Our judges were wowed by Paddy Power’s creative solution to gaps in its candidate experience, which brought something “unique” and “innovative” to the table. The Innovation in Recruitment Award is sponsored by My G Work.
Paddy Power in partnership with eArcu
With 628 shops and 3,500 employees, Paddy Power Betfair is the largest bookmaking retailer in Ireland, and one of the fastest-growing retail businesses in the UK. Attrition is typically high in retail roles: the Talent Acquisition team brings in around 1,400 hires, with up to 30,000 applications, a year.
The onboarding experience, although functional, did not provide candidates with a consistent and engaging experience, lacking in informative and relatable content. The process was very labour intensive, manual, and inefficient; with various spreadsheets being used to manage the process and contracts being generated manually.
The team took the opportunity to start a comprehensive process review. Performing a gap analysis review over several sessions, the team identified all the relevant employee and candidate touchpoints, along with producing an offers and onboarding process flow to compare the current “as is” experience with the “to be” improved journey.
Technology was optimised and automated to enable multiple contract generation at the click of a button, introducing e-signatures, triggering emails automatically and next steps based on decision. Within 30 seconds a contract can now be generated and sent to a candidate.
The results have been dramatic, the firm says, with a 43% reduced onboarding time, and contracts and onboarding forms completed in one day, whereas before it could take seven to nine days. It has seen a 9% increase in induction show rate and an 80% savings in efficiency, which the team can now spend on direct sourcing to help with the attraction problems the industry is facing.
Clyde & Co in partnership with Cappfinity
Global law firm Clyde & Co wanted to overhaul its existing early careers recruitment process to create a more efficient, inclusive, and technology-led solution that would improve the experience for candidates. It decided to implement a digital solution that would transform the way early career candidates were assessed.
It worked with Cappfinity, a leader in strengths-based assessment, recruitment and development, to create an efficient and engaging solution that would remove bias in the recruitment process and transform the candidate experience. One of the goals was to appeal to Generation Z candidates that would apply for these roles. Cappfinity’s digital assessment and recruitment product, Simulate, was used to provide candidates with a realistic preview of the role, presenting them with real life tasks and challenges to understand and work through. Using a digital and immersive assessment process also enabled candidates to gain a better understanding of the culture and working environment.
The firm has been delighted by the results, and the process has so far been completed by 2,387 candidates with a reduced average completion time of under 45 minutes (a reduction of more than 50%). Increased productivity in the Early Careers Team means it has been able to deliver 30 more events (double that of previous years), enabling more attraction activities for diverse talent, as well as skills sessions to prepare candidates for the new assessments.
Dee Set is a service provider working with the country’s biggest retailers to drive sales and efficiencies through a range of services, including merchandising, fulfilment, distribution, and store development. It hires around 1,500 merchandisers per year among other roles. Because the brand itself is not well recognised, it can be challenging to attract candidates and bring the company’s culture to life. The company had also just acquired two other businesses and needed to bring recruitment under one banner, modernising processes at the same time.
Keep updated on the Personnel Today Awards
It implemented a new applicant tracking system (ATS) aimed at creating a sense of belonging right from the start of the recruitment journey. Candidates are directed to the Dee Set careers site via Google for Jobs, with a tracking mechanism in place to gauge performance and ensure ads are targeted in the right place. The new careers site includes an ‘Ask Dee Dee’ chatbot so candidates can ask questions about roles available. In addition, employee videos talk about life at the company and recruiters’ photos are displayed so candidates have a human touchpoint.
Candidates can apply for roles from their social profiles and dynamic animations bring the application form to life, helping them to learn about the company culture as they move through the process. First interviews are automated to evaluate candidates against ‘DNA models’ created for different roles and levels of seniority. The site now attracts around 2,250 monthly applications, with 100% of candidates assessed and given tailored and constructive feedback. In the past 12 months, 1,711 new employees have joined Dee Set; 11,000 candidates have been interviewed with less than 19 minutes per interview; and there has been an 83% completion rate on chat interview assessments, with 76% completed on mobile devices.
Indian restaurant chain Dishoom used to need more than two weeks to recruit skilled new starters in London and experienced staff were leaving the industry. The pandemic meant that on any given shift, around 15% of the team could be absent, while almost one in five front of house roles were vacant.
The chain decided to acquire a short-term lease on an unused office, bringing in crockery, wine glasses, cocktail shakers and a projector, and moved the first two-days of its new-starter training to this new space. It created a step-by-step induction schedule that was culture saturated, focused on anticipating guest needs and delivered blended learning to new barbacks, bartenders, bussers, food runners, expeditors, servers, and hosts, before they continued their training in their cafes.
