Training Top 125 Best Practice: Dollar General’s Recruiting Management System

On day one of the system launch, store managers hired more than 600 candidates in the first four hours. The retailer attributes this record-setting result to the training provided.

Retailer Dollar General realized it needed to revamp its Recruiting Management System (RMS) to support its future planned growth, including opening more than 900 stores and a distribution center in 2016. The old system was not flexible, used the same application for all candidates (executive to entry level), and did not allow for the 13,000-plus store managers to view applicants beyond their own store, leaving a gap between candidate supply and hiring demand. In addition, the system was not mobile enabled and not optimized for meeting the requirements of today’s job seeker.

In fall 2015, a project team consisting of key business leaders, system experts, the vice president of Talent Management, and the senior director of Training and Development began the process to identify a new RMS that would meet Dollar General’s current needs and five-year talent acquisition blueprint. Dollar General’s talent acquisition strategy is unique in that the workforce for its retail outlets is hired through more than 14,000 hiring managers across the country. Thus, it was crucial that these professionals be thoroughly trained and prepared to seamlessly transition to a new RMS.

Program Details

Dollar General first identified the five key priorities for the new system:

1. Reduce the candidate “seat time” (how long it takes to apply) from 60 minutes to 20 minutes or less.

2. Increase store managers’ applicant pool and unite candidates with store managers.

3. Improve hiring process efficiency, including full mobile optimization.

4. Easily adjust to a changing competitive landscape, allowing modifications to the application process as needed.

5. Be simple to use, so the overall system migration would not delay the business need to hire 2,000 people per week.

The Training and Development team worked with the implementation team to develop and provide a full-bodied training plan and program. The Training and Development department created a customized computer-based learning (CBL) course and four specific Quick Reference Guides for each user group of the system, which included the Human Resources department; 13,000 store managers; 800 district managers; and 4 million candidates who visit Dollar General’s career site every year. In addition, the team developed and delivered training to specialized super users and subject matter experts who host weekly best practice calls and field questions from end-users, providing the foundation for overall system implementation and continued support. A recorded version of this training was sent to all 13,000-plus store managers to complement the CBL and user guides developed.


The results of the training and new RMS system implementation have been favorable:

  • On day one of the system launch, store managers hired more than 600 candidates in the first four hours. The retailer attributes this record-setting result to the training provided.
  • There was no lapse in process or an increase in support center calls.
  • Store managers now can see candidates who have applied within 20 miles of their store, truly giving them the ability to recruit beyond their store’s applicant pool, a capability emphasized in the CBL.
  • Dollar General is experiencing record-setting candidate applications, averaging more than 1,000 received per hour, which is double that from the previous system. The retailer attributes this increase, in part, to the candidate user guide designed by the Training and Development department, which has been accessed thousands of times per week since implementation.
  • Mobile enablement and other innovations have reduced a candidate’s time to apply by 60 percent. Dollar General estimates this saves candidates more than 1 million hours of seat time on an annualized basis.


Training Top 125

2017 Training Top 125 winners demonstrated a strong focus on effective training and employee development tied to corporate strategic goals and business impact.

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While editing one of the articles, “Lessons for New L&D Leaders,” for this issue, I read something that struck a chord: “When meeting with peers and up-line colleagues, ask: ‘How can I help you

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