Utah Community Action takes hiring online with Wedge

The Wedge Team
January 5, 2021

A quick pivot to keep programs running

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah Community Action is a nationally recognized provider of comprehensive services for income-eligible families. With programs including adult education, case management and housing, nutrition, weatherization, and more, the agency helps these families become more self-sufficient and self-reliant. 

As Covid-19 started to impact the area, Utah Community Action needed to maintain business as usual as demand for its offerings increased. Julie Bills, HR Recruiter for the agency, shared that the agency makes 200 hires a year under normal circumstances and quickly realized that their usual approach would not work under pandemic conditions. Bills looked to its applicant tracking system, ApplicantPro, for support, which led her to Wedge. 

A new approach to interviewing  

Tasked with hiring for various roles, from accountants to custodians, Bills and her team implemented Wedge across the agency’s core programs in the April timeframe. Unable to conduct in-person interviews, Utah Community Action looked to the video screening solution to fill the void in the interim. Bills acknowledged that video interviews take some getting used to on the candidate side, sharing that the agency creates custom questions in Wedge and explains the process to candidates before sending out the invitations. 

Even so, Bills found, “Most of our managers like Wedge. We’re constantly hiring for certain positions, like teachers. Wedge is a good way for our hiring managers to spend five minutes with a candidate, watching their video, before deciding if we want to do a follow-up. We’re able to see if a candidate is tech savvy, which is important because many of our positions are virtual and employees need to have the skills to manage their job remotely.” 

In addition to supporting the screening process, Bills said her team uncovered additional uses for Wedge, with one of the agency’s programs relying solely on video interviews. Bills shared, “After applying, it’s all candidates do – they go straight to Wedge. We’ve made hires before they even meet anyone.”

Continuing to hire despite conditions 

If not for Covid-19, Utah Community Action probably would not even know about Wedge, Bills added. Before the pandemic, the agency operated almost entirely in person. She concluded, “Wedge has been an excellent option for us, as an alternative to having people come in and interview. It helps us review a lot of applicants and even ask them a few questions before we go more in-depth. Throughout this experience, Wedge kept more people safe, by not having to do interviews in person, while helping make the process quicker and more efficient in many cases.”