How Watermark recruits 24/7 with Willo
- Watermark Communities needed a 24/7 candidate screening solution with high-quality integrations—but they also wanted to work with a team aligned to their vision.
- After reviewing multiple platforms, the Watermark recruiting team chose Willo because of its feature set, integrations, and how much they enjoyed talking to the Willo team.
- With Willo, Watermark has an 84% interview response rate and candidates can submit interview answers at any time.
The problem: recruiting in a 24/7 business
Watermark operates 70+ senior housing communities across the United States and recruiting is a 24/7 business—talented candidates apply across multiple time zones and many work full-time jobs already.
Debbie Penn, the National Director of Recruitment, sees this as a candidate experience problem.
“We realize that there's a lot of people out there that are great candidates, but they can't come in during normal business hours for interviews,” said Debbie.
A possible solution came, said Debbie, when the CFO saw her child applying for a job at 11 pm on a Sunday night via a video interview—Misty (the CFO) thought that could be a great option for Watermark.
After reviewing multiple possible solutions, the Watermark recruiting team ultimately chose Willo to power asynchronous video interviews.
Quality product and people: Why Watermark chose Willo
When looking for a candidate screening solution, Watermark had a few required objectives:
- Recruiter experience: The platform had to be easy for recruiters to use since they would be in the tool on a daily basis.
- 24/7 operations: Candidates must be able to submit interviews on their own schedule, at any point during the day or night.
- Integrations: The platform needed to work with Watermark’s existing technology stack.
On top of these technical requirements, Debbie said Watermark also has a rule about people; they only do business with people they feel are aligned to their vision and goals.
“When Misty [the CFO] saw Willo, she thought it was great technology,” said Debbie.
After the recruiting team and the CFO reviewed multiple platforms, they felt Willo was the best overall fit for both features and sales experience.
“When we met with Willo versus several other companies, we found Willo’s team was more conversational, more ‘let us show you how this works’,” said Debbie. “And that’s what works best with us.”
From frontline to senior leaders: How Watermark uses Willo
Christopher Havens, the East Coast Director of Recruitment for Watermark, said the implementation was smooth—the Willo team hosted four different trainings, so everyone at Watermark nationally could pick the time that worked best for them.
While there was some hesitance at trying new technology, that didn’t concern the team—Debbie said it was perfectly natural at first and David, the West Coast Director of Recruitment, said the organization had a few early adopters who helped them get started.
So far, the impact has been powerful:
- High interview response rate: Watermark has seen an 84% interview response rate with Willo, higher than before—and now recruiters don’t need to worry about a candidate ghosting them on a phone screen.
- Recruiting for frontline and senior talent: David said recruiters at individual Watermark communities have used Willo for front-line workers but also senior-level roles like Sales Directors and Dining Services Directors.
- Better candidate experience: Candidates have total flexibility to complete a Willo interview when it makes sense for them, meaning no scheduling concerns for anyone with conflicts or an existing job.
After the initial roll-out, Christopher and David are embedding Willo more deeply into their candidate experience. Now, the candidate flow is that once they apply for a job, they are automatically prompted to complete a Willo interview (with some additional context about what Willo is and how Watermark uses the tool).
“Willo is rolled out for all positions now,” said David. “Initially the focus was on frontline staff. But I've seen a lot of our properties out there using it for sales directors, dining service directors, and other roles.”
Now that Willo is becoming active across all Watermark properties, Debbie, Christopher, and David said the next step is further embedding Willo into the company’s recruiting processes. That looks like tighter integrations, additional training for new recruiters, and ensuring that everyone knows the right way to use Willo.
In the meantime, the team is excited about the value they’ve already found with Willo.
“Not only do we enjoy the Willo platform, we enjoy the people that we work with,” said Debbie.