Grainger Smooths Its Candidate Experience with Best-Practices Support from Sterling

Sterling is able to offer perspective and knowledge that applies specifically to the unique needs of my business.
- Ebony Brumfield, Employment Practices and Compliance Manager, Grainger
Ebony Brumfield

Employment Practices and Compliance Manager

When Ebony Brumfield joined Grainger in 2016, among the first things she set out to do in her role as Employment Practices and Compliance Manager was to improve the candidate experience for people who were seeking job opportunities within the organization.

“My ultimate goal was to make the candidate experience as seamless and painless as possible,” she relates. “I wanted to streamline things to make the process smoother, and adopt best practices to help us get there.”

Ebony explains that her major focus quickly became creating cohesion in her hiring stakeholders’ understanding of industry best practices not only in the candidate experience itself, but also in the various individual components that shape that experience.

Key areas that she highlighted after conducting a gap analysis included the creation of a more efficient screening process and better account management by effectively using services that included criminal background checks, verifications, and drug screening.

“Almost 50% of my work day was spent answering emails about background check issues,” Ebony explains, adding that getting access to the right information quickly so as to inform her hiring stakeholders often was taking too much time.

“Things need to be handled in a reasonable amount of time,” she states. “Ultimately, if I’m not able to get key information over to the people who need it in a timely manner in order to make a hiring decision, that affects my brand. Candidates may become impatient if things take too long, and that can leave them with a negative impression about our company.”

It’s important for us to have a partner who works with other clients that are in our space,” she asserts. “This is extremely important because Sterling is able to offer perspective and knowledge that applies specifically to the unique needs of my business.”

Grainger’s partnership with Sterling helped Ebony smooth and speed the process, as well as avail her the industry-specific best-practices guidance she desired. Sterling’s industrial market experts provide Ebony with an ongoing view of best practices within the manufacturing industry. She says that the relationship with Sterling has provided her with a steady stream of knowledge around what other companies similar to Grainger are doing, and that the availability of this data has become crucial to her daily operations.

Ebony relates that, for her, the most important element of Grainger’s partnership with Sterling is the responsiveness from the team that supports her. “If an account manager is not responsive, for example, it’s not going to work no matter what services are offered,” she explains. “Our account team at Sterling provides the answers we need quickly, which helps me operate more proactively instead of reactively.”

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