A strategy centred on the use of IT to deliver a more cost-effective, consistent and better experience for potential recruits resulted in Sainsbury's winning this year's award. It also included strengthening the graduate recruitment process, investing in training and developing the You Can programme to encourage people back into the workforce.
By reducing the number of assessment centre events and introducing a half-day graduate assessment centre instead, Sainsbury's achieved a 20% increase in graduate application numbers alone in 2009/2010, building on a 13% rise in 2008/2009. While figures for assessment centre conversions are not yet available for 2009/2010, the company expects them to build on year-on-year improvements, having converted one in six in 2006/2007 and one in three in 2008/2009. Last year 42% of applications came from Sainsbury's target universities and 71% of offers went to these students.
Since the launch of You Can, more than 3,200 colleagues have been recruited, exceeding its targets. Turnover figures for these groups of people are better than expected, with ex-offenders, for example, at just 10% and disabled staff recruited via Remploy at 12%.
The strategy has paid dividends by improving the calibre of staff and through better customer service - and all the while saving money for the business. Colleague turnover in stores has decreased by more than 12%, saving £1.6 million in recruitment costs, while graduate recruitment costs per hire have fallen a huge 69% and marketing spend per hire has dropped by 56%.
Judges praised the way Sainsbury's was approaching the job market holistically and described the strategy as "original". They were impressed with the way the company was working within the community, noting how the employer brand was delivered particularly strongly. Crucially, they remarked on how the strategy was demonstrating success, both in terms of the corporate goal to deliver an ever-improving quality shopping experience and through saving cost to the business.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: BRITISH GAS
When British Gas conducted a strategic review of its recruitment it found it had lost 46% of people recruited in one year. It was clear it needed to look at some core issues. A review of accountabilities, practice, IT, costs and candidate experience resulted in a transformation of the recruitment process, while reducing costs and attrition and improving engagement, retention and customer service. Judges liked the senior management involvement and, in particular, the British Gas Journey website, designed to keep successful applicants engaged while they wait to start.
Pets at Home
This article was first published on Human Resources