Canon is a market-leading producer of consumer imaging products, including digital cameras, scanners and printers. It is one of the world's largest organisations, employing 10,500 people and operating in more than 14 countries in Europe and the Middle East alone.
Canon wanted to streamline the co-ordination of its recruitment across Europe to create a pan-European talent pool of potential staff at all levels.
Aware that the European workforce was shrinking due to various demographic factors, the HR team needed to make sure it had access to enough good people to help realise the company's business objectives.
"Canon enjoys excellent brand recognition and reputation all over the world, but we realised we were not making full use of this to attract the most talented people into our workforce," says John Ryrie, general manager of European HR strategy at the company.
StepStone Solutions provides technology to help organisations recruit and retain talent. It suggested the implementation of a web-based application called Hire Enterprise to co-ordinate Canon's pan-European recruitment.
The system was customised to suit the different recruitment processes of various markets, as well as to operate in different languages.
It would allow Canon to build relationships with people who might potentially be interested in working for the company at some point in their future careers, rather than just the smaller pool of people who are actively looking for jobs.
The system allows visitors to access Canon's careers pages either through the intranet or the internet, and anonymously state their requirements for potential future employment opportunities with Canon Europe. It then e-mails people when an opportunity arises, giving them the option to follow the e-mail up or not. The system then conducts online screening, ranking and shortlisting, and forwards the results to the recruiting manager for interviews. The system automatically keeps in touch with every applicant at each stage of the recruitment process
"The human element of recruitment is the most important, so you can never completely automate it, and recruiting organisations need to take care not to appear impersonal," says Ryrie. "But technology can support HR and increase the accuracy of the human element."