Customer Story

Del Monte Foods Addresses Seasonality with Recruitment Automation


applications processed in 3 months


reduction in candidates lost between hire and start date


recruiting hours saved
Del Monte Foods, Inc.


Walnut Creek, California


Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)

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Del Monte Foods, Inc. has spent 135+ years growing into one of the global leaders in consumer packaged goods (CPG), specializing in fruits, vegetables, and broth. The CPG company is known as the “original plant-based food company,” with a portfolio of well-known brands, including Del Monte®, Contadina®, College Inn®, Kitchen Basics®, JOYBA®, Take Root Organics™, and S&W®. Del Monte Foods, Inc. employs thousands of frontline workers during their pack summer season across the US and Mexico. 


Del Monte Foods, Inc. had a unique set of requirements that brought them to Emi. As a largely seasonal frontline employer, the talent acquisition team needed to find a way to scale their operations quickly. Unfortunately, inconsistent and manual hiring processes led to operational tasks taking the majority of recruiters’ time. 

Additionally, Del Monte Foods, Inc.’s season starts when the produce is ready to harvest, which varies a bit from year to year. So, while individuals may be hired for their roles, their start date was not defined and was likely to be 4-8 weeks from the time they were hired. This time period was a vulnerable stage in their hiring process where they would regularly lose up to 50% of their new staff to competition or ghosting. 

This often left the team understaffed at the peak of their season, which inevitably forced the talent acquisition team to rely on offering existing employees overtime or hiring contractors that charged considerably more than their average hourly employee. The understaffed locations were left scrambling and the additional cost cut into the bottom line.

And, if all of these variables weren’t enough, Del Monte Foods, Inc.’s team was also recruiting candidates who were primarily Spanish speaking individuals and didn’t always have staff to meet the needs of each. In fact, at least 70% of their candidate pool were Spanish-speaking individuals. The team needed to find a way to communicate equally effectively in both languages, even if the hiring manager and recruiter did not speak both.

So, Del Monte Foods, Inc. sought to address the following challenges with Emi:

  • Managing candidate drop-off
  • Standardizing hiring process across locations
  • Communicating in multiple languages
  • Minimizing time lost due to manual processes
  • Improving attendance rates to interviews and to first days
  • Implementing data tracking to avoid labor shortages
“The sheer amount of time that it took for our recruiters to have ongoing communication with the candidates, keep track of everything, screen, schedule, and interview process was a huge pain point for the team. For operational tasks, there was just way too much time being spent.” - Laura Birsinger, Sr. Manager, Data Analytics-Human Resources, Del Monte Foods, Inc.

While Del Monte Foods, Inc. had multiple pains they were looking to address, innovators within the organization like Laura identified that recruitment automation could alleviate these challenges.


Del Monte Foods, Inc. adopted Emi, the frontline recruitment automation platform to meet these challenges head-on. 

The hiring team utilized Emi’s multilingual responsive AI chatbot to interact with candidates in both English and Spanish while recording all candidate data in English for the recruitment team. This helps reduce time spent on translations and improves quality of the data. Additionally it leads to a greater number of completed applications. The SMS-based communication made it easy to both remind candidates of interviews and engage new hires until their start date. Additionally, by leveraging Emi’s analytics dashboard, the team finally had visibility into essential reports such as how many more individuals needed to be hired before pack season.

With Emi’s keeping candidates warm feature, the recruiting team can send hired candidates multiple SMS text, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger messages before their start date to validate if they are still interested in joining the company or, if not, why. This allows the team to know as early as possible how many roles they need to hire for ahead of the season. Additionally, this capability allows the talent acquisition team to collect data about why new hires end up terminating their employment. This information was previously based on an informed hypothesis but was not formally measured. By leveraging this capability from Emi, the talent team saw a 42% reduction in candidates lost between hire date and start date.

By streamlining the recruitment process, the hiring team reduced the time they spent on manual tasks by 30 minutes per interviewed candidate. And, because the teams used the same Emi system, each location’s hiring process was consistent with the next. As a result, the candidate experience improved, leading to a positive impact on the company’s workforce and overall efficiency.


After adopting Emi, Del Monte Foods, Inc. saw several positive results, including

Confirming newly hired candidates' intention to join

Del Monte Food, Inc.’s unique process does not always end with a defined start date. Because of this, the organization often lost as much as 50% of their hired candidates during the wait for the season to start. Now, using Emi’s ongoing start date communication, the team has seen a 75% response rate to the check-in messages, 95% interest rate in continuing employment, which has led to a 42% reduction in candidates lost between hire date and start date.

Reducing recruiter time spent on manual tasks

The recruiting and hiring teams at Del Monte Foods, Inc. leveraged Emi to reduce redundancies within the previously manual processes. Within the first few months of implementation, Emi had over 7,000 conversations with potential candidates. If each conversation lasted just two minutes with a recruiter, that would have cost the team 14,000 minutes of people time. Additionally, the recruiting team discovered that with Emi, it takes just clicking three buttons for 100 candidates to be invited to appear at the recruiters’ doorstep, ready for interviews. The interviewees who had previous communications with Emi had a better knowledge of the job and hiring requirements. 

Speaking to candidates in their preferred language

Before Emi, it was challenging to deliver a consistent candidate experience across both English and Spanish. Recruiters were left to balance translations or to be relied upon by other team members without Spanish fluency. Now, interested candidates can simply select which language they want to engage Emi’s responsive AI chatbot with, and can easily apply to open positions. This not only makes the candidate experience more seamless, but it also increases the number of conversations that are completed–which means a dramatic increase in applications received.

Increasing application completion

Prior to adopting recruitment automation, Del Monte Foods, Inc. struggled with application drop-off. As Birsinger said, “One of the biggest challenges was getting the candidates to complete the online application. They would start it and never finish it.” Now, with Emi, job seekers can pursue an opportunity simply by utilizing familiar chat communication, in their native language,  to complete a resume-free application.