How 9x streamlined the processes of Saint Gobain's CFA Lab

Reduction in application to recruitment duration
Hours of manual work saved each day
Matched pairs from over 10.000 possibilities
Clémentine Bonneau
Program Director, Saint-Gobain

Partnering with 9x has been transformative

9x's advanced automation services transformed our recruiting and matching processes, enabling us to focus on the most promising candidates and effortlessly match them with the ideal companies.

Their guidance on automation strategy also led to a significant increase in operational efficiency. This partnership not only streamlined our internal workflows but also our relationship management with external stakeholders.

About the CFA Lab

The CFA1 Lab is part of Saint-Gobain and aims to accelerate the development of training programs in three key energy transition sectors in France: roofing, masonry and HVAC2. The CFA Lab's goal is to have 24 classes by the beginning of 2024 and to train 3,000 young men and women within 5 years. To achieve this, 150 to 200 candidates are selected every six months, from more than 5,000 applications.

1CFA is the French acronym for training and apprenticeship center
2HVAC stands for
heating, ventilation, and air conditioning


CFA Lab faced challenges due to limited internal resources and labor-intensive manual processes, which hindered their ability to accommodate the anticipated growth in classes and student recruitment. Additionally, the teams were missing a collaborative solution for securely sharing sensitive data with external stakeholders, including CFAs, companies, and candidates.

During the initial audit, we identified four main challenges limiting the team at CFA Lab to execute at maximum speed.

Our solution

9x introduced the no-code operations approach to their already vetted processes.

The 9x team, consisting of a Project Owner, Project Manager, and Builder, established a rapid feedback loop with the six operators at Saint-Gobain responsible of daily operations. This “Automation as a service” approach resulted in the creation of tailor-made tools and automations that are now being leveraged by the CFA Lab team. It made the entire process from application to matching significantly faster without the need to expand the team's size.

Funnelling all applications into a single platform

Candidates can apply to a school across different platforms: curriculum-branded website, job boards or social media.

The challenge was consolidating all applications being funnelled into a single system of record, Pipedrive, to provide comprehensive visibility of candidates. This process was labor-intensive, involving manual data transfer across various spreadsheets. And unfortunately, some collected data did not find its way into Pipedrive.

9x leveraged Make to connect all these different data sources, extract the data and standardize it before sending it to Pipedrive where the team can do their job best.

CFA Lab team has a clear overview of the application pipeline

Identifying the best candidates…

Matching candidates with the right companies consisted of two main efforts:

  1. Identifying the most promising candidates
  2. Matching them to the right company

When you have limited resources you want them to be focused on what has the most potential. The team at CFA Lab was already following a set of criteria to vet candidates, so it was a no-brainer to implement a scoring system that prioritized the most promising aspirant apprentices.

Having an automated scoring system allowed the team to focus on warm prospects - or “chaud” as they say in French - efficiently.

… and matching them with the right companies

Once the candidates are scored, they need to be matched.

One of the most critical criteria is candidate’s proximity to the workplace. Before the team used to check the travel time manually for each candidate. Now using an integration with Google Maps API, this process is automated and commute times both by car and public transportation are calculated.

Additionally, the 9x team streamlined the process of matching candidate skills and experiences with company requirements.

The matching tool allows to visualise for each applicant all the potential recruiting companies whose requisites they match
The matching tool allows to visualise for each applicant all the potential recruiting companies whose requisites they match

Now everything runs behind the scenes. The team simply gets to work on a matching interface where they can:

  • access the most relevant data about the candidate
  • match them to the right partner company with a single click
  • send a templated email with all the companies’ information (location, contact details) to the candidate and keep a log of the matching sent
  • send an automated email to companies with the list of matched candidates and their resume attached

Providing CFAs direct access to ongoing applications

While the CFA Lab is recruiting candidates for schools, the actual education programs are delivered by local CFAs carefully selected in each region.

Each CFA needed real-time access to ongoing applications while maintaining privacy. 9x established the necessary infrastructure and guided a CFA Lab team member in building a dedicated portal. As a result, each CFA can now monitor application statuses for upcoming classes.

The portal is also used to manage relationships between the CFAs and CFA Lab. Various aspects of the program are handled there, such as educational follow-ups, class completions or collecting feedback from students.


  • The CFA Lab now runs at full speed
    Empowered with these new tools the team now runs at unprecedented speed creating a better experience for all stakeholders involved.
  • Leaders are empowered with No-Code
    9x approach to not only build, but also empower clients has shown immense results with CFA Lab. Key members in the team are now aware and skilled on automation topics. Not only they know how the system works, but are able to identify and develop automation opportunities with minimum help. And we believe this is the biggest win.