With a depot network of 29 sites spanning the country, Bidfood provides a truly local presence,
in terms of service, products, employment and community engagement.

Bidfood wants to be an employer of choice – a place where people want to work and share the company values of Care, Share and Dare. To continue to attract top talent in the business, Bidfood engaged with Eploy to deliver its complete Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to
streamline permanent recruitment processes and improve the candidate experience.

The hiring manager experience was a key factor in rethinking the recruitment process. Bidfood has a decentralised recruitment model that is 100% hiring manager-led across its network of sites.

With over 500 hiring managers and no centralised in-house recruitment function, consistency was needed to help give hiring managers the autonomy they need to manage their recruitment.

“Bidfood’s ways of working are complex, and at every turn, Eploy have made the impossible, possible. With their support, we’ve ended up with a recruitment offering to both our hiring managers and candidates that we didn’t think would be possible.” - Sophie Farnsworth, Head of HR Projects,


Challenges to address:

• Fierce competition for talent. Competing organisations and an increase in Bidfood and external labour market vacancies combined with increasing salaries.
• Rising turnover levels due to an economic shift and changes in candidate expectations.
• Complex and outdated attraction and recruitment processes impacting candidate experience.
• A lack of visibility of recruitment data presenting many ‘unknowns’ such as time/value/cost measures and recruitment agency management.
• Requirement to empower hiring managers to select the right candidates by providing the tools
and autonomy to recruit effectively.
• A dedicated careers site, separate from the main corporate site, to avoid confusion and demonstrate the careers on offer, Bidfood EVP and a candidate self-serve model.
• Improved end-to-end automated recruitment process to reduce administration time associated with existing practices and support a better candidate experience.

Inspired recruitment to build the best teams

The Bidfood recruitment process was complex, timely and open to errors because of its multiple
stages and manual elements.

• Raising a job requisition required various steps, often leading to delays.
• Job advertising had several options, each with different processes for the hiring manager to
• Applications were received through multiple channels without tracking, making the candidate
process disjointed and the sifting and selection process difficult.

All these challenges impacted the competitiveness of Bidfood when attracting and selecting the best candidate for the job. It was also apparent that little or no recruitment activity data was captured to inform strategic decision-making.

The Bidfood People Team worked with Eploy to map out and build the technical and functional requirements and configured Eploy’s ATS to deliver against the plan. This stage of configuration streamlined processes and built automated communications to make sure that every applicant would receive an acknowledgement and updates throughout the recruitment process. Together, the team created standard templates to reduce administration for hiring managers and implemented an integration with Clevry, the online assessment platform, to deliver assessment testing as part of the recruitment process.

“We recognised that we needed to go back to basics, get the basics right and start managing our permanent and temporary recruitment more efficiently. Implementing Eploy’s Applicant Tracking System is the foundation of our recruitment strategy to build our longer-term recruitment journey to help us achieve our vision to be an employer of choice.” Sophie Farnsworth, Head of HR Projects, Bidfood

Delivering Results

“Bidfood’s complex recruitment and selection process was open to errors and delays. Eploy’s recruitment technology has transformed how we operate for the better. We had a gradual rollout across our sites engaging with stakeholders throughout the process. The changes have been embraced and the positive feedback from hiring managers is testament to this. 100% of hiring managers who took part in our survey confirmed that the implementation of Eploy’s ATS has made recruitment easier.” Ceri Wilmott, Director of People & Culture, Bidfood.

Bidfood is already delivering an improved service to hiring managers, candidates, and its business through:

• The ease of creating a vacancy, the online approval process and one-click multi-posting to job boards which have reduced duplication and administration time.
• Pre-loaded and on brand job adverts for high-volume roles.
• Online applications and candidate registration for job alerts are now fully automated, improving the speed of registering and applying.
• One portal for shortlisting all candidate applications provides consistency and a fully trackable process that can be measured.
• Online interview scheduling allows interview time slots to be easily created and candidate self-service to book interviews to suit them.
• Automated new starter process which digitises the candidate’s experience.
• Real-time recruitment metrics and KPI dashboards enable strategic decision-making to move to a more data-driven business.

Tony Iles, Head of Operations, Chepstow Depot described the ATS implementation as a real ‘game changer’ for the business.

Mark Abbiss, Head of Operations recently headed up the opening of a new site in Bedford commented “Opening a new site has its challenges, especially when recruiting for 205 people! But having Eploy’s ATS has helped us with managing the high volume of applications and interviews, all in one place, quickly and efficiently whilst also reducing the risk of losing top talent!”

Bidfood have nearly completed the roll out to their wholesale business and they’ll be introducing to their Support Teams early 2024. Plans are also underway to extend the project to Bidfresh, a subsidiary of the Bidcorp Group.

You can view the new careers website here: https://jobs.bidfood.co.uk

Our Mailing List

Never miss an update again, sign up to receive all our latest news, hints and tips. 
We promise not to spam you.