EDF Energy is one of the UK's largest energy companies, providing power to approximately one fifth of the UK's population, employing 15,000 people and supplying gas and electricity to 5.5 million customers. EDF Energy's New Nuclear Build project is a start-up organisation within the existing business created to deliver EDF Group's new nuclear aspirations in the UK. NNB is leading the way in UK nuclear new build, aiming to construct two new nuclearplants in Somerset and Suffolk. The project is currently located across four sites: Central London, Gloucester, Bridgwater (Hinkley Point) and Leiston (Sizewell).
In April 2010, Independent was engaged to support the growth plan for EDF Energy's New Nuclear Build (NNB) division and to enhance the company's existing recruitment processes so that it could adapt more rapidly to cope with the immediate and projected growth in manpower. Independent's on-site, fully embedded team was tasked with improving the timeliness and efficiency of the recruitment process and generating a greater number of quality CVs. The team was required to integrate with the existing on-site HR function, as well as a shared service function on another site and with line managers.
Implementing effective Management Information - as a priority once the team was on-site, they liaised with EDF's in-house Business Architecture department to create a bespoke system with on-screen dashboard that produced vital data for measuring, monitoring and analysing recruitment performance. The dashboard highlights the status of each vacancy across all business units as well as key statistics such as time to offer and time to hire. It allows the team to see the proportional split of different candidate sourcing methods and plan ahead. It provides a clear picture of forthcoming vacancies and avoids the need to use costly agencies on a reactive basis. Multiple vacancies can then be advertised directly in the press rather than ad hoc. Critically, the Management Information from the dashboard is also used to inform senior management decisions and engage them with the recruitment process as a whole.
Successful delivery of quality candidates for high volume vacancies - when the Independent team joined NNB EDF Energy, it had to fill an unprecedented number of vacancies in the company due to its rapid growth – over 200 positions between April and October 2010. This was a particular challenge because many were for highly skilled, niche professionals such as nuclear engineers. This was further compounded by a skills shortage in these market sectors and the need to ensure candidates had the necessary security clearance. However, Independent's effective delivery ensured an interview to offer ratio of 4/1 and that 84% of offers made were accepted.
Reduction in 'interview to offer' time - Independent succeeded in reducing interview to offer time, due to regular liaison with line managers, candidates, the HR function and the shared services team to speed up the process and ensure candidate quality.
Creation of a bespoke agency PSL - prior to the RPO team's arrival, EDF Energy NNB's candidate sourcing relied heavily on recruitment agencies. However, rather than deliver a PSL catering only for this division, the Independent team worked with EDF Energy corporate procurement and shared service teams to create a company-wide PSL. With recruitment previously driven directly by line managers offering varying agency rates, this involved extensive engagement with all stakeholders to ensure a complete transformation of the process. EDF Energy Terms of Business were established so that all companies on the PSL had to work to clearly defined guidelines which resulted in significant financial savings for EDF Energy as a whole.
Increasing the number of direct hires - In order to maximise direct hiring opportunities, the Independent on-site team instigated a local hiring initiative through community forums and job centres. This was particularly significant at the proposed New Nuclear Build site at Hinkley where CV/interview technique workshops and educational events were held to encourage children of all ages to consider careers in the energy and construction industries. In 2011, the on-site team were invited to address over 700 pupils at one of the leading colleges in the south west. The positive impact of the ocal hiring initiative is in evidence when local jobs are advertised as 75% of applicants come from the surrounding area.
Successful engagement - engaging with line managers and taking time to understand the business were key to the successful integration of the on-site team. They took part in the training given to other employees, read the technical documents (including Health & Safety Executive and Nuclear Installations Inspectorate information). They regularly meet with all line managers before starting a recruitment drive to establish exactly what they are looking for and also speak to the candidates to match requirements such as salary, location and expectations. This way, by the time the interview takes place, the chances of success are high. The successful engagement of the on-site team was highlighted by one member being nominated by her colleagues for Best Contractor/Partner in the Nuclear New Build Employee Recognition Awards.
"The Independent team has integrated superbly into the EDF NN HR team since their arrival. They have helped speed up the recruitment process and support our delivery against business targets this year. We have noticed a significant difference in our ability to hire since the partnership began"
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