Case Studies / AON

Aon streamlines its apprenticeship recruitment.

About AON

Aon exists to shape decisions for the better — to protect and enrich the lives of people around the world. The firm’s colleagues provide clients in over 120 countries with advice and solutions that give them the clarity and confidence to make better decisions to protect and grow their business. Aon has approximately 50,000 employees in 120 countries.

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Traditional recruiting methods can overlook highly qualified talent.

Aon recognized that employees without a bachelor’s degree could bring valuable perspectives, experiences, and skills to fill key roles. In 2017, Aon introduced its apprenticeship program in the United States.

In this two-year program, apprentices work 40 hours per week, splitting time between the office and the classroom at a local community college. Apprentices are paid a competitive salary and receive full-time employee benefits, comprehensive on-the-job-training, and free community college tuition. Those who complete the program can then move into permanent, full-time roles at Aon.

While the Aon Apprenticeship Program has helped hundreds of people pave their way in the corporate world, finding candidates to join the program has historically been a challenge.

Traditional recruiting channels, such as university job fairs and online job boards, can over-emphasize academic credentials as a measure of job readiness. This approach excludes more than half of the US workforce who are STARs – over 70 million workers are qualified for many roles based on skills they’ve developed outside of a bachelor’s degree. Corporate apprenticeships like Aon’s are also relatively new, so potential candidates may not even be aware of those opportunities.

To find candidates, Aon often works with talent developers such as local community colleges and workforce development organizations. While these partnerships can be fruitful, they are labor-intensive, requiring managing many relationships across several organizations, and don’t always provide a way to proactively reach out to STARs directly.

“Keeping up with all of these relationships is a lot to stay on top of and requires us to be kind of dependent on an intermediary in order to connect with candidates,” said Francheska Feliciano, Aon’s Early Careers Growth and Strategy Lead.

People need to start thinking differently about the talent they are considering for their roles. There should be more of an emphasis on skills rather than degrees or credentials.”

—Francheska Feliciano, Early Careers Growth and Strategy Lead, Aon
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An opportunity to streamline Aon’s talent search.

Francheska Feliciano, Aon’s Early Careers Growth & Strategy Lead, was first introduced to Stellarworx through the Northern California Apprenticeship Network.

Francheska was intrigued by Stellarworx’s skills-first approach. An advanced algorithm, built specifically to assess qualifications based on skills and experience rather than degrees, matches applicants and employers where there are similarities between skills possessed and skills required for the job. Stellarworx also facilitates direct communication between employers and candidates, providing an open line for Aon to proactively reach out to STARs on the platform.

Talent developers can also maintain profiles on Stellarworx, allowing them to highlight their skills training, invite STARs to the platform, and recommend candidates to Aon. This helped Aon to streamline their recruiting of apprentices, gaining access to STARs from multiple talent developers in one centralized place.

Francheska brought the platform to the Aon recruiting team, who immediately saw the platform’s potential for their program. “Over the past few years, with how the market has changed and with the ‘great resignation,’ I think that people are feeling like there’s not enough talent in the market,” says Francheska, “and I’d argue that probably isn’t the case – there are definitely challenges, but people need to start thinking differently about the talent they are considering for their roles. There should be more of an emphasis on skills rather than degrees or credentials.”

Ultimately, Aon was encouraged to try Stellarworx for their apprenticeship program for three reasons:

Organized by skills

Aon wanted to place candidates into positions with responsibilities that best matched their skillset. Candidate profiles on Stellarworx prominently feature their skills, and match scores identify commonalities with posted jobs, making it easy to source talent by the skills they possess and proof they can perform.

High concentration of STARs

Aon simply needed a greater volume of candidates, and found that there are few reliable sources of STARs elsewhere. Stellarworx was designed specifically for STARs, making it a fast, efficient and accurate tool for finding Aon’s apprenticeship candidates.

Proactive recruiting

Aon wanted to be able to reach out to candidates proactively, raising awareness of their apprenticeship program and encouraging them to apply. Stellarworx allows employers to easily invite qualified candidates to apply, as well as message them directly, rather than waiting for them to discover new opportunities on their own.

[Stellarworx] provides a robust pool of candidates that fit within the requirements of the Apprenticeship Program, which is often a difficult demographic to source. I also like that we are able to directly message any candidate on the platform.”

—Ava Heinrich, Early Careers Recruiter, Aon Apprenticeship Program
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Aon finds and connects with STARs faster with Stellarworx.

Shortly after signing up to use Stellarworx, Aon was able to source multiple candidates for their apprenticeship program. The Aon recruiting team found implementation to be “very easy,” and even after getting set up, they were impressed with Stellarworx’s high level of service and attention to their needs.

Perhaps the biggest benefit that Aon enjoys from the platform is the ability to access so many candidates directly.

“[Stellarworx] provides a robust pool of candidates that fit within the requirements of the Apprenticeship Program, which is often a difficult demographic to source. I also like that we are able to directly message any candidate on the platform,” said Ava Heinrich, Early Careers Recruiter for Aon’s Apprenticeship Program

Aon’s commitment to creating new pathways for STARs goes beyond their own firm. In fact, one of their goals is to be a model for their peers – Aon is working to grow local apprenticeship networks to help employers develop their own programs. “As more and more companies start to grow their apprenticeship programs, they will need a platform like Stellarworx to source their talent.”

Aon’s positive experience with Stellarworx in 2021 renewed their commitment to STARs as a key source of talent for the future of their program. As the firm continues to grow its program in 2022 and beyond, Stellarworx will play an important part in filling their roles with STARs.

AON's Journey

Aon was experiencing challenges finding qualified candidates for its apprenticeship program.

Aon joins Stellarworx and begins using skills-based hiring for the apprenticeship program.

Aon sourced multiple candidates for their apprenticeship program shortly after signing with Stellarworx.

Aon renewed their commitment to STARs in 2022 with help from Stellarworx.

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