Personnel Today Awards 2014 winners: Accenture take top prize for recruitment innovation

Accenture receive Innovation in Recruitment Award 2014.
Accenture receive the Innovation in Recruitment Award in 2014.

The Personnel Today Award for Innovation in Recruitment was given to Accenture for doubling its amount of hires after the introduction of new technology. We take a look at its efforts, and profile the rest of the shortlist.


WINNER: Accenture

About the organisation

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, employing more than 293,000 people internationally.

The challenge

Innovation in Recruitment – the judges

Richard Essex, head of corporate, Broadbean
Darren Hayman, director/co-owner, Macmillan Davies Hodes
Mark Horley, executive creative director and founder, Tonic Agency

In 2013, Accenture embarked on a major change programme that changed the structure of the organisation and how it dealt with clients. This meant it needed to recruit for roles that hadn’t existed before, such as big data consultants, and beat its competitors to highly sought after digital talent.

What the organisation did

  • Invited prospective candidates into the organisation to see the technologies and solutions it was working on.
  • Created a fully interactive room in which attendees could interact with demos using iPads, Xbox controllers, Twitter and other tools.
  • Ran 30-minute demos of its Innovation Centre.
  • Used Google Hangouts on key industry topics so people could talk to Accenture professionals in a more dynamic way than using Facebook/Twitter Q&A.
  • Recruitment team built their social media profiles, using LinkedIn to attract talent and making the business more visible.
  • Introduced a customer relationship management tool called Avature.

Benefits and achievements

  • Videos of Google Hangouts have attracted more than 3,500 views.
  • Hired 42 of the 400 people who attended events, representing higher ratio than CV-to-hire model.
  • Social media training has contributed to 100% uplift in LinkedIn applications in some areas.
  • Better conversion rates; one in every six candidates is hired (compared with 1 in 20 that agencies put forward).
  • Achieved more than double the number of hires compared to previous year.

Judges’ comments

“Very brave opening the doors, but well done and proven.”


RUNNERS-UP

E.ON

About the organisation

E.ON is one of the UK’s largest power and gas companies – generating electricity, and retailing power and gas. It is part of the E.ON group and employs around 12,000 staff in the UK and more than 79,000 worldwide.

The challenge

With the energy industry often hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons, E.ON needed to persuade a new generation of graduates to consider a career with the company. In addition, the graduate market is highly competitive so the company needed to offer something that stood out.

What the organisation did

  • Invited students into “The room of the future”, an immersive experience that “brought the challenges of the industry to life”.
  • In the room, students saw realistic versions of erratic energy supply, versus sustainable energy supply – they are then invited to play their part in changing energy for the better.
  • Supported media strategy, spanning student publications and job boards.
  • Redesigned the graduate recruitment site to bring everything in line with core concept, including videos from current graduate intake.

Benefits and achievements

  • Attracted 1,500 more applications in space of three months than previous campaign had in six months.
  • Quality of hires improved; one in 2.6 people at assessment centre met benchmark.
  • Campaign attracted more than 7,000 applications.
  • All 45 graduate places were filled, and additional graduates were recruited into other roles.
  • Regained entry into The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

Judges’ comments

“Very creative, innovative and engaging. Superb results and objectives more than met.”


Hackney Homes

About the organisation

Hackney Homes is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for managing council houses in Hackney. In 2013, it selected recruitment website Jobsgopublic to run a campaign to fill a number of diverse roles, in partnership with Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) resourcing team.

The challenge

Following the reorganisation of its Tenancy and Leasehold Services division and resident feedback, Hackney needed to fill a large number of vacant frontline posts. It had to recruit 43 candidates for 21 roles, but the volume of varied candidates involved and the fact that it had not undertaken a campaign of this scope made for a challenging task.

What the organisation did

  • Worked closely with Jobsgopublic so it could understand Hackney’s culture, values and people.
  • Developed a “home improvement” concept consistent throughout the campaign.
  • Devised rigorous interview process with filtering questions, online assessments and phone interviews to come up with targeted shortlist.
  • Jobsgopublic created microsite aimed at potential candidates including details on Hackney Homes’ vision and application methods.
  • Whole application process conducted online using Jobsgopublic’s applicant tracking system.
  • Used variety of advertising methods including Google and social media.
  • Commissioned BCC’s resourcing team to undertake shortlisting, screening and coordination.

Benefits and achievements

  • Selected 560 candidates, 185 of which were chosen for interview following online assessments and telephone interviews.
  • Microsite achieved more than 35,000 total visits.
  • Targeted emails open rate of 42%.
  • Seventy-five per cent of all positions filled from initial response, including managerial roles.
  • Cost per hire reduced by 50% from previous campaigns.
  • Saved approximately 200 hours of management time.

