Personnel Today Awards 2015 winners: Graduate Scheme of the Year goes to Fujitsu

Fujitsu collect their Graduate Scheme of the Year trophy
Fujitsu collect their Graduate Scheme of the Year trophy in 2015

Fujitsu won the inaugural Graduate Scheme of the Year Award at this week’s Personnel Today Awards. Here, we look at its winning entry and those of the other organisations that made the shortlist.

WINNER

Fujitsu

About the organisation

Fujitsu is an IT company offering a complete range of products, services and solutions. It is ranked number 17 in the in Newsweek’s Global Top 500 Green companies and works alongside charity partner Action for Children.

The challenge

An internal skills audit revealed a reliance on senior technical resources, many approaching the end of their careers. ICT skills remain scarce, particularly among females, and growth in the traditional IT industry is flat. Facing a big threat from non-IT companies recruiting technical graduates, Fujitsu’s biggest challenge was how, as a B2B organisation, it could connect with a GEN-Y, brand-aware target audience and attract more females into the profession.

What the organisation did

  • Actively worked with TechUK, a trade body for the IT sector, and seconded a female graduate to support their programme of encouraging more women into IT. It is also developing a Computing GCSE designed to appeal to girls.
  • Developed an attraction strategy for the 2016 intake launched via Twitter, which includes a collaborative competition with Action for Children.
  • Deliver video lectures on subjects such as Big Data, 5G and the Internet of Things, by utilising its strategic links with universities specialising in computing.
  • Engage graduates in real roles from the moment they join – 70% of them are in customer-facing positions working on customer sites and building important value-adding relationships.
  • Developed the “responsible business challenge”, which provides graduates with an innovative opportunity to put into practice their leadership skills in delivering a unique project, while raising money and awareness for charity.
  • Introduced a “Buddying across borders” initiative, which pairs top graduates with talent in other countries. Graduates and alumni are now working in Japan, Poland, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
  • Actively incentivised top graduates to stay with the company by offer training and introductions to become non-executive trusteeship of charities, giving 1.5 days per month for this activity, and providing the opportunity to work in different roles, not only in the UK but further afield.
  • A quarterly talent board discusses and actively plans stretch roles of graduates before they become complacent, and ensures they remain challenged.
  • Introduced a “future leaders” development programme (for middle managers), which offers further development opportunities in their career and leadership ability by encouraging talent to take on more demanding, senior roles.

Benefits and achievements

  • One of the executive sponsors of the programme joined Fujitsu 20 years ago as a graduate and now sits on the board. She is a role model for women in IT, having won two Business Leader of the Year awards.
  • Entry-level graduate scheme, and the commitment to promote from within, means that the company saves an average of £40,000 per hire on recruitment fees – equating to £11.6 million of savings over the last two years.
  • Commitment to attracting a more diverse workforce is equally paying off with a 65:35 male to female split on the graduate programme, which is more diverse than the overall Fujitsu population of 75:25.
  • In the annual “Engagement and enablement” survey, graduates consistently score 10% higher than average across the business. They publicise this too, evidenced by a score of 4.25/5 on JobCrowd.
  • Number of graduates joining Fujitsu has increased by more than 100% since 2010 and it is now on its journey to better equip graduates for more globally focused roles in the future.
  • Spend per head has reduced by £1,673, down from £1,999 in 2010.
  • Last year, the graduates raised £40k of a £200k corporate fundraising target while representing only 1% of the Fujitsu population.

Judges’ comments

“Good clear challenge, big picture thinking throughout. Good innovation on development and cohort activity, especially the reverse mentoring.”


RUNNERS-UP

Capita plc

About the organisation

Capita is the UK’s leading provider of business process management and integrated professional support service solutions, with 68,000 staff across the UK, Europe, South Africa and India.

