Celanese is a global Fortune 500 chemical innovation company with 7,700 employees. From its headquarters in Irving, Texas, the company operates 43 facilities across 18 countries.

Celanese hires about 750 employees per year across a wide variety of roles that include plant technicians, engineers, and PhD-level chemists. With low brand-name recognition, the talent acquisition team has to work extra hard to engage candidates. “Finding people is easy,” said Jim D’Amico, global talent acquisition leader at Celanese. “Engagement to conversion is what makes the difference in hiring them.”

Under D’Amico’s leadership, the Celanese team began engaging candidates through storytelling. “Ultimately we hire humans, so we want a human connection,” he said. With the help of a screenwriter from House of Cards, Celanese recruiters learned to create personalized, meaningful stories to connect with candidates. “That point of honesty begins to engender trust in the relationship,” D’Amico said. Recruiters also learned how to “serialize” stories into smaller chunks, enabling them to develop candidate relationships over time.

When creating job descriptions, D’Amico’s team works closely with hiring managers to define the “why” of each position so it will appeal to candidates. “’Why would I want this position?’ is the question that every candidate has in the front of their mind, but never voices in the process,” said D’Amico. Clearly candidates appreciate this approach: Celanese is a two-time winner of the Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Award.

In an effort to gain name recognition and attract university students for engineering roles, this year Celanese tried IP-targeted advertising on the local University of Texas campus during the weeks prior to a career fair. “We created teaser ads to draw traffic to our site, where we could tell them our story,” said D’Amico. “It's been very effective.”

Other technology investments Celanese has made include a mobile apply platform for discovering talent and engaging with candidates, and a chatbot that delivers information to prospective applicants. With every new implementation, D’Amico looks carefully at the impact on the metrics and on his team. “Recruiters are most valuable when they’re spending time with candidates or hiring managers in an advisory role,” he said. “Technology should create efficiencies, improve quality and reduce time.”

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