How the Silicon Valley company that reimagined insurance uses tech to reinvent recruiting

Esurance, founded in 1999, was among the first insurance companies to sell directly to consumers online, completely upending the staid industry that traditionally sold insurance through a large network of advisors in storefront offices and through employer-sponsored plans. The organisation changed the business of insurance by using technology as its competitive advantage to identify and engage consumers directly.

Recruiters follow the same roadmap to attract the best and brightest employees: combining flexible technology and mobile experiences with a customer-centric approach to offer careers that inspire, challenge, and reward.

As Kristi Robinson, former Head of Talent Acquisition (TA) explains, "we view our candidates as our customers."

That approach helped Esurance grow from just a handful of employees to more than 3,000 associates in just two decades, now backed by Allstate.

results in 2018

Achieved an average time-to-fill of 32 days

Improved candidate experience by 36 points year-over-year

Decreased cost-per-hire by 41% year-over-year

Esurance’s Approach

We need to stand out from our competitors by sharing our story and highlighting our unique culture. It is important for candidates to see that we are living up to what we are selling, and that we are more dialed into the tech world than your average financial services company. Most importantly, we want to have a tech-savvy hiring process to make our candidate experience painless.

Kristi Robinson photo

Kristi Robinson

former Head of Talent Acquisition

Candidate on mobile phone viewing Esurance careers site, powered by iCIMS

First, Define a Compelling Associate Value Proposition

To define its value proposition to candidates, Esurance began by asking current associates why they love working for the company. It found that employees are driven by teamwork, leadership, collaboration, and a passion for customer service, which fosters a creative environment that drives business. The Esurance associate value proposition is “Team. Culture. Community. — That’s Life at Esurance.” Associates are supported by Esurance in their involvement in charitable activities, including paid time off to volunteer their time and company matched donations.

Second, Deliver a ‘Surprisingly Painless' Experience

In May of 2017, Esurance introduced a candidate satisfaction survey to determine how it stacked up in the eyes of job seekers through a monthly net promoter score (NPS). The results showed a need to decrease the time job seekers spent applying, and modernise the hiring experience to match technology trends such as quick access to information and the ability to use a mobile device at any stage.

We improved efficiencies by streamlining vendor contracts and investing that money into things to improve performance, diversity, and the candidate experience, such as text messaging and video interviewing.

— Kristi Robinson

former Head of Talent Acquisition

Third, Streamline Technology Investments

In 2018, Esurance completed a comprehensive review of its various solutions - from sourcing to preboarding - and as Robinson explains, “we improved efficiencies by streamlining vendor contracts and investing that money into things to improve performance, diversity, and the candidate experience, such as programmatic job advertising, text messaging and video interviewing.”

Video interviewing simplifies screening for both candidates and recruiters: To improve the screening experience for candidates, Esurance integrated a video, text, and audio interviewing solution, into its iCIMS Platform, which simplified its previous 45-minute, multi-question candidate assessment process to just five minutes.

The fact that video interviewing is integrated into iCIMS has been literally life-changing for us. To utilise technology in that way and do things in 1-3 clicks.

— Kristi Robinson

former Head of Talent Acquisition

Talent pools of qualified candidates lower Cost-Per-Hire

At career fairs and campus events, recruiters set up tablets where job seekers fill out their information through iCIMS’ CRM in minutes to allocate more time for face-to-face interaction. iCIMS’ CRM is also accessible through flyers with quick response (QR) codes that job seekers scan from their mobile device. After an event, candidate data is automatically transferred into iCIMS, tagging them as an event attendee. To keep candidates informed and primed to apply for a position once it becomes available, recruiters send automated emails with relevant company news, new job opportunities, and invitations to upcoming hiring events. They target candidates by searching the Connect database for talent that match criteria such as location, specific skills, and preferred role.

Laptop showing Esurance careers site, powered by iCIMS

Automated sourcing reaches the right talent at the right time

To attract job seekers who are ready to apply, Esurance integrated an automated job posting solution, JobTarget, into iCIMS. Instead of reaching new job seekers by manually posting openings to every job board, JobTarget enables recruiters to create open positions right from within their applicant tracking system (ATS), iCIMS Recruit, and automatically post the position to all the job boards simultaneously with one click.

Coming from using a different recruitment solution in a past organisation, we would have to go outside of the system to post on university sites. Now, we can do that within JobTarget and stay within the iCIMS system. Doing things in 1-3 clicks is the way we want to brand ourselves.

— Kristi Robinson

former Head of Talent Acquisition

Candidate on mobile phone applying to a job on Esurance careers site, powered by iCIMS

Embracing mobile dramatically improves candidate experiences

To communicate with the speed and convenience that the brand is known for, Esurance also integrated a candidate engagement solution — to communicate with candidates through text messaging. The integration sends automated text messages to candidates, triggered by status changes within iCIMS Recruit, saving recruiters time by eliminating phone calls and emails. Recruiters also text passive job seekers and keep them engaged until they are ready to apply, at which point a text is sent to link them right to the application. Using the communication style that candidates prefer for quick updates yields faster average response times.


  1. Track candidates by source within iCIMS Recruit and pivot when certain groups are not sufficiently represented in recruiting pipelines
  2. Make open positions accessible to a wider span of job seekers by automating job posting from JobTarget to multiple job boards and universities
  3. Engage talent with iCIMS CRM by sharing content that highlights diversity efforts from members of the Employee Resource Groups

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Use technology, innovation, and caring experts to deliver an experience that is simple, transparent, and affordable – in other words, surprisingly painless.


Allstate, a Fortune 100 company with assets exceeding $130 billion


San Francisco, CA