Ocado’s HR team revitalised its recruitment process, making it fairer and more effective, in partnership with Aon’s Assessment Solutions. Their efforts saw them win the HR Technology Award. We review their achievements and those of the runners-up in a high quality category that gave the judges a difficult task.
Ocado Group in partnership with Aon’s Assessment Solutions
Ocado Group’s HR team’s recruitment process required updating. The process was time and resource-heavy and evaluated talent in a way that did not proactively support the recruitment of a wide diversity of candidates, focusing on academic achievement, but missing those with strong talent and personal strengths that could still contribute significantly to Ocado. The process, based on a resumé-screening, was also subject to unconscious bias.
By working in partnership with Aon’s Assessment Solutions, Ocado has transformed the process using artificial intelligence and innovative digital assessment tools. It has introduced innovative, effective AI and digital tools and overhauled its graduate recruitment programme.
Ocado launched a series of online assessments which worked to measure preferred behaviours, removing academic qualifications from the search criteria, and instead looking for behavioural qualities related to the generation of fresh ideas, and dynamism from those candidates coming through. This created a more diverse graduate pool, while saving recruiters’ time and attracting more applications. Its use has eradicated any unconscious bias which human decisions are subject to. The results saw the gender split ratio of graduates hired in 2020 move towards women: it was 53% female to 47% male, in contrast to 36% female and 64% male in 2019. The firm has hired 73 graduates from diverse backgrounds and 12% of candidates are in receipt of free school meals.
Ocado says it is now adhering to its inclusivity principles and uses the evidence from its evaluation and analysis to quickly and efficiently identify where it can continue to improve the diversity of its applications, investigate why it is not receiving applicants from certain audiences and ensure that it communicates effectively with them.
Arvato Financial Solutions in partnership with the Access Group
Based in Glasgow, Arvato is a credit management company with nearly 500 employees and a field agent team of 190. Other Arvato companies in the UK offer supply chain and customer relationship management services and employ more than 3,000 people.
Arvato’s HR and business operations leads were already impressed by the Access Group’s learning management system, which they used for group training around governance, risk and compliance. They were aware of the vendor’s new employee recognition app, Access Applause. After a short trial, which proved ease of rollout, affordability and proof of benefit, Applause became the chosen solution.Until recently Arvato did not have a company-wide mechanism for boosting employee recognition and motivation. Acknowledgements were only seen by people attending events and were soon forgotten. In normal times, connecting with the growing number of field agents was already difficult. When Covid-19 hit, feelings of isolation escalated among the workforce because of home working.
The result has seen many employee stories and achievements come to light that otherwise may have gone unnoticed with 75% of Arvato employees engaging with the platform. Team leaders have been able to present staff with rewards via Applause and since early May 2021 the company has been offering vouchers towards food and drink, or online shopping, in recognition of a job well done. With these small gestures proving welcomed by staff, some team leaders have developed innovative reward campaigns for good work, which they promote to their teams. The company says it has seen a happier, more engaged workforce develop with an increase in productivity increase and less staff churn.
As motoring, cycling and camping outlet Halfords transitioned from being a pure retailer to delivering enhanced services such as garage services, the company recognised the growing demands on its HR team, processes and systems. On top of managing a larger team with complex labour requirements, its HR team had to maintain its unique company culture and high levels of staff engagement.
At the same time, Halfords’ legacy workforce management systems were reaching their capacity. Halfords took the opportunity to initiate a digital transformation project to centralise multiple time and attendance systems, an employee management system, payroll, and a range of manual processes into a single one-stop-shop.
Ceridian is a global human capital management (HCM) technology company. Dayforce, its flagship cloud HCM platform, can handle global HR, workforce management, and talent management.
Using Dayforce, Halfords centralised control of its workforce within a single cloud-based human resources solution. Following its implementation, Halfords used Dayforce to streamline tasks, reduce administrative costs, and improve communication. It provided employees with secure access to their personal information via an easy-to-use and convenient mobile app. Halfords has utilised Dayforce as its HR system of record, providing on-demand access via mobile and web to employees to manage work and life events as well as carry out self-service tasks like booking time off, checking schedules, updating personal details, and checking tax and banking forms.