Employee benefits – the judges

Robert Aldrich, group HR director and change consultant

Anna Buttenshaw, Local Government, NGDP

Martin Edmondson, Gradcore

The challenge

Capita was seeking to recruit, develop and retain its future business leaders through an effective graduate recruitment programme. The main challenges included: its brand awareness in the graduate market; effective management of the candidate experience; and how it monitored graduates’ progression and development. It also had to deliver value for money on a limited budget.

What the organisation did

  • Created “Lead the Way” graduate brand, based on a premise of accelerated learning and fast-track career progression to senior management.
  • Aimed to establish an easily recognisable, business-wide identity for the graduate programme, based around four key elements: brand; candidate journey; development; and environment.
  • Devised a multi-channel, targeted attraction strategy using a combination of media including: campus activity; “drop-ins” and fairs; networking events; presentations; a dedicated microsite and app (developed by Capita Graduates); jobs boards; content-based marketing; career events and virtual career days; and radio advertising.
  • Developed an in-house attraction strategy across its corporate communication channels, including roadshows at major locations, to encourage internal mobility and development.
  • Introduced a new selection and assessment scheme that included: written assessment; numerical testing; and verbal reasoning testing. The next stage is a purposefully cutting-edge face-to-face assessment design, aimed to create a buzz around the application process.
  • Designed an assessment methodology in partnership with G2G3, Capita’s gamification technology business, which gave those participating the opportunity to work together to manage a set of business work streams, evolve processes and improve overall profitability.

Benefits and achievements

  • Between 2013 and 2014, Capita welcomed a total cohort of 85 graduates across five programme streams: leadership and management; leadership and operations; leadership and project management; leadership in audit; and leadership in finance.
  • Although the programme is still in its infancy, key indicators show that more than 50% of the cohort is fulfilling supervisory or management-level roles.
  • The diverse range of opportunities Capita offers its graduates means that it has seen retention in year one of 89% and 94% in year two.
  • In 2014, attraction spend, due to efficient use of internal resource, was in the region of £40k – less than half the cost of attraction of other organisations recruiting a similar number of graduates.
  • Between 2013 and 2014, there was a 36% rise in application, with a further 20% rise predicted in 2015.
  • The Lead the Way scheme entered “The Job Crowd Top 100″ graduate list at number 70 this year.
  • The gender split averaged 40/60 female to male candidates; more than one-third of candidates describe their ethnicity as other than white British; and 10% would describe their sexual preference as non-heterosexual.
  • Five graduates have been given a budget of £80 million to find acquisition targets that would allow Capita to become one of the top three practices of support and development services in the UK in five areas.

Judges’ comments

“Strong entry in all areas making a difference for the business.”


Civil Service Fast Stream

About the organisation

The Civil Service Fast Stream is a talent management programme for the country’s brightest graduates, who demonstrate the potential to become future leaders in the civil service. The scheme enables graduates to make a real impact on people’s lives in the UK and the wider world, working in uniquely varied areas such as education, the economy, foreign affairs, defence policy, health, environment and many more.

The challenge

Fast Stream was re-launched in 2012 as part of a wider reform within the civil service to improve capability. The challenge for the new Fast Stream was to: attract high capability graduates from a broadest range of backgrounds; deliver a selection process where applicants have the best possible opportunity to display their capability; and provide a learning programme that supports, challenges and inspires its graduates, developing their skills and unlocking their potential.

What the organisation did

  • Devised an ambitious and more focused talent development approach, which included targeting universities based not just on academic standing, but on ethnic background, disability and lower socio-economic representation.
  • Embraced social media. Twitter campaigns such as #ReflectSociety were set up to promote the programme and Facebook was deployed to connect interested graduates with current Fast Streamers, who moderated the site every day, explaining their role and answering questions.
  • Introduced “brand ambassadors”, led by interns from the Early Diversity Internship Programme. The interns are entirely from BME or lower socio-economic backgrounds, recruited and trained to represent the Fast Stream at target universities.
  • Selected talented graduates from every area of society – with ingrained sense of fair and open competition.
  • Integrated the selection process for the 2015 scheme with: open-access practice opportunities; online self-assessment, bespoke feedback and additional practice opportunities; online tests, covering verbal, numerical and situational judgement attributes; and an online e-tray exercise.
  • Assessed key competencies, including value for money and big picture awareness at final stage assessment days.
  • Builds Fast Streamers’ capability in six core skill areas identified as essential for future leaders of the civil service including: change management; commercial awareness; digital delivery; financial management; people management; and project and programme management.

