The nuclear business of Rolls-Royce provides nuclear support services spanning the reactor lifecycle, from concept design through obsolescence management to plant life extension. Rolls-Royce operates a highly centralised outsourced resourcing model supporting UK, and where possible, international recruitment. However, as the model continues to evolve and respond to the challenge of delivering against rapid growth in international activity, a need developed for an additional resourcing service to support the business requirement and blend effectively with the existing approach. Given the specific and specialised nature of the recruitment, a key element of the support focused on establishing an on-site resource in France that could work with the language, culture and local hiring requirements.
Independent was engaged in February 2010 to deliver this service and remains fully embedded at the Rolls-Royce site in Grenoble, France, reporting to the on-site Rolls-Royce Senior HR Business Partner as well as the 7Rolls-Royce Central Resourcing team in the UK. While being an outsourced model, the RPO team includes a key team member who is embedded both on and off-site, splitting her time equally between Grenoble and Independent's head office.
Resourcing challenges in France
A senior Independent HR professional was embedded at RAC as interim HR Director, serving on the executive committee of RAC and reporting to the CEO. Onsite and fully integrated in the organisation, Independent played a key role in developing and implementing a separation plan to establish the new business, which involved:
Soon after the Independent team came on board, the headline transformation was in cost per hire. The team reduced the reliance on external recruitment suppliers and ensured that the new model made better use of the strong global Rolls-Royce brand, local links, internal talent and internet-based sourcing. In the first year alone, the new model recruited three times as many hires for 50% less cost.
Better training and liaison with hiring managers and improved management of external recruitment suppliers also resulted in the interview to offer time being reduced by 50%. The Independent team broadened the sourcing options by creating strong partnerships with French and international job boards including Viadéo and LinkedIn and established branded links with recruitment fairs, key universities and schools. With a wider range of hiring sources, this inevitably resulted in immediate cost savings and a marked improvement in the available pool of potential hires.
The Independent team also participated in the development of an improved employer brand for the nuclear business. They organised on-site brainstorming sessions with employees, provided input on the French recruitment market and effectively liaised between the UK team and the Grenoble based marketing team who were instrumental in the creation of corporate marketing material aimed at graduates in France and other European countries. The overall candidate experience was enhanced by providing feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
Improvements were made in internal communications, with the building strong relationships based on mutual trust and understanding with managers at all levels of the organisation. Coaching for managers was instigated covering various aspects of recruitment such as candidate interviewing, diversity and equal opportunity awareness and balancing skills within the team.
The team's creation and distribution of a monthly resourcing report also enhanced internal communication, supplying valuable management information to French HR teams, the Grenoble Business Executive and the UK HR and resourcing teams. The report covers cost but also focuses on source of hire, time to offer and quality of hire.
Critical to the success of the resourcing operation was the launch bespoke ATS system, Basis, which was designed by Independent and links with Rolls-Royce's global resourcing technology. Basis holds data which was previously recorded on three separate databases and acts as a source of valuable Management Information. The use of Basis enabled detailed tracking and improved the efficiency of processing applications and managing candidates.
The high regard with which the embedded team is held at Rolls-Royce and the extent of their expertise was underlined when they were tasked with fulfilling four positions in China and two positions in Rolls-Royce's Czech Republic office. This was challenging culturally, organisationally and logistically as Independent had no previous experience of recruiting these countries. There were substantially differing approaches to recruitment and differing expectations from candidates and agencies in both countries.
"I have worked with the Independent team for two years and have been impressed by the way the onsite team has rapidly found the right balance between their role as consultants and their status as fully embedded members of the wider Rolls Royce HR team. Throughout the ups and downs of strong growth they have managed to provide a strong service and have been instrumental in attracting and retaining excellent recruits into the business. 2012 is expected to be yet another challenging year with more than 130 recruitments planned across a range of positions from Technicians to Senior Management appointments. I have no doubt that the team will, once again, live up to their excellent reputation and help us deliver on our ambitious objectives."