Implementation of the digital transformation project started in 2018 and was fully operational in 2020. Since then, Dayforce has recuperated outstanding value and return on investment. Among the benefits has been the elimination of all paper-based work schedules, which were migrated to an advanced workforce planning programme. This gave it the ability to leverage intelligent forecasting based on each store’s customer traffic across hours and days and allocate staff with different skillsets for each service on offer.
Nine out of 10 Halfords employees have downloaded, and regularly use, the native Dayforce application on their iPhone and Android devices.
HSBC recognised it needed to more control of its data which is collected over 87 data points across more than 90,000 applications. And that’s split across 20 countries and six business lines. There were also lots of third-party providers, each with different systems and different processes. This left HSBC with no way of connecting the data and reports from each provider.
The first step to solving the problem was cleansing the data and figuring out how to connect all the data sets. In total, it took 20 days of working with data scientists to get it all under control. A Tableau Prep workflow was created that enabled the data and visualisations to be refreshed with ease.
Tableau was chosen for its versatility, as HSBC knew it needed to develop bespoke dashboards that could give different teams personalised views based on their unique data requirements.
The result is that HSBC can now easily see how many early careers candidates are in the process, which stage they’re at, and how long they’ve been there. It also enables them to see and track the composition of candidates in the pipeline. This opens up incredible opportunities to help HSBC manage its pipeline more effectively and deliver smoother, more consistent candidate experiences.
In 2018 KP Snacks looked into why its lowest engagement scores were among its manufacturing staff, who make up 86% of its 2,240 workforce. These colleagues, unlike office-based staff, did not have access to a company mobile, laptop/desktop or email and therefore could not easily find information including benefits. Recognition was largely offline and not visible across the organisation and there was no way to easily communicate and connect with this group. The company knew that if it wanted to achieve ‘engaged, high performing colleagues’, it had to find an engaging way to reach and motivate these colleagues.
In response, KP Snacks developed and launched KP4ME supported by Reward Gateway, an online platform designed to give all colleagues easy access to its benefits, discounts and information to support physical, mental and
financial wellbeing, personalised to what is relevant to them. It enables colleagues to receive communications from the business in real time and gave them the ability to connect with the business, senior leaders and other colleagues through blogs and posts. The profile of people in the company demonstrating KP values and behaviours was raised through e-call out cards. Colleagues can access KP4ME from any smart device, company or personal, and are able to easily register and log in using email or their existing social media accounts.
The company also replaced its out of date HR system and stopped outsourcing payroll processing, switching to a new in-house solution for payroll and HR (Cascade). This gave it more control, enhanced its processes
and saved £25K per annum. It opened the access so employees could view their payslips to check and inform of any changes before pay day.
KP4ME has 98% of colleagues registered, far exceeding the 50% industry average (according to Reward Gateway). Average views for internal communications is over 50% and this was up to 90% during the first six months of the pandemic. In 2020 there were 15,815 e-call out cards sent; a 790% increase in peer-to-peer recognition.
Ministry of Justice
When the Covid pandemic struck it appeared to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) that recruitment activity would grind to a halt due to government restrictions on non-essential travel and social distancing. However, as a front-line service provider, the MoJ needed to find a way to continue its planned recruitment, especially within HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).
The MoJ looked to provide an alternative online solution to fairly assess candidates which had to ensure the quality of hires was not adversely impacted. In order to achieve this, within three months, a virtual and online assessment process was sourced, designed and implemented to continue the existing recruitment process and support the HMPPS in meeting its planned workforce/hiring commitments.
The Virtual Assessment solution was built in two months using integrated multiple technology platforms; Oleeo, Tazio Assessment Platform, MS Teams and Zoom. These four technologies had to be knitted together to ensure a seamless process was delivered. A positive candidate journey and experience was vitally important as well as meeting the NPS hiring requirement against a specific deadline. Collaboration and speed between multiple departments and suppliers was essential.
Among benefits that were identified after implementation was that candidates assessed in their own controlled home environment were more relaxed and could be themselves. The new tech also allowed a first-time document and ID check without the worry of candidates forgetting passports, statements and other ID documents as these were all readily accessible in the candidates’ home which made a considerable difference in commencing the vetting process.
There also appeared to be a positive impact cognitively as candidate anxiety/nerves appeared less due to being in a familiar environment.