The one where we created a talent pool of staff to build capacity
A UK university had an ongoing requirement for high quality administration staff for the various faculties and departments across the large organisation.
It found it was advertising for the same types of skills in the local press every week with considerable duplication – there might be several adverts at the same time for similar admin roles across different departments. This was costly, but also time consuming as individuals would apply for more than one role. Some would be interviewed and deemed unsuitable by more than one faculty. Also, strong candidates were in demand and often found they were offered roles by several departments.
The University was keen to develop a central talent pool for these roles and asked us to design a new process which centralised the recruitment of admin staff across the organisation. The University had an existing recruitment framework which identified core skills and competencies for all admin functions. This framework was used as the basis of the new recruitment process.
We created an open assessment centre process for all new admin candidates. This consisted of a battery of ability tests, personality tools, bespoke work simulation exercises and a competency interview. The university’s HR team were trained in the delivery of the centres and interviewing and each centre was supervised by a qualified and experienced consultant. Applicants who performed well on the assessment centre were invited to join the talent pool – candidates who are suitable and capable of fulfilling admin role vacancies across the University. These candidates were then put forward to line managers by the HR team as pre-qualified, suitable candidates for vacancies as they arose.
The results of this exercise of a two year period were a significant saving in recruitment advertising costs. Fewer generic advertisements were placed in the media. The time to recruit was reduced by some weeks and the quality of hires improved as HR staff were able to match requirements specifically for each vacancy.