As COVID-19 shuttered businesses globally and forced retail customers online, call and chat volumes began to climb exponentially. That was the story at an international call center supporting a women’s clothing and accessories retailer, and the spike came just as their support staff was transitioning to remote work arrangements. Alarmed, the retailer set out to bring on new hires — and almost immediately realized they didn’t have the tools to do so in an all-virtual environment. That’s when they reached out to Randstad, and our team of workforce management experts swung for the fences.


From the outset, the client made it clear that they wanted to maintain certain elements of their current interview format: specifically, the two-and-a-half-hour, group-interview format, which included role-playing and a round robin session. The requirement informed and ultimately structured our approach as we set about devising virtual solutions. After presenting a model of the end-to-end virtual interview process via Zoom to the client’s team, we began training them on Zoom as well as other digital tools and applications. Key aspects of the carefully redesigned and reimagined process included:

  • routing candidates to apply for jobs online through Randstad using our internal screening process
  • having all candidates interview via phone or video with the team from Randstad first, at which point they had to pass critical aptitude tests to move forward in the process
  • developing and automating processes and structures to support the client’s preferred two-hour-long, group-interview format
  • introducing a new test for key computer skills, the results of which are visible to client-side stakeholders in real time

All told, we brought to life the best of both worlds: a digital, pandemic-safe solution that retained all the key elements of the client’s earlier approach. The results speak for themselves.


Randstad’s judiciously designed hiring process aligned with the client’s needs, ensuring that their customer service operations could continue to operate without disruption. Plus, with interviews now automatically scheduled twice a week with managers, the end-to-end process isn’t just virtual — it’s virtually seamless. Highlights of the engagement:

  • hiring more than 200 call center candidates at the peak of COVID-19
  • enabling the client to circumvent overtime costs in excess of $160,000 by solving key headcount challenges
  • driving $230,000-plus in cost savings for the client by curbing sky-high rates of turnover
  • leveraging our advanced digital capabilities to host virtual job fairs and bolster the client’s candidate pipeline
  • surpassing expectations to such a degree that, by the end of 2020, we weren’t just a “preferred supplier” to the client — we were the only supplier

Our solution proved to be a runaway success — so much so, in fact, that the client plans to continue using it going forward, even after COVID-19 recedes. Ready to discover how we can engineer thoughtful, enduring and high-impact workforce solutions that deliver bottom-line value for your business as well? Contact us today.

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“You and your team did an amazing job. We would have been lost without your assistance and training! I think what we appreciated the most was how you all made it so easy for us.”

— omni sales and training manager