Snowdrop Systems Award for Excellence in HR Through Technology

Award profile

This award recognises the effective use of technology by HR teams to bring about benefits to the business. Teams were expected to explain what changes have been implemented, why they were necessary and how technology has facilitated this. Evidence should be provided of the impact technology has had on helping to achieve strategic objectives.

The Cabinet Office

The team: Fast Stream European Recruitment Division and Civil Service Selection Board
No. in team: 32
No. in HR function: n/a
No. of employees HR is responsible for: n/a

About the organisation

The Cabinet Office supports the prime minister in co-ordinating policy across departments and is responsible for promoting best practice and improving service delivery.

The challenge

To create a more objective and fair, user-friendly graduate recruitment process to cope with the thousands of applications for 400-500 positions in central government.

What the organisation did



  • Selected Parity Training to provide a candidate administration service and Cubiks to develop bespoke online psychometric tools
  • Designed a job preview tool and practical business reasoning tests for candidate self-assessment
  • Introduced numerical and verbal reasoning tests and a competency questionnaire at first sifting stage
  • Developed a simulation exercise to identify suitable candidates.

Benefits and achievements



  • Completed the project on time and within budget
  • Reduced the recruitment time-cycle from nine to four months
  • Created a more transparent and user-friendly screening process
  • Achieved a higher proportion of candidates from minority groups.

Category judge Margaret Smith says: “What a difference this clever solution has made to what’s normally considered to be a long, drawn-out process. Treating everyone fairly but competently, ease of use for all parties and speed of delivery are just three of the hallmarks of this entry. A number of other companies could learn a thing or two about recruitment from this solution.”

UBS 

The team: Human Capital Management Team
No. in team: 10
No. in HR function: 650
No. of employees HR is responsible for: 66,000

About the organisation

UBS is a global financial services organisation providing consumer, corporate and investment banking services. It has 66,000 employees in 43 countries around the world.

The challenge

After 10 years of rapid growth through mergers and acquisition, UBS needed to overhaul its performance management strategy and create an single online system for the whole organisation.

What the organisation did



  • Created a single online system with company-wide performance standards while allowing local customisation
  • Established ‘UBS Pulse’ surveys to cover all key points in the employee lifecycle
  • Built bespoke online psychometric tests with SHL and PSL, allowing tests and assessment reports to be delivered online.

Benefits and achievements



  • HR is able to provide more insight to line managers with a focus on supporting the company-wide strategy
  • Surveys provide benchmarks for comparison across divisions
  • Reduced number of applicants interviewed by 30%.

Category judge Margaret Smith says: “This is an innovative and effective way of finding out the key skills gap areas that a business has in a fair and non-threatening way for the staff. It also enables the reinforcement of behaviours that are acceptable within the company. Given the global nature of the company, it is incredible that this has been rolled out to all staff in such a short space of time.”

Tryton Foods with Kronos Systems

The team: Kronos T&A Project Team
No. in team: 10
No. in HR function: 10
No. of employees HR is responsible for: 550

About the organisation

Home to the Aunt Bessie’s brand, frozen food manufacturer Tryton Foods is part of the William Jackson & Son Group. Sales have grown by 70% in the past five years, and Tryton Foods produces 16 million Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puddings every week.

The challenge

To transfer Tryton from a manual timekeeping set-up to an automated time and attendance system.

What the organisation did



  • Presented a business case to secure budget and board buy-in
  • Introduced a Kronos time and attendance system compatible with the existing payroll system
  • Overcame union and staff concerns about data protection
  • Ensured that the project was completed within budget

Benefits and achievements



  • Elimination of ‘buddy clocking’ (where employees clock in and out for each other) and of fraudulent payments
  • Minimum saving of 10 hours per week in the timekeeping department and eight hours in payroll
  • Accurate payroll has improved employee confidence
  • Real-time data allows HR to be less reactive and more proactive, and the service HR provides is perceived to be more professional.

Category judge Margaret Smith says: “This is a very simple solution which has been excellently executed. Yet the value placed on clear leadership, teamworking and knowing the real problems facing the business has resulted in a massive step forward for both the business and how HR is viewed within the business.”

Maybourne Group

The team: HR Working Group
No. in team: 10
No. in HR function: 12
No. of employees HR is responsible for: 750

About the organisation

Maybourne Hotel Group is a luxury hotel company with three properties in Mayfair, London.

The challenge

To create an internal appraisal system that is effective and valued by staff; that allows HR to identify staff needs; and that measures employee happiness levels.

What the organisation did



  • HR working group brainstormed appraisal systems to consider business needs and vision, and secured board buy-in
  • Developed bespoke software with hospitality people specialist Learnpurple
  • Set up new appraisal system
  • Set up training programme and buddy systems to help with the roll-out of the new system
  • Provided support for staff with English as a second language
  • Set up internet access in staff restaurants and training rooms so employees could complete forms at any time.

Benefits and achievements



  • Reduced staff turnover to 4.8% in first three months and increased staff happiness levels to 79%
  • Paperwork reduced by 90%
  • 12% increase in positive feedback from customers
  • The board has a balance sheet of skill and happiness levels.

Category judge  Margaret Smith says: “Staff happiness is the key to this company, as it knows and recognises that this translates straight to the bottom line. In striving for this, it uses the expression ‘we threw away the rule book’, yet it has had a positive impact in a short time.”

Sponsor

Snowdrop Systems delivers scaleable and sophisticated HR and payroll software worldwide. A fresh approach to systems implementation and support, plus a reputation for creativity, has fuelled Snowdrop’s rapid growth. A 95% client retention rate is testament to Snowdrop’s commitment to long-term business relationships.

Category judge

 Margaret Smith is chief executive of CIO Connect, a networking organisation for chief information officers (CIOs). Prior to this, Smith was CIO and MD of the direct and electronic business at Legal & General.


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