Accountancy firm Saffery Champness has dramatically cut the
cost of recruiting graduates after the introduction of an online assessment
The new screening process has led to an increase in the
proportion of graduate applicants accepting job offers from 50 per cent to 90
The length of time it takes the company to recruit has also
dropped from 11 months to four, allowing it to steal a march on its rivals by
being in a position to make offers much more quickly.
HR director Jon Young said: "The old system was
resource intensive, time consuming and very expensive. Getting a 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 psychometric questionnaire and
a 20-minute numerical test to find the type of graduate the company wants,
while automatically rejecting unsuccessful applicants.
The best candidates are invited to a half-day assessment
before a final offer is made.
Prior to online screening Young would receive around 1,000
applications for 15 graduate places, which would have to be sifted manually for
The company would then invite a pool of applicants to a
costly two-day interview and testing process that up to 60 per cent would