14 July, 2021

The Defra Group is a collection of government agencies and departments, working closely with different partners, industries and communities, across the country. As the world and political climate change, they are tasked with finding innovative solutions to constantly evolving challenges.

The many different departments and agencies within the Group handle recruitment in several ways, splitting recruitment of permanent and contingent labour.

One department within the Group is HR Strategic Resourcing, part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which called upon Eploy to assist them with implementing a complete Applicant Tracking System & Talent CRM to support their resourcing for contingent labour.

Defra selected Eploy via the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace, an online service for public sector organisations to find people and technology for digital projects. Eploy’s Applicant Tracking and Recruitment CRM service is available via the Digital Marketplace under the G-Cloud 12 framework for Cloud Software.

The need for proactive recruitment

Historically, the contingent workforce recruitment team within Defra used a spreadsheet to track recruitment activity. However, the spreadsheet had obvious limitations in that it was single-user access and wasn’t supportive of proactive recruitment.

There were no dashboards or ‘at a glance’ views to share with stakeholders of the current recruitment status at any given time.

The recruitment reporting needs exceeded the spreadsheet capabilities, and the team knew they needed to overhaul the hiring process to deliver more efficient contingent recruitment.

Improving the time to hire

Time to hire was problematic for the team as contingent labour such as contractors or consultants are often subject to contract extensions. Previously, an elongated process to get contract extensions approved could cause lengthy delays. However, using Eploy’s cloud-based recruitment platform, Defra’s hiring managers can now view dashboard widgets that display time remaining on contracts, so approval and authorisation are sought in advance and processed through an automated approval process, rather than relying on paper-chasing. As a result, the new platform has reduced time to hire dramatically and simplified the process for both vacancy approvals and contract extensions. For example, before automating the recruitment process through Eploy, this could have taken up to 14 days, now reduced to 2-4 days.

John Innes, Contingent Labour Lead at Defra, commented, “The functionality of Eploy is extensive and can support our long-term strategy for a centralised HR team across the multiple Directorates. The team has everything they need to plan, measure and monitor recruitment, and collaborate better as a team. We are pleased with how Eploy has been received by the team and the ease of use across the recruitment process.

“We are currently trialling name-blind recruitment, using Eploy to choose which identifying candidate information to display to hiring managers through the recruitment process. In doing so, we can rule out discrimination or bias in the recruiting process to create a fairer process for all”.

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