“This piece of work was swiftly completed with an action plan, timeline, areas for possible investment and where a return on investment would yield benefit to the business and its longer-term strategy.
A short-term partnership ensured where progress was made with short term wins in operational recruitment alongside the placement of a Resourcing Partner who could then internally drive our agenda forward.
Cogito took the time to understand the business, engage with stakeholders and ultimately acts like an extension of your own team.”
Business Leader in Crematorium Industry
Westerleigh are one of the UK’s leading business within the crematorium industry, successfully developing and operating crematoria and cemeteries, overseeing a UK-wide coverage of over close to 40 sites nationwide and managing over 40,000 funerals a year.
While they have exemplified their status as a business leader within the crematorium industry, the business remain determined in implementing organisational growth and had ambitious plans in supporting this. A fundamental process of the growth plans was to hire new talent into the business, Westerleigh recognised the importance of hiring high quality talent who would support the development of the business, this is something that is often a struggle considering the line of work they are in and the limited amount of talent they at times face.
Better Recruitment = Better Talent = Business Growth
To our client’s credit, there was a clear increasing desire to adopt an approach of hiring talent who would add value to the business rather than just fill a role – this derives from previous struggles in which the business have had in their recruitment. Westerleigh’s recruitment processes were something that needed attention – they had no recruitment function in place, meaning that they were often dependent on recruitment agencies who were inconsistent in their delivery, therefore they were not receiving value for money in their recruitment spend. The lack of consistency within the process often meant there was a lack of communication and engagement between agency, hiring managers and candidates, which ultimately resulted in quite a poor experience through the process for both the candidates and hiring managers – to the point that it would at times feel like a burden for hiring managers. A further cause of concern was the lack of framework to ensure a consistent assessment or selection of candidates – this is problematic as it often meant hiring would sometimes come down to gut feel rather than objective assessment. In addition, this also refused Westerleigh the opportunity to assess and their own recruitment model, thus preventing them benchmark a level of candidate to support future recruitment.
How we established what needed to be done
Westerleigh engaged with Cogito to support them with the transformation of their recruitment model. This initially involved an employer brand competitor audit through the use of our unique audit tools. Using this, we helped the business understand how their employer brand compares to their competitors. This process of competitive landscaping enables Westerleigh to consider where they are now, as well as have evidenced guidance on what they need to improve on to become a more interesting proposition to potential talent. This process also included a Resourcing review, of which we analysed a range of characteristics within the business, this included:
- Ownership – who is responsible for recruitment within the business and the importance of identifying one.
- HR Support – reflection of the business HR model and how far this enables recruitment.
- Technology – what technology is in place to support recruitment.
- Attraction – recognition of how well know Westerleigh is as a business and implementing attraction strategies.
- Quality – assessing the quality of hire within the organisation.
- Candidate Experience – understanding the candidate’s journey throughout a recruitment process, communicating the importance of this and identifying ways this can be improved.
From this, we presented a detailed action plan to the Westerleigh Board which detailed what was required, and how we could support them, to build a best practice recruitment solution.
Putting recommendations into practice
We then executed the action plan over a three-month period in which we took ownership for the delivery of each workstream whilst also supporting Westerleigh in the recruitment of 15 roles
Our talent consultants supported our client in establishing core standards and principles aligned to the company values which will be the ‘anchor’ for all recruitment activity and processes going forward. We also defined the internal and external recruitment service and supported Westerleigh with the creation of the recruitment stages and detailed process flow.
To further empower Westerleigh in the future, our delivery teamengaged with a mix of applicants who we identified to be potentially suitable for their roles and underwent an extensive process of screening and assessing candidates to understand their suitability for the role.
Our combination of delivery and change consultancy meant that we could test the new ways of working whilst executing the plan.
Our team successfully oversaw the delivery of this project; this involved the transformation of Westerleigh’s recruitment model, as well as the successful hiring of 15 roles within the business, including an internal recruiter to support future recruitment.
Our engagement with Westerleigh has enabled them to have a full understanding of where they currently stand in comparison to their competitors, but also identify how they can improve their proposition to ensure that they are the most attractive business within what at times is a highly competitive industry in terms of attracting talent. This research has empowered Westerleigh to be able to implement longer term initiatives which would lead to improving quality of hire and marketing, meaning that they should no longer have to spend to get outsourced recruitment agencies to recruit for professionals. In addition, Westerleigh now have an established benchmark ‘what good looks like’ for operational site roles – providing clarity on essential qualities to look for which will support future recruitment.
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