Benefits and achievements

  • Around 600 fast streamers have rotated between government departments, and one in five is posted regionally somewhere in the UK at any one point.
  • There have been 232 external secondments to 92 different organisations, ranging from consultancies in London to charities on the Isle of Wight.
  • Every posting has fulfilled a high level of development in at least one core skill, plus a range of leadership competencies.
  • All talent coaches are Level 7 ILM qualified or undergoing the qualification, and 90% of fast streamers who have completed the mid-scheme assessment are on trajectory or above trajectory.
  • The professions within the civil service have seen the success of the new model and have commissioned new programmes for the commercial, finance, internal audit and communications parts of the business.
  • Almost 90% of business areas who have had a fast streamer posted to them are planning on bidding for another.
  • The majority of business areas are highly satisfied with the calibre of the fast streamers in their department, and agree that they have added value and made significant contribution to the work of the business.
  • The majority of business areas are confident that the programme will produce credible candidates for senior management positions in their team.

Judges’ comments

“Clear meeting of brief, and liked the external placement element. Clear view of long-term need for scheme and prepared to reshape existing programme.”


Hilton Worldwide

About the organisation

Hilton Worldwide is one of the largest and fastest growing hospitality companies in the world, with more than 4,440 hotels, resorts and timeshare properties comprising more than 730,000 rooms in 97 countries and territories.

The challenge

Hilton recognised that a fully integrated approach to team development would be key to achieving personal and business goals, so its global management management challenge aimed to: resource current business and future growth plans; build diverse talent pools and succession pipelines; acquire new knowledge and skills-markets, products and technology; build bench strength, particularly in business critical positions; and optimise people resources in a complex global structure.

What the organisation did

  • Introduced a general manager programme, which included: structured group orientation; tailored job experience in all functions, formal off-the-job learning in a range of business disciplines; virtual classrooms; business projects; a personal mentor; a competency-based personal development plan; and career development reviews.
  • Formulated a UK management development plan, which comprised: two nine-month hotel placements in the UK covering two main areas in each placement; five residential workshops; and two business-driven projects.
  • Implemented a third management plan: a general manager development programme that enables identified internal talent to effectively transition to a director role at hotel executive committee level.
  • Rolled out FINESSE programme, which aims to develop a group of talented, internationally mobile finance experts and fast track them to finance director positions within five to eight years of starting the program.
  • Appointed role models who can coach others and pass on their skills and experience, and prepared the next generation of business leaders.
  • Supported organisational succession planning by identifying, developing and retaining talented individuals within Hilton Worldwide.

Benefits and achievements

  • Sixteen individuals graduated in November 2014 and took up positions as assistant and departmental managers – a new intake of 22 commenced in September 2014.
  • FINESSE started in September 2014 and Hilton has selected six candidates for their first roles in London, Venice, Munich, Prague and Dubai.
  • In 2014, 22 candidates successfully completed the development centre stage, and it has a high success rate, with, on average, 90% successful for promotion or transfer to another role.
  • The average 8% who are unsuccessful work on further personal development needs with their mentor and line manager.

Judges’ comments

“Clear progression ideas, but was somewhat confusing in terms of all the different schemes.”


Merlin Entertainments plc

About the organisation

Merlin Entertainments is the largest European entertainments company operating in Europe. Merlin runs 110 attractions in 23 countries across four continents. Its strategy is to create a high-growth, high-return, family entertainment company based on strong brands and a portfolio that is naturally balanced against the impact of external factors.