Judges’ comments

“A fully comprehensive approach, the microsite looked to cover all bases.”


Norland Managed Services

About the organisation

Norland is a market-leading facilities management provider, working for major national and international businesses. It has regional offices throughout the US and international operations in the UK and Ireland. Its annual growth is around 20%.

The challenge

Norland needs to recruit the most talented managers to meet growing demand for its services. It had traditionally used industry-specific agencies and selection interviews, but saw a trend of high attrition within the first year. In 2013, the company undertook a full review of its recruitment and selection processes.

What the organisation did

  • Conducted workshops to build up a profile of a successful Norland manager, and investigate why employees were leaving, or failing probation.
  • Found that requirements of the role not always made clear and the process did not provide a complete picture of company culture.
  • Re-directed recruitment spend to talent resourcing managers, aligned to each division and integrated into management teams.
  • Created sourcing strategy focused on workforce planning and incorporating passive candidates, using LinkedIn, specialised adverts, and industry events.
  • Developed assessment centre based on desired behaviours and values.
  • All managers attended recruitment and selection courses and given opportunity to shadow an experienced recruiter.

Benefits and achievements

  • Significantly reduced attrition rate.
  • Reduced recruitment costs.
  • Increased candidate satisfaction.
  • Candidates sourced more directly than before.

Judges’ comments

“Great commercial approach, aligned with business”


Regus

About the organisation

Regus provides flexible workspaces for more than 1.5 million customers in more than 2,000 locations. It has an expanding range of products and services, enabling people to work from home, on the road or in the office. It is FTSE250-listed, with a market capitalisation of £1.95 billion.

The challenge

The organisation operates over four geographical regions (UK,US, EMEA, APAC), each with its own recruitment team. However, there was no system, no data, no accountability, no employer brand and no consistency. Business divisions complained that HR could not hire fast enough, so the process needed to be addressed.

What the organisation did

  • Decided to enable hiring managers to run their own recruitment with full accountability.
  • Automated and simplified the process, dismantling regional recruitment teams and bringing in online screening.
  • Introduced new applicant tracking system (Kenexa BrassRing).
  • Created “recruitment champions” to deliver training to the hiring manager community.
  • Engaged agency to deliver new careers site and align this with attraction toolkits for local audiences.
  • Developed situational judgment test as predictor of in-role success.

Benefits and achievements

  • Local hiring managers able to hire at own pace and reduce use of agency temps.
  • A total of 27,403 candidates passed through the recruitment application process since April 2013.
  • Hiring managers have added 3,834 candidates to the Regus talent pipeline.
  • A majority (92%) of hiring managers have moved candidates successfully through the system.
  • The company recruited 1,224 hires using the new process.

Judges’ comments

“Such a major transformation in terms of not only structure and process, but also global mind-set.”


Jaguar Land Rover

About the organisation

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has been an automotive industry pioneer for more than six decades. Jaguar debuted in 1935, while Land Rover entered the market in 1948. Its innovation in vehicle development is behind some of the most iconic car models on the road.

The challenge

JLR had experienced almost double the number of applicants over the past two to three years, and needed to implement a scalable selection technique to screen large volumes of candidates and add value to the recruitment process. It also needed to ensure its assessment strategy was fair and reflected its values and culture as an employer.

What the organisation did

  • Partnered with Saville Consulting to develop a tailored multimedia assessment experience.
  • Used a 3D animation mapped to JLR’s competency framework, to start the candidate experience in a positive way.
  • Introduced situational judgment tests (SJTs) to ensure fairness, bespoke to the brand.
  • Worked with heads of graduate recruitment to understand success factors from previous campaigns.
  • Research among current graduates to understand the situations they were exposed to, as a basis for SJTs.
  • Trialled the assessment process with around 150 people.
  • Frontline recruiters were able to demo the assessment, and were provided with a recruiter guide with potential candidate FAQs.

Benefits and achievements

  • Increased candidate engagement, with dramatic fall in withdrawal rates compared with 2013 (from 25% to 5%).
  • Candidates share positive experiences on social media, driving up applicant numbers.
  • SJTs could deal with larger than anticipated rise in candidates without additional recruiter resource (up to 34,000 from 18,000).
  • Speed of decision making went down from three to four weeks to 48 hours with SJT.
  • Continued validation of methods shows it continues to be fair to candidates, irrespective of age, ethnic background or gender.

Judges’ comments

“Slick tool, great feedback.”

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