Brown-Forman Shares Their Secret for a 2017 CandE Award Win

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Modern Hire

2017 marked Brown-Forman’s first entry into TalentBoard’s Candidate Experience Awards and Benchmarking Program and its first win. The American-owned global spirits company was the top-rated company, earning the highest positive candidate experience ratings. Brown-Forman employs more than 4,700 people worldwide, with about 1,300 located in Louisville. On average, 4,000 candidates go through its hiring process in the U.S each year.

2017 also marked the eighth year Modern Hire has partnered with Brown-Forman to engage candidates through video interviewing. We are especially proud to see our very first client gain recognition for its excellence in talent acquisition. Recently, Arelis Correa, Brown-Forman’s Director of Global Talent Acquisition and Onboarding (pictured second from the left with her team) took time from her day to share her experience with the 2017 TalentBoard program with us:

Tracy: Why make time for TalentBoard’s Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards & Benchmark Program?

Arelis: Participating wasn’t a hard decision to make. We believed our candidate process was meeting the expectations and needs of our candidates, but we wanted an outside source to confirm it. Benchmarking provided us with hard data. We also wanted to hear directly from candidates about their experiences, which we did through the 100 responses to TalentBoard’s survey of our candidates over 10 weeks. And last but certainly not least, the CandE program is a way to show that we take the candidate experience seriously. We’re very intentional about every interaction.

Tracy: What’s the “secret sauce” that takes your candidate experience to a higher level?

Arelis: I’d say that our attention to communication helps us provide a more personal experience. We communicate with candidates at every stage of the process to ensure they know what to expect. No one should ever have to guess about what comes next. For candidates we invite on-site, we send an ‘office visit’ email that lists their schedule for the day, the names and titles of people they’ll meet, breaks in the schedule, and information about our behavioral interview method. We’ve found they truly appreciate getting this information in advance, and it smooths their experience. One candidate was able to notify us she needed a break for her insulin, while another shared his need for a deaf interpreter. We can be more responsive to their needs when we open the conversation and keep it going.

Our culture at Brown-Forman emphasizes the importance of building relationships. It’s fundamental to who we are, so it’s only natural that it would be a vital part of our candidate experience. Communication is critical for us in this respect.

Tracy: Were there any takeaways for your team from this process?

Arelis: Absolutely. The program highlighted two strategies we’re working to put in place now to enhance our candidate experience. One is integrating more employee video testimonials into our recruiting process. We’re a diverse, global team, and we want candidates to see that characteristic of our organization. In the Modern Hire foyer, we’re now using employee videos to welcome candidates. These are employees from all over the world, and they’re an authentic representation of Brown-Forman.

Another strategy is providing more information about our recruiting process. We’re working to add a page to our careers site with that information.

Tracy: Will Brown-Forman go for a repeat win?

Arelis: TalentBoard’s benchmarking program is an unmatched opportunity for research, data and learning, so we definitely plan to participate in 2018. We view talent acquisition as a journey, one that we’ve been doing and refining for years. TalentBoard’s program can only help us to enhance our hiring experience so we perform at an even higher level for candidates and for our organization.

We thank Arelis for her time, and send deepest congratulations to Brown-Forman on this outstanding achievement.

For nearly 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Early Times, Chambord, BenRiach, GlenDronach and Slane. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by over 4,700 employees and sold in more than 165 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit //

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