The challenge

As Merlin rapidly expands across the globe, top talent is required to support the ever-growing business. Over the next five years, more than 5,000 employees will need to be recruited to join their already established global team of 26,000 employees. Merlin aims to open between six and eight new attractions each year, and, as they expand into new markets, recruiting the right top talent gets tougher. Two pipelines that have been identified as challenging specialisms to recruit top talent for marketing and operations.

What the organisation did

  • Introduced “Accelerate”, an 18-month fast-track programme that provides a tailored development path that consists of three six-month placements across different attractions.
  • Implemented and upgraded stages of the recruitment/selection process to make sure it is keeping up to date with new technology and making sure it is using effective ways to recruit and engage with applicants.
  • Rolled out a newly integrated global video interview that contains 10 strength-based questions.
  • Redesigned the assessment stage of application process to a more strengths-based approach, in line with the video interview.
  • Monitored performance in placements by the graduate manager – every graduate has a personal development plan in each placement with set objectives.
  • Offered a mid-programme development event and final development event, consisting of bringing the global graduates together in the UK, for a fun-filled first week where they get inducted into the business.

Benefits and achievements

  • The effectiveness of these changes can already be seen at such stages as the video interview – there has been fantastic feedback from applicants about the ease of use and how interactive the interview is compared to a normal telephone interview.
  • Graduate manager Holly Foot has been involved with the Association of Graduate Recruiters a number of times and has featured in numerous articles touching on topics such as global graduate recruitment and the graduate selection process.
  • Programme helps support major talent pipelines globally across the business and succession planning, with a diverse range of graduates with international experience across different sectors and brands of Merlin.
  • To date, more than 100 graduates have joined the programme and 60% are in marketing or operational management positions across the globe.
  • The remaining 40% are high potentials and, within the next one or two years, will also be ready to step into a management position.

Judges’ comments

“Great solution but benefits to organisation not as strong as other entries.”


Standard Life

About the organisation

Standard Life plc is a long-term savings and investment business, with headquarters in Edinburgh and operations around the globe. It has 1.2 million shareholders in more than 50 countries and 4.5 million customers worldwide, with a further 20 million customers through joint ventures in China and India.

The challenge

To deliver sustainable long-term performance and accelerate its strategy, Standard Life had to focus on professional development rather than personal and leadership development for the long term. It needed to deliver sustainable long-term performance and accelerate its strategy to develop an increasingly diverse organisation that reflects its purpose, strategy, changing markets and customer demographics. 

What the organisation did

  • Became more accessible as a company to prospective entrants, helping them to understand the strategy, values and what a career with Standard Life is like in reality.
  • Ran insight afternoons, with more than 100 students attending in the last campaign.
  • Leveraged technology to enable a far wider reach for candidates and defining the core competencies needed.
  • Paid close attention to the diversity of its applications and offers.
  • Formalised graduate stage as an entry point to its talent development framework means that it can pull candidates through more quickly to strengthen succession pipelines.
  • Provided its first summer internship through the Leonard Cheshire Foundation, which supports disabled people into work.

Benefits and achievements

  • Return on investment has been wide-reaching and continues to be assessed in a number of ways.
  • Of the 178 graduates who joined since 2010, 150 remain with the company (84%).
  • Engagement – 71% of graduates who have joined since 2010 are engaged (5% higher than Hay Group’s financial services benchmark).
  • Internships – 75% of interns were offered a graduate place last year and in the last two years more than 50% of those made an offer have returned.
  • Two years ago it did not have a big enough presence in the internship market to feature in the Rate My Placement Top 100 – it is now ranked 26th.
  • Diversity – in 2015, 11% of graduates are now recruited from outside of the UK and 56% of offers made were to female candidates, strengthening the gender balance.
  • The Young Person’s Development Network launched in 2015 and it already supports 170 participants on the graduate and employability programmes.

Judges’ comments

“Clearly articulated covering all aspects, joined up and strong focus on benefits to the organisation.”

Comments are closed.