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Financial services


  • Recruitment process outsourcing


  • Fast, efficient recruitment of contact centre staff to meet an urgent business requirement

  • Ensuring a best-in-class candidate journey

  • Maintained our client's brand and employee value proposition (EVP) through freshly-created marketing

The challenge

Our client, a leading global health insurance provider, engaged Reed Talent Solutions to support its volume hiring, recruiting regular intakes of customer service advisors.

They have a very strong brand and is seen as a destination employer, however, faced with challenging market conditions, tight timescales, and a continually high volume of vacancies, they had problems meeting intake targets, which lead to shortfalls in headcount for customer service advisor roles. Our client was conscious that they could not let this impact their customer service levels, so required an immediate solution.

Our client said: “Our challenges were resource led, this meant that our time to hire was too long and we were losing candidates to faster recruitment processes, we were looking to overhaul our existing method.”

They identified that they needed a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner they could trust to deliver high-quality candidates and help transform their recruitment process to get volume hiring back on track.

In addition, they wanted to ensure the RPO solution delivered a best-in-class candidate journey, maintained their employee value proposition (EVP), increase the diversity of their workforce, and provided comprehensive management information (MI).

The solution

The service delivered by us is underpinned by a core team of expert recruiters and talent attraction specialists that scales up and down in line with our client’s requirements. The team works hand-in-hand with market-leading applicant tracking technology, supporting automated workflows and communications, and provide detailed MI for the client across each stage of the recruitment process.

Understanding the root causes of the challenges faced by our client was vital to ensuring our service delivered against their requirements. As part of the solution design process, we carried out several client alignment activities, including workshops, a time and motion study, and ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ process mapping. Key areas focused on include:

  • Understanding the customer service advisor role, through a ‘day in the life of’ exercises

  • The end-to-end recruitment process, candidate journey, and identifying bottlenecks and potential points of failure

  • Understanding assessment tools and their effectiveness, and undertaking interview shadowing

  • Understanding the EVP

  • Partnering with our client’s recruitment marketing team to make sure we represented the client with the correct tone of voice

Following completion of the solution scoping and design process, the Reed Talent Solutions team was able to make recommendations on how best to deliver the service transformation:

Access to talent: To meet the required numbers for each intake, more candidates were needed at the top end of the funnel. In addition to managing all online job board advertising, we recommended direct engagement of the Reed Talent Solutions candidate database, engagement of welfare-to-work programmes, and a renewed focus on referrals.

Candidate journey: We identified high numbers of candidates who were not starting or not completing the online psychometric testing stage. To combat this, we engaged with the online testing provider to understand the issue and put in place new candidate communications that clearly signposted the recruitment journey and what to expect at each stage. We also automated reminders supported by our RPO helpdesk, to prompt and help candidates with any technical issues.

Matthew Rushton, Solutions Manager at Reed Talent Solutions, said: “Using our applicant tracking system (ATS), we built a 24/7 automated recruitment process, with human expertise introduced where it adds most value, and with visibility and control across each step supported by management information.

“Because we can report on each stage of the recruitment process, we spotted an early problem surrounding the psychometric test and candidate attrition rates. At this stage, we took a proactive approach and partnered with our client and the test provider to resolve this issue, working to produce a process that improved communication with candidates and ensured they remained engaged throughout. This saw a 30% increase in test uptake and a 25% increase in end-to-end completion of the tests.”

Assessing for potential: We recommended replacing the competency-based assessment with a situational judgement exercise, transferring the focus on having prior experience in a similar role to matching candidate’s strengths and capabilities with the requirements of the role. This significantly increased the pool of applicants for consideration as well as helped with recruiting a more diverse workforce.

Making the hiring decision: Our recommendation was to transfer the final interview and hiring decision away from our client’s managers to our recruitment team. This would result in a quicker and more straightforward recruitment process for applicants – vital in a highly competitive and fast-moving job market, and would significantly reduce the time required by our client's hiring managers on recruitment activities.

This last recommendation was a big step for our client to agree to, as it meant putting complete trust in Reed Talent Solutions to both represent their employer brand to applicants and to make hiring decisions that would result in high-quality hires. We collaborated on interviews, with our team initially shadowing their line managers, allowing us to understand how they positioned the vacancy and then inviting the managers to peer review our interviews, providing confidence in our ability to deliver a robust, high-quality process.

The results

Since going live with the services, our client has been extremely pleased with the outcomes and the way in which the recruitment service has been transformed. The RTS team:

  • Delivered against the initial target of recruiting 150 hires over a 12-week programme while increasing new hire diversity by 28%

  • Reduced time to hire from 25 to 18 days

  • Generated an increase in candidate applications of 68%

  • Created four days of efficiencies across the recruitment process through process optimisation and introduction of automation

  • Our client has reported a higher level of engagement during the candidate induction process, which they are attributing to the quality of the recruitment process

  • The client’s line managers have saved approximately 1,000 hours of time by Reed Talent Solutions conducting the interviews and making hiring decisions

  • 10% of successful candidates have been placed from welfare-to-work programmes


Our client said: “We knew we had selected a partner who was set up for success. The Reed Talent Solutions team met all milestones throughout the implementation and managed risks extremely well. We set ambitious timescales and we are extremely satisfied that the team met them.

“Reed Talent Solutions were meticulous in mapping our ‘as is process’, and upon review they suggested areas of improvements via the introduction of automation which cut four days out of our existing recruitment process.”


“One thing that has stood out from the Reed Talent Solutions team is their ability to pivot their service to deliver our needs.

“They have continuously reviewed and analysed their process to find improvements and how this could improve the candidate’s engagement and journey.”

The project was successfully concluded with all requirements being met within timescales and to service level agreements. This has led to an expansion of the service and the partnership continues.

Find out more about our recruitment process outsourcing service, or get in touch with one of our experts to talk through your needs.