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GameStop Corporation is the largest retailer of new and used video games, hardware, entertainment software and accessories. Having either trounced or acquired most of its competitors in the bricks-and-mortar realm, GameStop now squares off against Best Buy as well as online with Amazon and eBay.

The Grapevine, Texas-based retailer has more than 6,600 stores operating under the GameStop, EB Games and Micromania banners in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as well as e-commerce sites. There are GameStop smartphone apps and, in some locations, GameStop TV. It sells downloadable add-on content from other sources and is the publisher of Game Informer, a video game magazine with some 8.2 million subscribers for its print and digital editions.

GameStop employees number about 45,000, with the majority of those hires working at store level. Building and retaining the extensive workforce — enterprise-wide — calls for strategy, not just luck. Job seekers — both internal and external — have the ability to search for open positions and apply online. That’s an outward convenience for job seekers and a behind-the-screen tool for GameStop’s human relations team, which enlisted the services of SilkRoad Technology, a talent management technology provider, to consult on its recruiting strategy.

Electronic recruitment handling
GameStop had three leading requirements for a software solution, says Michele Benjamin, SilkRoad Technology’s regional sales director. The system had to be user-friendly, deliver excellent customer service and support and be easy to access remotely, for both seasonal and ongoing hiring efforts.

SilkRoad’s OpenHire is a social recruiting software system that offers tools to attract, screen and hire talent globally, and features an exclusive free job distribution network through partnerships with Indeed, Simply Hired and Job Fox. In addition, OpenHire helps employers create employee referral programs.

“Before OpenHire we had our own homegrown database,” says Juna Moore, GameStop’s talent acquisition manager. “Resumes were e-mailed directly to district managers for field positions and corporate/distribution/refurbishments were sent to an Outlook account” specifically for those positions. With thousands of resumes in the pipeline at any given time and a system that was still paper-based, “We were only able to access or search by name.”

In October 2010, HR submitted a business case to GameStop’s executive leadership team that “identified the need for a solution to better manage the applicant lifecycle,” Moore says. “We requested Applicant Tracking System technology that would help our recruiters attract, identify and engage talent more efficiently.”

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) technology enables electronic handling of recruitment and provides a central location and database for a company’s recruiting efforts, including analysis and coordination. Similar to customer relationship management systems, ATS systems can, depending upon need, be implemented on an enterprise or small business level.

OpenHire represents GameStop’s first experience with ATS, which Moore says “provides an efficient way of accepting and reviewing resumes and helps us better manage the entire candidate experience. With the increase of social recruiting, user groups and professional networks, recruiters are overwhelmed with the number of applicants they must screen and qualify.”

SilkRoad’s partnership with Indeed and Simply Hired has provided additional benefits, Moore says. Since rolling out OpenHire in November 2011, GameStop has received nearly 11,000 applications.

Streamlining the process
Staffing a variety of positions — hourly, salaried, seasonal and full-time — can be assisted with the right technology in the recruitment tool. “Depending on the solution, some vendors require different versions of their application based on [the] company’s specific size or functional need,” says Tom Boyle, SilkRoad’s director of product marketing. “SilkRoad provides a single scalable solution that allows customers to make configuration choices to support their unique business needs.”

A software solution for the retail sector is definitely not a one-size-fits-all proposition, he says. “In a retail environment where most recruiting is done at the regional or local store level, having the ability to leverage customizable security roles becomes critical. Many retailers prefer to have multiple career sites allowing them to attract a wide range of candidates both at the store and corporate levels with uniquely different messaging.”

Because the retail industry generally represents both hourly and salaried positions, Boyle says, “Being able to configure different workflows for those unique processes is critical.”

The same is true of pre-employment screening. “SilkRoad provides organizations with the tools to screen candidates applying for any position with custom screening questions,” he says. “Customers can have a variety of basic screening questions set up in the system by position type. This allows the system to be used company-wide, across a diverse set of positions.”

In turn, he says, “SilkRoad customers can leverage specific screening questions and the system will rank applicants based on their experience and knowledge.”

ATS has streamlined GameStop’s recruiting and selection process. “The automation elements help us collect applicant information, communicate with active/passive candidates and track applicant flow to maintain compliance,” Moore says. GameStop is now ready for the next steps in eliminating paper-based applications.

“Our corporate offices are currently receiving applications online,” Moore says. “We are now working on rolling out OpenHire for our field management team [for Q4 2012] so no applications will be paper-based. [We’re] providing our store managers access to OpenHire to help the team better locate applicants’ resumes and applications quickly.”

This will also give HR additional communication features. “OpenHire will also provide the ability to forward group e-mails to candidates for group interviews,” Moore says, “or invite them to our on-site job fairs.”