Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How a Non Profit Organization Improved Volunteer Screening by 3x Using Spark Hire

As an international charity organization serving the nation of Africa as well as its own operational needs, the hiring team at Mercy Ships often finds themselves interviewing volunteers from a variety of different locations and time zones. In fact, this past year, their volunteers came from around 60 nations.

Looking to triple their volunteer staff without sacrificing time or resources in the process, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, Heather Peterson, began exploring video interviewing platforms to help tackle these initiatives. 

With a specific wish list in mind, Peterson found that Spark Hire’s video interviewing software checked every box. The tech-forward solution has exceeded the company’s expectations and revolutionized how Mercy Ships hires.  

Goals for using the platform

Mercy Ships operates the largest non-governmental hospital ships in the world, providing free healthcare and humanitarian aid to communities throughout West and Central Africa. With national offices in 16 nations, their candidate and volunteer reach stretch beyond country borders and time zones.

But between complex schedule syncs and tricky communication logistics, Peterson and her team were struggling to hit their hiring goals. “On average, scheduling, interviewing, and distributing interview notes took an hour and 45 minutes,” says Peterson. 

On top of managing difficult coordination, the team had plans to make a huge increase to their number of annual volunteers. Peterson and her team needed to triple the number of volunteers in their network, without sacrificing more of their time or candidate engagement along the way. 

After using Spark Hire, the entire process now takes the Mercy Ships team no more than 30 minutes per applicant.

“Spark Hire saves our hiring managers an incredible amount of time and effort. The platform helps us prescreen our volunteers to check language proficiency, culture fit, job skills, etc.,” explains Peterson, adding, “The one-way video interview has been instrumental in sending quality volunteers without sacrificing team members’ time or losing volunteer engagement.”

Spark Hire’s one-way video interviews enabled the team to effectively and efficiently screen volunteers for the desired skills and qualifications, guaranteeing a quality hire every time. 

Improved collaboration with hiring managers

Spark Hire’s one-way video interviews are easy to comment on, rate, and share with various hiring managers, making collaboration among the team easier than ever. Personally, Peterson says she loves being able to compare qualified candidates back-to-back on her own time instead of spreading the interviews out over the course of several days — and trying to remember her impressions of each applicant.

This system made it much easier to compare candidates fairly and identify a great answer from a good one. 

Hiring managers were quick to recognize the benefits of using the platform and eager to explore the full capabilities of the software. The team has effectively eliminated any lag time from their decision-making process and significantly improved collaboration with stakeholders. “Saving their time is a no-brainer for [hiring managers]! They were immediately sold,” adds Peterson. 

Efficient, collaborative, and equitable

After implementing Spark Hire’s video interviews, Peterson and her team were able to hit all of their hiring goals and more. The software is now instrumental in their day-to-day operations.

Peterson recommends Spark Hire to any organization that is looking to improve its hiring metrics, explaining, “Video interviewing saves time for the company, respects the time of the candidate, and provides objective data and analytics to support the further business function.” She describes her Spark Hire experience as “efficient, collaborative, and equitable.”

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