Sainsbury’s goes online to cut recruitment bill by £4m a year

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s expects to save £4m a year in administration costs by moving its entire staff recruitment process online.

The online recruitment initiative, in use for management since October last year, is being extended to all store staff, starting with the Fosse Park store in Leicester.

The system, based on technology from IT-focused HR consultancy Changeworknow, will be rolled out to all UK stores in the new year.

The move comes after research showed that most of the 50,000 job applicants Sainsbury’s deals with every year are already internet savvy and would prefer to apply for vacancies online.

To ensure equal job opportunities, the supermarket is introducing internet access in stores for those who don’t have a computer. In addition, the website has a text-only version for the partially sighted, and for people with other disabilities or those not familiar with the internet, Sainsbury’s staff will be on hand to offer advice.

Candidates will get feedback as they complete their online application, and Sainsbury’s aims to respond within 48 hours. The recruitment process will take days rather than weeks, according to Sainsbury’s recruitment manager Jane Basley.

“We’re using technology to make that nail-biting wait for news of a job a thing of the past,” she said. “It will also enable us to find the right people and fill vacancies faster.”

Earlier this year, Basley admitted that, before Sainsbury’s used the system for senior appointments, information about management vacancies “could have been described as one of the best-kept secrets in the world”.

Applications were made on an ad hoc basis, creating a long recruitment cycle and inconsistencies across the store estate, she said.

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