The first year with CleverStaff. What has changed in business processes? The experience of Citrus

About our client

Citrus is a well-known and recognizable retailer in the Ukrainian market, which includes a network of more than 71 stores and the online store The store is an authorized reseller of exclusive Apple, Dyson and Realme brands. Citrus operates in a unique format for Ukraine – innovative entertainment centers in a bright modern design with an area of up to 2000 square meters. This includes open access to goods, interactive virtual reality zones, electric transport and smart home devices, friendly and competent staff. A place where you are always welcome.

The target audience of Citrus is active, advanced users of devices and gadgets, users who like modern assistants in household appliances: from headphones to laptops, from a quadcopter to an electric bike, from a grill to a robot vacuum cleaner, from a washing machine to a refrigerator.

The online store is confidently among the leaders of online commerce in Ukraine. The headquarters is located in Odesa (a virtual tour is available). The company is developing its own network of authorized service centers. Trained craftsmen with relevant diplomas, original parts, and a warranty for repairs – there is everything to fix the device if something goes wrong.

Today, the company has more than 1300 employees.

The HR Department has more than 25 experienced professionals who provide a full cycle of HR services, including recruitment, onboarding, training and development of employees, compensation and KPI management, HR administration, and support and development of corporate culture and communications.

The Department is currently working hard to reconfigure the company’s business processes. “Our goal is to be more flexible and to be able to hire people for some positions remotely and to organize their work as efficiently as possible,” says Anastasiia Moskalenko, Head of Recruitment at Citrus. “Therefore, first of all, we needed to automate work processes, including recruitment. That is why we turned to СleverStaff”.

Experience of migration to CleverStaff

We migrated from the EStaff system about a year ago, without any problems and very quickly, in a couple of days. Recruiters were worried about the candidate database safety (at that time there were more than 10 thousand candidates), but everything was fine. We immediately integrated with corporate mail, the necessary job resources, and LinkedIn.

And then, according to Anastasiia, a long adaptation work began, which concerned the interaction of recruiters and HR with the system. An internal manual with the basic principles of CleverStaff was developed. It still helps new employees who come to the HR team to find their way around. “This work continues now – we do not stop, but constantly improve our processes by exploring the capabilities of CleverStaff,” Anastasiia shares her experience.

From the first impressions, the team was immediately pleased with the user-friendly and simple interface, as well as the lightning-fast response from technical support to inquiries or requests. This was very pleasant to hear, because the vast majority of recruiters have already had experience with different platforms, can compare and understand what they need.

Do you have a lot of vacancies? We need to get automated

Citrus recruitment is carried out in two tracks:

  • office recruitment (narrowly focused recruitment, positions with different levels of complexity and requirements);
  • mass recruitment for the retail network (stores, service centers, warehouses, etc.).

Citrus’ Recruitment Department has a monthly workload of 150 to 170 or even 200 vacancies. This figure is influenced by many factors, including seasonality. The hot season lasts from August to January, a period of active sales and high traffic (Back to school, Black Friday, New Year). This is also the time when new stores are most often opened. “During these periods, we need more staff, so we are actively expanding our staff, and all indicators double,” says Anastasiia.

In addition, the company has already reached the pre-war number of open vacancies. Currently, the workload per recruiter averages 15-20 vacancies when it comes to mass recruitment, and 7 vacancies when it comes to specialized office search. In any case, this is a lot of candidates. Therefore, according to Anastasiia, automation is a relevant topic for companies with such a large volume if there is a need for truly systematic work.

“A simple example: if you have 20 vacancies at the same time, without a system, in the evening you may not remember what you told the candidate in the morning. And whether you talked to them at all!” Anastasiia smiles.

Reports are timely diagnostics

 After implementing automation, one of the tasks for the recruiting department was to improve analytics and reporting on the department’s work. Anastasiia likes the fact that CleverStaff provides convenient reports for each recruiter and vacancy, and that there are quite flexible options for setting up additional metrics. In the near future, she plans to work with the developers to customize mass recruitment reporting for the company.

