Daily Markup #1000: Mercu’s AI-powered solution shortens Decathlon’s hiring time from 30 days to just 7, saving hundreds of hours

Photo credit: Elliott Gibb

Candidate service

  • Decathlon, a global brand for sporting goods, has become a household name for their commitment to delivering an exceptional retail experience — and this begins with hiring the best people for all their outlets.
  • Retail is fast-moving and ultra-competitive, posing a unique set of challenges, with the main one being a 3-person recruitment team at Decathlon having to manually follow up with 300+ applicants on a monthly basis. The cost of that is over 100 hours every month!
  • This leads to an inconsistent candidate experience, slow response times, and high admin costs. The solution? Bringing in 500-backed Mercu’s conversational recruitment platform.
  • Mercu’s platform seamlessly integrates with Decathlon’s existing applicant tracking system (Workable) to offer an engaging and personalized experience to candidates through automated interview scheduling, reminders, engagement via WhatsApp, and an on-demand AI assistant to respond to inquiries in real-time in Decathlon’s tone-of-voice.
  • This collaboration positively changed the experience for Decathlon’s applicants, without the need for Decathlon to change their existing workflows.
  • “The brief from Decathlon was clear: it has to integrate into existing workflows. It can’t be another new system that our busy managers have to learn, and it needs to automate all of the busy work associated with hiring,” shared Elliott Gibb, Co-founder at Mercu.
  • The wins:
    • Reduced time-to-hire: The average time-to-hire for retail staff dropped from 30 days to just 7.
    • Increased interview attendance: Interview attendance rates soared by 33%, reaching an 87% show-up rate on average.
    • Reallocated human capital: Both store leaders and the recruitment team saved hundreds of hours each month on candidate outreach and admin tasks.
    • Accessible automation: The AI assistant instantly answered over 92% of inbound candidate questions.
  • Read the full story here.


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