Barratt Developments plc is the country's largest housebuilder supplying high quality homes for all generations. Barratt Developments has over 6,000 employees, covering 27 divisions, selling new build homes under the Barratt London, Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes brands. 

Recruitment challenges

In just 16 weeks Barratt Developments changed ATS provider to improve process, improve user experience, source candidates in an increasingly tough market and drive longer-term efficiencies. It was an intense 16 weeks and a great deal was achieved in a short space of time!

They were working to time constraints by their existing ATS provider contract yet relished the challenge to achieve something great as a team. Recruitment became a central objective for the organisation. The construction industry has a skills shortage, so they had an aim to be more proactive with their recruitment strategy.

Key deliverables were a fully automated solution that could support multiple workflows for differing roles that would provide connected internal and external recruitment systems (ATS, Situational Judgement Testing, Video Interviewing and HR system). 

The existing ATS has been in place for 10 years but wasn’t functionally rich to deliver their talent strategy. It was difficult to navigate, time consuming to manage, didn’t integrate with job boards, reporting was clunky and the end to end system was difficult to navigate for the candidate. A team was formed to deliver all aspects of the project and ensure a smooth delivery alongside BAU.

The implementation phase

As part of the process to uncover the barriers to recruiting, the team documented process workflows for various roles that included stages of the process, ownership, SLAs, communication stages and vacancy authorisations by role. For example, a graduate workflow would be very different to a construction or internal role or experienced hires.

They developed web rule email templates for the automated communication at each stage for references, interview, job alerts and ad placement. These communications were devised to create document merges that would cut down on paper work and engage with candidates, delivering a quality service.

The strategy to implement Eploy’s fully automated ATS and e-recruitment solution would include updating the careers website so when a candidate applied for a role via the website there was no longer a disconnect between the career’s website and the ATS that sits in the background. Barratt Developments wanted a more consistent approach for the candidate and a modern ATS system that enabled tracking and more efficient reporting.

A steering committee was headed up by the HR Director and got buy-in at multiple levels across the group. The direct project team had clear roles and responsibilities and the project manager kept everything on track. The wider project team included an onboarding, integration and reporting specialist to make sure the project ran smoothly and delivered at every level.  

Leading the way

The company structure is quite complex with 27 divisions plus a group support function, all operating slightly differently - proving a challenge to understand and deliver against. It was a challenge the team relished and with effective planning and clear project responsibilities all were committed to delivering a quality project with organisational benefits.

The Recruitment Team would use the core Eploy recruitment platform and the Eploy portals used to deliver the right tools at the right time for candidates, hiring managers and PSL/Agencies.

Hiring managers had never used an ATS as part of the process previously and quickly saw enhanced benefits once the project, technology and process improvements were delivered. They are much more engaged in the recruitment process and can now screen their own candidates, view their pipelines on mobile, desktop and remotely when travelling across the country.

Candidate information is now in one place and the instant reporting available to managers is through a simple and comprehensive dashboard. This is helping to shape recruitment strategies as to where to advertise roles based on previous sourcing success.

Four weeks prior to starting the project hands on training was delivered to hiring managers and HR managers and followed up with online content such as videos and webex communications.

Candidates now visit the careers website, click on the apply button to go straight to the online application form where CV’s are parsed - it can be as quick as 4 minutes to apply. Also in use are construction relevant SJT tests to automatically accept, reject and move relevant applicants into a screening phase. Psychometric testing works along the same process where the test is initiated automatically and Eploy can recognise a pass or fail and then move the candidate across to the assessment centre stage.

The results 

As a small in-house recruitment team of 3 for a FTSE 100 company, this did not stop the team from delivering a quality service across the recruitment process. They delivered the project with dedication and commitment to deliver a positive impact on how they recruited now and in the future.

“Just four months into the project and changes we have been through are already embedded into the business. Initial feedback from candidates is that the system is modernised, is easy to use and communication across the process is good. Candidates like logging into the portal to see where their application is in the process. Similar feedback had been received from agencies who are finding it easy to receive job descriptions, pay band information, related company benefits and what stage a candidate is at with a hiring manager, without having to chase. A really useful element of the candidate and customer journey.

“Our hiring managers never used an ATS as part of our process previously so quickly saw enhanced benefits with the new way of working and use of supporting systems. They are much more engaged in the recruitment process and can now screen their own candidates, view their pipelines on mobile, desktop and remotely when travelling across the country.

“Candidate information is now all in one place and the instant reporting available provides autonomy to managers through simple and comprehensive dashboards. We now have the transparency and collaboration to work smarter.

“As a team we have made improvements with job board utilisation and source tracking to ensure we are reaching a wider pool of candidates. In a sector that has a skills shortage and, for example, is less attractive to females, we are able to improve our diversity and inclusion reach.” Sally Bradbery, Group Resourcing Manager

Chris Bogh, CTO at Eploy commented “Not only have the Barratt Development team improved the speed to apply and made the careers site and application process mobile responsive but no longer have a disconnect between the career’s website and the ATS. Eploy is providing multiple application access such as desktop and mobile, increasingly important for the early career’s workspace and engagement. It has been a pleasure working with them to deliver a solution to address their recruitment challenges.”

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