May 2023
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Reaping the Benefits of a New Recruiting Process

Monday, May 1, 2023

There may be strength in numbers, but the opposite has proven true for Sweetwater Sound. The Fort Wayne, Indiana, musical instruments and accessories company has managed to hire 1,200 people in one year with a team of 10 recruiters. The secret to success is the recruiters taking on dual roles.

Team members act as both recruiters and HR business partners, which creates a relationship that can last for an employee's entire tenure. It entails recruiters building relationships with hiring managers and leading new employees through the onboarding process.


The strategy also helps with retaining staff. "I've been on our team for going on nine years now; when people I hired seven to eight years ago ... want to talk about something HR related, because I have been that person building a relationship with them, I'm the individual to field that request" says Jordan Applegate, Sweetwater Sound's senior director of recruiting.

The company also maintains a strong on-campus culture. Applegate attributes that to doubling down on amenities offered to employees, including an on-site doctor free to staff and their families regardless of their insurance plans.

The business model and the recruiting approach seem to work. Sweetwater's revenue grew by 9.5 percent in 2022, surpassing $1 billion for the third consecutive year.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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