looking forward to seeing the results of the pilot case with Hubert”

Madeleine Palmér — Vice CEO & Group Operations Director, Academic Work

With extremely high ambitions in terms of IT-infrastructure, finding best-in-class procedures are a must to reach higher organizational efficiency and a definitive priority for Academic Work.

A challenging time to be in recruitment

Just like many other eminent recruiting firms, the current pandemic has been a challenging time for Academic Work. Not just in terms of reduced recruitment pace and little overall movement in the market as a direct response to economic instability.

But also in terms of a drastically increased number of applications per open position due to a higher unemployment rate and, therefore, an increased interest for their services. On average, incoming applications per position has increased by 50–100% due to Covid.

Increased application volumes in combination with a running lean recruiting team equal high work-loads. Making sure valuable time is spent where it makes the most difference is key when it comes to streamlining.

Much time spent on screening

As with any recruitment funnel, a lot of time is spent screening incoming applicants. Academic Work is no different in that aspect. Due to their already large numbers and the recent spike in applications, the screening phase expanded to ludicrous proportions. To keep control and maintain the quality of their process they were actively looking for a solution.

Luckily, Hubert stepped up to the challenge with a promising solution to the issue. Sparks flew and a pilot project was quickly set up to make sure the rubber hit the road.

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High expectations

Setting up the pilot in cooperation with Tim Knutsson who is a Group Operations Specialist has been tainted by the professional aura that surrounds all of Academic Work’s ventures. Tim is highly meticulous and a clearly goal-driven professional who made sure no stone was left unturned. Hubert’s process was scrutinized in detail all the way from agreement structure to how the ranking weights are set up.

”After spending time with both Hubert and the people behind Hubert, I have a strong belief in the potential of the product in our setting. We are really looking forward to seeing the outcome of this pilot project.”

Tim Knutsson, Group Operations Specialist, Academic Work

Next steps

To test out the system in a context that would have the highest return, it was decided to start with the customer support role. These positions regularly draw the attention of several hundred applicants. And since these roles demand excellent digital communication skills, it seemed like the perfect place to start.

By basing the chat interview on existing templates from Academic Work and adding some competency-based questions early on, we formed a good starting point for the interview.

The project is bound to start any day now, and we will return with an update as soon as the applications start to drop in.

Stay tuned!


Viktor Nordmark
3 December, 2020

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