Case Study: Trouble in Paradise

Most of us would jump at the chance to win a free trip to Hawaii, but few people are as eager to live and work there. Being 2,500 miles away from the nearest talent hub, having a higher cost of living, and having a 2% unemployment rate can result in difficulty when searching to fill new positions. The government of Hawaii experienced these hiring challenges for decades. On average, their job postings would get only five or six applications, and it would take up to two years to fill a role.

This changed with the hiring of Todd Nacapuy as the state’s chief information officer in 2015. He convinced the government to fund a major overhaul of the state’s recruitment process. He started by changing his department’s culture and invested in recruitment marketing and smart candidate targeting. Hawaii reduced its time-to-fill rate to six months and hired sixty new employees in just a few years.

Nacapuy developed several methods to attract new talent. Because working for the government does not appeal to many people, he worked on transforming the employee value proposition (EVP). Working alongside his HR partner and recruiter-in-chief, Jennifer Pegarido, they took that insight and packaged it into a message that if you work for the state of Hawaii, you will make an important impact on others as well as develop a career, not just a job. Nacapuy has also spent more on recruitment, used platforms such as LinkedIn, and created videos that show the company culture rather than just talk about it.