Freight trains.

What’s the first thing that just came to mind? Railroad ties, heavy machinery, rusty metal, loud noises, perhaps? Try this: technological innovation.

That’s right. Norfolk Southern has put technology at the forefront of its business model. They have a fleet of self-driving locomotives. The old-fashioned caboose has been replaced with high-tech end-of-train telemetry devices. Track geometry cars collect vast amounts of track health data. And they use state-of-the-art talent acquisition software to manage their employee recruitment processes.

Yello has become a critical tool for recruiters as Norfolk Southern aims to reimagine the railroad of the future. Take it from them:

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How is Norfolk Southern incorporating technology into their recruiting strategy?

With a recruiting team of 13 responsible for nearly 4,000 hires across 22 states each year, Norfolk Southern’s hiring needs are significant. But legacy ways of working — like thousands of face-to-face interviews and spreadsheets to track applicants — were creating a significant administrative burden.

That’s why the Norfolk team turned to Yello to lighten the load. They invested in new recruitment technology like:

Interview Scheduling:

Automated recruitment tools help Norfolk Southern schedule interviews instantly, improving the candidate experience and reducing administrative burden by eliminating back-and-forth emails and rescheduled meetings.

Video Interviewing:

Norfolk Southern invested in both pre-recorded and live video interview software, saving recruiters time and reducing travel costs. Video interviews allow candidates to complete a virtual screening in a convenient location, and are easy for recruiters to review at any time.

Recruitment Events:

Event management software helps Norfolk Southern streamline career fairs, information sessions, diversity conferences and more with a platform that helps them collect and share key event information — all in one place. With a tool that captures resumes digitally, tracks event ROI and helps recruiters evaluate candidates on the go, Norfolk is better able to ensure their recruitment events are worth the investment.

Recruitment CRM

Norfolk uses Yello’s Candidate Relationship Management tool to send pre-event marketing campaigns and automatically follow up with job seekers throughout the hiring process. They’re able to build stronger candidate relationships from start to finish by automating communications at every step.

Candidate evaluations:

Mobile-friendly candidate evaluation forms help Norfolk’s hiring managers provide consistent feedback, track progress and move candidates through the pipeline faster. Easy to use during events or after interviews, Norfolk’s recruiting team is able to view all of their evaluations in one place.

Employee referrals:

Referrals are especially important to Norfolk Southern, as their team includes many legacy employees — second- or third-generation workers whose family members also worked for Norfolk. Having an efficient way to track, manage, and follow up with employee referrals is crucial to the success of Norfolk’s recruiting team.

“It offers us an interaction with the candidate that demonstrates our technological advancements — that we’re not just an old industry, we’re a technologically savvy company. And we’re able to demonstrate that by the footprint we’re leaving with candidates, the digital experience.”
— Traci Caldwell, Recruiting Manager

How is Norfolk Southern measuring their success?

  • Positions are filled faster. For some departments, time-to-hire has decreased by over 50%.
  • Saved $500,000 in one quarter, primarily by reducing travel expenses.
  • Increased session yield. More than 50% of candidates now receive an offer.
  • Improved recruiter efficiency. Recruiters use predictive workforce planning models to hire more strategically. 

Leveraging Yello, Norfolk Southern has reduced their overall recruitment process from several months to a few weeks (sometimes even days). 

Now that’s something to celebrate, no matter the industry.