Safeway’s HR system to cut admin by 40 per cent

Safeway is introducing an online HR system to enable it to benefit from
e-recruitment and reduce administration time by around 40 per cent.

The supermarket group claims the new system will improve recruitment and aid
retention by assisting it to identify and develop talent across the entire
organisation.

Jim White, HR director at Safeway, said the IBM system will also help the
company manage its 90,000 staff more efficiently and save as much as £3m in
time spent on administration, reduced staff turnover and improved labour
management.

He said the current HR system which runs at store level is very labour
intensive. It tied HR staff up with administration and causes duplication.

White believes the technology will enable HR staff to focus on more
strategic issues and improve people management across the firm’s 500 stores.

"As well as reducing the amount of administration and freeing up the
time of our HR teams for more value-added activities, the new system is key to
helping us identify talent as it comes into the business," he said.

The IBM system will be housed on the firm’s intranet and managed from a
central call centre in Warrington. It will post all job opportunities within
the business directly onto the corporate website and allow all applications to
be processed centrally.

The website can automatically identify the skills of job applicants and
staff and match them to the needs of local stores.

The next phase of the project will introduce succession planning and
performance management, and it will be integrated into the payroll by autumn.

By Ross Wigham

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