“The effectiveness is always proved with specific numbers. I always say – girls, talk to me in numbers. It is about a mature approach. In our field, without numbers and facts, it is impossible to fairly assess the effectiveness of a recruiter, to understand the amount of work that was done to fill a vacancy. For example, I go in and see that a person has conducted 20 interviews, I see a funnel, numbers. That is, I immediately get a picture of the vacancy without additional conversations. This is especially true for remote specialists. The numbers indicate that the person has been working hard, and I will not pull them around again. This way, we get two obvious advantages: we save each other’s time, because it is expensive, and we maintain objectivity and impartiality in assessing performance. No other additional trackers are needed.”

Also, thanks to the hot lists, you can instantly form a picture of the vacancy along with the funnel so that the entire array of information can be correctly transferred to the agency. It also allows you to analyze the effectiveness of the sources used in the search and selection process and understand which ones bring in the most candidates.

“And it helps a lot when you communicate with popular job resources: I have all the figures that relate specifically to the effectiveness of these resources for Citrus (including by geography), and you can’t really debate with them. So there is no room for ephemeral marketing stories,” Anastasiia shares her observations.

How not to open vacancies “in the kitchen”

Citrus’ HR department has automated the business process of submitting applications for search and selection for the office by adapting the capabilities of the Hiring manager role in CleverStaff. Now department heads who initiate hiring submit an application through the system for recruiting. It records the date, search period, motivation model, etc. 

Anastasiia says that this process is new to everyone, but it is already bearing fruit. The vast majority of hiring managers use it. They are already used to the fact that everything can be tracked – just log in to the system and see what is happening with the vacancy: candidates, number of interviews, the entire funnel.

The company even has an informal rule: if you have any questions about a vacancy, first go to CleverSraff, and then bother the recruiter ☺. “Again, this saves a lot of time for all the explanations, and is convenient for control points and organization. There is no longer a vacancy somewhere in the kitchen or in the corridor ☺,” Anastasiia says with a smile.

On the other hand, CleverStaff is always a tool to justify the work of recruiters. “It is about numbers again. We do not say that I have conducted X number of interviews – the system, our evidence base, speaks for us. There is no need to invent anything, everything is as transparent as possible for all participants in the process.”

When recruiting software is a kind of KPI

The benefits of automation are felt only when users work in Сlevertaff on a regular basis, and all new information is entered on time and correctly.

According to Anastasiia, using such a program for recruiting is generally about a systematic approach to work, and she sometimes wonders why some of her colleagues are happy to keep a bunch of excel spreadsheets and numerous notebooks, but “it is difficult” to go in and enter information into the system on time after an interview. That is why Anastasiia does not count “notebooks” as a performance indicator, because software is what the company spends its efforts and resources on to optimize the business process as a whole.

“It often happens that even for top candidates, we leave 2 stages of interviews instead of 4 – so that a person does not have to go back and forth. We meet their needs and optimize their efforts and time. So why should not this be a useful principle within the team?” she reasons. She adds that Citrus has a point in its evaluation process for recruits and HRs when they move from grade to grade called “CleverStaff Management”. For this, or rather for a systematic approach to work, a separate score is given.

By the way, some recruiters really liked the software gamification (you may remember, the system digitizes all actions and achievements), and perhaps in the future Anastasiia will implement the idea of rewarding the “winners” of, for example, a quarter with the opportunity to take some interesting exclusive training. In general, she sees recruitment automation as part of the project activities she enjoys doing. “It distracts us from recruiting, develops our skills comprehensively, and even helps fight burnout. It is also about the HR brand and about changing business processes for the better. Everything should be done for a reason,” Anastasiia summarizes.

We thank Anastasiia for her frank conversation and wish the entire Citrus team new successes and achievements!