In August 2007, Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway added bounties to its frontier of recruiting practices. And in just a few months the supermarket retailer has cashed in with quality job placements in record time.
According to Jayme Burke, Safeway’s talent acquisition rep for supply operations, the company began using an online marketplace called BountyJobs to expand its recruitment reach and enhance hiring effectiveness.
“I manage, on average, 25 to 40 positions simultaneously,” said Burke, “all within Safeway’s manufacturing and distribution areas. As a recruiter I make choices about how best to fill those positions.”
Many entry-level positions are filled via job boards such as Monster.com and through the company’s own Web site safeway.com. Higher-level and/or more technical positions may require an added boost, Burke explained, which is where BountyJobs comes in.
BountyJobs is a private online hiring marketplace where employers such as Safeway post job openings that are then accessed by thousands of pre-approved third-party agencies (headhunters). Those agencies view the posted position requirements on the BountyJobs Web site and choose whether or not to submit candidates for a given position. In turn, an employer such as Safeway reviews the headhunter’s qualifications and also decides whether or not to proceed, or “engage,” with that particular third-party agency. After mutual engagement, a flurry of activity follows.
“Just like you check your e-mails ever day, you need to log onto BountyJobs daily,” said Burke, “to make sure that you are responding appropriately. Bottom line, if you’re not communicating regularly with a third-party agency, they’re not going to work on your position.”
Burke’s daily BountyJobs routine includes frequent e-mail and phone communication with the engaged agencies, receipt and review of resume submissions, interview coordination and more.
Successful placement—of which Burke’s department has so far had four in less than three months—is compensated by a bounty paid by Safeway to BountyJobs, who then pays a percentage to the third-party agency.
BountyJobs is the brainchild of Jeremy Lappin, CEO, who launched the New York City-based company in November 2006. Although his first client was TJX Cos., which is still one of the company’s most active users, BountyJobs is utilized by a wide range of retailers—from Coach to Nike to Starbucks and, of course, Safeway. Retailers that become users of BountyJobs are then given access to thousands of headhunters nationwide.
“We currently have 2,500 headhunters and are adding about 150 each week,” said Lappin.
Neither the retail employer nor the headhunter pays a fee to become part of the BountyJobs network, Lappin added, but headhunters are interviewed extensively to ensure that they are indeed bona fide agencies.
“Under normal circumstances, retailers are challenged to find the right headhunter in the right location to fill an open position,” said Lappin. “Here, a retailer posts a job onto the site and thousands of headhunters attack it.”
The results can be swift. Safeway’s Burke had a position—a quality-control supervisor for a bread plant in the Bay Area of California—she originally thought would be a cinch to fill. After the job had been open for nearly three months with no hire in sight, Burke abandoned the traditional job boards and posted the position on BountyJobs. “Literally within 20 minutes of the posting, I had a qualified candidate,” she said. “And I had an interview scheduled within two hours.”
Burke feels strongly that, as a recruiter for Safeway, she should fill as many positions herself as possible, avoiding the additional fees. But there comes a time when a wider net may need to be cast.
“Sometimes bringing in third parties will speed the recruitment and hiring process and ultimately be in the best interests of the company,” added Burke.
CompUSA may get a new look
ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.
According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.
The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.
Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.
While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.
“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.
CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.
The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.
Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans
DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.
Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.
Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:
“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.
“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”