Beachbody Transforms Hiring and Onboarding
Hiring and retaining more technology team members that are critical to the business.
A new hiring process that incorporated DDI’s Targeted Selection® behavioral interviewing system.
40% increase in retention in first year after implementation.
Targeted Selection provided the framework and the methodology for consistency across the organization…It’s been a total transformation.
Cory Kreeck, Vice President, Organizational Development
Transforming hiring and onboarding
Beachbody, a worldwide leader in health and fitness with headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., has built a billion-dollar business by showing its customers and coaches that the combination of fitness, nutrition, and motivation helps people achieve their goals and enjoy healthy, fulfilling lives.
Staying ahead in this quickly evolving market requires accountability, adaptability, and an intense focus on results. Cory Kreeck, vice president of organizational development, says that Beachbody has been “decisive in reprioritizing to ensure that we stay on the cutting edge of fitness, nutrition, and support.”
Yet, this decisive prioritization around results wasn’t fully realized in Beachbody’s people strategy. In the Santa Monica area, where countless technology companies vie for top talent, Beachbody faced multiple challenges in hiring and keeping technologists—the engineers, software creators, Agile experts, and people who write the code the company runs on. Founded in 1998, Beachbody still operates with some legacy technology infrastructure. The fast pace of technology change and lack of clarity around roles in the department combined to create ambiguity in roles, high turnover, and slow time to productivity for new technologists.
Compounding the turnover and job fit issues, leaders weren’t using consistent interviewing processes and there were no clear guidelines around the number of interviews required to gather sufficient data to make a hiring decision. This left recruiters to evaluate dozens of inconsistent interviewing data sets that were often not aligned to job requirements.
So, after first-year retention of new technologists was only 60 percent in 2015, Beachbody recognized a transformation of the interviewing and onboarding process was necessary.
Building a strong foundation for success
Working with an outside consulting partner, Beachbody’s people development team clarified core competencies required for success in each job, establishing the foundation for both interviewers and candidates to understand the priorities for successful technologists at Beachbody.
An organizational analysis identified core competencies for all employees and functional competencies for the technology team. Beachbody selected the Skills Framework for the Information Age Foundation’s (SFIA) technical competencies to define job-specific competencies for each technology role.
Beachbody partnered with DDI to implement Targeted Selection®, a behavioral interviewing system that includes interviewer training and a library of competency-based behavioral questions that help interviewers gather relevant candidate data.
More than 60 leaders in the technology group were trained in Targeted Selection. The system facilitated a learning process for interviewers and established a common language across the organization for hiring.
Targeted Selection provides Beachbody leaders with an end-to-end guided experience in behavioral interviewing. Training includes classroom instruction and collaborative work sessions customized for the technology team to provide participants the opportunity to practice new skills. Interviewers gain important skills to gather job-relevant data and make informed, unbiased decisions about each candidate’s ability to be successful in the role. Interviewers also learn how to ensure that each candidate has a positive interviewing experience.
Interview panels of three to five trained Targeted Selection interviewers are assigned unique competencies aligned with curated questions to ask during interviews. Use of these questions means that the data collected during the interview—in the form of specific behavioral examples from the candidate’s experience—is gathered consistently and also relevant to the job. In addition, interviewers glean insights from candidates about both organization and job fit.
After the interviews, interviewers meet to compare and integrate the data they gathered, rate the candidate based on the competencies required for success in the job, and make a recommendation to the CIO, with a hiring decision often made by the end of the day. This drastic increase in efficiency helped Beachbody act quickly to hire the best talent and improve the candidate experience.
Accelerating performance with integrated onboarding
Once candidates are hired, Beachbody follows up with an integrated onboarding program to help each new employee hit the ground running during the first month on the job. The competencies rated in the interview process are linked to customized business and career development objectives designed to help new technologists achieve their goals and enjoy a fulfilling career at Beachbody.
“The speed to productivity once somebody’s hired is significantly higher,” said Kreeck. “They have a clear and consistent picture of what their job role is going to be and what competencies are expected starting before the interview.”
With Targeted Selection as the behavioral interviewing framework and an intense focus on accountability, Beachbody created an exceptional candidate experience by transforming the interview, selection, and onboarding processes, as indicated by an immediate increase in positive survey feedback from candidates. Over time, Beachbody has also seen an accelerating shift in the aptitude of candidates applying for technology positions.
But it isn’t just the quality of candidates that is having an impact, according to Kreeck.
“It’s not just their ability to get the job done, but also their engagement in doing interesting work and actually pushing the organization to do better,” Kreeck said.
By implementing the Targeted Selection interviewing system, Beachbody saw the following results:
- 100 percent of first-year technologists stayed with Beachbody—a 40 percent increase in retention.
- Beachbody attributes “hundreds of thousands of dollars of bottom-line savings” to significant reductions in turnover, accelerated productivity, and increased engagement.
- All new managers in technology are trained in Targeted Selection, and Beachbody is in the planning stages for implementing the system across all departments, helping to build a common language and culture around interviewing and onboarding.