The Situation

Our client is the leading global online marketplace for wellness services - their Business Management Software is trusted by thousands of clients in over 80 countries to manage and grow their businesses. Named one of the top software companies in the US by Inc. magazine, our client has also been voted one of Glassdoor’s top 10 places to work in the US. Our client's software helps businesses leverage technology to streamline operations and make their services more accessible to their clients. The client's mission is to leverage technology to improve the health and wellness of the world.

With a well-established team and presence in both the UK and EMEA, the client was about to go through a period of very rapid growth in their UK operations. The next stage of the client's growth strategy was to recruit another 35 people, predominantly across their sales teams, within a six-month period. As well as this growth, there was also a clear need to stabilise the turnover of staff and minimise the use of recruitment agencies.

There no formal recruitment processes in place. The in-situ internal recruitment team were not sufficiently structured or resourced to manage both the volume and the urgency of the upcoming hiring needs. The reliance on recruitment agencies was extremely high, with approximately 60% of roles being released to agencies.

As well as sourcing and hiring a large number of candidates for the client over a six-month period, we also needed to design and implement a brand new recruitment process. The new process had to be suitable for the ‘now’, but also had to be a process that could be handed over to the client at the end of the project for them to utilise for their future recruitment. This also included candidate attraction, assessment, onboarding and training.

The Solution

Our audit of the existing recruitment practices revealed some fundamental gaps in their processes. The new solution was designed to fit the needs of the business, as well as making better use of the existing Applicant Tracking System that was already in place, albeit managed by the US team. 

We re-drafted the job advertisements so they were more engaging with candidates. We also created assignment briefs for each position which meant that candidates had all the information they needed and were fully aware of the client as a business and the requirements of the specific role they were applying for.

After reviewing the client’s advertising strategy, we identified and implemented a more appropriate, consistent and targeted approach. This included advertising on some of the UK’s most well know job boards and platforms, LinkedIn as well as the continued use of the careers site. To increase the quality and calibre of candidates applying, we also introduced a number of pre-screening and killer questions as well as taking a more proactive approach, using CV databases and CV mining tools to target specific individuals rather than a more passive approach which previously had proved unsuccessful. Due to the high volume of recruitment, it was essential that we could assess and screen large numbers of candidates in as short a time as possible.

With a high level of staff turnover (first 12 months of employment), in addition to a lack of quality being seen by hiring managers, we reviewed and developed the assessment tools used for the selection process. This began by developing a robust 1st stage assessment, typically competed in the form of a telephone interview. Questions were developed with the involvement of hiring managers, understanding what the essential skills and behaviours required were for each position. We also revamped the face to face interview/2nd stage assessment by removing an outdated and non-relevant role-play and presentation assessments and introducing competency and value-based questioning techniques, which improved the quality of selection based more on candidate values and behaviours.

We also developed a number of candidate talent pools which will allow the pipelining of candidates for their future requirements.

Outcome

The buy-in from HR and the senior members of the sales team has been key to the successful completion of the project. With our recommendations and the new processes in place, we were able to significantly improve the efficiency of the recruitment function. Of the 35 positions filled during the project, 24 (68.5%) were external hires, whilst the remaining 11 (31.5%) were internal moves.

The visibility and profile of the brand have been significantly increased through the additional advertising and engaging with candidates. All the external hires were sourced directly through a variety of channels, which resulted in agency use being reduced from 60% to 0%. This meant that the average cost per hire of the sales function reduced by approximately by 50% over the course of the project. We were also able to reduce the average time to hire from in excess of 28 days to between 7 and 21 days depending on the role.

At the completion of the project, the recruitment process, improved ATS and candidate pipelines have been brought back in-house to be managed internally moving forward.

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