Delivering the programme also meant upskilling its training team to teach any department and lead weekly classes of 30+ people, inviting in senior managers to meet new starters and promoting star performers on the spot.
During the training, Dishoom managed to deliver 168 hours of training, hold sessions with up to 75 new-starters, and trained 492 new starters. Because of the programme’s success, the company now sees its recruitment streams differently. A further benefit is that it can recruit team members with no hospitality experience and get them up to speed rapidly.
Essex County Council in partnership with PeopleScout
Essex County Council wanted and needed to reach a more diverse audience. It identified four areas for improvement when it came to attracting candidates: talent attraction, candidate experience, value proposition and equality and diversity. To do this, it needed to build a new, stronger employer brand that communicated the true diversity of opportunity offered at ECC.
To get a full understanding of this, the council conducted qualitative research with its senior leadership team and over 50 employees. Its budget and number of residents served is bigger than most other UK councils, and this idea of ‘big’ became the starting point for creating the new brand. The council gathered case studies from people across the organisation, reflecting what its employer value proposition (EVP) meant to them. Brand visuals gave a sense of career challenges and achievements and why their work was important.
Its 2021 finance and technology graduate programme attracted a 400% rise in applications compared to the year before, with 51% of applications coming from candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds. The EVP and careers site have been live for just over ten months, and there has already been a positive upward tick in applications.
IWG is a provider of flexible workspace and has 12,000-plus employees in more than 120 countries. It predominantly recruits for volume roles and, in the past year, hired about 4,000 new employees across all its brands globally. The challenge for IWG was attracting the right talent and creating a better awareness of the brand. The career site was failing to provide an engaging candidate experience and lacked the content to inform the candidate sufficiently about the business, culture, and what it’s like to work for IWG.
The new career site needed to put the candidate at the forefront of the design by creating a clear, effective journey. Navigation had to be clear with relevant and engaging content, and simple search features. The site had to be a shop window for the newly defined EVP and give potential candidates full ownership of their decision to apply by subtly increasing brand awareness and portraying an authentic view of the organisation and key positions. IWG not only produced an engaging and candidate-friendly career site, but one that pushes innovative design and technological boundaries with standout features.
Applications are up since launch by 26%, with the company receiving almost 35,000 applications over the past three months. There has been an increase in the number of candidates reaching the interview stage of 66% since the launch. Users are spending more time on the career site (from 50 seconds to 3.33 minutes), and are now viewing an average of 3.64 pages, thanks to video content, podcasts, and engaging information. The next phase will see the career site evolve even further, with video job adverts to build even more awareness of the roles, development of the IWG internal career site, and dynamic navigation to send visitors on a journey around the site using user analytics and behaviours.
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Resource Solutions
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation is based in south London and it is essential it has a workforce that accurately reflects the communities it represents. In 2021, the Trust appointed Funmi Onamusi as director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and she wanted to understand how the current recruitment and hiring process impacted candidates from different communities.
It brought in the Diverse Hiring practice at Resource Solutions to audit its end-to-end recruitment process and reveal any areas that could be improved. Resource Solutions looked at 257 candidate touchpoints over 122 hours of auditing and research. The findings were then played back to senior stakeholders with 49 bespoke, actionable recommendations to minimise bias when recruiting into the Trust. The recommendations included: eight suggestions to reduce gender bias; nine to enable ethnicity inclusion; 11 to improve accessibility and 16 relating to LGBTQ, age and faith.
Onamusi said she was “very pleased for what this process has given us – the ability to grow”. Peter Absalom, associate director for workforce operations at the Trust, said the process had been “a wonderful opportunity to understand what we are doing well but also of what we can do better”.
In May 2021, WorkforceOne was commissioned by an NHS Trust to carry out a full independent review of its recruitment function to provide assurance that it was compliant with legislative frameworks and NHS national recruitment standards. The Trust’s director of people and organisational development had identified a need for an independent review of hiring processes, particularly in light of the impact the pandemic had had on the capacity of front-line workers.
The review resulted in 69 recommendations and in particular identified backlogs in applicants, a need to implement a digital end-to-end hiring solution to replace a paper-based approach; and a need to audit files of employees that had already been recruited. The review also needed to be cognisant of the NHS People Plan – promoting a culture of inclusion and belonging while taking action to grow and train the workforce. Phase one was focused on streamlining processes to clear the backlog, accompanied by the implementation of a new digital recruitment platform. The Trust and WorkForce One also created a new set of standard operating procedures, and launched a retrospective quality assurance programme.
The Trust’s Executive/ Workforce committee and strategic HR function are now in receipt of regular meaningful data and have a level of transparency on performance and insight that was not possible with the previous model of operation, enabling them to identify and target areas of improvement. Its recruitment processes are effective, legally compliant and robust, and the impact on patients has been positive.