Our client, a multinational commercial bank, required a strategic review of their contractor recruitment process to maximise the number of case handlers available to meet an expected increase in PPI claims as the deadline approached in August 2019.
They also needed help to analyse how to retain individuals in the role to provide effective management of attrition.
The geographical locations to be supplied were known to be challenging and this was made more acute due to stringent criteria those we sourced needed to meet.
Our client’s service was experiencing annualised attrition of 78 per cent, which was costly to their business and damaging to the candidate market in each of the locations we supplied, meaning new candidates had to be continually sourced from the same pool.
Our account management team suggested the use of a ‘temperature check’ survey, which was launched with an assurance that all feedback would be welcome and shared with the client to provide a catalyst for change.
The survey tested the thoughts and experience of contractors throughout the recruitment process, including their induction, training, and becoming established in the role. It also provided feedback on ideas for improvement and increased satisfaction for contractors, the workplace, and their commitment to the role.
It was well received and the campaign to support completion of the survey, along with an allowance of paid time to complete the feedback as fully as possible, provided an excellent, rich response.
Some of the results were as expected, while others gave new insight into reasons why some contractors were better suited to the role and had good tenure, and why others were choosing to leave their positions. This feedback opened the door to some challenges that needed to be addressed.
The full analysis of the survey results was shared with a client stakeholder group and an interactive workshop was held to focus on the feedback and areas where together we implemented change to meet the needs of both our client and contractors.
Our output and actions included:
Creation of a dashboard to track each intake of starters, recording job role, location tenure, and exit category.
Categorisation of leavers into regretted and non-regretted, to provide more detailed analysis of reasons for leaving across each workstream and tenure group.
Completion of a candidate profiling exercise to identify the attributes of a selection of high performing, high tenure contractors and how these can be recognised during the recruitment process.
Review of criteria for the role, reducing the education standard previously required to attract a wider, more diverse group of applicants.
Exploration of attraction media, and advertising to support the new criteria for the role.
Improvement of telephone interview scripts used by the recruitment team to ensure full details of the requirements were understood, and contractors could demonstrate where they had the key attributes required for the role.
The use of chatbot technology to support communication and speed of the recruitment process.
Mandatory attendance at an engagement session prior to starting in the role giving access to a client panel to provide full transparency of the role and requirements.
Management of candidate expectations at these engagement sessions, allowing a final stage for candidates to withdraw from the process.
Review of client induction and classroom training provision, and the point at which candidate progress assessments were made.
Evaluation of training and feedback of work completed on supervised live cases.
Change of pay rate structure through the training period and activity on live cases.
Additional access to support and resources during the transition to live caseloads.
New criteria for a client request for a contractor to have a service review meeting.
Actions to follow up contractor service review meetings and performance improvement plans.
Regular communication cascade from the client via Reed Talent Solutions to the contractor population in connection with workforce planning, to meet casework demand, keep workers updated, informed, and feeling secure in their role.
The workshop we ran combined with the results from the survey were deemed highly successful and gave rise to several measured improvements.
The review of attraction strategies delivered refreshed adverts and new media avenues to engage quality candidates, while the updated telephone screening call script provided candidates with additional details of the role and expectations.
The mandatory attendance at an engagement session provided consultants with further insight into the role and workplace culture, allowing final stage candidates to be fully committed and enthused before entering the minimum contract.
Monitoring of new starter performance and exit interview data demonstrated a higher calibre of candidate engaged by the improved recruitment process. This, along with the investment from the client to provide additional support and time for completion of the training and accreditation period, produced the dramatic 52 per cent reduction in the number of leavers within the first 14 weeks of starting the new programme.
Another area of change delivering improved retention was the service review meeting process. Historically, the request for a contractor to attend a service review had resulted in 75% of contractors involved leaving their booking within eight weeks of a service review.
The changes made improved the contractor’s ability to respond to the issues raised, and the provision of support throughout the improvement period resulted in an increase in retention, and a drop to only 23 per cent of contractors choosing to leave their role.
These results were made possible by an excellent working relationship and collaborative approach to delivering our client’s requirements, through implementing change to make new achievements possible and by enhancing the candidate experience and life cycle within the business.