Firm cuts costs with online recruitment

Accountancy
firm Saffery Champness has dramatically cut the cost of recruiting graduates
after the introduction of an online assessment system.

The
new screening process has also seen the number of graduates accepting job
offers rise from 50 per cent to 90 per cent.

Crucially,
the length of time it takes to recruit also dropped from 11 months to four
months, allowing the company to steal a march on its rivals by being in a
position to make offers much more quickly.

HR
director Jon Young explained that he implemented the system a year ago in an
attempt to weed out huge numbers of unsuitable candidates and identify core
talent more efficiently.

"The
old system was resource intensive, time consuming and very expensive. Getting
the quick decision  means we can offer
jobs to graduates before other companies," he said.

He
explained that by using web-based screening the firm had cut costs by 67 per
cent and, in one instance, was able to offer a job within two days of the
student applying.

The
online application uses a range of employment criteria and a 20-minute
numerical test to find the type of graduate the company wants, while
automatically rejecting those who are unsuccessful.

Candidates
who come up to scratch are then invited to a half-day assessment before a final
offer is made.

Before
online screening, Young would receive about 1,000 applications for 15 graduate
places, which would have to be sifted manually for suitable candidates.

The
company would then invite a pool of applicants to a costly two-day interview
and testing process, which up to 60 per cent would then subsequently fail.

By Ross Wigham

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