- Assessment exercises
- Recruitment agencies
With a recruitment philosophy of ‘hire for attitude, train for skill’, ASDA differentiates itself from the traditional retail approach where applicants are typically only invited to interviews if they have the right skills or previous relevant experience.
So how does a high volume recruiter with such a philosophy go about implementing this in their recruitment process?
Back in 2002, ASDA was using a paper-based recruitment process for their graduate and management positions with 22,000 applications being manually sifted by their 5-strong resourcing team. The process was resource hungry, slow, inefficient and undifferentiated from the competition.
For many years ‘hire for attitude’ meant conducting generic psychometric tests during assessment centres on an ad-hoc basis. The journey to a different approach started when ASDA suggested that attitude is such an important factor in selection, that they shouldn’t even give a candidate a second glance unless they shared the ASDA values. ASDA therefore began to embrace the challenge of how it could meaningfully and consistently assess the values of every applicant for management/ graduate positions whilst keeping their costs down. The process would also have to meet the needs of all the stakeholders involved including:
Criterion Partnership and the ASDA resourcing team therefore held a number of listening groups across all areas of the business to understand what their customers and candidates were looking for from a system, what was in use already in the UK, and where things were headed in the future.
To deliver value to the business the initiative had a number of objectives to meet:
Further to this research ASDA worked with Criterion to implement a web-based recruitment system that was rolled out in 3 distinct phases, enabling continuous improvement and ensuring that ASDA remained ahead of the competition.
PHASE 1: THE MANAGEMENT APPLICATION PACK
The first system included an online pre-selection process capable of filtering out the less suitable candidates before the first sift of applications. This incorporated the following entirely bespoke features:
Scored work experience and education section Online sifting interface that used a traffic light system
This combination was web-enabled by ASDA’s IT team in America
PHASE 2: THE ‘WEBSIFTER’
As their competitors introduced online assessment, ASDA increased the gap with this next phase that added:
For this phase ASDA moved away from their American developers and Criterion’s developers took over the development using Microsoft.net technology.
PHASE 3: THE ‘SUPERSIFTER’
This most recent phase incorporates:
An online application process for George roles linked to a George careers site for the first time
Job alerts to ensure that when an opportunity arises the candidate doesn’t miss it!
The new system succeeded in reducing the cost-per-hire by 88% delivering an annual saving of approximately £2.64 million (averaged over 5 years).
Other key improvements included: