How airBaltic screened over 100 high-potential candidates a week with Willo

High-potential employee program at airBaltic
30-60 minutes
Time saved per candidate when using Willo for screening
Over 100 per week
New and high-potential candidates screened with Willo
Listen to the accompanying podcast episode

Key takeaways:

  • As a large enterprise, airBaltic is not only recruiting new employees but is also developing top talent in-house through its high-potential program, Alpha.
  • Air Baltic initially wanted Willo to help screen candidates for vacant positions but soon found they could use it for identifying high-potential employees.
  • Since launch, Willo has helped airBaltic screen thousands of candidates, hire multiple employees, and conduct initial screens for its Alpha Program.

The problem

In 2022 and early 2023, airBaltic went through a large recruitment drive for cabin crew, pilots, and other staff members to join its 1,500+ employee organization. 

At the same time, airBaltic was also looking to promote from within. Like many large enterprises, it has a robust program for high-potential employees. Called Alpha, the program is for top talent within the organization to be given additional leadership training, executive exposure, and set up to take bigger roles. But it’s not a tap-on-the-shoulder system—it’s actually a lot like an internal job application.

airBaltic allows people to raise their hands and say they feel they belong in Alpha. From there, they submit an application, take part in an interview, and possibly get admitted to the program.

Sabine Saliete-Rudzite, the Talent Acquisition Manager for airBaltic, was in charge of both the external recruitment drive and the Alpha admissions process. Working with a team of managers across Air Baltic’s business, she needed a single tool that would help her recruiters get to know the whole person behind each application. 

Sabine and airBaltic ultimately chose Willo to help them in their recruiting efforts for both external applicants and Alpha candidates. 

Why airBaltic chose Willo

Between new applicants and Alpha interviews, the airBaltic talent team was screening hundreds of candidates on a weekly basis.

Sabine said this caused two key programs: 

  1. The recruiting team simply needed more capacity—marathon phone screens wouldn’t work for this volume.
  2. Sabine wanted candidates to show their whole selves in a way that a written resume couldn’t. 

“We have this huge amount of applications and didn’t have the opportunity to screen them all 100%,” said Sabine. “The biggest challenge is we didn’t understand the full scope of each candidate. There wasn’t time to understand a clear picture.” 

Sabine knew that a video interview platform could help them, but airBaltic had many enterprise requirements before purchasing any new technology.

  • Trust: Sabine wanted to feel like she could trust the team behind the software. 
  • Easy to use: Sabine wanted a platform her team could start using immediately with minimal training. 

“We needed to find a solution where we could screen all candidates during mass recruitment and for the Alpha program,” said Sabine.

After reviewing multiple video interview platforms, they felt Willo was the best mix of giving them the features they needed, a team they could trust, at a reasonable price. 

The action and impact

airBaltic was set up and running on Willo throughout the whole organization within a month, using it for both external recruitment and Alpha screening. 

Sabine said the organization noticed a positive impact in three different areas:

1. New applicant screening

Pre-Willo, Sabine and her team could only screen 70 of the 100-200 applications they received per week. 

With Willo, Sabine and the team could watch every candidate’s videos and still save time because they didn’t have to book phone screens. 

2. Candidate quality

Phone screens didn’t give every candidate a chance to demonstrate all their talent. As a result, the airBaltic team had to push through candidates they later realized were a bad fit. 

With Willo, the team is able to see the whole candidate much more clearly. This allows them to be more selective—fewer candidates move forward to the next round, but Sabine said the average candidate quality is significantly higher.

3. High potential employee applicants for Alpha

Before Willo, interested employees would raise their hands and the recruiting team would need to conduct a manual, highly-detailed interview process. 

With Willo, employees can submit video answers to multiple screening questions so the Alpha committee can see a candidate’s potential more easily. 

Further, Sabine said Willo interviews help the Alpha committee spot someone’s strengths and growth areas more easily, making it easier to identify how the program would help that employee get to the next level. 

“Without Willo, we would likely have made more mistakes, forwarding the incorrect candidate forward to the second round and needing another 30-60 minutes to understand they don’t have the right characteristics for the vacancy,” said Sabine.

Next steps 

Now that airBaltic is successfully using Willo for external mass recruitment drives and the Alpha program, they are looking to other use cases. For example, Sabine said the team has already trialed Willo with specialized recruitment such as airBaltic’s PR specialist role, and it provided the same value. 

Even hiring managers who have been with the organization for 25+ years are beginning to love the platform, said Sabine. She was worried at first because those managers expressed some hesitancy, but now she said they find Willo a valuable, time-saving tool that makes their work easier. 

“Our hiring managers rate Willo as a good platform to use so they don’t have to spend extra time in interviews with candidates who don’t have the right characteristics for the role,” said Sabine. “They are quite satisfied with Willo.”